Saturday, August 31, 2013

Oracle Scholarship Winner: Terry Atwater III (Hampton University)

Oracle and BDPA award annual college scholarships to deserving high school, community college or undergraduate students who study STEM-related curriculum. One of the 2013 Oracle Scholarship for BDPA Students winners is Terry 'Tré' Atwater III. Tré is the son of LaVenta and Terry Atwater II and is a June 2013 graduate of Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tré’s high school activities included Diversity and Inclusion (club), Model APEC, Varsity Track, Varsity Soccer, Varsity Football, Mock Trial (Attorney), NAACP Youth Council, awarded “Mr. Beautillion” during the Beautillion Militaire program sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta, “Impact 21” by United Way, Freshman Mentor, and Jack and Jill of America.

Tré has received numerous academic and athletic awards during his high school career. In soccer alone, he has received over 20 first or second place trophies from multiple competitive tournaments. He is also a decorated orator receiving numerous honors. Tré placed nationally at the NAACP’s ACT-SO competition for his speaking ability and also, he was named Mr. Congeniality for his oratory skills, as well as winning Jack and Jill’s regional oratorical completion multiple times. Recently, Delta Sigma Theta named him “Mr. Beautillion” during his participation in the 2013 Beautillion Militaire program. His academic awards include being inducted into the National Society of High School Scholars, as well as being awarded scholarships from Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, and Kappa Alpha Psi. Tré also received the Hampton Scholars Scholarship from Hampton University.

Tré Atwater is currently a freshman at Hampton University and he plans to major in chemical engineering. BDPA is proud to recognize Tré Atwater with the 2013 Oracle Scholarship for BDPA Students!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Grant Award: IBM ($3,000)

Paulette Johnson-Davis
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very grateful to IBM for its recent grant award of $3,000 that recognizes the volunteer work done by IBM retiree Paulette Johnson-Davis. Paulette is a long-time BDPA leader who currently serves as the vice president of business management for the BDPA Greater Columbia chapter. She submitted an IBM Community Grant request for funding in mid-July. We learned today that the request had been approved!

The grant approval letter read, in part:

Dear Mr. Wayne Hicks,

On behalf of International Business Machines Corporation, I am pleased to tell you that a cash grant of $3,000.00 has been approved to support BDPA Education and Technology Foundation's IT Training Support program. This grant has been awarded in recognition of the volunteer service of Paulette Johnson-Davis. IBM's Community Service grants are based on requests from employees or retirees who have a record of active and ongoing involvement with not-for-profit organizations and schools.

We are pleased to support BDPA Education and Technology Foundation and extend our best wishes for continued success of your programs.

Wanda Guy
CCCA Program Administrator
International Business Machines Corporation

Paulette's volunteer efforts have been in support of the Student Information Technology Education & Technology (SITES) program implemented by BDPA Greater Columbia chapter. The funds from this volunteer grant will be restricted for the benefit of her chapter.

The process is a simple one ... our hope is that other BDPA chapters will work with BETF to increase the flow of grant income over the coming weeks and months.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tech Expresso Cafe: 'BDPA Atlanta Chapter Under New Management (8/29/2013)

BDPA Atlanta chapter increases BDPA brand awareness on many different platforms ... including Tech Expresso Cafe, co-hosted by Jacqueline Sanders and David Blackman. This is an Internet radio show that focuses on business, technology and leadership.

The August 29th episode focused on two things. First, a number of BDPA Atlanta chapter leaders including Derrick Brown (chapter president), Felicia Jones (past president and incoming BDPA South Region director) and Josephine Reed (HSCC coordinator). They shared their experiences and observations from the recently concluded 2013 BDPA Technology Conference held in Washington DC. There was also information shared about the transition of leadership between Felicia and Derreck.

Here is the archive version of the show for your listening pleasure!

Message from BDPA Atlanta Chapter President

D.S. Brown
Cross-posted from The Aspiring Critical Thinker's Era.

The 2013 National BDPA Technology Conference was August 14-17 in our nation’s capital Washington D.C. If you were not there, you should have been. Let me take but a minute to explain to you, share with you the great moments you missed, share with you the moments of personal clarity, and why I think the goals of BDPA should be the goal of every man, woman, and child in this great nation of ours.

The convention was held at the Washington DC Hilton, the same place as the White House Correspondents Dinner. Walking through the lower halls of the hotel behind the main conference room I observed the lined pictures of First Ladies, and settled on the picture of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Her image evoked a moment of thought in me, something so very appropriate to consider in this year, the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. I was here at the national convention for the Black Data Processing Associates, the dream of BDPA Founder Earl Pace, which itself is a dream only realized through the arduous but incomplete realization of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of a better America, a dream given voice through a lifetime struggle of dreams deferred, realized in the March on Washington which was the brainchild of the duly agreed upon Dean of Black Leadership, A. Philip Randolph.

