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Strong Stories: Mill Lawson

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HometownGarden City, Ga. Degree Class of 2001
B.S. in Computer Science

Mill Lawson

Systems Engineer, Georgia Ports Authority

What did you love most about Armstrong and why? 
Even as a part-time student, I formed a bond with many of my classmates. Most of us knew each other. Even in classes with a mix of traditional and non-traditional students, we bonded.

How did Armstrong help you succeed in your field? 
The computer science program was rigorous and continually grew. During my time at Armstrong, the computer science program grew from a small offering in the Department of Mathematics to its own department.As the program grew, high standards remained and challenged us constantly.

Who was your favorite professor and why? 
Dr. Shipley. He was demanding and many were intimidated by him (including me at first). I learned to respect his experience and no-nonsense approach. He was also my advisor and helped me navigate a growing and changing curriculum.

Why did you decide to attend Armstrong? 
Honestly, I needed to attend a local school, and Armstrong was the best choice academically. I later decided on my major.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Armstrong? 
I don't have a favorite memory, but I remember the energy on campus. It always seemed like such a positive environment.

Did you do any extracurricular activities and/or internships that were particularly memorable? 
I worked in the CIS Department as a student worker/programmer. It was my first IT job, and it gave me an opportunity to see both sides of the work. I was a programmer, but as a student, I was also a user at the same time. It was a unique perspective.

What is your best advice to current Armstrong students? 
Gain experience whenever possible. Part-time jobs or internships not only provide training and exposure to real world applications, but they also allow you to learn what type of work you enjoy.

Why are you proud to be an Armstrong alum? 
I spent eight years at Armstrong as a non-traditional student and witnessed many changes during that time. There was a large amount of growth during those years. When I selected computer science as my major, it was a small offering in the Department of Mathematics. The program grew tremendously from 1993-2001 and continued to grow after my graduation. It was exciting to be a part of it during those years and witness it first-hand. I'm proud to see that it is still a strong offering for today's students.