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By Destination Z posted Mon December 23, 2019 03:27 PM


Ten winners have been awarded in the seventh annual IBM Destination z Enterprise Computing Scholarship. Students had to demonstrate excellence in their enterprise computing coursework as well as plans for continued growth on the mainframe in their academic and professional careers.

Jenna-Shae Banks, Marist College, earned the Greg Zaubi Memorial Scholarship, valued at $1,000. Zaubi was a Marist College systems programmer who spent the latter part of his career connecting thousands of students and professors worldwide to z Systems, through the mainframe Knowledge Center hub.

The recipients of the 2015 scholarship are:

  1. Jenna-Shae Banks, Marist College
  2. Tia Pope, Georgia Institute of Technology
  3. Gabriel Attoun, University of Arkansas
  4. Nicholas Ahring, West Texas A&M University
  5. Phil Grabowski, Robert Morris University
  6. Guojun Liu, West Texas A&M University
  7. Benjamin Warrington, University of Arkansas
  8. Kevin Knapp, Columbus State University
  9. Cameryn Holstick, Columbus State University
  10. Solomon Jones, Columbus State University
"Each and every year, these students go above and beyond to work on Enterprise Systems in new and creative ways outside of their classrooms,” says Troy Crutcher, IBM Academic Initiative, z Systems. “This scholarship is an amazing way to reward these students and help them continue their education and achieve their career dreams.”

Banks is pursuing a master’s in Information Systems with a minor in Business Analytics and is “honored to be the recipient of this award.” She learned about the mainframe her sophomore year at North Carolina A&T State University when enrolled in an introduction mainframe course as an elective. Following her sophomore year she accepted her first mainframe internship.

Since then, she has held two more enterprise computing internships and currently works as a mainframe systems engineer. She was also a judge for the 2014 Master the Mainframe World Championship and has participated in the zNextGen community. “Through those experiences I learned how significant the mainframe is to not only driving the operations of much of the enterprise but much of how we operate in the world,” Banks notes.

After college, she would like to continue working on the mainframe and spend her spare time teaching others about the mainframe, Banks says. In her application, she notes that “it is my desire to continue to be a part of an industry that values teamwork, strategic integration and continuous quality improvement that would allow me to maximize my skills and help the industry achieve superior financial returns.”

This year’s scholarship sponsors include IBM, INNOVATION Data Processing, Rocket Software and Vicom Infinity. The Destination z community looks forward to continuing to encourage the next generation of enterprise systems professionals.

IBM Innovation   Vicom Infinity
IBM-(1).png INNOVATION-(1).gif Vicom-Infinity.png


Valerie Dennis is site editor of