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INI at 25: Alumnus Inspires Youth, Starts Business Venture

November 21, 2014

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Meigs Magnet Middle School of Nashville presented the "Sammy Award for Computer Studies" in May for the twentieth year in a row. Computer science teacher Joel Orleck established the award to honor a middle-school student who delivered outstanding computer projects, helped to troubleshoot technical issues and spent his summers helping to set up the computer lab. At one point, teachers used to joke that he was the "IT Support" even though he had barely reached the seventh grade.

That kid was Samuel "Sammy" Edoho-Eket (INI, 2004), whom we now know as an alumnus of the INI's Master of Science in Information Networking (MSIN) program. Samuel has come a long way since the days of tinkering with the middle school's Apple Macintosh computers, but he continues to apply the lessons learned from his school days and has maintained a penchant for taking the lead and trying new things.

For instance, when Samuel came to the INI, he joined a special group that welcomed the first class from the Athens Master of Science in Information Networking (Athens MSIN). He, along with five classmates, also traveled to Greece during the initial year of the program where they took classes at Athens Information Technology and became acquainted with the students across the globe. The program resulted in the first Carnegie Mellon graduates to receive diplomas on international soil and eventually taught more than 120 students.

"Thanks to Dena [Haritos Tsamitis]'s leadership and guidance, I was part of the first group of students in Athens, Greece," Samuel said. "The experience of meeting the Greek students both here in the U.S. and in Athens and experiencing Greek culture is one that I will never forget."

Today, as the founder of PrismSix Technologies, Samuel leads his own computer consulting and engineering services firm. His company's most recent accomplishment was the design, implementation, and ongoing Tier III level support for one of the largest geographically distributed VoIP networks deployed for the federal government, which has processed millions of minutes of traffic to date. He and his wife Rachel are the proud parents of three-year-old twins, one boy and one girl, and now live in the Baltimore area. He started his company shortly after his grandmother passed away in 2012, after which he realized that one must take advantage of every moment--because some opportunities may never come again.

Life doesn't slow down for Samuel, who admits to being under a lot of pressure due to not wanting to let anyone down, but he feels fortunate and blessed. To stay motivated, he thinks about his ancestors and those who came before him and paved his way. In many cases, they never gained the same opportunities. These thoughts keep him going during tedious evenings filled with accounting and other operational duties, and he remains inspired to expand his company in the federal and commercial sectors.

Using a customer-centered approach to his work, Samuel has developed a golden reputation based firmly in more than 15 years of experience working and consulting in the telecommunications field. After graduating near the top of his high school class he went on to Princeton University, where he received a bachelor degree while working for a little known startup (at the time) named Vonage. These days, his clients know him as someone who "always goes the extra mile," not unlike the Samuel his teachers and mentors remember well.

Samuel returned to his middle school in May, gladly agreeing to speak at the ceremony for the "Sammy Award" created in his honor. He later reunited after twenty years with his former computer teacher, Mr. Orleck and was surprised to learn the award is one of the school's highest honors. Summarizing his speech he said:  "I encouraged them to 'never stop learning' and 'find their motivation' that will keep them going, even on days when huge challenges lie ahead." Samuel also made a donation to the school's computer lab, on behalf of his company PrismSix Technologies, saying: “I hope that this donation will help someone else in the same way that Meigs Magnet School helped me.”

Samuel is one INI alumnus who has worked hard to achieve success. He now applies his education and experiences to inspire the next generation.

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Samuel Edoho-Eket's story is part of the alumni highlight series honoring the INI's 25th anniversary. Follow hashtag #ini25 during the 2014/2015 academic year and join the celebration April 18 during Spring Carnival weekend.

Pictured above:  Samuel Edoho-Eket. Pictured below, from left to right: Samuel, Katerina Lamprou (INI, 2003), INI Director Dena Haritos Tsamitis and Guillermo Ortiz (INI, 2004) at the INI's 20th Anniversary Celebration in 2010.

 


Alumni and Director at the INI 20th Anniversary Celebration