Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What is BDPA? How Did You Learn About BDPA?

Milt Haynes is past national BDPA president. He was on a conference call recently with me and other members of the BDPA Social Network Team. One of the team members noted that many of the Black IT professionals simply do not know about BDPA. The conversation flowed to our memories about being introduced to BDPA in the first place.

Personally, I was introduced to BDPA by a programmer that worked with me at a Detroit data center back in 1988. He invited me to a program meeting and I became active right away.

Anyhow, Milt shared the following message with us ... and I wanted to open his question up to a wider audience. I hope that you will respond with your insights!

What is BDPA?

BDPA is what you make it and now is your chance to make it all that it can be. BDPA is a shining star in my life and I know that it's a shining star in the lives of many others too. But why is BDPA the best kept secret in America? It's because we rely on the oral tradition of our ancestors to pass on knowledge through stories from generation to generation.

Times have changed!!

Through the ubiquitous Internet we have a chance to collect and capture our stories online so now they can live on forever!

Tell us your story. It doesn't matter if you're a President, Board Member, Corporate Sponsor, Student, Entrepreneur, or "just a member". If you have a BDPA story to tell, we want to hear it!

Better yet, we want to capture it in Wikipedia. Are you Internet savvy? Go click here to go Wikipedia and add your story.

Or just send your story to us at

Tell us your story. Help the BDPA legacy grow. You'll be glad you did.

Milt Haynes, chairman
Social Networking Team

Please take a moment to share your thoughts in the COMMENTS section below. How did you learn about BDPA? What is BDPA to you?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

BDPA Student Members May Qualify For ROTC Scholarships

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) encourages interested BDPA student members that participate in the high school computer competition, youth technology camp or IT Showcase to check out some exciting cyber careers at participating universities.

Do you know of any high school senior interested in exciting STEM (Science.Technology.Engineer.Math) careers enhanced by Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) portfolios? If so, please encourage them (or their parents!) to visit the following sites to research available scholarships and background requirements to attend participating colleges and universities of their choice:

  1. Air Force
  2. Army
  3. Coast Guard
  4. Marine Corps
  5. Navy
  6. NSA
If qualified and interested, BDPA student members should reply to this post as soon as possible to let us know of their intent so the appropriate agency can be notified to work directly with them.

We also encourage any BDPA students with technology career ideas to check out the CyberCareer website to see innovative solutions for middle and high school IT career education.

Of course, all of these scholarship opportunities will be discussed in more detail in Philadlephia, July 28-31, 2010 during the National BDPA Technology Conference and Career Fair.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Grant Recipient: BDPA Los Angeles ($8,751)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) approved an $8,751.24 grant disbursement to BDPA Los Angeles chapter. BDPA Los Angeles chapter president John Malonson patiently worked with BETF over the past few months on a variety of fundraising efforts with Facebook and Raytheon Charitable Foundation. As a result of the chapter's patience and persistence ... the funding is available to support their efforts to bring a team of high school students to the 2010 National BDPA High School Computer Competition championships being held next month in Philadelphia.

BETF encourages all 45 BDPA chapters to follow our 7-step funding process. The process has worked for a number of BDPA chapters ... it can work for your chapter as well!

Donald Brown * Epsilon Award for Community Service

Donald Brown (Prudential Financial) is one of the winners of the 2010 Epsilon Award for Community Service presented by National BDPA and

BDPA Epsilon Awards recognize individual achievement by technologists who are nominated by BDPA chapters or corporate sponsors.

The Epsilon Community Service Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated leadership in the Black technology community through volunteer work, contributions, and other activities that are not included in his or her job descriptions.

Don Brown has over fifteen years of experience in Information Technology with an advanced degree from Stevens Institute of Technology. He is a formidable technologist, providing highly effective enterprise solutions during his tenure as a project manager and system manger in the financial services and telecommunication industries. He has played key roles in several enterprise-wide projects which have resulted in over $18.5 million dollars in savings.

Don serves with National BDPA as the Chief Information Officer for the organization. He is responsible for providing the strategic approach for meeting the organization’s technology goals and ensuring that its vision and mission of the organization are effectively realized through technology. As CIO, Don is responsible for leveraging economies of scale, synergies, strategic IT initiatives and best practices sharing at both the National, and Local chapter level. Additionally, Don provides technology consulting and leadership to officers and staff, throughout the organization.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) joins all of BDPA-Nation in congratulating Don on his 2010 Epsilon Award for Community Service. I hope that many BDPA members strongly consider careers at Prudential!

I look forward to networking with Don at the 32nd annual BDPA Technology Conference. How about you?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Message from New York Chapter President

Greetings and Happy Summer!

I am truly excited about the vigorous work and dedication of the BDPA New York executive board. Thanks to the Communication & Membership Committees, you can check our calendar for upcoming activities via our website calendar or visit us on Facebook.

