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CAST donor spotlight: Integrity Technology Solutions, Information Technology

The scholarship created by Integrity Technology Solutions will benefit School of Information Technology students.

STATE your Passion: It’s no secret that students, faculty, and staff at Illinois State University state their passion every day. What might not be as obvious is that Redbird donors can state their passion, too. The College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) is grateful for the generous donors that give back to its education programs.

Located in Bloomington-Normal, Integrity Technology Solutions has been serving Central Illinois since 1993, specializing in IT support and services. Mary Bennett Henrichs, president and CEO of Integrity Technology Solutions, shares more about the company’s decision to create a scholarship for School of Information Technology students: “Illinois State made it so easy to turn our dream of a scholarship into a reality.  I was so pleased with the collaboration between our company and the University to create a scholarship that met our goals and the University’s need.  I still appreciate that relationship to this day and look forward to finding other ways to partner with Illinois State. #BackTheBirds doesn’t just apply to athletics and partnering with the School of Information Technology through a scholarship has been a great way for Integrity Technology Solutions to connect with and support the University.”

Q: How did your relationship with Illinois State University begin?

A: We’ve had a long partnership with Illinois State University and recognize and appreciate the impact ISU has on our community, our economy, our company, and our team members—many of whom are ISU graduates. In 2013, as we were preparing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Integrity’s founding we wanted to celebrate that milestone and recognize our founder, Harlan Geiser, in a lasting and permanent way. Creating a scholarship in the School of Information Technology was a logical and meaningful way to celebrate our history and three of our core values–community, relationships, and improvement.

Q: What is it about ISU and the School of Information Technology that inspires your company to donate?

A: Illinois State and the School of Information Technology are a perfect fit for us. Not only does the scholarship align with our values of community and relationships, it also aligns really well with our value of improvement and the learning culture we have at Integrity. It’s fun for me to meet and get to know our scholarship recipients and learn about their dreams and goals. There are so many talented students at Illinois State and this scholarship has enabled us to connect with the University and with students in a new way.

Q: How do you hope the scholarship will impact the lives of those students within the College of Applied Science and Technology that will earn it?

A: The older I get, the more I appreciate the opportunity I had to complete my college education. I always felt that as we ran a successful and profitable organization, we had a wonderful opportunity to do our part to help enable others to complete their education. It’s very rewarding to be a small part of someone’s story and know that we’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice for an IT student, what would it be?

I have two pieces of advice—be a lifelong learner and remember that all IT problems are really people problems. It’s important to be a lifelong learner because technology is changing at a faster pace than ever before. We all own our own careers and being adaptable to change and new technology makes us more marketable and opens the door to more opportunities. It’s also important to remember that all IT problems/challenges/opportunities are really people problems/challenges/opportunities.  We have jobs in IT because people need to be able to utilize technology, so excellent communication skills and writing skills are critical to success.

Interested in giving back and stating your passion? Contact Katelyn Jacobs, director of development for the College of Applied Science and Technology, at (309) 438-3134 or kmjaco3@IllinoisState.edu.

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