Megan Coram earns national O’Banion Student Technology Award

Northeast State student Megan Coram has earned the national Terry O’Banion Student Technology Award from the League for Innovation in the Community College. This is the first time a Northeast State student has received the award.

Each year, the League honors two students with special talent in technology, strong financial need, and a passion for pursuing a career in technology.

“I love challenge of computer science and technology because there’s always something to learn,” Megan said. “No matter how long you’ve been in the business, you can’t ever know it all. That means I get to do something different every day, so there’s always a challenge, always a puzzle, always something to figure out. It’s just exciting.”

Megan, a Carter County resident and a Science Hill High School graduate, is majoring in computer and information sciences with a concentration in networking systems. She will graduate in May and she’s already landed a job with HUF Northeast American in Greeneville, Tenn., as a systems administrator. Eventually, she intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Megan Coram is the first Northeast State student to win the Terry O’Banion Student Technology Award.
Megan Coram is the first Northeast State student to win the Terry O’Banion Student Technology Award.

During her three years at Northeast State Megan, a single mom, has put in many long days and nights raising her son, working a part-time retail job, serving as a lab technician for the College, and, of course, studying.

“To win the award is incredible, Megan said. “I’ve worked so hard, but I did it because I loved it. I didn’t really expect anything except a way to provide for my family and do something that I love. It makes me feel proud because of what I’ve been through – raising a son by yourself is hard. The award is God’s way of telling me I’m on the right path and to just keep doing what I’m doing.”

Megan originally attended a four-school and majored in painting; however she always enjoyed working with computers and found she spent more time on them than art. Her mother suggested she should look into Northeast State for possible computer science majors and everything fell into place.

“I called the school and the person that answered was so excited for me and happy that I called,” Megan said. “It just felt so easy and like I was home. I just fell in love with Northeast. The instructors are really there to help you – they want you to learn and they get excited for you – it’s awesome. I really want to thank the family that is Northeast. I’ve never, ever been so excited to learn. I’m just very thankful to have been led here.”

(from left) Dr. Janice Gilliam, Megan Coram, and Dr. Allana Hamilton.
(from left) Dr. Janice Gilliam, Megan Coram, and Dr. Allana Hamilton.

Danny Lawson, dean of the Business Technologies Division at Northeast State said Megan was a unanimous choice for the honor – a rare accomplishment for a national award.

“I nominated Megan for the award not just because of her need, but for her enthusiasm and love for computer science,” Lawson said. “She is very deserving of this.”

The League is an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. The organization hosts conferences and institutes, develops Web resources, conducts research, produces publications, provides services, and leads projects and initiatives with member colleges, corporate partners, and other agencies to make a positive difference for students and communities.

Dr. Terry O’Banion was president of the League for Innovation in the Community College for 23 years until his retirement. Under his leadership the League became an international organization serving over 700 colleges. Since retirement O’Banion has worked on special projects for the League for Innovation, MetLife Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Chauncey Group International, and Walden University.

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