IBM has expanded its relationship with Clemson University to include an annual IBM Scholars program designed to cultivate the next generation of innovative employees and leaders. 

Factors such as globalization, climate change, and the global pandemic are rapidly changing the technology industry. The need for a more adaptive, innovative, and diverse workforce has never been more apparent. IBM’s expertise in cloud and quantum computing, AI, block chain and security helps address the global needs of our time and the future.

As a strategic partner of the University, IBM has played an integral role in the creation of one-of-a-kind student research activities that have ranged from autonomous vehicles to precision agriculture. The success of these programs has showcased the talent of our students and we’re excited about the opportunity to continue engaging with IBM in mutually beneficial ways that will strengthen educational outcomes while providing them with top-tier talent.


12 students in their second and third year of study were awarded scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic school year. The students are from the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, the College of Science and the College Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. Their studies span across four majors which include computer science (six), mathematical sciences (two), computer engineering (two) and management (two). 

Male student sitting outside in blue pullover sweater.
Pablo Galindo

This year’s awardees are all from South Carolina, including Pablo Galindo from Greenville.

“As a recipient of this scholarship, I am honored and truly grateful because it has brought me one step closer to achieving my dream as a first-generation Latino undergraduate,” said Galindo, a third-year student in computer science “I don’t know a man more hardworking than my father, a man who could really use a break but can’t afford to go on vacation. Graduating from Clemson University and being successful is my way of honoring his constant sacrifice. And I am thankful for the support and the scholarships that help me make that happen.”

In addition to the scholarships, IBM has also become an Innovation Partner of the Watt Family Innovation Center, a designation for those who have given $500,000 to one million dollars in support of the Center and its projects. In honor of these contributions, the Watt Center named the “IBM Data Space” room on the fourth floor and recognized IBM along with other Watt Center partners in the building’s atrium.

Members from Clemson and IBM stand together for a group shot.
In continuing their engagement, the University hosted IBM last Spring for a series of meetings with leadership and a talk on quantum computing.

“At IBM, we continue our focus on collaborating with universities to support students in developing skills for the future,” said Naguib Attia, vice president for Global University Programs at IBM. “Our expanded relationship with Clemson University will help cultivate the next generation of innovative employees and leaders in the era of AI and Cloud.”

IBM has funded many projects at Clemson using IBM’s Watson technology, focused on cognitive technologies research conducted by undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty members. The Watt Center has a dedicated team to manage these projects in coordination with IBM.

The program facilitates the coming together of students, staff, researchers, and IBM Watson technologies to solve complex analytics problems in the greater Clemson network. By connecting Watson-equipped students to researchers, campus leaders and industry partners, the program creates meaningful educational and professional opportunities for students while promoting new knowledge discovery, the growth of campus initiatives and business development.

“IBM has expanded Clemson’s access to IBM Watson, and provided valuable training, educational, and financial resources at the University, helping introduce Clemson students and faculty to fundamental machine-learning concepts,” said Todd Marek, executive director of the Watt Center at Clemson. “Through this partnership, our associates have mentored 82 students and collaborated with 35 faculty. This includes many from outside engineering and computing disciplines, who have developed new applications of Watson to support their research interests.”


About IBM 

IBM is the world’s leading hybrid cloud, AI and business services company. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs, and gain the competitive edge in their industries. 

IBM works with academic institutions to help students build a pathway to high-value jobs. One example is our Academic Awards. With IBM Awards, students seeking advanced degrees are nominated by faculty to have an opportunity to compete for the Phd Fellowship Awards that IBM has been issuing for over 70 years. Nominations for the next cycle of awards open in October 2021. 

The IBM Academic Initiative provides access to resources at no-charge for teaching, learning and non-commercial research with recent enhancements including access to guest lectures. 

The IBM Skills Academy is a comprehensive, integrated program through an education portal designed to create a foundation of diverse and high demand skill sets that directly correlate to what students will need in the workplace. The learning tracks address topics such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, blockchain, data science and quantum computing