In my musings I realized the history behind my solitary moment in front of the First Lady’s portrait. I am but a commoner, a citizen in this great nation, but my dreams though they be minor, truly are only realized through the efforts of giants, men and women who have made a small space on their shoulders for me to stand. I was grateful. For this reason alone I was proud to be at the conference. You should have been there too.

In the evening I was reminded by one world famous Roland Martin that those of us in technology must make use of the gifts we have been provided. He admonished us to speak to the young people of our nation and explain to them in their own language, the language of bling, ballers, and big dollar shot callers that STEM was the means and the way, the path to the future that far too many of them do not realize they can achieve. We must show them in word and action. This was a proud moment, as the tone he set permeated the room. We felt the energy as the kids gathered there stood and were recognized.

The children in the BDPA High School Computer Competition and the Youth Technology Camp firmly exhibited the motto of BDPA, “From the classroom to the boardroom.” They are the future, and they are excellent.

I must also add that as I looked around the room I was proud to see that BDPA in name exhibited the spirit of minority excellence as opposed to the representation of one ethnicity. In this, in my opinion, it adhered to a fine tradition. The room was filled not just with African-Americans, but people of every ethnicity, open to minorities of all kinds of ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds, fully supported by the gifts from forward-thinking corporate organizations that realize the economic tomorrow of America is firmly rooted in the efforts of today, strong efforts being made by organizations like BDPA.

These same corporations supported workshops and seminars, many being offered at better than competitive prices. Why should you come to the BDPA National Technology Conference? Why should your company sponsor your trip to the 2014 convention in Indianapolis? Let me make it plain by telling you what was available in Washington D.C.

The BDPA Technology Conference offered an opportunity for you to receive your SCRUM certification (If you’re in IT you know what this is). There were experts presenting on Microsoft Sharepoint, Cloud systems, Mobility, Cybersecurity, and Personal Development. The week was packed, and there was so much to offer you could not conceivable get it all in. Looking for a new opportunity, there was a Career Fair. The convention offered all this and more, including outstanding entertainment in intimate concerts, poetry readings, and cocktail parties … and did I mention the food?

BDPA Atlanta HSCC Team
When it was all said and done, BDPA put on a spectacular showing. The kids that competed in our competitions left winners, every last one, for this represents an opportunity unlike any other. We adults left the conference buoyed by our participation in their success, enlightened by the knowledge we gained in the seminars, emboldened by the prospect of making change through STEM, and motivated by Roland Martin’s words telling us to BE that motivation and make it happen.

Consider all I’ve said critically and if you would be intrigued and positively moved to help build the future, then be like Cisco executive Michael Younkers, a highly energetic Caucasian man attending the conference in a sponsorship capacity who was so moved that he joined BDPA on the spot! This is who we are. This is what we are doing. Join us.

The Aspiring Critical Thinker,
D.S. Brown, president
BDPA Atlanta

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gates Millennium Scholars Program

Every year, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program selects 1,000 talented minority students to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. The program provides scholars with personal and professional development through our leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.

Administered by the United Negro College Fund, the program was initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 1999, it has funded the education of more than 16,000 students, awarding them more than $614 million dollars to pay for tuition, fees, books and housing.

The program aims to reduce financial barriers for African American and other students of color with high academic and leadership promise who have significant financial need; increase the representation of these target groups in the disciplines of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health and the sciences, where these groups are severely underrepresented; develop a diversified cadre of future leaders for America by facilitating successful completion of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; and provide seamless support from undergraduate through doctoral programs, for students selected as Gates Millennium Scholars entering target disciplines.

The deadline for submission is January 15, 2014.