Thanks to our Education & Community Outreach Committee, we have selected SITES students who will represent New York at the 32nd Annual National BDPA Technology Conference, to be held in Philadelphia, PA from July 28-31. Four students will participate in the Annual High School Computer Competition and one student in the IT Showcase. We are extremely proud of our graduating seniors, who will all be attending college in the fall and of our students selected to intern at UBS this summer. You can read more about our students in the HSCC Corner on Humanware (page 7).

This month our chapter is celebrating Internet Week NY by networking with other IT Professionals at our monthly Meet-N-Greet at B Smith’s Restaurant and partnering with to present 12 Hours Of Tech, hosted at Microsoft. Visit Humanware (page 5) for more information about our events during Internet Week NY.

Lastly, I urge members and nonmembers alike, to join us at the upcoming 32nd Annual BDPA Technology Conference in Philadelphia, PA. This year's conference will feature four executive panels and over 50 high impact workshops for the technical and business professional as well as entrepreneurial workshops, informative college events, and exceptional plenary sessions. If you have been too busy to keep up with the latest trends in the industry, there will be workshops led by industry-leaders from JPMorgan Chase, Vanguard, DeVry University, Allstate, Quest Diagnostics, Eli Lilly and more.

Technology Job Seekers, HR Recruiters and Hiring Managers are invited to attend the BDPA Career Center, Career Planning Workshop, and Career Fair and Technology Expo. If you are ready to look for a new job or you are unemployed, you can post your resume at  For additional information, please visit BDPA’s Conference page.

Judaea Yarde Lane, president
BDPA New York Chapter

HSCC Testimonial * Shayna Toyan-Joy Bradford (Detroit, 2003)

Shayna Toyan-Joy Bradford was a member of the high school computer competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Detroit chapter in 2003. She and her HSCC teammates traveled to Philadelphia in August 2003 to compete in the national HSCC championships. The team did well ... they finished in fifth place.

Shayna recently shared her HSCC testimonial with us:

During my tenth grade year of High School, my computer teacher handed out flyers about the BDPA HSCC Detroit chapter. At that time, I had a very deep interest in Computer Science & Engineering. I knew that if I were allowed to participate in the HSCC, it would help prepare me for my future studies and career goals. Thankfully, I was allowed the opportunity to train and work with the BDPA HSCC Detroit Chapter. The trainers/mentors were extremely knowledgeable and had first hand experience in a variety of Information Technology fields. I had no idea that I would be exposed to such talented, genuine, and motivating people. After training with the BDPA HSCC Detroit chapter, I felt confident that I possessed truly valuable skills that I could use beyond competing in the National BDPA HSCC.

Competing at the BDPA National HSCC competition was an extremely memorable and valuable experience. The competition allowed the HSCC teams to understand the distinct line between theory and practice in the Computer Science industry. Also, the competition gave us a thorough and raw introduction to the competitive IT industry. I feel, most importantly, the competition taught us how critical it is to perfect your skill set and have a dynamic mindset, because, ultimately your team is depending on you.

Overall, my experience with BDPA led to my continued interest in technology. I decided to concentrate in Neuroscience during my undergraduate studies. However, during college, I worked in the IT department and in my final year of studies, I started working with Apple. I plan to pursue a career in Neuroscience research but, I am looking forward to using the technological skills BDPA helped hone to advance my understanding of Brain disease and function.

Shayna is now a mother and a business owner. She owns Textures by Nefertiti, a natural hair care salon and spa in Detroit.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Newsletter: BDPA New York (Jun 2010)

BDPA Profile * David Malonson (Los Angeles)

Everything rises and falls on leadership. That is the story of most nonprofit organizations. BDPA Los Angeles chapter is blessed to have some great leaders on their board of directors. The newest member of the BDPA Los Angeles chapter board of directors is David Malonson. He recently accepted the responsibility of being the Vice President of Finance (VPF) for the chapter.

Professional Background: David Malonson is the Corporate Budget Manager/Lead Senior Financial Analyst in the Healthcare Sector. He has the innate ability to perform complicated financial analysis tasks and communicate Financial Market news in plain English. David worked directly with his CFO to reduce year-over-year corporate expenditures by $10.2 Million and strengthened the company's cash position.

"I'm grateful to work for a company that allows me to showcase my financial skills and trusts my decision making," said David.
David's Vision for BDPA Los Angeles: David sees an enormous amount of brain trust within BDPA LA and is looking forward to enhancing its finances. A strong balance sheet is the backbone of a strong organization, and David sees an opportunity for BDPA LA to reach out to and leverage collegiate networks in the Greater Los Angeles community.

Education: David attended The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and received a degree in Economics. He was also a Varsity athlete, and utilizes his competitive skills in a positive way to drive performance on a daily basis.

Motto: Make Winning a Habit
I encourage all BETF-Blog readers to congratulate David on his new leadership position!

Friday, June 25, 2010

'Leading the Way' with the 2010 PLTW Innovation Summit

Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a USA Science & Engineering Festival Partner, is bringing together some of the best and brightest minds in the STEM community for its 2010 PLTW Innovation Summit. The Summit takes place October 20-22 in Washington, DC, in conjunction with our Festival on the National Mall. PLTW's Innovation Summit is a great opportunity to learn about STEM education best practices and interact with some of the nation's leading STEM educators and advocates.

