Development News

SAIC supports Tennessee Tech’s Computer Science Red Shirt program and senior capstone design sequence

A group of students sitting outside on the plaza with a laptop.Thanks to a generous gift from Science Applications International Corporation to establish the SAIC Annual Scholarship for the Red Shirt Program, Tennessee Tech’s Department of Computer Science will have funds to provide enhanced tutoring and other curricular support, peer and faculty mentoring and resources to build communities.

Tech’s Computer Science Red Shirt Program supports students who are admitted to the university and have an interest in obtaining a degree in computer science but do not qualify immediately for admission directly into the CS program. Instead, students enroll in the interdisciplinary studies-computer science (ICSC) program for one year before beginning the four-year CS program. The goal of the Red Shirt Program is to successfully migrate ICSC students into CS and establish a strong foundation of sustained success. Compared to students in the main CS program where roughly 20% of the population is non-white, the ICSC population is much more diverse. Roughly 45% are non-white and may face roadblocks on their path to success. 

“Before this program, students didn’t get many interactions with their peers and certainly felt out of the loop with departmental events and found it harder to meet students with similar interests,” said Laura Nisbet, an academic advisor at Tech. “This program is helping bridge that gap.”

In addition to the scholarship, SAIC has established annual funding to support the CS senior capstone design sequence, a year-long, two-semester course in which students work with external partners for a year to learn valuable information about an organization. Students gain exposure to solutions that use innovative technologies and methodologies, experience working in self-organizing, cross-functional and multidisciplinary agile teams, and develop communication skills. 

“At SAIC, we believe that by raising awareness among employees about the importance of building and sustaining diverse talent and an inclusive workplace, we have the opportunity to shape tomorrow,” said Jill Moffitt, SAIC Cookeville site director and Software Engineer senior manager. “We call our inclusion and diversity program MOSAIC because, just as a mosaic is formed by bringing together numerous individual pieces to create something more beautiful than its parts, SAIC’s culture is richer and more innovative because we embrace and value our employees’ differences, perspectives and life experiences.”

SAIC has encouraged its 25,000 employees to give to the SAIC Annual Scholarship for the Red Shirt Program or the CS senior design capstone sequence. The additional funding will allow an increased number of students to participate in this initiative. 

“As a company, we know that focusing on inclusion and diversity fosters innovation, collaboration, empowerment and creativity,” said Moffitt. “It is good for society and good for business.” 

About SAIC

SAIC is a premier technology integrator providing full life cycle services and solutions in the technical, engineering, intelligence and enterprise information technology markets. SAIC is redefining ingenuity through its deep customer and domain knowledge to enable the delivery of systems engineering and integration offerings for large, complex projects. SAIC’s more than 25,000 employees are driven by integrity and mission focus to serve customers in the U.S. federal government. Headquartered in McLean, Va., SAIC has annual revenues of approximately $4.5 billion. For more information, visit For ongoing news, visit 

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