Click here to learn more about the 2014 Gates Millennium Scholars program.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

National BDPA Election Results (2014-2015)

National BDPA conducted its bi-annual elections earlier this month.  Here are election results for the organization's board of directors. The two-year terms of the newly elected board members will begin January 1, 2014. Election results for the National BDPA Board of Directors are as follows.
Craig Brown
National President
Loraine Stewart
National Vice President, Finance

Pamela Sexton
National Vice President
Regional Vice President,West

Teresa Williams 
Regional Vice President, South
Felicia Jones
Regional Director, South

Frederick Smith, Jr.
Regional Vice President, Northeast

Lilla Hunter-Taylor
Regional Director, Northeast

Michael Wulf
Regional Vice President, Midwest

Regional Director, Midwest

These newly-elected officers will join with other soon-to-be appointed officers under the leadership of our incoming National BDPA President Dr. Craig Brown.  All of BDPA-Nation wishes the very best to each of these brothers and sisters for stepping up to serve as regional and national leaders for our organization. Our plan is to be the wind beneath their wings over the coming two years!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Oracle Scholarship Winner: Anthony Coleman (BDPA Greater Columbia)

Oracle senior diversity consultant Traci Wade announced the winners of the 5th annual Oracle Scholarship for BDPA Students during the 2013 BDPA Awards Gala. One of those winners is BDPA Greater Columbia student member Anthony Coleman.

Anthony is a senior at Dutch Fork High School with a STEM course concentration in computer science. He has been a member of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Greater Columbia chapter for the past three years. He was the HSCC team captain this year! Anthony is already making plans to participate in the 2014 BDPA Technology Conference as a participant in the BDPA IT Showcase.

Anthony is also involved in the Junior League of Greater Columbia leadership program and serves as a student liaison for his school district Cyber Saturday Technology event. BDPA is very proud to recognize Anthony as a 'future face of technology'!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

This Week in BDPA (August 25-31, 2013)

BDPA offers strong programs in 46 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 
You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Oracle Scholarship Winner: Brandi Taylor (BDPA Greater Columbia)

Oracle senior diversity consultant Traci Wade announced the winners of the 5th annual Oracle Scholarship for BDPA Students during the 2013 BDPA Awards Gala. One of those winners is BDPA Greater Columbia student member Brandi Taylor.

Brandi is the proud daughter of Jessie and Yvette Taylor. She is currently a 10th grade student at Irmo High School in Columbia, South Carolina. Brandi participates in many extracurricular activities including, Track, Girls Scouts, National Beta Club, National BDPA and her local church. She has won numerous awards such as, National Junior Scholar (2009-2010) and Academic Excellence (2010-2011).

Brandi is a two-time participant in the BDPA IT Showcase. Her IT Showcase research and presentation was entitled, 'Penetrating the Cloud: Exploration of Cloud Computing.'  Brandi’s current career plan after high school is to become a Nurse. Her ultimate motto is “I can do anything if I put my mind to it.”

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bemley Scholar Nnedimma Ugochukwu Heads to University of Pittsburgh

BDPA Washington DC chapter student member Nnedimma Ugochukwu began messing with computers at a young age. In the 9th grade she took that youthful exuberance with her to BDPA where she found an outlet for her passion in computer science within the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. Over the course of the next four years Nnedimma represented her chapter in the annual BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) on both a regional and national level.

Her efforts were rewarded with a remarkable performance in the 2013 National BDPA HSCC Championship when her team won 4th place (out of 46 eligible chapters) and earned college scholarship from the Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship Fund. She plans to use the college scholarship to defray the costs of studying Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

We asked Nnedimma to share her thoughts and remembrances about BDPA:

"When I first started HSCC back in my freshman year in high school, I was excited because I always wanted to learn how to make a website. I began attempting to learn how to do so on my own before I started thanks to the social networking websites that I used. Even trying to do it on my own, it wasn’t enough because after some time, I got stuck and very confused. When I began HSCC, I learned the material with a click. Even if I did not understand what my instructor, Mr. Lou Shack, taught, I always asked questions and volunteered. If his answers did not help, I went home and looked up what we learned. Another thing about me was every time we received an assignment, I did it right away as soon as I got home. I never waited until Friday to get it done. I worked so hard on my BDPA assignments. As the months moved by, the material we learned became so much harder, but I stayed with them until the end.

2012 HSCC Team (Wash DC)
The HSCC championship was a great experience. Out of all of the conferences that I attended, the one in Baltimore (2012) was the best. The competition shows how much you know based on all the months of learning and practicing. Along with the actual competition, I got to experience the Career Expo for the first time by speaking with different companies about what they do in their field and asking what I should do to prepare myself when I finish high school. I was inspired and was able to receive contact info from many companies. BDPA Washington DC HSCC Alumni, Francisco Nunez, told me that networking is one of the keys to success. I did not know what networking was before I joined BDPA, but, now I see why it’s so important.

BDPA has put me on the path to study Computer Science with a minor in Computer Graphics while in college. I was already on the path of computers before I joined thanks to my father, but BDPA was the base to building me up the staircase to my goal. I came to the program confident and learned so much, thanks to my teachers and my fellow students.

