Gary native Joshua Phillips has always been fascinated by computers and their power and potential.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to go to college for until my senior year of high school,” Phillips said. “I was planning on becoming a doctor all my life, but then I received the opportunity to work as an IT assistant during my senior year. I found that I caught onto it easily, it interested me, and I really enjoyed the work.”
Phillips is heading into his junior year at Purdue University Northwest (PNW) this year and is majoring in Computer Information Technology (CIT) with a concentration in cybersecurity.
“Anything to do with computers is what I love to learn about – hardware, software, design, editing, all of that,” he said.
Along with being a part of the Honors College since his freshman year, Phillips also accomplished something that no other student at PNW has ever done before – he became the first student in PNW history to be elected to the executive board of the Mid-East Honors Association (MEHA).
“My Honors College Dean is the one who made me aware of the position and told me that the Honors College staff thought I would be a great fit for the role, so I applied for it,” he said. “At the time, no one really knew what to expect because we weren’t affiliated with it, but once I applied, I received an email saying that I got it!”
Along with going to school full-time and working on-campus as a student desktop technician in the IT department, Phillips also enjoys editing videosand gaming in his free time.
“When it comes to gaming, I like adventure and first-person shooter games, like Call of Duty and Red Dead Redemption II – games with a story behind them,” Phillips said.
In addition, he also works for the Honors College as a peer mentor coordinator to help incoming freshmen students transition smoothly into the Honors College.
“I was one of three students chosen for this position and I really enjoy the ability it’s given me to help others,” he said.
Gary has always been home to Phillips, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I really love the community aspect in Gary. I feel very supported and love being close to my family,” he said.
He thanks that supportive network every day.
“First off, I’d like to thank my father for raising me all my life, and most recently, doing it single handedly since my mother’s passing in 2014,” he said. “He’s my rock and an excellent example of what a father is. My pastor and bishop have also been amazing role models to me and if it wasn’t for their guidance, I wouldn’t on the path I am today. Also, my close friends – Ramon Bryant, Jarah Burgin, Keino Holloway, and Dakota Bailey. I really can’t express my appreciation and gratitude for all of these people enough.”
He would also like to thank his younger brother, Jaydon, along with his aunts, uncles, two sets of loving grandparents, and an extended family of relatives, friends, and supporters.
Phillips’ determination to succeed is more than apparent.
“Once I found my passion for computers, I also found that I thrive under stress,” Phillips said. “Along with working my two on-campus jobs, I’m taking seven classes this fall and I feel that the more work that I have on my plate, the more I strive to succeed in order to make my support system, and myself, proud. I love pushing myself to learn new things.”