Tech Collective, Industry Award $9,000 in IT and STEM Scholarships


Largest scholarship awards to-date will help four Rhode Island students attend Rhode Island universities this fall.

Scholarships totaling $9,000 were awarded to four graduating Rhode Island high school seniors pursuing IT and STEM educations at local universities this fall. The scholarships are funded by Fibertech Networks, Lighthouse Computer Services, and the Doug Schwinn Scholarship Fund. They are managed by Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s IT and Bioscience Industry Association.

This year’s scholarships are the largest – both in number as well as monetary value – that Tech Collective and its partners have awarded to-date. Scholarship recipients are:

Awarded June 14th, 2011 and graduating from the Academy of IT at the Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center:

Chelsey Johnson – Awarded a $3,000 Fibertech Networks / Tech Collective Scholarship. Chelsey is pursuing a major in Video Game Development and Simulations at the New England Institute of Technology this fall.

George Knipfing – Awarded a $1,000 Lighthouse Computer Services / Tech Collective Scholarship. George was presented his scholarship by Alanna Green, business development coordinator for Lighthouse. Alanna commended George for his success during his high school career as well as the respect he garnered in the IT Academy program. On behalf of Lighthouse, Alanna also thanked George’s father, who served in the United States Navy for six years. George will be attending Johnson & Wales University in the fall as a Software Engineering major.

Cedrick Samson – Awarded a $2,500 Doug Schwinn / Tech Collective Scholarship.  Cedrick will be pursuing a major in Electrical/Computer Engineering at the University of Rhode Island this fall.

Awarded May 25th, 2011 and graduating from Rogers High School in Newport:

Krista Brouwer – Awarded a $2,500 Doug Schwinn / Tech Collective Scholarship. Krista will be attending the University of Rhode Island this fall as an Engineering major.

“Lighthouse Computer Services congratulates George on his achievements,” said Tom Mrva, CEO of Lighthouse. “We are grateful for his father’s service to our country via his time in the US Navy, and we are honored to be able to support our Military forces and return this service to George and his family in a small way.”

“Fibertech is extremely proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of Rhode Island students in the fields of technology and engineering,” said Curtis Fox, regional sales manager for Fibertech Networks. “Chelsey is such a worthy recipient, and with this scholarship we are honored to help her continue her education in Information Technology.”

“Workforce development is a critical foundation of the success and growth of Rhode Island’s technology industry,” said Kathie Shields, executive director for Tech Collective. “Starting at the K-12 education level is a key component of this as well as supporting that transition into higher education. We are excited to be partnering with Lighthouse Computer Services and Fibertech Networks in this initiative and creating a positive impact for the future of our youth and our state.”

Each year, Tech Collective partners with local companies on its scholarship program to raise technology career awareness and provide monetary aid to students pursuing such education and careers. For more information and to view past scholarship recipients, visit

About Lighthouse Computer Services:
Lighthouse Computer Services, a 70-employee firm, is one of R.I.'s fastest-growing technology companies. Founded in 1995, the company now provides technology products and services to more than 450 midsize to large enterprises throughout the Northeast. Today, Lighthouse offers consulting, integration and maintenance services on the latest hardware and software technologies available, including those from IBM, NetApp, VMware, Microsoft and more. Lighthouse placed number 249 in VARBusiness 2008 ranking of the top 500 IT solution provider firms in the U.S. Lighthouse is also winner of IBM's 2008 IBM Business Partner Excellence Award for North America and IBM's 2006 Beacon Award for Overall Technical Excellence in a Business Partner. For more information about the company, please visit

About Fibertech Networks:
Headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., Fibertech Networks is a leader in providing fiber-optic based network services throughout mid-size cities in the Eastern and Central regions of the United States. Fibertech was founded in May of 2000 and has built metro-area fiber networks in 23 mid-size markets in the Eastern U.S., and is led by Court Square Capital Partners of New York, N.Y. Further information about the company can be found at

About Tech Collective:
Tech Collective is Rhode Island’s Information Technology and Bioscience Industry Association. Uniting industry, government and academic stakeholders, our mission is to inspire, engage, educate and employ a high-skill, high-wage Knowledge Economy in Rhode Island. Since its transition from the Rhode Island Technology Council (RITEC) in 2004, Tech Collective has received more than $6M in federal, state and private grant funding to foster industry collaboration, awareness and development through events and initiatives including: Tech10, GRRL Tech, Women in Technology, Bio-Ed, and STEM-based education and training programs for K-16 students as well as incumbent and transitioning workers. For more information about Tech Collective, please visit

Giselle Mahoney
Manager of Media Relations  |  Tech Collective
401.829.8321  | 



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