The Summit will bring together STEM-related industry representatives, public and private educational agencies, philanthropic organizations and a wide cross-section of the greater STEM community to investigate, ideate and ultimately to ignite STEM education through imagination and innovation. The Summit is structured as a collaborative three-day forum, featuring visionary keynote speakers, in-depth panel discussions, hands-on breakout sessions and award-winning student project displays.

PLTW's STEM education program has been extremely successful in engaging students in innovation and preparing them for college and career success in STEM-related fields. As you make your plans for the USA Science Festival in October, consider arriving a few days early for the PLTW Innovation Summit. It will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about how your community can further inspire the next generation of innovators.

For more information on the Summit please click here.

Newsletter: BDPA Washington DC (Jun 2010)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oracle Awards Almost $3,000 in Scholarship Funding to BDPA Los Angeles Students

BDPA Los Angeles High School Computer Competition (HSCC) students Terrell Allen and Tyrone Hinderson Jr. were each awarded about $1,500 in scholarship funding from Oracle Corporation to pursue degrees in the fields of science and technology.

Terrell plans to pursue a degree in Engineering and Computer Science at Morehouse College while Tyrone plans to pursue a degree in Biology and Computer Science (school undecided).

You can learn more about the HSCC program in Los Angeles here.

Eli Lilly and Company Scholarship for BDPA Students - Deadline: July 9, 2010

The BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is proud to open up the application period for any graduating high school student or current college student interested in the 2010 Eli Lilly and Company Scholarship for BDPA Students!

The purpose of the Lilly/BDPA Scholarship is to recognize outstanding minority students, with an interest in information technology, who make significant contributions to society. Applicants must excel academically, show exceptional leadership potential, and make an impact on their communities through service to others.

Lilly/BDPA Scholars will be awarded a one-time $2,500 scholarship that may be used to pursue an information technology focused degree at an accredited four-year college or university of their choice. The Lilly/BDPA Scholarship may be used to supplement benefits from the college or university a student plans to attend and fellowships from other foundations or organizations. Students may use the scholarship to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board, and other college-related expenses.

Scholarship winners will be selected based on the application, essay, and letters of recommendation.

To be eligible for Lilly/BDPA Scholarship, each applicant must:
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be a graduating high school senior or current college student in good standing at the time of their application.
  • Demonstrate academic achievement (minimum GPA of 3.0)
  • Exhibit leadership ability through academic or civic involvement and participate in community service activities
Complete application packet must include the following:
  1. Application Form
  2. Current transcript
  3. 500-word essay on “Why Information Technology is Important”
  4. Two letters of recommendation

Click here to download application!

Scholarships will be awarded only to students who fully meet the scholarship requirements. All application materials must be RECEIVED on or before July 9, 2010 in order to be eligible. Incomplete, e-mailed or faxed applications will not be considered!

We will announce the Lilly/BDPA scholarship winners during the 2010 National BDPA Technology Conference in Philadelphia, PA.   We are very proud of our past Lilly/BDPA scholarship winners:
  1. 2007, Daniel Puente (University of Texas)
  2. 2007, Christian West (Northwestern University)
  3. 2008, Khalia Braswell (North Carolina State University)
  4. 2008, Lee Reed (University of Michigan)
  5. 2009, Hung Vo (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  6. 2009, Carrine Johnson (Palos Verdes Peninsula High School)
Do you know any high school or college kids looking to study in a technology-based field during college? Can they use a $2,500 scholarship? If so, you need to share this information with them right away!

Any questions?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

President Profile: Sandullah Epsicokhan (Central Illinois)

Sandullah Epsicokhan, President
BDPA Central Illinois Chapter

Address: P.O. Box 1806
Bloomington, IL 61702-1806

Phone: (309) 766-8807
Newsletter: None

Sandullah Epsicokhan was recently elected president of BDPA Central Illinois chapter.  He took office in January 2010. He came into office with a desire to overcome the challenges experienced by the chapter in the past couple of years. His leadership team seeks new and creative solutions from current and future chapter members. BDPA Central Illinois Chapter has a vibrant and talented core of individuals willing to take on these challenges.

IT Background – Sandullah entered computing technology at the age of fourteen when his math teacher took a group of students to high school computer programming classes at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Sandullah is currently a Technical Business Analyst in the Systems Department at State Farm’s corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois. He has been employed at State Farm in various computer related areas for thirty-six years. He has also taught computer networking as an adjunct instructor at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois, for over fifteen years. Additionally Sandullah has lectured at Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University in the Bloomington/Normal area.

Professional Education – Sandullah earned a B.A. in Mathematics from Illinois Wesleyan in 1972. He earned an MBA from Illinois State in 1983. In 1988 Sandullah founded Epsico, a computer consulting and training company where he still serves as President. Sandullah is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), and was a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT).