If you’re considering joining BDPA and participating in the HSCC program, then I suggest that you make your first impression look good toward the teachers. Go to class willing to learn something new and different. If you’re not that good when you start off, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others. The program is also a commitment so working outside of class will make you better. Staying consistent throughout the program will get you far not only in the program, but in life.

Nnedimma is one of the thousands of high school students that have been trained by BDPA volunteers in our SITES program over the past few years. We want to provide more college scholarships for these young people. We need your help!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Benard Bampoh (Southern Minnesota) Wins 1st Annual Lockheed Martin Scholarship for BDPA Students

BDPA president Monique Berry, Bernard Bampoh, BDPA founder Earl Pace
BDPA awarded the first annual 'Lockheed Martin Scholarship for BDPA Students' at the 2013 BDPA Technology Conference held in Washington DC. The winner was a remarkable young man - Benard Bampoh - who is a rising senior at Century High School in Rochester, MN. Bernard participated in the BDPA Youth Technology Camp (YTC) as a member of the BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter.
The Lockheed Martin Scholarship for BDPA Students encourages a current or rising high school senior to pursue a STEM-based college curriculum. The student must be a registered participant in the annual YTC. The decision on scholarship winners would be two-fold.

First, we accepted nominations from each chapter that is sent a YTC student to the conference. The survey was character-based and focused on areas such as behavior, preparation, responsibility, communication, attendance, team ethic and integrity.

Second, the scholarship winner must demonstrate onsite excellence during the onsite YTC workshops and activities.

Benard submitted this video vignette as part of his scholarship application package to share his interest in STEM education as well as his desire to become our first BDPA-Lockheed Scholar.

The scholarship is administered by the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Message from the BDPA Dallas Chapter President

If I had to recap this year’s National BDPA conference in one word it would be 'Exhilarating'.

Roland Martin-National BDPA Technology Conference / August 2013
from Stacy Stewart on Vimeo.

Opening Ceremony keynote speaker Roland Martin focused his energetic delivery on how we need to communicate the information technology message to our youth by transforming the way we show and tell our story.& He was simply amazing.

Our BDPA Dallas students participated in the 2013 High School Computer Competition championship, and even though this was a rebuilding year for us.  The students were excited, motivated and eager to learn as much as possible about the whole competition process. I want to give big kudos to Amber Jackson for stepping in as our instructor just days before the start of the conference and Manasseh Lee for training the students.

This is the second year in a row that the Dallas Chapter won recognition as the Social Media Champion of the BDPA Conference!

The professional workshops were phenomenal with over twenty outstanding presenters covering a variety of topics, and the networking opportunities are always a highlight for me.

From my perspective, National BDPA conferences are so successful because of the family atmosphere; you can see it in the smiles, the laughter, and the engagement of others helping others. I experienced this love every day of the conference. From the co-founder Earl Pace during an impromptu interview with me;  national president Monique Berry who is always giving me encouraging words; Wayne Hicks, my go-to person for any and everything; Teresa Williams for keeping us on track, and my brothers who are always there to lend a helping hand Curtis Jenkins, Jesse Mathews, Dr. Craig Brown, Frederick Smith, Matthew Harvey and William Flowers.

Epsilon Award winner Stacy Stewart and his BCBS friends
If we did not have the support of our corporate sponsors and my company BlueCross BlueShield of IL, MT, NM, OK & TX (BCBS), it would be very difficult to accomplish many of our tasks, My company submitted the nomination for the Epsilon Award for Community Service that I won this year.

It is no accident that BCBS was named the 'Top Company for Blacks in Technology' by BDPA in 2013. After all, BDPA is able to leverage dedication and leadership from some of the best minds in the industry, such as Denise Holmes (BCBS/BDPA corporate president), Sheila Marionneaux (BCBS/BDPA corporate champion), Tanshaneika Swire (BCBS/BDPA corporate champion), Chad White (BDPA Dallas vice president of Member Services), Chris Privoznik (BCBS/BDPA executive champion) and Brian Hedberg (BCBS chief information officer).

The 36th annual National BDPA Technology Conference will be held in Indianapolis, IN on August 6-9, 2014. I encourage all BDPA Dallas chapter members to 'save the date' and plan to attend. These annual BDPA Conferences tend to be the highlight of the year for students and professionals in the information technology industry!

Stacy L. Stewart, president
BDPA Dallas Chapter

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

BDPA IT Showcase Winners (2003-2013)

Milt Haynes and I asked Dr. Jesse Bemley to create a program in 2003 for our High School Computer Competition alumni and college students. We wanted the program to encourage more African American students to seek Ph.D recognition in the hard science fields.

