As the Towson University Cisco Support and Training Manager, I manage all of the Cisco Networking Academies in Maryland and the surrounding states. On November 15, 2017, I was happy to represent Towson University at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s 18th Annual Corporate Citizenship Awards gala, where the Cisco Networking Academy won the award for the Best Commitment to Education Program.

Corporate Citizenship Awards

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center has developed programs and events to help promote the social, economic, and environmental impacts of businesses. The Citizenship Awards honor some of the most accomplished social and community initiatives within the national business community.

Awards Categories

There are awards given in eight different categories, which include initiatives that focus on improving educational outcomes, local community outcomes, quick responses to disaster relief, individual empowerment, environmental improvements, health and wellness, and development of great corporate values for small to medium companies and corporate values for larger companies.

The Cisco Networking Academy won the award for the Best Commitment to Education.

Iris Kutch (second from left) with leaders from Cisco at The Showroom in Washington DC.

Cisco Networking Academy’s Commitment to Changing Lives

In 1997, Cisco donated networking equipment to a local school but no one knew what to do with it. This prompted Cisco to create the Cisco Networking Academy, a movement to educate and train individuals to build their own networks. This was the inspiration that grew into a mission around the world. The mission was that education is a powerful tool that can help students become employable and in charge of their own destinies, thereby building and reinforcing communities.

Today, Cisco Networking Academy is celebrating 20 years of developing students into IT professionals that is desperately needed all over the world.

Learn More about Cisco’s commitment to corporate responsibility.

The program has prepared more that 7.8 million student in 180 countries. As of this year, they have contributed $3 billion in in-kind contributions. The Cisco Networking Academies provide accessible education to students regardless of socio-economic background, location, gender, or career stage, including those in underserved communities like veterans, prisoners, and people with disabilities.

Sitting at the Winner’s Table

As I mentioned, I was invited as a supporting partner of Cisco Networking Academy and was seated at the winner’s table, which included leaders from Cisco and other supporting partners. I was delighted to sit with people driven to make positive impacts on their communities. We shared a delightful meal and inspiring conversations.

Other supporting partners invited were Ronald Mason, President of University of the District of Columbia; Michael Gaal, Deputy Chancellor of DCPS; and John Mowry, Professor of Engineering and Technology from the Community College of Rhode Island.

The Citizens Award was a wonderful event. It is nice to see so many companies honored and recognized for making strides to enhance the lives of people in their community and around the world. Congratulations go out to all the companies that were nominated with special praise to the selected winners for 2017.

Accepting the award for Cisco was Tae Yoo, Sr. Vice President of Corporate Affairs. Also in attendance was Jessica Graham, Marketing Manager for Corporate Affairs; Gena Pirtle, Marketing and Workforce Manager for Corporate Affairs; Cristina McGlew, Manager, Learning Development for Corporate Affairs; Marie Zwickert, Business Development Manager for Corporate Affairs; and Kurt Einwaechter, Account Executive.