Sandullah's vision for BDPA Central Illinois chapter – "We must remain highly motivated, dedicated and enthusiastic about our organization. As the Chapter goes through a time of change, our strategy must focus on membership growth, practical community engagement, and organizational professionalism".

Two favorite quotes
  1. "There are some things in life that are best left unknown. Don’t be one of them!"
  2. "To be! Not to be happens on its own."
Sandullah is a new leader in BDPA. Please take a moment to share some BDPA-Love with him in the COMMENTS section!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Grant Recipient: National BDPA ($2,500)

This blog made an offer (twice) to provide funding for 100 student memberships ($2,500 value) if one of the national officers reached out to us via one of our social networks.

National BDPA VP-Membership Management Mildred Allen took us up on the offer. She completed the paperwork necessary to successfully submit a grant request for $2,500 and her request has been approved in full.

Mildred wrote the following message to the 45 chapters around the nation:

VP’s of Membership Management,

As some of you may know, Wayne Hicks and BETF challenged us to focus on ‘taking membership to the next level in 2010-2011’ and asked that I reach out to him to accept his offer to sponsor 100 students.

Well I did. And BETF has granted us 100 student memberships (2,500 value).

All active chapters who have participated in the SITES Program for 2010 have an opportunity to receive up to 5 student memberships ($125 value).

So VP’s of Membership Management, here’s what you need to do.
  1. Identify 5 NEW students (never been members before) who has participated in your SITES program for 2010
  2. Provide all contact information for each student to be covered by this grant opportunity.
  3. Forward to Mildred Allen at by June 25th.
NOTE: this sponsorship will not be used for renewals.

I will grant membership to the first 100 students I receive information for.

I will only accept the list of students from the VP of Membership Management.

This is the beginning of our membership drive that will continue through August.

Mildred D. Allen,
National BDPA VP Membership Management
Mobile: (803) 210-9152

Have you seen some of the testimonials of our BDPA students members? Once you meet these young people it is easy to support any efforts necessary to get them involved with BDPA. I'm looking forward to seeing many of these young people at the 32nd annual BDPA Technology Conference in Philadelphia on July 28-31, 2010.

We could use additional support in funding these student members. Could you help OurCause?

9th Annual BDPA IT Golf Classic

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) encourages our blog readers to join BDPA on Wednesday July 28th for an day of golf, food, prizes and networking.  This is the kickoff event for the annual BDPA Technology Conference on July 28-31 at the Downtown Marriott in Philadelphia.

Please share this message to your friends and co-workers in support of our efforts to create an excellent networking and fundraising event.

Please register now. Player fees: $150.00 and Foursome fees: $500.00

BDPA is planning a great day of golf at the beautiful Seaview Golf Resort in Absecon, NJ. The event will include a 4-person scramble, continental breakfast, BBQ buffet lunch, golf contests, and awards reception following the outing.

Schedule of Events

  • 7:00 AM - Registration/Practice Range
  • 7:00 AM - Continental Breakfast
  • 8:00 AM - Shot-Gun Start/Scramble Format: Golf-Bay Course
  • 1:00 PM - Lunch Buffet, Award Reception
Registration:  Click here to learn more about this event.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Computer Science Scholarship at Jackson State University

Jackson State University is giving out a 4-year scholarship worth up to $10,000 per year for eligible student willing to major in computer science as part of their Students Promoting Interest in Computing Supported by Educational Scholarships (SPICES) program.

SPICES Scholarship contact person is Dr. Loretta Moore. She can be reached on (601) 979-2105.

The deadline for applications is June 30, 2010.

View more documents from Wayne Hicks.

Kudos to long-time BDPAer Wendy Wonsley for sharing this information with us!

Grant Proposal: Chicester duPont Foundation (BDPA Chicago)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Chicago chapter submitted a grant proposal to the Chicester duPont Foundation. We need funds for the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in Chicago.

I encourage all members and supporters of BDPA Chicago chapter to take a moment to create a Cause-page. BDPA Chicago member Gibran McDuffie has one. Why not you?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sharon Murphy * Epsilon Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution

Sharon Murphy (Wells Fargo Bank) is one of the winners of the 2010 Epsilon Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution presented by National BDPA and

BDPA Epsilon Awards recognize individual achievement by technologists who are nominated by BDPA chapters or corporate sponsors.

Nominees for the Epsilon Outstanding Technical Contribution Award are presented to individuals who perform technological functions and have designed, managed, developed, or assisted in the development of a product, service, system, or intellectual property that is a substantial achievement. The nominee’s work is the prime consideration, regardless of title or degrees earned.

Sharon Murphy champions innovation both as an active member of the Wells Fargo Technology and Operations Group’s Innovation Council and in her daily work as director of Team Member Enablement Technology. Sharon’s team provides technology solutions that allow Wells Fargo’s 281,000 team members to collaborate and communicate effectively and efficiently across multiple time zones, states and countries. Among Sharon’s accomplishments: she was awarded a patent in 2008 as co-inventor of a new technology and methodology for managing call reports via wireless devices. Sharon recognizes the importance of providing team members with the most advanced technology resources to enable them to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Sharon manages an organization of over 250 employees and an annual budget of $53 million.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) joins all of BDPA-Nation in congratulating Sharon Murphy on her 2010 Epsilon Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution. I hope that many BDPA members strongly consider careers at the Wells Fargo Bank!