Dr. Bemley created the Information Technology (IT) Showcase.

The BDPA IT Showcase allows student presenters from educational institutions all over the United States to showcase their research papers on advanced computing topics to an audience of students and IT professionals. Some of the topics covered in the past include: intelligent technologies, wearable computing technologies, web technologies, parallel computing technologies, computing curricula and computer graphics technologies.

Here are past IT Showcase Winners:
2003 - Philadelphia, PA
High School Division
  • 1st place: Mr. Bryan Bemley, Washington, DC
  • 2nd place: Mr. Eric Lamison-White, Bowie, MD
  • 3rd place: Ms. Jessica Eggleston, Columbia, SC

College Division
  • 1st place: Ms. Swathi Nibhanupudi, University of Cincinnati
  • 2nd place: Mr. Wesley Williams, University of Chattanooga
  • 3rd place: Mr. Ayyub Wright, University of Memphis

2004 - Dallas, TX
High School Division

  • 1st place: Andre Strong, Thomas Edison HS, Alexandria, VA
  • 2nd place: Eric Lamison-White, Bowie HS, Bowie,MD
  • 3rd place: Julian Waller, Carroll HS, Washington DC

College Division
  • 1st place: Robert Garcia, DePaul University
  • 2nd place: Jessye Bemley, North Carolina A&T University
  • 3rd place: Chris Holt, Southern Illinois University

2005 - Detroit, MI
High School Division

  • 1st place: Bryan Bemley, Carroll HS, Washington, DC
  • 2nd place: Eric Lamison-White, Bowie HS, Bowie, MD
  • 3rd place: Joshua Wallace, Duval HS, Lanham, MD

College Division
  • 1st place: Chris Holt, Southern Illinois University
  • 2nd place: Darrell Edmonds, North Carolina A&T University
  • 3rd place: Darren Lamison-White, Bowie State University

2006 - Los Angeles, CA
High School Division

  • 1st Place: Eric Lamison-White, Bowie High School, Bowie, MD
  • 2nd Place: Malcom Parker, Mayfair High School, Los Angeles, CA
  • 3rd Place: Alicia Simmonds, Frederick Douglass HS, Upper Marlboro, MD

College Division
  • 1st Place: Raymond McGill, Jr., Cornell University
  • 2nd Place: Jessye Bemley, North Carolina A&T State University
  • 3rd Place: Myles Singleton, Illinois State University

2007 - Washington, DC
High School Division

  • 1st Place: Jahmal Chase, School for Creative and Performing Arts, Cincinnati, OH
  • 2nd Place: Amber Gosby, Mt. Healthy High School, Cincinnati, OH
  • 3rd Place: Christian Loggins, Eastern High School, Washington, DC
College Division
  • 1st Place: Delano Robinson, University of Minnesota Crookston
  • 2nd Place: Jessye Bemley, North Carolina A&T State University
  • 3rd Place: Darren Lamison-White, Bowie State University

2008 - Atlanta, GA
High School Division
  • 1st Place: Fred Smith, III, Charter School of Wilmington, Wilmington, D
  • 2nd Place: Tyrell Ferguson, North Point High School, Waldorf, MD
  • 3rd Place: Cadeal Chase, Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, Baltimore, MD
College Division
  • 1st Place: Tiffany McCormick, North Carolina A&T State University
  • 2nd Place: Bryan Bemley, Bowie State University
  • 3rd Place: Jessye Bemley, North Carolina A&T State University

2009 IT Showcase Students

2009 - Raleigh, NC
High School Division
  • 1st place: Mr. Naaman Cephas, Hodgson Vo-Tec High School (Newark, DE)
  • 2nd place: Mr. Marcus Smith, Pencader Charter High School (New Castle DE)
  • 3rd place: Ms. Whitney Wilson, Charter School of Wilmington (Wilmington, DE)

College Division
  • 1st place: Mr. Frederick Smith III, California University of Pennsylvania
  • 2nd place: Mr. Bryan Bemley, Bowie State University
  • 3rd place: Ms. Jovanna Foreman, North Carolina Central University

2010 IT Showcase Winners

2010 - Philadelphia, PA
High School Division

  • 1st place: Ms. Cherise Poole, Pencader Charter High School (New Castle DE)
  • 2nd place: Ms. Kenyatta Malloy, Friendly High School (Washington DC)
  • 3rd place: Ms. Whitney Wilson, Pencader Charter High School (New Castle DE)
College Division
  • 1st place: Mr. Frederick Smith III, California University of Pennsylvania
  • 2nd place: Mr. Naaman Cephas, Delaware Technical & Community College
  • 3rd place: Mr. Ahmed Mahamad, University of Minnesota

