Head of the class

Published 5:59 pm Friday, May 11, 2012

East Carolina University graduate Chelsi Chandler of Chocowinity recently received the 2011-2012 Outstanding Senior Award in the Department of Management and Information Systems.

The award was presented during Saturday’s College of Business graduation ceremony at ECU’s Minges Coliseum.

The award is given each year to one senior in the department who excels in academics, leadership and service activities, said Razi Paul, an associate professor in ECU’s MIS department, one of Chandler’s instructors and a member of the outstanding senior selection committee.

Chelsi Chandler of Chocowinity received the 2011-2012 Outstanding Senior Award in ECU’s Department of Management and Information Systems. (Submitted Photo)

“The choice was especially difficult this year, but Chelsi really stood out. She is an outstanding student, not just academically but because of her work ethic and attitude. She is just an outstanding human being. She’s going to do great things,” Paul said.

Chandler garnered the honor because of her top-notch grades, her excellence in advanced classes and her participation in outside activities, especially her work as a member and vice president of the Association of Information Technology Professionals.

“I felt honored,” Chandler said about being chosen for the award.

“It is based on a consensus of all the MIS professors. I was really humbled that they recognized my hard work and wanted to give me the award,” she said.

Chandler knew the direction she would take in college while she was in high school, but she became focused on information systems after being introduced to the subject in her classes.

“I knew in high school that I wanted to do business administration. But when I took MIS classes and realized I was really good at it and it really turned me on, I went in that direction,” Chandler said.

While excelling in her schoolwork, Chandler also worked part-time throughout her college years as an administrative assistant in the offices of attorney John B. Tate III in Chocowinity.

“Chelsea came to my employment sort of as a summer intern in high school. She had done so well that when she went off to college we told her we would accommodate her schedule if she still wanted to work. When you do that you really want somebody around. She is reliable, honest, friendly. She brightens the room,” Tate said.

Marrying her part-time work with school, Chandler built an attractive, usable website for Tate, one of her most favorite accomplishments.

“That was really neat,” she said.

It was an advanced systems-analysis class that determined her final career direction.

“I took a real interest in systems analysis during an advanced class. It was something I really enjoyed,” she said.

Chandler starts a new position as a business analyst for Credit Suisse in Research Triangle Park in July. She spends her first three weeks with the company completing training in New York. Chandler said she is excited and a little nervous about training in New York, having never been to a large city.

Beginning in the fall, Chandler will once again juggle work and school. She has been accepted into graduate school at ECU, where she will work toward a master’s degree in business administration by using the school’s online program.

Chandler is the daughter of David and Benita Chandler of Chocowinity.