Pellissippi State Community College’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award winner J. Travis Howerton will speak at the college’s fall commencement ceremony Friday, Dec. 14, at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Commencement begins at 7 p.m. Approximately 513 students will graduate this fall.
Howerton, who earned his Associate of Applied Science in Computer Systems Technology in 2002, now serves as Global Director for Strategic Programs for the Bechtel Corporation in Reston, Va. He previously served as Senior Director for Transformation for Bechtel in Oak Ridge.
During his career in information technology and cyber security, Howerton garnered more than a dozen significant local and national awards, including the East Tennessee Economic Council’s prestigious Postma Young Professional Medal, which honors those who have led top-priority transformation projects and have demonstrated innovation. Howerton created the Pegasus Information Management System used by Y-12 National Security Administration, and he served as the first chief technology officer for the National Nuclear Security Administration.
In nominating Howerton for the Distinguished Alumni Award, one professor called Howerton “the most outstanding student we have ever had graduate from Pellissippi State’s Computer Science department” and noted he has supported the college by recommending and employing at least 10 Pellissippi State graduates in computer science and networking/communications.
“I’m very proud to be an alumnus at Pellissippi State,” Howerton said at the college’s annual Alumni Luncheon. “I worked my way through school, and classes at Pellissippi State were amenable to my schedule. The facilities and the curriculum were great. I took advantage of the library – up and beyond what was required of the course. I had good professors all around.
“I feel fortunate that Pellissippi State helped me find a career where I have a lifelong passion for my work,” he added.