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Creating Opportunities

2013 Destination z scholarship winner validated despite late start in academic career

2/20/2014 4:27:58 AM | Twelve winners were announced for the 2013 IBM Destination z Enterprise Computing Scholarship in January. Students had to demonstrate excellence in their enterprise computing coursework as well as plans for continued growth on the mainframe in their academic and professional careers.

With more applicants than ever, the recipients chosen by industry experts, are:
Mark Abermoske—Northern Illinois University
Dontrell Harris—North Carolina A&T State University
Jason Mossburg—Northern Illinois University
Erlin Tego—North Carolina A&T State University
Peter Bernacki—Northern Illinois University
Steven Jordan—Columbus State University
Rory Bruce—Rochester Institute of Technology
John Lathrop—Northern Illinois University
Bryant King—North Carolina A&T State University
Terron Pinder—University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
Adam Booker—University of Arkansas
LaTriese Paxton—North Carolina A&T State University

Mark Abermoske (pictured above), pursuing a Master's degree in Computer Science at Northern Illinois University, earned the top scholarship, the Greg Zaubi Memorial Scholarship. Zaubi was a Marist College systems programmer who spent the latter part of his career connecting thousands of students and professors worldwide to System z, through the mainframe Knowledge Center hub.

Abermoske is expected to graduate in December, and hopes to start working as a software engineer or business analyst. Also a 2013 IBM Master the Mainframe Part 3 winner, Abermoske says he was shocked to be a scholarship recipient.

“After the excitement of finding out that I took fifth place in the 2013 IBM Master the Mainframe contest, it kind of slipped my mind that I applied for the scholarship,” he says. “After that I really just felt honored. I didn't start out my academic career in computer science, and after deciding to pursue a graduate career in the field, always felt I was a bit late to the game.

“Winning the scholarship really made it feel like what I have been doing is paying off. There is no better validation than being recognized by such important members of the industry that I am trying to be a part of.”

Abermoske says the real-world experience the contest and scholarship allow students is important.

“I think it is really great that IBM and other members of the industry are creating opportunities for students. Between Master the Mainframe and the Destination z scholarship, students really get a chance to get a little bit of real-world experience while they are still in school, and that is invaluable.”

This year’s scholarship sponsors include Vicom Infinity, Rocket Software, INNOVATION Data Processing and IBM. The Destination z community looks forward to continuing to encourage the next generation of enterprise systems professionals.

IBM Innovation Vicom Infinity
Rocket    
   


Valerie Dennis is site editor of Destinationz.org.

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