Fanshawe IT Students Win Cisco Systems Awards
Gonzales is one of two Fanshawe IT students to win a Cisco/ACCC award this year. She was one of six Ontario college students to be awarded a 2008-2009 Cisco-ACCC Information Technology Award for Women. Second-year Business Information Systems student Kevin Biskaborn was one of four students to earn a Cisco/ACCC IT Award of Excellence.
Kevin Weaver, Chair of the School of Information Technology at Fanshawe, said each college is allowed to enter one student in each category. IT students first submit applications to the College. The College then decides which applications are entered into the final competition. Weaver said the students who get through to the finals are "a select group. Both these students (Gonzales and Biskaborn) are very strong students for sure," he said.
Biskaborn, who has his own business designing and programming web sites, hopes to attend Western after graduating from Fanshawe this spring. He is still debating about whether to concentrate solely on computer science or combine that with biology. "I'm not sure," he said.
Gonzales, in the second year of a three-year program at Fanshawe, has a bachelor's degree in telecommunications earned in her native Venezuela. She hopes to complete a masters degree in automation controls after Fanshawe, possibly at Western. While she is at Fanshawe she said she intends to earn Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) designations, anticipating the day she might work for Cisco.
The awards include a cash prize of $1,000 from Cisco with a matching $1,000 provided by the College.
Cisco Systems Inc. is a world leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco Systems Canada Co., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems Inc. The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) is the national and international voice of Canada's 150 colleges and institutes. Cisco and ACCC entered into a partnership agreement in 2006 and launched the awards program. Their objective was to increase enrolment in IT programs and encourage more women to enter the IT sector.