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Oct. 7, 2018
Dr. Carol Spradling, the director of the Northwest Missouri State University’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems, has been honored by Central Exchange with a STEMMy award, a recognition of trailblazing, innovating women who are setting trends and breaking barriers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or medicine.
Spradling was among 11 women in a variety of sectors to receive the award Sept. 27 at the fifth annual STEMMy Awards Gala Luncheon in Kansas City, Missouri.
Central Exchange recognized Spradling for contributions and academic work related to computer ethics, profession-based education, digital media, database systems, project management and expanding the involvement of underrepresented groups and women in computing.
“There are hundreds of graduates who consider Dr. Spradling as one of the reasons that they were successful,” Northwest Provost Dr. Jamie Hooyman said. “She has an inherent ability to push students without turning them off and get them to become a better version of themselves.”
Among Spradling’s most notable contributions to the technology field is her work as co-founder of the Missouri Iowa Nebraska Kansas Women in Computing Conference, a regional biannual meeting started in 2011. The four-state conference gathers students, faculty, and technology leaders as part of a nationwide effort to address the decline of women in computer science professions and discuss strategies for improving representation in the field from underrepresented groups.
“Dr. Spradling exemplifies the meaning of this award that recognizes outstanding teaching and leadership in the STEMM area,” Hooyman said. “She models the way for inclusion, civility, and uplifting student learning. She is engaged both internally and externally so that curriculum and programs remain cutting edge and what the industry demands.”
Spradling, who joined the Northwest faculty in 1988, is a liaison and team leader for the Faculty and Staff Affiliates Group for Northwest’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and provides faculty and staff with opportunities to participate in open dialogue about social justice research that involves their work in the academy. She also has worked to amplify conversations about computer coding for K-12 students in Missouri, sparking partnerships with university computer science departments and high school coding competitions to open additional opportunities for underserved students interested in computer science and engineering. Her work with secondary students and educators has yielded popular summer camps for students to experience college life in computer science.
In addition to consistently high marks on student and peer evaluations, Spradling is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Northwest Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2015 and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education Award in 2012.
After earning a bachelor of science in accounting and economics from Buena Vista University, Spradling completed her master’s degree in school computer studies at Northwest. She holds a doctorate in philosophy in instructional technology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“My heartfelt thanks goes to Central Exchange for the work that they are doing to promote women in the STEMM fields and for hosting an impressive awards ceremony,” Spradling said. “I was especially thrilled that Dr. Jamie Hooyman, Elicia Reuscher and Sumnima Rana were able to attend the awards ceremony with me.
“The Central Exchange STEMMy educator award was such an honor. I was especially grateful to meet the other 10 Central Exchange STEMMy winners and learn about their inspiring stories and contributions.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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