Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College student Nathaniel Griffith is the only student in the state to receive a $500 John Morgridge Scholarship to attend the Cisco Networking Academy. The academy is offered as part of the curriculum in the Computer Networking Technology program at the Jefferson Davis Campus in Gulfport. Griffith was chosen from more than 1,700 applicants nation-wide and was selected based on his demonstrated commitment to networking and outstanding record of service to the community.
“I was surprised that I was chosen,” said Griffith, who maintains a 4.0 grade point average. “I knew there would be a lot of applicants, and I just couldn’t believe it when I found out.”
Griffith said that helping his mother’s employer get back online and back to business after Hurricane Katrina played an important part in this achievement. “You have to tell them about your community service, so I told them about how I helped my mom’s travel agency because its office in downtown Gulfport was destroyed in Katrina,” he said. “I helped the company set up a Web site so it could book fares and help clients from home. It got the business up and running again.”
With an associate’s degree from Gulf Coast and a bachelor’s degree in computer programming from The University of Southern Mississippi, Griffith decided last year to return to Gulf Coast to get another degree in Computer Networking Technology. “The more degrees and the more certifications I have, the better job opportunities I have. Gulf Coast’s programs offer me the chance to take as many certifications as I can pass, which will give me more money in the long run. The added bonus is taking excellent classes that meet industry standards from outstanding instructors.”
Brian Burrous, who teaches the Cisco courses at the Jefferson Davis Campus, said the Cisco Networking Academy is an education initiative that delivers technology skills through partnerships with colleges and technical schools. “Cisco training and certification is highly sought after in the industry, so our students are getting an excellent opportunity,” he said. “Just by taking the Cisco classes offered at Gulf Coast opens doors to our students that would not normally be opened. Plus, our students also have the opportunity to take certification exams that make them even more marketable. ”
For more information about the Computer Networking Technology program at Gulf Coast, call Burrous, 228-897-3844 or Allen Lee, Perkinston Campus, 601-528-8917, or visit www.mgccc.edu.