IBM awards UMES professor a second grant to encourage IT instruction
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - (Oct. 7, 2011) - Bryant C. Mitchell, an associate professor in the Department of Business, Management and Accounting, is the recipient of another IBM Faculty Award in support of efforts to shape a specialized curriculum so UMES students can compete for high-tech jobs.
This marks the second academic year in a row Mitchell has been recognized by the computer-manufacturing giant, which administers a grant program to support college-level instructors involved with training future information technology professionals.
Mitchell has been the liaison between the university and IBM working to incorporate the company’s ideas about teaching the basics of its signature “Enterprise Computing” system used by Fortune 500 companies and firms on Wall Street.
Over two years, IBM has awarded $50,000 to Mitchell, who in turn has used the money to assist students who need help paying tuition, underwrite travel so students can attend seminars and arrange undergraduate internships.
John Thompson, a former IBM executive now working as a consultant to help the company partner with colleges and universities, says UMES has “a fully developed ‘unique’ Enterprise Testing that is not offered at any other university across the country.” Thompson credits Mitchell with using the IBM grant money effectively, including “the ‘free’ support of recognized guest lecturers . . . (an activity) which is not offered to any other of IBM's support schools, that I am aware of.”
Since Mitchell began working with IBM, eight UMES students have landed jobs with IBM or its customer-clients, while another nine have gotten critical experience with those companies as interns.
|Left-to-right: Trent Burrell (2008), professor Bryant C. Mitchell, Dorian Thomas (2011), IBM Distinguished Engineer Michael Browne, consultant John Thompson, Michael Williams, Byron Smith, Nick Wiggins (2011) and Rasheen Castell met during Founders’ Week to discuss the IBM-UMES curriculum program designed to help students compete for high-tech jobs.
Mitchell estimates 100 current UMES students are taking at least one of the specialized courses, and not all are business or computer science majors.
“Other disciplines are the majority of people taking enterprise computing,” Mitchell said.
Among them are students majoring in aviation, agriculture and natural sciences, math and general studies. Because large hospitality companies utilize IBM’s Enterprise Computer systems, Mitchell is hopeful UMES students in the hotel restaurant management program will see the courses as valuable electives.
Michael Browne, an IBM Distinguished Engineer who again is a guest lecturer at UMES this semester, calls the company’s Enterprise Computer system “the backbone of the industrial and business infrastructure in this country.”
Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, firstname.lastname@example.org.