No achievement is too high for our alums. And we honor this fact by launching the new Cisco Networking Academy Alumni Awards.

An illustrated graphic of a spaceshipFrom day one, it’s been about the students and their success. So, it’s fitting that we mark Networking Academy’s 25th anniversary by releasing a new, galactic-theme awards program that celebrates the significant strides made by our alums. The new awards will honor five individuals for their courage and commitment to exploring new frontiers to fulfill their hopes for a technology career. Nominations open June 29 and close July 20, 2023, at 10pm PT. A diverse and distinguished jury of Cisco executives will select a shortlist of candidates on August 2, 2023, then winners will be announced on August 15, 2023.

Orbit of influence

Having an extensive solar system of partners in 190 countries, Networking Academy has provided the gravitational force and meaningful education and career connections to help students succeed. And succeed they have by expanding their imaginations of what a career looks like, defining their destinies through hard work and discipline and maximizing their potential in the digital universe. We applaud them—and are excited to recognize them with awards and prizes!

What will winners receive?

Winners will receive a Crystal Star award and Star Trek-inspired prizes, including a desk lamp and smartwatch band compatible with Apple Watch Series 8. Plus, one winner will be awarded the Shooting Star prize. This lucky winner will receive a 3-day trip to New York City with a backstage VIP pass at the Global Citizens Festival in Central Park on September 22-23, 2023. The festival, meant to inspire action to end poverty, offers an incredible artist lineup and a great opportunity for our chosen alum to mingle backstage with Cisco executives.

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On a special mission to find alumni

If you are a former alum, please participate by reviewing award categories below and nominating yourself here. If you are a current or former Networking Academy instructor, please help us get the word out by downloading these flyers:

Also, follow us on Networking Academy social channels so this opportunity isn’t missed.

Award Categories

An illustrated graphic of a satellite dish above earth with text that says "Networking Academy Alumni Awards"Changemaker Award
Recognizes an individual who looks past the obvious to discover what’s possible. Someone who is grounded with fresh thoughts and ideas and delivers exciting technology-enabled changes to the status quo. A visionary who asks: What’s new? What’s next? What’s better?

Rise Above Award
Honors an individual who believes “going the distance” is never an option but a mantra. They have shown amazing perseverance to get from here (personally) to there (professionally). Meeting challenges head-on, overcoming hardship and adversity, and emerging as an inspirational individual.

Future Leader Award
Recognizes an early-career technologist launching their career while making a splash in the digital cosmos. They are becoming a significant contributor to their team and organization, and demonstrating leadership beyond their experience—making them an incredible role model.

Innovation Architect Award
Celebrates a future-oriented technologist who creates the conditions for successful innovation. Under their orbit of leadership, preparation, experimentation, and agility comes the space for true collaboration and creativity. They tackle business, environmental, and social issues head-on.

Influencer Award
Honors an individual who endorses and champions the benefits of Networking Academy on social media. Tech-smart and an expert at digital content creation, this individual knows how to use their supernova powers to engage an audience. They are relatable, trustworthy, and effective skill and career advancement advocates.

Preview award criteria now—and remember to nominate yourself from June 29 – July 20, 2023.


Laura Quintana

Vice President and General Manager

Cisco Networking Academy