Iris Junglas is intrigued by how technology changes things. Mainly, how technology can go on to inform new behaviors and processes and gain competitive advantages. She thinks the same can be said for philanthropy and what it makes possible, too.
Thanks to the generosity of local tech entrepreneur and College of Charleston donor Noah Thomas Leask, Junglas became the inaugural Noah T. Leask Distinguished Professor of Information Management and Innovation in 2019.
“Iris is a perfect fit for what the business schools of today need – a strong STEM background with business acumen,” says Leask, who donated $1.92 million to the School of Business to fund an information management faculty position in perpetuity.
Junglas came to the College from Florida State University. She holds a Ph.D. in management information systems from the University of Georgia, as well as a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science from the University of Koblenz in Germany. She has worked in academia as well as for a variety of IT consulting firms in the U.S. and Europe over the last 20 years.
Now, as a professor of supply chain and information management, she gets to encourage young minds at the College to explore similar career paths.
“When you think about it, every job has a tech component these days,” she says. “My goal is to provide a new generation of undergraduate students with a higher level of technical agility in business.”
And she is well on her way. Only a little more than a year into her post, Junglas is working to solidify and grow the College’s information management curriculum by reimagining its entry-level course – a critical touchpoint for students – and bolstering its presence across campus.
“Iris has already made a huge impact on the College, its schools and our community in such a short time,” says Leask. “Her efforts to ensure we have top-of-the-line technology, business programs and solid community involvement have been outstanding.”
In the long term, Junglas hopes to see information management grow within the College. She also envisions the development of a consortium of tech businesses that bridges the gap between the business community and the College, leading to greater opportunities for students.
Until then, Junglas has nothing but gratitude for Leask and his philanthropy, noting “he makes the community his business.”
And that’s a philosophy we can all get behind.