I look forward to networking with Sharon Murphy at the 32nd annual BDPA Technology Conference. How about you?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Johnson Controls Foundation

The Johnson Controls Foundation makes charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations, primarily in communities where Johnson Controls has a presence. Extra consideration will be given to organizations or institutions in which Johnson Controls employees are involved and are contributing their time or funds.

There is no formal application procedure. The Foundation operates on a calendar year. Proposals, preferably in concise letter form, are accepted and reviewed throughout the year. In order to permit evaluation of proposals, notification of final action may take up to 120 days. Commitments for funds are not made verbally, and personal visits and phone calls to the Foundation are not encouraged.

Requests must be in writing, and should include the following information:
  1. Copy of letter regarding tax exempt status
  2. Description of the structure, purpose, history and programs of the organization with a list of its current officers and governing board members
  3. Summary of the need for support and how it will be used.
  4. Geographic areas served by the organization.
  5. Current income and expense budget information for the organization and a copy of the most recently audited financial statements.
  6. Statement regarding other sources of income from corporations and foundations, community support and involvement.
Send your proposal to:

5757 North Green Bay Avenue
P.O. Box 591
Milwaukee, WI 53201
(414) 524-2296

Is your chapter co-located with Johnson Controls office? If so, this might be a funding opportunity that you should consider in support of your chapter's SITES program. What say u?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Message from National BDPA President

BDPA Wants You!

I’m pleased to announce our new single-payment lifetime membership program. As we move toward the organization’s 35th year, you can help to ensure that BDPA sustains itself as the “Premier Organization for African Americans in IT” by making a lifetime commitment to the organization that has given us all so much.

As the President of the National BDPA organization, I am asking you to seriously consider becoming a BDPA lifetime member. Additionally, I’m asking you to reach out to others in your various networks and other affiliate organizations to invite them to become a BDPA lifetime members too.

This is your chance to join BDPA to discover skills you may not know you have, make new friends and interact with professionals who respect you and are ready to help you make good choices. Technology is where the action is, and BDPA is where technology comes to life solving real world business problems each and every day.

In addition to the standard benefits of BDPA membership, BDPA will recognize lifetime members at an exclusive reception at the 32nd annual BDPA Technology Conference in Philadelphia, PA on July 28-31, 2010. Lifetime members will be inducted as Charter Members of the “Founders Club” by BDPA Co-Founder, Earl Pace, and receive a special memento as a token of our appreciation.

Please remember the strength of BDPA lies with its members. The more active and involved the membership, the more influence we can have in raising the educational levels and technical skills of the community and our membership.

The benefits received through membership are directly related to the type and level of your involvement. With our STRONG membership contributing to the BDPA goals and objectives, BDPA is positioned as a viable force within the Information Technology industry and educational system.

To sign up for your lifetime BDPA membership, please contact Mildred Allen, Vice President of Membership Management, at, or contact our National BDPA Office at (800)727-BDPA.

Respectfully yours,
Yvette Graham, President
National BDPA

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

AT&T Foundation

Does your chapter have AT&T employees as members? AT&T is accepting 'volunteer grants' if any chapter has AT&T employees in their membership. BDPA Chicago and BDPA Los Angeles chapters are both taking advantage of employee-giving programs within AT&T.

For more than 60 years, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have committed $1.8 billion to philanthropic programs supporting education, community development, the arts, health and human services, and technology access in communities across the country. With its strong giving record, the foundation was ranked by Forbes magazine as being among the most generous corporate foundations.

With the creation of the new AT&T, the predecessor charitable organizations of the former BellSouth and Cingular are being combined. The new company will maintain historical commitments of charitable contributions and community activities. One example includes continued support for the 20/20 Vision for Education, designed to integrate technology into education in order to improve learning throughout the Southeast - particularly among low-income and minority students - to address the growing achievement gap and increase graduation rates.

The AT&T Foundation provides grants to organizations and programs that address quality-of-life issues, with an emphasis on improving education, advancing community development, addressing vital community needs and enhancing unique cultural assets. Implicit within the foundation focus are efforts that advance opportunities for diverse populations.

The AT&T Foundation funds programs designed to:
  • Enhance education by integrating new technologies and increasing learning opportunities.
  • Improve economic development through technology and local initiatives.
  • Provide vital assistance to key community-based organizations.
  • Support cultural institutions that make a community unique.
  • Advance the goals and meet the needs of diverse populations.
BETF operates on a first-come; first-served basis ... so don't procrastinate.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cheryl Terry * Epsilon Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution

Cheryl Terry (Wells Fargo Bank) is one of the winners of the 2010 Epsilon Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution presented by National BDPA and

BDPA Epsilon Awards recognize individual achievement by technologists who are nominated by BDPA chapters or corporate sponsors.

