The Illinois Technology Foundation is an organization centered around recognizing and supporting Illinois’ best technology students and professionals in order to encourage them to stay in Illinois. For each of the past 7 years, they have honored 60 Illinois technology students with their Fifty For the Future Award. Three College of Business students were honored to receive the award this year. Ryan O’Keefe seeking his Master of Business Administration, Jon Pankhurst B.S. Information Security, and Staff Sgt. Juan Vasquez B.S. in Finance, Information Security, and Computer Information Systems.
All of the winners were invited to attend an awards ceremony and networking event at the Chicago Cultural Center. Reiterating the advice of the award ceremony’s keynote speaker about the importance of understanding business functions by IT professionals, Dr. Faisal Abdullah Professor and Chair of Management Information Systems said “The award recognizes the top IT Talent in Chicago. It also is a testament to the IT curriculum in the MBA, Computer Information Systems and Information Security programs taught in the College of Business. Business requirements drive IT and our curriculum enables students to be IT leaders in organizations. “
The Annual Fifty For The Future® Celebration recognizes exceptional students with an interest in and potential to use technology in innovative ways. Winners are chosen through a rigorous nomination and judging process, focused on high school through university and graduate level programs. The Fifty For The Future® Celebration provides encouragement and recognition to students who pursue innovation through technology, providing access to business leaders to showcase their talent. The celebration is attended by industry leaders, judges, winners and their families, Foundation sponsors and other supporters of the technology industry.