Owensboro Community & Technical College's Theresa Schmitt, program coordinator for the Computer & Information Technologies program has earned a scholarship award valued at approximately $2,500 to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration, the world's largest gathering of women technologists and focuses on increasing diversity in technology. The event is produced by AnitaB.org and presented in partnership with Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). The 2018 event will take place September 26-28 in Houston, Texas.
Schmitt began her career with Owensboro Community & Technical College in 2002. She serves as a faculty advisor for the OCTC student chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery, annually coordinates the Boy Scout Merit Badge University on OCTC's Main Campus, is a member of the NSF Access to STEM grant team, serves on the FIRST Lego League Robotics Challenge committee, and is a member of the Kentucky Community Colleges Women in Computing Association.
Schmitt implemented the Digital Divas! Project in the spring of 2018 with funding support from the Yeager Charitable Trust. Schmitt's goal for the project was to encourage girls to learn about and one day seek careers in the field of technology. To accomplish this goal, she helped students at College View Middle School learn about programming and app development with MIT's App Inventor. She plans to continue and expand the program.
Theresa earned a Bachelorof Science degree in Industrial Technology from Texas A&M in 1981, and a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Akron in 1992. She is a first-generation college graduate, raised in Texas, and was encouraged by her mother to complete her educational goals. Working with technology has always felt natural to Theresa who believes computer programming is like solving a puzzle.
Dr. Scott Williams, OCTC President added, "We are proud to support our faculty and staff through professional development, it not only benefits the college and the employee, but it also benefits our studentsand their learning. Professional development funds can often be hard to come by during lean budget times. Scholarships like these are excellent avenues to pursue for faculty that want to stay ahead of the curve. The professional development experience and perspective provides valuable insight that have long term rewards both in an out of the classroom."
"I truly appreciate the support both from a financial standpoint and as a motivating factor. I enjoy learning from those who value higher education and I am always interested in learning from others who may have a different perspective or more experience" commented Schmitt.
She and her husband live in Indiana and have a grown son.