2011 - Chicago, IL
High School Division
  • 1st place: Ms. Whitney Wilson, Pencader Charter High School (New Castle DE)
  • 2nd place: Ms. Nathasha Sowell, Warren Central High School (Indianapolis, IN)
  • 3rd place: Mr. Marcus Smith, Pencader Charter High School (New Castle DE)
College Division
  • 1st place: Mr. Michael Bijou, Bowie State University
  • 2nd place: Ms. Shaneece Davis, North Carolina Central University
  • 3rd place: Mr. Bryan Bemley, Bowie State University
2012 - Baltimore, MD
High School Division
  • 1st place: Ms. Tyra Foulks, Irmo High School (Columbia, SC)
  • 2nd place: Mr. Wesley Walker, Groveport Madison High School (Groveport, OH)
  • 3rd place: Ms. Brandi Taylor, Irmo High School (Columbia, SC)
College Division
  • 1st place: Mr. Michael Bijou, Bowie State University
  • 2nd place: Mr. Bryan Bemley, Bowie State University
  • 3rd place: Mr. Adwait Walimbe, University of Minnesota
2013 - Baltimore, MD
High School Division
  • 1st place: Mr. Jared Sherrod, Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security (Wilmington, DE)
  • 2nd place: Mr. Ian Crowder, Oak Park River Forest High School (Oak Park, IL)
  • 3rd place: Ms. Brandi Taylor, Irmo High School (Columbia, SC)
College Division
  • 1st place: Ms. Jazzmine Bess, Florida A&M University
  • 2nd place: Ms. Jessica Boardley, University of Delaware
  • 3rd place: Mr. Bryan Bemley, Bowie State University
 These are truly some remarkable students. We will follow their educational progress to determine how many of them receive their Ph.D. in the hard science field. In the meantime, it would be great to hear from you. What are your thoughts as you review this list of winners?

2013 BDPA Chapter Management Award: New York

BDPA New York was awarded the Chapter Management Award for the third year in a row at the 2013 National BDPA Technology Conference at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington DC.

BDPA co-founder Earl Pace presented the Chapter Management Award during the opening ceremony. The BDPA Chapter Management Award was bestowed upon the BDPA New York and its members for their outstanding achievements in the operational and organizational management of their chapter.

The award was presented to the BDPA New York chapter president Renetta English.

BDPA is a global member focused organization that positions its members at the forefront of the IT industry. BDPA is committed to delivering IT excellence to their members, strategic partners, and community. The National BDPA Awards Program provides a means to recognize individual chapters and members for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the mission and objectives of the National organization.

Monday, August 19, 2013

PeyBack Foundation

Each year, the PeyBack Foundation funds various programs in Indiana, Louisiana, Tennessee, and the Denver metro area. The Foundation has distributed more than $4.3 million in grants since 2002, including $500,000 in May 2012 to 88 youth based organizations. The deadline for grant applications is February 1st each year.

The PeyBack Foundation focuses primarily on economically disadvantaged youth. Emphasis is placed on programs that have a direct benefit to children through relationships and activities. Programs that are intended to enrich the lives of disadvantaged youth through activities conducted outside the typical school day (i.e., after-school and summer programming) are particularly favored by the Foundation.

This appears to be a potential funding source for BDPA programs implemented by our BDPA chapters located in Baton Rouge, Chattanooga, Indianapolis, Memphis or Middle Tennessee. BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is willing to support any of these chapters in creating a grant proposal to the PeyBack Foundation if there is mutual interest.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

BDPA Member on the Move: Milt Haynes (Sears Holdings)

Milt Haynes
Milt Haynes is a former national BDPA president who graduated with President Barack Obama from Columbia University. Now he's a knowledge manager at Sears, and runs a global group for Blacks in technology. Haynes is a knowledge manager at Sears Holdings Corporation (Hoffman Estates, IL), where he ensures that IT knowledge, intellectual capital and experience are shared throughout the organization.
"My interest in computers started when I was a kid in Chicago, with Star Trek," he says. "Mr Spock always seemed to have a logical solution to any problem. That made me think that if I had a computer, I could do that too."
Read the rest of the Diversity/Careers magazine article.

Friday, August 16, 2013

BDPA New York High School Computer Competition Team (2013)

The Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) program has been up & running for over a quarter century with BDPA. Two of the frequent initiatives under the SITES umbrella are the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) and the BDPA IT Showcase. BDPA New York chapter has a powerful legacy in both of these student initiatives.

