Tyler Harrison has been technology-oriented since he can remember.
Growing up in Richmond, Texas he often faced a common refrain from his parents – that he needed to spend less time on the internet and more time outside. After a chance interaction with a high school teacher, the entire course of his life was impacted.
“Mr. Tevis was just a regular teacher in a lot of ways, but also the wacky engineering type,” said Harrison. “Hawaiian shirts, steampunk glasses, Coke Zero, he was definitely a school icon. He showed me how to put my skills to good use and how to interact with a team. The scope of his impact on myself and our team is immeasurable.”
At his teacher’s suggestion, Harrison joined the high school robotics team and quickly felt at home amongst students who also were technology-minded. Upon graduation in 2018 he wasn’t sure he wanted to go to college but was encouraged to apply to Texas A&M University. He was accepted into the Engineering Academy and began taking classes at both Blinn and A&M in the fall of 2018.
“I enrolled in classes at both Blinn and A&M, but they were general engineering courses,” said Harrison. “I was always focused on computer engineering, but ended up taking a lot of math classes that I really struggled with.”
Harrison ended up taking a semester off to regroup and consider his next steps when yet another twist of fate changed his plans.
“My grandfather was in Brenham to have a phone repaired when he learned about a new program at Blinn in computer information systems,” said Harrison. “I knew almost immediately that it was a much better fit for me.”
He soon re-enrolled in courses at the Blinn-RELLIS Campus in the newly established program. While taking those classes two professors from Texas A&M University-Commerce, Dr. Hammad and Dr. Kotikela, stopped by to chat about their computer information systems bachelor’s degree program.
“They basically came in and said if we were enjoying what we were doing here, we could just come across the street and join them,” said Harrison. “After seeing how large the classes at A&M were, it seemed like an obvious choice for me.”
By the time Harrison graduated from Blinn with an Associate of Science in Computer Information Systems in the Summer of 2021, he was already taking courses with A&M-Commerce and entrenched in that program.
“I spend so much time on campus that it really feels like my second home at this point,” Harrison said. “The professors have all been phenomenal and make me feel like they are genuinely interested in helping me to learn and apply the knowledge so I am better prepared for any jobs I want after graduation.”
Harrison is set to graduate in the Spring of 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and plans to put what he learned from his many mentors to work.
“So many people aren’t sure what they want to do in the future, but I almost feel like I am the opposite. As long as my hands are on a keyboard, I will be happy,” said Harrison.
Originally published October 4, 2021