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Hytrol Intern Chosen as Arkansas State’s Intern of The Year


Joseph Branch (second from left) is congratulated on his internship award by Hytrol officials David Peacock, president, Ed Tanner, manager of process development, and Phillip Poston, director of strategic planning.

JONESBORO – Joseph Branch of West Memphis, a senior computer science major at Arkansas State University, has been selected as A-State's first Intern of the Year, a program administered by the Career Services Center.

Branch has been working at Hytrol Conveyor Co., Inc., as an intern under the leadership of Ed Tanner, manager of process development.  In this role, he was tasked with creating a document management system that could be used to deliver important and timely information to Hytrol's employees at its Jonesboro manufacturing facility.

"I am honored to be Arkansas State University's first Intern of The Year," Branch said.  "Special thanks to Ed Tanner for treating me as a genuine member of the Hytrol team and Natalie Shew for helping me complete the application."

Branch created an infrastructure that allowed over 1,300 employees to easily access and locate documents directly related to their work area. The system distributes the most recent version of a document, which is continuously updated with current information.

"Joseph's contributions are extremely beneficial to Hytrol's inter-organizational communication and documentation processes, which directly support our company's ability to maintain its growth," said Shew, Hytrol’s manager of academic partnerships and Branch's site sponsor.  "Hytrol facilitates meaningful internship experiences like these because we want both the student and the company to walk away with a real deliverable."

Branch, a senior at A-State, is also a recipient of the Major General Elder Granger M.D. Scholarship.

"In my computer science classes at college, we are taught to break a problem down, figure out the steps needed to solve the given problem, and then visualize the program running. Although my internship at Hytrol wasn't directly related to programming, I knew I could use the same thought process to tackle the challenge at hand," Branch also said.

"Working with Joseph has been a privilege. He is an excellent worker and an outstanding young man. He is always open to feedback and dedicated to improving, not only our company but himself," Tanner noted.

Tiffany Johnson, director of Career Services at A-State, reflected on the program's goals and Branch's achievement.

“We want to see our students complete high impact practices, such as internships. These experiences will lead to placement in the workforce sooner. Joseph went above and beyond at Hytrol and has made a departmental and companywide impact. Career Services is extremely proud of his accomplishments.”

After he graduates next year with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, Branch plans to pursue a master’s degree.

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