"An impressive group:" 5 TU students earn STEM scholarships

Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum awards $25,000 in academic scholarships to Towson University students.

By Towson University on January 28, 2019

Spring 2018 student scholarship luncheon

The Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum has awarded five Towson University students $25,000 in scholarships for the spring 2019 academic term. 

The Forum was formed in 2003, when TU’s Division of Innovation and Applied Research entered into a partnership with information technology executives in the region. The forum's mission is to foster excellence in business and information technology in an environment that promotes educational and networking opportunities for CIO’s facing similar challenges and issues.

The forum has offered scholarship awards to students of business, economics and the computer information sciences since spring 2006.

“The Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum has awarded over half a million dollars in scholarship funds to Towson University students for over a decade. The support and opportunities that this partnership has provided is sincerely appreciated,” said TU Vice Provost S. Maggie Reitz, Ph.D.

In addition to providing scholarships, CIO Forum members are actively engaged with the students. The award recipients will have the opportunity to participate in Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum meetings during the spring term.

The Forum’s award recognizes seniors Mazlow Cohen, Saraubi Harrison, Joel Pool and Nicholas Strick as well as sophomore Santhosh Ramachandran.

“Towson University students in the Computer and Information Science majors are an impressive group,” said Tom Lonegro, a CIO Forum member who served on the scholarship selection committee. “This semester we had another excellent group of diverse and well-qualified candidates for the Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum Scholarship. Selecting winners from this group has always been a challenge but is also very rewarding. In addition, this semester’s class of scholarship winners marks a milestone in the Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum’s support to the Towson University Information Technology program. With these scholarship awards the Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum will cross the $500,000 level in scholarships to Towson University students.”

Mazlow Cohen (Baltimore, MD/Gilman School) is a computer science major with previous work experience as a Salesforce administrator. Cohen later managed the Google AdWords Salesforce administration which is what inspired him to pursue a job as a developer which ultimately led him back to TU to complete his bachelor’s degree. His favorite courses at TU include Algorithm Analysis and Object Oriented Design, which he says have allowed him to use creativity while also tackling challenging computing and design problems. In addition to his coursework, Cohen currently serves as the president of the software engineering club and organizes workshops on new technologies led by both himself as well as CIOs and software engineers from companies such as Google and IBM. He regularly competes in hackathons and volunteers with Northwest Neighbors where he assists senior citizens with technology issues. Last summer, he interned at Vanguard and is interested in pursuing a career in financial technology.

Saraubi Harrison (Washington D.C./Fort Mead Senior High School) is a computer science major and member of the Honors College who recently interned as a software engineer at General Dynamics Mission Systems where she was able to learn the Agile methodology and Python, while also gaining valuable experience working on a team. In her recent coursework, she has continued to work on team projects which have included the development of a website for Accenture to allow users to file social security claims as well as the investigation of improving the process of identifying functional blocks of code for binary analysis. In addition to these assignments, Harrison also has been invited to join two faculty led research projects which include improving the security at polling centers using training modules for election judges in Prince George’s and Harford counties as well as researching the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence to problems in computing. After graduation, Harrison is interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in software engineering and would ultimately like to start her own software engineering firm and nonprofit organization which would offer mentors and classes in coding to low income students.

Joel Pool (Gaithersburg, MD) is an information systems major who transferred to TU after earning an associate’s degree in business from Montgomery College. Throughout his educational career, Pool has engaged in a number of internship experiences related to his coursework including working at TW Perry Lumber as an information technology intern and as a network engineer at Hughes Network Systems, a satellite internet service provider in Germantown, MD where he programmed in Python code and worked extensively on data visualizations. Pool later returned for another internship at Hughes Network Systems where he worked on the virtual machine infrastructure team where he regularly shadowed system engineers and performed basic tasks in the VMware virtualization and NetApp data storage systems and wrote python script for VMware. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Pool plans to continue working at Hughes Network Systems where he has been offered a position as a systems engineer after graduation.

Santhosh Ramachandran (Towson, MD/Dulaney High School) is a computer science major who is an active member of the software engineering club which has provided him with valuable technology resources and opportunities to attend hackathons around the area. During his first hackathon at UMBC last spring, his team created an app called Unipin for users with sensory processing disorders which allows them to rate and review places based on sensory details such as noise and light, earning his team the most unique hack prize. Ramachandran later returned to a hackathon at UMBC this past fall where his team developed an android app called Seizure Helper for people living with epilepsy where they earned first prize. As a result of this work, the UMBC chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) invited him to work on a project exploring ways to control a drone with brain waves and patterns. In the upcoming semester, Ramachandran will serve as vice president of the software engineering club and currently interns remotely as a mobile developer for a company in India where he is working on developing Xamarin native apps.

Nicholas Strick (Bayville, NJ/Central Regional High School) is a computer science major whose passion for computer science has led him to pursue various learning opportunities outside of his coursework, including learning three additional programming languages, working with several data science tools, and collaborating with peers in hackathons. Additionally, he is currently involved in two undergraduate research projects for TU’s Applied Mathematics Laboratory and the Software Engineering department. In addition to his involvement in these projects, Strick has also experimented with penetration testing, automation, machine learning, neural networks, distributed data clusters, game development and homemade server solutions. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree, Strick plans to continue his employment with Enlighten IT Consulting as a full-time data scientist. He would eventually like to enroll in a computer science graduate program, while also continuing to work full-time.