Dakota State University students walking around campus

Preparation + opportunity = success

That's the DSU equation. We're a four-year university with nationally recognized programs, cutting-edge facilities, and the brightest thinkers. But we're also a tight-knit, inclusive community. Small class sizes mean hands-on training and individualized attention. All this with an affordable, public school price that's among the best values in the region.

Majors & Degrees

Tech stories featured at NCWIT ceremony

May 15, 2018

Twenty-seven young women from North and South Dakota have begun to write their life stories in the field of technology.

“We need to know the stories of women in computing today,” said Dakota State University President Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, “to awaken this generation of young women, and the next and the next, to their potential to participate and lead in the computer workforce.”

Eva Bradshaw, regional affiliate manager with the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), praised the achievements of “these brave young women” at the 2018 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Award Ceremony held on the Dakota State University campus April 23. Sponsors included  Dakota State University, DSU’s CybHER program, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, AT&T, and SBS CyberSecurity.

Liza Mundy, the featured speaker, highlighted stories of other women in computing, women called into service during World War II. They are featured in her best-selling book Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers in World War II.

During the war years a majority of men were called into service, forcing the military to look at other sources for intelligence department workers, namely school teachers and students at women’s colleges. “Global war is the mother of innovation and inclusion,” Mundy said.

Today global war involves cyber security issues, and there are not enough men to fill workforce needs in technology, Griffiths said, so “the ongoing success of our world depends on getting more women into computing.”

Guest speaker Linda Daugaard, first lady of South Dakota, said the Aspiration award winners represent “a rich and ready source… of highly qualified young women ready to enter the computer or information technology area.”

Bradshaw noted that NCWIT’s Aspirations in Computing organization can provide a long-term community for female technologists by encouraging persistence in computing through continuous engagement and ongoing encouragement at each pivotal stage of their educational and professional development.

Two educators were honored at the event as well. Tina Boldt-Belden, technology coordinator and high school computer teacher at Estelline School District, was this year’s teacher award winner. Runner-up was Scott Headrick, K-12 technology integrationist and high school personal finance and business math teacher at Dell Rapids Schools. Also honored was DSU freshman Alexis Vander Wilt, the collegiate national finalist.

Presenters included the Dakota State University faculty Dr. Pam Rowland, Dr. Ashley Podhradsky, and Rob Honomichl.

This is the twelfth season of the Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC), and the seventh year with regional affiliates. The South and North Dakota region honored eight winners at their first event in 2013.