Five Computer Science Students Win “Fifty for the Future” Award

fiftyfutureFive Lewis University Computer Science students won the prestigious “Fifty for the Future” award from the Illinois Technology Foundation for 2013. The students were awarded based on their academic performance, volunteerism, work experiences, leadership qualities, and estimated potential to be a future mover-and-shaker in information technology. With five awardees this year, Lewis Computer Science claimed a full 10% of the program’s honors, which is truly phenomenal considering that hundreds of applications were received from institutions all over the state.

The five Computer Science students who won this year’s award are

  • Jessica Dreher, a senior double-major in Mathematics and Computer Science from Justice.
  • Ryan Jessen, a senior Computer Science major, from Frankfort.
  • Christopher Pelech, a junior Computer Science major from Joliet.
  • David Tennant, a senior Computer Science major from Algonquin.
  • Ian Ziarko, a senior Computer Science major from Mokena.

These students join last year’s three winners from Computer Science (Will Hoffman, Elie Shmayel, Brian Wilhelm) as winners of this statewide award.

Dr. Cindy Kersey, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, accompanied the students at the awards ceremony, which was held at the Chicago Cultural Center. Through her work with the ACM student chapter, her mentoring of undergraduate research projects, and her guidance of a number of student software development projects, Dr. Kersey has been instrumental in helping these students realize their great potential.

The Department is very proud of these students. Moreover, they give us tremendous encouragement about the future, because we believe that this recognition simply heralds the great contributions these students will make during their careers in information technology. Congratulations to all.


About Ray Klump

Associate Dean, College of Aviation, Science, and Technology at Lewis University Director, Master of Science in Information Security Lewis University,, You can find him on Google+.

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