October 31, 2006 08:00 ET

IBM Academic Initiative Helps Marywood University Become Leading Local Institution for Integrated Technical and Business Education

Harnessing IBM's "All-In-One" Business System, Marywood Professors Provide Business Information Technology students the Skills Needed in Future Job Market

SCRANTON, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 31, 2006 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Marywood University announced today that the University is enhancing its ability to offer students an education that unites technical skills with business knowledge. Working in concert with the IBM Academic Initiative for System i, Marywood is developing an advanced new curriculum to provide its IT graduates with the skills they'll need to succeed professionally.

Additionally, Marywood installed a new "all-in-one" System i business computing platform in its Business Department to serve as the cornerstone for the University's enhanced Business Information Technology (BIT) curriculum.

Working in concert with the IBM Academic Initiative for System i -- which provides students and professors with hands-on access to the System i platform, curriculum, industry experts and training -- Marywood's BIT professors have adjusted specific courses to make the best use of the new System i and are actively designing a new curricula for the BIT program that focuses on the tight integration of business and information technology.

"We feel that our ability to teach students to effectively analyze, design and use information technology to bring about tangible business improvements is a key differentiator of Marywood's BIT program from other computer science and computer information systems programs," said Rex Dumdum, PhD., program director for Marywood University's Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Business Information Technology. "Having the best business computer available in the marketplace as the teaching and learning tool for our program gives Marywood's students a competitive edge in landing more strategic and sustainable jobs in information technology."

Marywood University also maintains a close collaboration with the local business community to provide greater resources and opportunities to its students. Its goal is for students to develop practical business and IT skills that will enable them to find high quality jobs upon graduation while helping local businesses increase their access to the System i expertise they need.

"Our company and our clients have a growing need for people with System i skills and experience," said Bob Powell, president and CEO of R.D. Powell Incorporated, a Kingston, PA-based physician software and general computer services provider. "We look forward to working with IBM and Marywood to train the next generation of IBM System i talent through our involvement with students in various educational settings, including rewarding internship programs."

Matt Beutel is a graduate of Marywood University who, with the help of the BIT program, secured an internship with a local convenience store distributor that was so pleased with his performance, they hired him immediately upon graduation. Since then, Matt has gone on to work successfully with other local companies, including Pennsylvania Millers Mutual Insurance Company where he currently works as a programming analyst.

"Marywood provided me a strong technical background as well as important business knowledge, enabling me to be productive on the job from day one," said Matt Beutel, Marywood graduate. "With the new turbo-charged System i driving its BIT program, Marywood is well ahead of most academic institutions in areas that permit graduates like me to gain long-lasting jobs as corporations increasingly demand a closer marriage between business and IT functions."

IBM is currently working with more than 1,900 universities, 11,000 faculty members and 450,000 students around the world to promote open source and open standards and IBM technologies in the classroom and a more collaborative global learning environment.

"Marywood's professors have made major strides to achieve the integration of business and technology in the classroom and lab environments," said Kurt Bilderback, worldwide manager of IBM System i execution. "The institution's ability to deliver an integrated curriculum is the perfect match for IBM's integrated System i business machine, which has built-in security, virus-resistance, database and storage as well as easy systems management so companies can run their entire business on one system."

Brian Kelly, assistant professor in the BIT program at Marywood, manages the University's System i.

About IBM

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About Marywood Business Information Technology Program

The ACBSP-accredited undergraduate program in Business and Managerial Science is a comprehensive program that enables students to acquire competencies necessary for a career in a variety of organizations, such as finance, marketing, aviation management, business information technology, human resources, and hospitality management. The program develops student skills in a business track to successfully meet the continual challenge of a technological society and nurture values conducive to ethical and socially responsible behavior. It is home to over several hundred undergraduate and graduate students. Classrooms are well equipped with digitized multimedia equipment and information technologies, as well as advanced teaching aids such as in-class simulation. The facilities have network computing capabilities for students, faculty and staff. A number of computer labs and computer classrooms complete the technological facilities which include the new System i, new desktop computers, group and individual work areas and training. The Management Department offers leading edge MIS courses for undergraduate and masters. For more information, please visit:

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