These are some of the students participating in the SITES program this year:

Left to right: Jahmosi Hay and Keshaun Williams
Not Shown: Keenan Edwards and Leslie Thomas

In 2013, BDPA New York chapter continued their partnership with Medgar Evers College Preparatory School for the HSCC program. The school consists of a middle school and high school and offers the opportunity for students to graduate with a high school diploma and a college associate degree from Medgar Evers College. The HSCC program meets weekly on Saturday afternoon and consists of training the students in HTML, CSS PHP, SQL and soft skills such as presentation and project management.

The IT Showcase Program is held at a local church and the participants consist of students in high school and college.

The chapter seeks your help in growing its BDPA New York Scholarship Fund either with a donation or joining as an online fundraiser!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

BETF Announces Winners of 1st Annual Monsanto Scholarship for BDPA Students

Some companies talk the talk about promoting STEM-based advancement for BDPA student members. They talk about wanting to create the workforce of the future by supporting BDPA programs, scholarships and services.

Other companies walk the walk.

Monsanto Company walks the walk. Monsanto is a BDPA Bronze sponsor with a focused executive leadership team that is fully committed to the BDPA vision of advancing the careers of people of color in the information technology industry from the classroom to the boardroom.

One example of that commitment became obvious when Monsanto agreed to provide college scholarship funding for the first annual Monsanto Scholarship for BDPA Students. The company partnered with the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) to provide $10,000 in annual scholarships to students with an interest in pursuing or continuing a 4 year academic program related to information technology.

In 2013, we are proud to announce the first-ever Monsanto Scholars ... each of whom will receive a $2,500 scholarships to assist with their studies.

  1. Della Anjeh is an incoming freshman at Pomona College. She is a member of our BDPA St. Louis chapter and participated in 2011 and 2012 on the chapter's High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team. She trained for six weeks in the summer of 2011 at Monsanto world headquarters office in preparation for the 2011 National BDPA HSCC Championship. Her scholarship application included an essay entitled, 'Communication, Knowledge and Innovation: Outcomes of Technological Advancement in Agriculture'. Della is a remarkable young woman and truly deserves to be known as a 'future face of technology'. Follow Della on Twitter: @DellzBells.

  2. Jala Cruz is a junior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis majoring in Informatics. She is a long-time member of our BDPA Indianapolis chapter. This is not the first that that BETF has provided college scholarship funding to Jala. She recently shared her story on the BDPA iRadio Show. I think the aspects of Jala's journey that gives us the most pleasure is her entrepreneurial efforts as the owner and publisher of her own teen magazine. Her scholarship essay was entitled, 'The Pursuit of Agricultural Technology'. Follow Jala on Twitter: @JalaCruz.

  4. Alex Marcellus is an incoming freshman at Purdue University where he plans to major in engineering and computer science He is a new member of our BDPA Cincinnati chapter. Alex completed a stellar high school career at Summit Country Day School where he was the salutatorian while graduating with a astronomical 4.752 grade point average. His scholarship essay was entitled, 'How Information Technology Impacts Agriculture' This is another young man who deserves to be known as a 'future face of technology'.

Monsanto Company is making a statement with these three BDPA scholars. The company is showing that they want to be part of the solution. They aren't satisfied with just talking about it ... they want to do something about it. I wish that others in Corporate America will do the same! We would love to give out more college scholarships to BDPA students in 2014. What say u?

Robert Half International Renews Sponsorship of BDPA

Robert Half International renewed its corporate sponsorship with the National BDPA, including participation at the 35th Annual BDPA Technology Conference and Career Fair, August 14-17, 2013 in Washington, DC.
"We are thrilled to partner with Robert Half to bring the Career Expo to Washington, DC. The job market is competitive and requires job seekers to make every effort to place them in direct contact with hiring employers. This conference brings students and employers from all over the country together for the career expo," said Monique Berry, National BDPA President.
Monique Berry and Ranelle Dunnam
Listed as one of this year’s FORTUNE magazine’s, 'World's Most Admired Companies', Robert Half is recognized in the industry as a global provider of business systems, finance, governance, risk and internal audit, technology, and operations experts for over 60 years. With over 400 consulting staff at 70 global locations in 23 countries, Robert Half reported 2012 revenues of $4.11 billion. Last year, Robert Half International was named to Human Resource Executive's 'Most Admired for HR' list and they are regularly recognized globally on the 'Best Places to Work' list.
Ranelle Dunnam, Robert Half Diversity & Inclusion Senior Manager said, "Robert Half congratulates BDPA on their 35th Annual Technology Conference in August 2013."
BDPA is recognized nationally as a global member-focused technology organization with over 45 active chapters in the United States. BDPA continues to stand as a leader in delivering 21st century technological programs, college scholarships, mentoring, support and services for youth and adult IT professionals.

