Diane Lopez-Martell of Gulfport was chosen to be one of only two students among thousands of applicants from across the U.S. to be awarded the honor of serving on the Cisco Dream Team for the 123rd U.S. Open Championship. She is the third Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College student to be chosen for Cisco Dream Teams in over a year.
“I cannot thank those who supported me at MGCCC enough for helping me accomplish my goals. That includes Dr. James Gruich and my other instructors at MGCCC, including Prof. Bradley Marx, Prof. Vic Gauthreaux, Prof. Melissa R. Hayes, and Mrs. Roxanne Whitfield in registration,” Lopez-Martell said. “Their support, dedication, and endless patience helped me tremendously. This award is not just for me. It shows the whole nation what a great job MGCCC is doing in preparing students for their careers.”
From June 5 to 19, Lopez-Martell will assist the Cisco team in handling all the networking support for the golf championship at the Los Angeles Country Club. More than 700,000 individuals are expected to attend the event.
“This is a fascinating time for me,” she said. “I hope to make everyone proud of me and hope they are pleased with the way I represent MGCCC and the Mississippi Coast.”
In addition to an all-expense-paid trip to work the event, where she will gain valuable experience and exposure and network with other IT professionals, Lopez-Martell will be highlighted through a series of stories on the Golf Digest website for her work and contribution to the event with Cisco.
“The PGA and Golf Digest will know how many golfing fans and world-class facilities the Mississippi Gulf Coast has,” Lopez-Martell said. “And of course, I will be shouting about the great work done here at MGCCC as well.”
She is working on completing her Data Analytics and Computer Programming degrees. Having worked in the hospitality and casino industry for many years, she wants to pursue a career in computer technology and networking.
“It has been a lifelong goal of mine to work in IT,” she said. “This opportunity to be on the Cisco Dream Team is giving me a boost to get me started in my new career.”
Past recipients of the Cisco Dream Team honor include James Walker, who was selected in April 2022 for the Cisco Live 2022 Dream Team in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Clyde Thompson, selected in December 2022 for the Cisco Netacad 2023 Super Bowl LVII Dream Team in Glendale, Arizona. Both were among just a handful of students selected to participate in providing network support for important national events.