Charleston native Lynn Byrd named Mississippian of the YearBy SPECIAL TO THE SUN-SENTINEL,
Charleston native Lynn Byrd, instructor of computer information systems at Delta State University, was recently honored as the Mississippian of the Year by the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) chapter based in Jackson.
The prestigious award has previously been given to Mississippi leaders such as former Governor William Winter and Hu Meena, CEO of C Spire.
AITP aims to benefit those involved in the IT realm, both in business and education. The organization sponsors two student AITP chapters — at Delta State and the University of Mississippi — and serves as a bridge between the academic and business sectors for students.
“I am truly humbled and delighted to be chosen as the Mississippian of the Year for the Jackson chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals,” said Byrd. “I really enjoy working with the student chapter of AITP at Delta State and was extremely surprised when I learned that I was the recipient of such a prestigious award.”
Byrd serves as one of the faculty advisors for the Delta State chapter of AITP, where she organizes several programs that help students recognize the importance of their profession. She helps students prepare for a job market that is expected to increase at a rapid pace over the next several years. Monthly chapter meetings are also scheduled to help students network with professionals working in the field.
In addition, Byrd helped guide the student chapter as they hosted a technology conference, Connecting People with Technology, which enabled them to exercise leadership skills and collaborate with working professionals.
Byrd has been working at Delta State since 1998 and graduated from the institution with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration, in 1992 and 1997, respectively.
“Teamwork is so important when it comes to working in the technology field,” added Byrd. “I am truly honored to be recognized, but I certainly could not do what I do by myself. I am blessed to have colleagues in the Computer Information Systems Department and the College of Business to support me and the students in this organization.”
Steven Waite, president of the Jackson chapter, had high praise for Byrd.
“There is no greater advocate for current, former and future Information Technology students at Delta State,” said Waite. “She understands the importance of networking with others in and out of the classroom, and using those relationships to create opportunities. Lynn challenges her students to leave their comfort zone and become leaders.”
“Lynn’s legacy to Mississippi are the technical, professional and personal skills her students carry forth into the world,” added Waite. “They are grounded individuals who understand where they came from and where they are going. As Lynn epitomizes Mississippi’s core values, while preparing its students to be leaders who can navigate the technological challenges of the future, the CompTIA-AITP Jackson Chapter is privileged and proud to celebrate Lynn Byrd as our 2017 Mississippian of the Year.”
Dr. Billy Moore, dean of the College of Business and Aviation at Delta State, said Byrd is extremely worthy of the recognition.
“Ms. Byrd is committed to the success of our students and the enhancement of the IT industry,” said Moore. “Teaching and professional service are Ms. Byrd’s passion and expertise. Her dedication to both is aligned with her actions. She works tirelessly to expose our students to career opportunities by connecting them with IT professionals. One of the highlights of the AITP awards banquet was witnessing the admiration and appreciation our students exhibited towards her.”
IN THE PHOTO: Lynn Byrd (center) receives the Mississippian of the Year award from Steve Waite (left), president of the Association of Information Technology Professionals’ Jackson chapter, and Gerard Gilbert, CEO of Venture Technologies. (Photo special to The Sun-Sentinel)