Nominees for the Epsilon Outstanding Technical Contribution Award are presented to individuals who perform technological functions and have designed, managed, developed, or assisted in the development of a product, service, system, or intellectual property that is a substantial achievement. The nominee’s work is the prime consideration, regardless of title or degrees earned.

Cheryl Terry is a systems architect who ensures availability and security of several of Wells Fargo’s most business-critical systems in the mainframe and midrange environments. For the past two years, she has served as Chief Systems Architect for the Mainframe Resiliency Program and achieved many successes around enhancing Wells Fargo’s mainframe environments, helping to ensure that her customers can transact business with the bank when and how they choose. Additional standout accomplishments: Cheryl authored a Living Target Architecture document for Wells Fargo’s mainframe groups and implemented an online wiki that has fostered collaboration across these groups and serves as a fully searchable online reference book complete with cross-links and diagrams.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) joins all of BDPA-Nation in congratulating Cheryl Terry on her 2010 Epsilon Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution. I hope that many BDPA members strongly consider careers at the Wells Fargo Bank!

I look forward to networking with Cheryl Terry at the 32nd annual BDPA Technology Conference. How about you?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Grant Declination: American Express Foundation

BDPA Los Angeles and BDPA Education and Technology Foundation submitted a letter of inquiry to the American Express Foundation in mid-April. We learned today that our proposal was declined.   Their declination letter read as follows:

Dear Grant Applicant,

Thank you for your recent correspondence requesting financial support from American Express. We regret that the large volume of proposals that we receive each week prevents us from responding to your request personally.

Although we recognize the value of the activities for which you are seeking funds, our limited resources make it impossible to assist all the worthwhile requests for funding that we receive.

We do, however, extend our best wishes for the success of your program.

Timothy J. McClimon, President
American Express Foundation

We will continue to reach out for funding necessary to deliver our programs in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) arena.

5 Tips to Help the African American Job Seeker in the Information Technology Industry

I recently gave a cautiously optimistic view of the upcoming job market to a reporter. I think that these are times for talented, creative and motivated people of African descent in the IT industry to be fully prepared for upward mobility opportunity and new career opportunity. We need to take full advantage of all employment resources.

I understand that unemployment is high ... especially in the Black community. However, I also sense that the IT industry is uniquely poised to have great opportunities in the coming weeks for those BDPA members and supporters with good IT skill-sets.

There are many people looking for jobs in the IT industry. College students getting ready to graduate in the next year and those who graduated in the past year are highly motivated to find a job NOW so they can pay back all the bills they accumulated in college. Also, there are experienced IT professionals obtaining certifications and picking up continuing professional education credits so that they can re-enter or advance in the IT industry -- they need access to hot jobs NOW.

BDPA provides simple advice to IT job seekers of African descent -- look for online communities where IT Job Seekers or Corporate Recruiters go. Connect with career counselors at colleges who have a vested interested in getting their students placed. Make sure that you network with student unions, fraternities, sororities and alumni groups too.

Here are three (3) easy steps for BDPA members to take in their quest for a job in the IT industry:

  1. Attend the 2010 BDPA Technology Career Fair - You will meet face-to-face with recruiters and hiring managers. There is no cost to attend this 2-day career fair. You need to be there! It is important that you lose national or regional events to increase your visibility to others.
  2. It's Best to Get Your Next Job While You Are Employed - It's important to start networking when you are still happily in your current position!
  3. Join the online communities where recruiters are looking for you - You can find them on Facebook, Groupsite, LinkedIn Network or Twitter. Are you networking in these places?
  4. Load your resume into the BDPA Talent Management System -- Last time I looked there were 75 job openings advertised in the BDPA Talent Management System. These job openings are all across the nation - Arizona, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin. These jobs are in various IT categories - accounting, administrative support, advertising, aerospace, airlines, architectural services, banking, biotechnology, computer hardware, computer services, computer software, construction, consulting, consumer products, customer service, education, electronics, engineering, environmental services, executive management, finance, government, healthcare, hospitality, human resources, insurance, law enforcement, legal, manufacturing, military, nonprofit, operations management, product management, project management, publishing, purchasing, real estate, research & development, restaurant, retail, sales, sports, science, supply chain, telecommunications, textiles, transportation, quality assuance and waste management. What are you waiting for?
  5. Update Your Resume - A recruiter for a large corporation suggested that job seekers list membership in associations on their resume, including BDPA - because recruiters want to hire people from well-known, credible associations, and will search for an association name + technical skill (i.e. "BDPA" and "business analyst").

I may have been optimistic when talking with that reporter ... but, we make our own luck and good fortune when we take proactive steps in our preparation. I hope you find these 3 easy steps useful. In fact, I hope you will let me know your thoughts on the employment prospects for people of African descent who want to grow a career in the IT industry.

