College of Professional Advancement to host fourth annual Informatics Day

ATLANTA – Mercer University’s College of Professional Advancement will host its fourth annual Informatics Day to be held via Zoom on Feb. 24, 6-8 p.m., to engage students with professionals in the field and to promote the College’s technology-related programs.

Informatics, defined as an interdisciplinary science that ties together the power and possibility of digital technology to transform data, is a growing field in today’s economy as it transitions to more technologically based systems to meet daily needs. Most would not know the formal term by name but interact with it daily, whether placing an online meal order, accessing health records or retrieving an address to a relative’s house.

Additionally, health informatics is a vital discipline within informatics involving the science of using data, information and knowledge to improve human health and the delivery of health care services.

Both Dr. Awatef A. Ben Ramadan, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Informatics, and Dr. Rui Gong, assistant professor of mathematics, are coordinating the event in order to expose attendees to the endless possibilities in the burgeoning field.

The event will include an overarching panel discussion, where attendees will have the opportunity to interact with panelists and inquire about their individual career paths and informatics trajectories. The panel will feature industry professionals, IT professionals and successful Mercer alumni.

This year’s panel will include two FBI representatives who specialize in cybersecurity, in addition to a director from the Drummond Group LLC, which tests and certifies health care devices and technology. Another special guest is a senior majoring in IT and informatics who was recently promoted to business analyst manager with Safe-Guard Products International.

“This year’s theme is ‘Future Career Plans in Informatics,’” Dr. Ben Ramadan said. “The panelists are very excited to come and talk to our students about internships and positions for informatics graduates. ​​We would like to open students’ eyes and open their minds to more.”

“The speakers and panelists are from multiple industry sectors, so they have really diverse backgrounds,” added Dr. Liu. “We wanted to let students envision their futures on a broad scale. They could be a UX (user experience) designer or work in data analysis.”

“We also wanted to highlight our outstanding alumni to tell us about their experiences in the job market,” Dr. Ben Ramadan said. “They’ll answer questions of how to apply for a job in the field and the skills they need to stand out.”

Initially, Informatics Day was an event the department hosted to assist individuals in the community who had technical issues with their devices. However, since its beginning more than three years ago, it has taken a more career-oriented focus.

Dr. Colleen Stapleton, chair of the Department of Mathematics, Science and Informatics, said the event is intended to highlight the importance of informatics as a concentration and as a broadened space for job opportunities and contributions to society at large.

“The speakers at this event will offer a lot of ideas to our students and alumni about the variety of employment sectors and jobs that they can seek out,” Dr. Stapleton said. “Informatics professionals can work as specialists in IT, health informatics and software other than traditional computer and information science jobs.”

Mercer is adapting to the needs of an ever-changing world by offering three undergraduate technology and informatics programs: IT and Informatics, Software Application Development and Human-Computer Interaction, and Health Informatics. Health Informatics includes both undergraduate and graduate studies.

“We’ve learned that students don’t have to wait until they graduate to help the community — they can start in the classroom,” Dr. Ben Ramadan said. “We’ve learned from our students, as well, within the University mission of teaching, learning and inspiring. They inspire us, and we are inspiring them by challenging them to do these things while they are nontraditional students.”

About the College of Professional Advancement

Mercer University’s College of Professional Advancement is committed to serving post-traditional learners. Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs are offered to adult learners seeking professional advancement into leadership roles in and beyond their communities. Programs provide students with distinctive, multidisciplinary experiences that integrate theory and practice. In addition to providing general education and elective courses for various colleges and schools at Mercer, the College of Professional Advancement offers degree programs in areas including technology, public safety, public and human services, leadership and administration, health care and liberal arts. Programs are offered on Mercer’s campuses in Atlanta and Macon, as well as Regional Academic Centers in Douglas County and Henry County, and online. To learn more, visit professionaladvancement.mercer.edu.

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