Evangelizing Mainframe
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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The past two years, I’ve had the privilege of helping judge applications for the IBM Destination z Enterprise Computing Scholarship. With about 30 applicants each year, it’s a daunting task but one I look forward to each December. For me, it reaffirms that the next generation will indeed include IT professionals that are challenged by and yet fascinated with mainframe technology. They “get it” and see the career opportunities available to them.

“When you see the quality of the scholarship applications, and the great work these students are doing on the System z platform, it makes you feel good that the Destination z scholarship is here to reward their efforts,” said Mike Todd, IBM Academic Initiative System z advisor, who oversees the program.

One example of those high-quality applicants is Chris Richardson, who in 2012 received the program’s top honor, the Greg Zaubi Memorial Scholarship. A senior at the University of South Carolina when he won, Richardson admitted that learning mainframe technology could be challenging. However, he said, “Good things come to those who aren’t afraid to be uncomfortable. Embrace it.”

Richardson was one of 10 Destination z scholarship recipients in 2012. The number of scholarships and their amounts vary year-to-year depending on donation levels. So we’re incredibly grateful to the donors. They do more than pay lip service to bridging the mainframe skills gap, they put their money where their mouths are. Last year’s donors, who made the scholarship possible, were:

• IBM
• INNOVATION Data Processing
• PKWARE
• Rocket Software
• Trident Services
• Velocity Software and
• Vicom Infinity

To join this auspicious list, check out our scholarship fund page and learn more about donating via PayPal or by check. The Destination z community’s generosity will determine the future of the program. If you can’t make a donation, please help spread the word about the scholarship among colleagues, educators or students. Details about the 2013 program will be posted in October with applications due in December.

The scholarship is open to students attending U.S. post-secondary schools that are members of both the Academic Initiative and Destination z. Applicants must demonstrate excellence in their enterprise computing coursework and plans for continued growth on the mainframe platform in their academic and professional careers.

If you'd like to become involved in the Destination z Enterprise Computing Scholarship as a sponsor or if you’re school isn’t a member of Destination z yet, email Todd at todd@us.ibm.com.

Mike Westholder is site editor of Destinationz.org.


Posted: 9/10/2013 1:01:01 AM by Mike Westholder | with 0 comments

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