What say u?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Captain Joycelin Robinson * Career Achievement Epsilon Award Winner

Captain Joycelin Robinson (US Navy) is one of the winners of the 2010 Epsilon Career Achievement Award presented by National BDPA and

BDPA Epsilon Awards recognize individual achievement by technologists who are nominated by BDPA chapters or corporate sponsors.

Nominees for the Epsilon Career Achievement Award are individuals at or near the midpoint of their careers or beyond, but not close to retirement age, who have made significant achievements in technology or information technology in industry or government. The body of work of the nominee; its broad social and economic value and impact, and the nominee’s performance as a role model and mentor for people of color in technology are paramount in gaining career recognition.

US Navy Captain Joycelin (“Joyce”) Robinson is the first African American Female Commanding Officer of a Fleet and Industrial Supply Center. One of the Navy’s most challenging positions and part of a global logistics support enterprise, she was selected for this position out of an extremely competitive group of her peers. Her established and documented record of extraordinary and outstanding performance throughout her career of 23 years made her the ideal person to lead Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC), Jacksonville.

An "Army Brat," Captain Robinson was born overseas in Orleans, France, but calls Wichita Falls, Texas home. After many moves around the country and overseas, she graduated from Matoaca High School in Chesterfield Virginia from where she received her appointment to the United States Naval Academy. Captain Robinson received her commission upon graduation from USNA in May 1987.

In her assignment as Commanding Officer, she guides and coordinates an ever-increasing range of supply and support services to 49 ships, over 400 aircraft, two industrial facilities and 19 shore installations throughout Navy Region Southeast and the Caribbean. Exercising over $54 Million in annual budget authorities, she maintains the public trust while directing the logistics efforts of over 700 employees to provide first class support during extraordinarily demanding events such as the devastations of the Haitian Earthquake and multiple region wide product and service functional realignments.

Captain Robinson holds a Master of Science in Acquisition and Contract Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California. Her personal decorations include three Meritorious Service Medals and three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) joins all of BDPA-Nation in congratulating Captain Robinson on her 2010 Career Achievement Epsilon Award. I hope that many BDPA members strongly consider careers in the US Navy!

I look forward to networking with Captain Robinson at the 32nd annual BDPA Technology Conference. How about you?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Grant Proposal: Office Depot Foundation (Chicago)

BETF and BDPA Chicago submitted and online grant application requesting $2,000 funding support from the Office Depot Foundation.

Grant applications are retrieved on a monthly basis and are reviewed by the Office Depot Foundation Contributions Committee and final decisions on proposals are made by the Foundation's Board of Directors. They indicate that we should allow at least eight weeks after we submit our completed application before we receive a response.

Wheeler Coleman * Career Achievement Epsilon Award

Wheeler Coleman (Health Care Services Corporation, HCSC) is one of the winners of the 2010 Epsilon Career Achievement Award presented by National BDPA and

BDPA Epsilon Awards recognize individual achievement by technologists who are nominated by BDPA chapters or corporate sponsors.

Nominees for the Epsilon Career Achievement Award are individuals at or near the midpoint of their careers or beyond, but not close to retirement age, who have made significant achievements in technology or information technology in industry or government. The body of work of the nominee; its broad social and economic value and impact, and the nominee’s performance as a role model and mentor for minorities in technology are paramount in gaining career recognition.

Wheeler Coleman gained over 25 years experience and leadership in information technology after graduating from Northern Illinois University in 1983 with a BS in applied data processing. Currently, he is HCSC vice president and chief technology officer (CTO), managing over 100 employees in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. As CTO, Mr. Coleman deals with HCSC technology strategies and future state architecture.

Coleman grew up in Chicago with one brother and four sisters. His father operated a successful barber shop for over forty-five years.

"When I was in high school in the late 70s everyone was talking about computers. So when I got to college, knowing computers were hot, I took a class in computer science, enjoyed it and decided it was what I wanted to do," says Coleman.
Wheeler is as active in the community as he is in his professional career. In addition to being an executive sponsor for BDPA activity within HCSC, he is very active in many organizations in the community. He sits on the board and participates in many charities in Chicago including Catholic Charities Adoption Guild, Black Ensemble Theater, Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, and the Inner-City Baseball Academy.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) salutes Wheeler Coleman for winning the 2010 Epsilon Career Achievement Award!

I plan to network with Wheeler at the 32nd annual BDPA Technology Conference. How about you?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Message from Brian Stempin, Philadelphia HSCC Coordinator

BDPA Philadelphia chapter has won every award at the national level except one ... they have yet to win the National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships. The chapter would love to end that drought next month at the 2010 HSCC championships in being held in Philadelphia as part of the 32nd annual BDPA Technology Conference.

One man who shares this dream is Brian Stempin (shown in the above photo with his 2009 HSCC team). He shares his thoughts in the following message:

I’ve never written a post about it, but if you read the “About Me” section, you’ll see that I teach a few different technologies to high school students (I know: who’d trust me with kids?! :p). I wanted to write about two things: Our recent trip to our regional competition at Bowie State University and our search for volunteers.