For more information, contact Wayne Hicks, Director, BDPA Corporate Sales Director,, (301) 584-3135.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Grant Disbursement: BDPA Philadelphia Chapter ($500)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation approved a $500 grant disbursement to the BDPA Philadelphia chapter.

BDPA Philadelphia chapter president Eileen Gadsden requested the funding in support of the chapter's expenses related to the upcoming National High School Computer Competition championship. The funds will support travel and lodging for three students, two trainers and the HSCC coordinator.

Wells Fargo Becomes a BDPA Bronze Sponsor

Wells Fargo, one of America’s largest financial services institutions is a Bronze Sponsor National BDPA at this year’s 35th Annual BDPA Technology Conference and Career Fair, August 14-17, 2013, at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. Wells Fargo earned a 2013 Corporate Epsilon Award from BDPA and is one of 11 finalists to be considered for the title of ‘Best Company for Blacks in Technology’. The winner of that penultimate award will be announced at the Awards Gala on August 17.

Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo ranks No. 25 on Fortune’s list of the largest companies in the United States. Wells Fargo has over 270,000 team members in 9,000 branches spread over 35 countries.
"The career fair would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors like Wells Fargo," said Monique Berry, National BDPA president.
Monique Berry and Wayne Hicks
Wells Fargo is respected worldwide as a diversified financial service company that offers both a community service appeal, as well as a global presence with $1.4 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo offers banking, consumer and commercial finance, insurance, investments, mortgage and ATM and Internet services.
Wells Fargo has been an important part of the BDPA family for a number of years,” said Wayne Hicks, Director, BDPA Corporate Sales Director. “Wells Fargo employees have served as local chapter presidents and the company has been recognized on both an individual and corporate level with our Epsilon Award. This financial institutional has demonstrated by their powerful example that they are serious about diversity recruitment and retention of its information technology employees. I am very proud to see Wells Fargo on board again in 2013 as a BDPA bronze level sponsor," he added.
BDPA is recognized nationally as a global member-focused technology organization with over 45 active chapters in the United States. BDPA continues to stand as a leader in delivering 21st century technological programs, college scholarships, mentoring, support and services for youth and adult IT professionals.

For more information, contact Wayne Hicks,, (301) 584-3135.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Letter from BDPA Twin Cities HSCC Coordinator

Michael Wulf
BDPA Chapter Presidents, Officers, Members, & Volunteers!

My name is Michael Wulf and I’m a candidate running for BDPA Midwest Region Vice President.

With only a few weeks before we travel to the 35th Annual BDPA Technical Conference & Career Expo I wanted to introduce myself to each chapter in the Midwest Region and ask consideration for your support in my decision to run for office.

In the past 8 years I’ve been a volunteer heavily engaged in the BDPA Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program ... more specifically, the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) program in the Twin Cities. Most of you know me as their HSCC Coordinator. As a leader in corporate America, I use a collaborative style of management. In this role I view myself in the same capacity - in a supportive role to assist in making BDPA even more successful building on the great work of predecessors.

In this role I will partner with the elected National President, Regional Director, and many others to empower our Midwest region to be the best in BDPA!

Given the opportunity to be elected by your chapter delegates at the national conference my goals are:
  • Expand communication between chapters, national and BETF.
  • Grow membership and reactive inactive chapters in the region.
  • Support local chapter and national initiatives.
  • Support membership growth.
  • Support youth education, professional development, and HSCC competition.
Given the opportunity to serve in this capacity my intention is together establish a Midwest action plan to align and accomplish our combined prioritized goals. I have the experience, passion and determination to deliver on what is needed. Together we can make a difference at a higher level than ever dreamed.

Things you may not have known about me that you may want to know why serving in this capacity is important.
  • Father of a blended family with two daughters, two sons, and three grandchildren. Education and the mission of BDPA means a great deal to me.
  • Extremely knowledgeable in the management of geographically dispersed matrix organizations – much like our Midwest region is organized. Veteran IT Professional serving IT for 32 years.
  • I live in the “Midwest” keeping homes in both Minnesota and Illinois.
Sending this memo in advance of the national election to allow us both the opportunity to talk by phone. I will attempt to call you, however I can be reached at (651) 261-0408. See you at the “Get to know the candidate session” (8/14/2013).

Michael G. Wulf, Candidate
BDPA Midwest Region Vice President