Five students at several American universities will be recognized as the first winners in SAS’ “Student Ambassador” competition at the upcoming SAS users conference in San Francisco.

The Ambassador program is part of a SAS effort to integrate business technology into academia.

The winners are: Chakib Battioui, a Ph.D. student in applied and industrial mathematics at the University of Louisville; Jennifer Ferrell, pursuing a master of science degree in public health in biostatistics and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics at the University of Louisville; Sung-Hyuck Lee, a Ph.D. student in quantitative psychology at the University of Oklahoma; Uzma Raja, a Ph.D. student in information systems at Texas A&M University; and Zhao Yang, a Ph.D. student in biostatistics at the University of South Carolina.

“This competition gives the best and brightest students a platform to present their progressive research to thousands of SAS customers each year,” said Nina Frauenfeld, manager of the European part of SAS’ Global Academic Program and founder of the Student Ambassador competition. “Having our student ambassadors at (the users conference) offers not only unparalleled networking opportunities for the students, but also access to this talent-rich pool for SAS customers in need of their advanced skills.”

The SAS conference is set for March 26-29.