First thing’s first: Regionals - On Saturday, I took 3 kids from my class down to Bowie State to compete in the regional HSCC competition. For those of you who don’t know anything about our competition, here’s a rundown:

There’s 3 sections
  1. Written - For this section, the students are put in a room with a 200 question multiple choice test. They have 15 minutes to get as many correct answer as possible. The questions range in topic from general computer knowledge to BDPA history to programming specifics. Each student completes their own test.
  2. Oral - In this section, each team competes as a unit. They are put into a room with other students and play a Jeopardy (for lack of a better analogy) styled game. They must, as a team, answer one question in each of 5 different categories. There are some special rules about stealing questions, etc.
  3. Programming - This is the big enchilada. The students will be handed a spec that details an on-line application. They are free to program it in whichever platform they please (JSP, ASP.NET, classic ASP, or PHP). The web application always needs access to a MySQL database. Along with knowing how to program the front end, back end, and database, they must also be able to start and stop their own services. They are given one computer (with no internet connection), some paper, and 6 or 7 hours to complete the problem.
This year, we have an all-rookie team. To date, they’ve only received training for the Programming section of the competition. Fortunately for me, these kids are resilient and motivated. Despite their rookie-like score, they are more dedicated than ever to conquer this challenge. For those of you who are interested, we’ll be competing at the National BDPA Conference at the end of July.

My call for volunteers:
I was fortunate this year. I had a class full of rookies and a few dedicated BDPA members (Byron Mayes and Norman Williams) who were there to help students complete their assignments. This year, I won’t be so lucky. I still have great volunteers, but I’ll have a different challenge: multiple classes. I’ll have incoming rookies that will need a rookie instructor and returning kids that need a more advanced curriculum. As we take on more kids, we also need help doing administrative duties, such as organizing end-of-the-year events, sending home report cards, and keeping in touch with parents.

I’m asking for help.

If you like working with high school kids, teaching, and technology, then you might be able to help out. I’ve posted a couple of volunteer listings on If you think you might be interested, follow the link and see if it sounds right for you. If so, follow the instructions for applying. Even if it doesn’t sound like its for you but you still want to help in some way, please contact me. We can use all of the help we can get.

Either way, wish us luck at nationals!

Shared by Brian Stempin, HSCC Coordinator
BDPA Philadelphia Chapter

I didn't realize until today that Brian has his own blog. I do hope that our readers will reach out to Brian in support of his request for volunteers. Frankly, even if you can't volunteer ... reach out to him anyhow to share some BDPA-Love for this young man who is so dedicated to helping these young 'uns develop skills that make them relevant for the 21st century!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BDPA Washington DC Lifetime Achievement Award * Dr. Jesse Bemley

Dr. Jesse Bemley, Joint Educational Facilities (JEF) founder, is this year's recipient of the BDPA Washington DC Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award for his selfless contributions to National BDPA and BDPA Washington DC. In addition, Dr. Bemley mentored hundreds of minority youth from traditionally underserved communities by enrolling them in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs within the national capital region and throughout the country.

On a national level, Dr. Bemley is the creative genius behind the national high school computer competition (HSCC) and the BDPA IT Showcase. These are programs that encourage high school and college students in their pursuit of STEM-based educational opportunities. Many of the students mentored by Dr. Bemley participated in a variety of TeraGrid and Super Computing events. Dr. Bemley has been a member of BDPA for over 30 years and will retire from the U.S. government this fall.

William Marcus King * Professional Achievement Epsilon Award

William Marcus King (State Farm Insurance) is the winner of the 2010 Epsilon Award for Professional Achievement presented by National BDPA and

BDPA Epsilon Awards recognize individual achievement by technologists who are nominated by BDPA chapters or corporate sponsors.

Nominees for the Epsilon Professional Achievement Award Nominees are highly experienced professionals well who have made significant achievements in technology or information technology in industry or government. Their specific degree earned is less relevant than the significance of the work and the nominee’s achievements as a role model and leader for other minorities in the field.

William Marcus King was the Director sponsor of Innovative Challenge/Breaking Form Initiative at State Farm Insurance.  The Innovation Challenge/Breaking Form initiative encourages IT employees to develop and present ideas that can be quickly assessed for viability. Each IT employee has the opportunity to choose his own work schedule, benefits package and work environment from a series of options that range from the traditional to the innovative, with an emphasis on mobile and collaborative work environments

Mr. King also improved the effectiveness and efficiency of the solution delivery business within the Systems Department.  His leadership was a contributing factor to the increase in productivity of the Systems Department and reduced the solution delivery expenses of the department. William’s responsibilities included establishing the vision, strategy, and approach of this Initiative. Breaking Form facilitated improvements within the department, creating a strong foundation for the years ahead. During this assignment, William reported to the CIO of State Farm’s Systems Department.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) joins all of BDPA-Nation in congratulating William Marcus King on his 2010 Epsilon Award for Professional Achievement.  State Farm Insurance is one of the best places for IT professionals to work because of the innovation and character of people like William!

I look forward to meeting Bro. King at the 32nd annual National BDPA Technology Conference. How about you?