Celebrating “the first $500,000”

By Megan Bradshaw on February 23, 2019

Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum commemorates half million dollars in scholarships awarded since 2006

Six people in front of a stage
 (l-r) Vice Provost S. Maggie Reitz, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Melanie Perreault, Joel Pool, Nicholas Saccente, Mazlow Cohen and Tom Lonegro, emeritus member and scholarship liaison for the Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum

Towson University students Joel Pool, Nicholas Saccente, Saraubi Harrison, Mazlow Cohen and Katya Doersam are the 2019 recipients of the Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum scholarship. The forum has awarded over $500,000 to students of business, economics, and the computer information sciences during the last 13 years.

The students were honored at a forum meeting on February 21 in the Minnegan Room at Unitas Stadium.

Pool, Saccente and Cohen were in attendance. Each spoke briefly about how the scholarship impacted his life.

All three said how the grant helped them focus on their studies by paying bills that otherwise would have worried them.

“Just from the brief remarks of our students about paying for rent and electricity, you can understand the transformative power of these scholarships,” says Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Melanie Perreault, who thanked the members for their contributions.

But the scholarships provide more than financial help for the recipients.

“My adviser recommended I apply for the scholarship. When I researched it, I was impressed by the program and the community of networking with leaders who share my passion for technology,” said Cohen. 

Pool—an information systems major—has already benefited from the networking possibilities presented by the forum, speaking with members about job interviews. 

“For me it’s more about knowing what’s happening in the industry and what professionals feel about startups and where things are going,” said Saccente. 

A computer science major like Saccente, Cohen hopes to learn from the men and women in the room on his way to becoming the head or CIO of his own startup. 

The forum was formed in 2003, when TU’s Division of Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research developed a relationship with information technology executives in the region. Its mission is to foster excellence in business and information technology in an environment that promotes educational and networking opportunities for CIOs facing similar challenges and issues.

The forum has offered scholarships since spring 2006.

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: BTU-Partnerships at Work for Greater Baltimore.