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SCC Computer Information Systems Students Named Scholarship Winners

Kevin Buffington, Tim Olson, and Anthony Jordan are posing in a server room. They are wearing business casual clothing. Eli Hallman poses casually in a computer lab; he's dressed in business casual attire.

It’s not every day that Scottsdale Community College (SCC) students receive thousands of dollars. But now, for the second time in 2019, a handful of students are receiving big financial assistance from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation.

The partnership began in 2016, when the Computer Information Systems (CIS) Department at SCC was awarded a $700,000, multi-year grant from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation. This grant allowed SCC to build a new Virtual Data Center and renovate classroom space as well. With space for hands-on instruction, lab work and experimentation in computer networking, virtualization, and cloud computing – the CIS department attracts top student talent.

In addition to funding the renovations, monies were earmarked for CIS student scholarships and internships. Four students just received $2,500 each for the Fall 2019 semester from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation's CIS Network Operations and Security Scholarships. The students are Eli Hallman, Tim Olson, Kevin Buffington and Anthony Jordan.

Hallman is pursuing an AAS in Network Administration. “As a non-traditional student, it has often been difficult to balance work, school and home life,” he said. “The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation’s CIS Network Operations and Security Scholarship will give me the flexibility I need to continue to strive towards my goal of becoming a penetration tester. The financial resources this scholarship provides will enable me to ensure that I have the strongest technical foundation possible in pursuit of this goal. I'm honored and proud that my instructors and the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation view me as someone with a chance to make a real, positive difference in the world.”

Olson, also pursuing an AAS degree in Network Administration, said, “Winning this scholarship has been one of the highlights of my life; I was born into a family with no savings, and I had no help getting an education after high school. I had been steadily saving to get into a community college, but in today’s economic climate, it was extremely difficult to save anything on a nearly-minimum wage job. So after almost 10 years, I only had enough for a single semester. This scholarship will allow me to pursue additional education in a shorter timeframe, helping me to become more financially stable quicker, and pay off some of my debts.”

“After graduating in a couple semesters, I will be the first ever in my family to have graduated from college; and it’s doing something I absolutely love! I have been building PCs and networks for about 20 years now, and to be given an opportunity to receive a lot of help from the Kemper Marley scholarship, they will be investing in my future, and my family’s future. I cannot thank them enough!”

Buffington, who is studying Network Administration and Computer Information Systems Technologies, was surprised at the gift, saying, “This is an award that I did not expect, and I am truly humbled to be recognized in such a way by the Marley Foundation. As I head into my final year at Scottsdale Community College, I feel that my path becomes clearer everyday thanks to this financial support and the help I have received from the SCC staff on a daily basis. Since applying for the Network Operations and Security Scholarship I have also accepted an Information Security internship with the Maricopa County Community College (District). I truly feel that my career path has become clearer in the last six months and the aid that this scholarship provides relieves a weight from me so my focus can stay on my education.”

Pursuing an AAS in Network Administration, Jordan said, “Winning the scholarship was inspirational. To be recognized by the Foundation and faculty in this way is very motivating and encouraging. The scholarship comes at a good time. Financing your own education can be challenging at times. The cost of tuition + fees + books can be overwhelming. No words can relay my appreciation for the generous gift from the Kemper Marley Foundation and faculty that made this all possible. I thank you and my family thanks you. This scholarship will help launch me into my career sooner than expected.”

The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation's CIS Network Operations and Security Scholarships are awarded each semester.

To learn more about this scholarship, contact:

Professor Ron Monroig
Occupational Program Director

For more information on SCC’s CIS degree and certificate program offerings, please click here.

Visit the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation to learn more about scholarships available to Maricopa Community College students.

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