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October 2008

Release Date: Oct. 1, 2008ASU Logo

ASU, Texas Tech Students Awarded IBM Internships

Angelo State University, IBM and the State of Texas Data Center housed at ASU have joined forces to design a ground-breaking new program that will provide quality internships to students from ASU and Texas Tech University.

Three ASU undergraduate students and a graduate student from Texas Tech are the first beneficiaries of the new program, beginning their internships this semester at the data center this month. Senior computer science major Evan W. Clayson of San Angelo and junior computer science major James E. Reid of Guthrie will intern as computer operators. Matthew Bullard, a sophomore management information systems major from Ozona, will intern as an availability/problem analyst. TTU graduate student Eric Garcia will intern as a reporting/automation specialist.

“The relationship between Angelo State, IBM and Texas Tech is a great example of an innovative partnership between higher education and private enterprise that provides real-world experiences you cannot replicate in a classroom,” said Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System.

To be eligible for the internships, the students had to go through the regular IBM application and hiring procedures and clear IBM security checks. The ASU students will work in the data center on the third floor of the ASU Math-Computer Science Building. Garcia will work mostly from Lubbock with occasional trips to San Angelo.

ASU President Joseph C. Rallo said the quality of these internships enhances the educational experience of the students.

“From our standpoint at the university, the internships do two things,” Rallo said. “First, they increase our students’ marketability and earning power once they graduate. Second, in conjunction with our strong computer science program, they help provide a highly trained workforce which can ultimately help us attract more high tech industries to the region.”

The new internship program is the result of discussion involving ASU administrators and computer science faculty, IBM officials and data center Director Bobby Bruner.

Ken Weiss, IBM vice president, State of Texas-Americas public sector, said, “This allows IBM to continue the long standing relationship between the Texas State Data Center and the university. It is a very welcomed and beneficial collaboration which provides the student interns exposure to a professional IT working environment and provides a feeder program to IBM of the top computer science students.”

San Angelo entrepreneur Bob Derby contributed $15,000 in scholarship funds to assist with the program and the ASU internships. Derby, the co-founder and chief executive officer for MyMail Technology Inc., designated the MyMail Scholarship to provide each ASU intern with a $5,000 scholarship for the 2008-09 academic year.

As computer operators, Clayson and Reid will operate and manage several operating systems and sub-systems. They will also provide technical direction and problem-solving assistance and solutions to other center personnel and support groups.

The availability/problem manager position to be filled by Bullard is designed to work with key customers and with technical analysts to attain high levels of systems availability and stability in the IT environments. This position leverages the IBM client technical teams to develop and maintain a trusted relationship with the client’s management team. The primary role is to understand the client’s IT technology strategy, industry best practices for systems and availability management, and to apply this expertise to the customer environment to ensure success with IT deployments and incident resolution.

As a reporting/automation specialist, Garcia will assist the existing reporting and automation team with automation of existing manual reports, development of an on-demand reporting environment and process maturity improvement efforts.

The State of Texas Data Center at ASU is the largest of its kind in the state. Through a contract with IBM, its sophisticated main-frame computers provide backup and storage for many of the state’s electronic government records. Local and state officials maintain a keen interest in the data center for the high-tech jobs it provides in San Angelo and the educational opportunities it affords ASU and, now, Texas Tech students.