December 5, 2002
CONTACT: Marilyn Duncan, (901) 333-4247


Brandon Jones, an information technology (IT) major at Southwest Tennessee Community College, is the recipient of the fourth Memphis ITEC scholarship.

Imark Communications, the Portland, Ore.-based coordinating organization of the Memphis Information Technology Exposition and Conference (ITEC), annually donates the $1,000 scholarship to an outstanding IT student. Southwest President Nathan Essex and Imark representatives made the award at Wednesday’s opening ceremony. The regional technology conference ended Thursday.

Jones, 30, a graduate of Memphis Central High School, became interested in computers as a hobby when he built one about seven years ago. After working at a technical support company for a year and a half, he realized that computer programming was really the aspect in which he was most interested. He decided to enroll in classes at Southwest and pursue a career in UNIX programming.

“There’s generally a higher demand for UNIX programmers,” Brandon said. “I wanted something that would get me in the market right away.” He is completing his second semester this fall and maintains a 4.0 average, despite his daily battle with a severe arthritic and neuromuscular condition. “My instructors have been very understanding and helpful,” he said. “Most have exceeded what regular teachers would do.” Brandon hopes to maintain his 4.0 average through graduation in fall 2003.

“The ITEC scholarship is an excellent example of business/educational partnerships,” said Craig Comroe, ITEC Memphis director. “We at Imark Communications are proud to recognize Brandon as an outstanding student, as well as an outstanding and dedicated individual. With the help and guidance of Southwest, we plan to continue our support of higher education in Memphis.”
As a leader in technology in the Memphis area, Southwest has been an integral participant of the Memphis ITEC Expo for past six years. The Expo is a comprehensive technology program with an educational focus that provides hands-on experience with the latest in emerging technologies.