TU-based organization has awarded more than $550,000 over last 15 years
Seven Towson University students were each awarded $5,000 scholarships from the Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum for the spring 2021 term.
While normally honored in person, the seven recipients—Georgia Coleman, William Freeman, Skylar Gayhart, Moshe Goldstein, Sean McGuire, Garrett Partenza and Samuel Peacock—were recognized at a virtual event in late January.
Tom Lonegro, a founding member of the forum and coordinator for the scholarship selection committee, says choosing the winners is always a rigorous process.
“The CIO Forum Scholarship requires a high-performance GPA to qualify,” Lonegro says. “But what we’re looking for, in addition to very bright students, are students who have taken the initiative to get active in their career objectives.”
The Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum formed in 2003 as a peer-to-peer regional network for CIOs and other senior-level informational technology executives. The forum, though independent, has a partnership with Towson University. It added a Security Networking Group, focusing on cybersecurity, in 2013.
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All of this term’s scholarship winners are undergraduates in the Department of Computer & Information Science. The forum has awarded scholarships to TU students since 2006.
Gayhart, a sophomore in the Honors College from Bowie, Maryland, says receiving the award will help her network and grow.
“Winning helped me realize my success, how far I’ve come since starting at Towson University and to recognize how hard I’ve worked to get where I am now,” she says.
Partenza, another one of the scholarship recipients, is also in the Honors College.
Freeman, a sophomore from Landover, Maryland, says he is extremely grateful for the scholarship, especially in light of how competitive it is. Like Gayhart, he says the award is “a validation that I’m on the right track.”
Lonegro says the forum wants to provide networking opportunities for its scholarship recipients, not just financial support. It’s part of the organization’s long-term mission to improve the information technology field.
Goldstein, a senior from Baltimore, says the scholarship was especially helpful after a “hard year” stemming from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Being able to learn from and interact with all these CIOs [has been valuable]. [They could be] my bosses one day. I look up to these people,” he says.
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