At the end of the 2015 spring quarter, Whitney King, a Data Analytics major, won the Terry O’Banion Student Technology Champion award. Issued by the League of Innovation in the Community College, this $1,000 scholarship is awarded annually to two community college students whom are focusing on technology. “The League that gives out the award partners with Microsoft Corporation to annually select two students who demonstrate a special talent and interest in technology,” explained BC Public Relations Manager, Evan Epstein.
“I’m absolutely honored to have even received a nomination for the award, let alone to have won one of the two given out this year,” King said. She explained that this award has helped enable her to continue on her educational journey.
King is a self-proclaimed introvert, and does not often seek out the limelight. However, when it comes to studies, she strives to have the best understanding of the subject matter as she can, and as she put it, “it makes me proud and it’s affirming to be recognized for the hard work that I’ve been putting in over the last couple years.”
King had not heard of the award before being nominated by her instructor Debi Griggs. According to King, “she’s been a wonderful instructor and a great inspiration to me as a woman in technology and education.” She had originally looked for Griggs to write her a letter of recommendation for a scholarship but from there Griggs nominated her for the award.
King has always loved technology, having been heavily involved in games, computers and other gadgets through high school, where it became clear she wanted a career in technology. She claimed to have honed important technological skills during her brief time as a video game tester in 2006.
These days, she’s more focused on data analysis and plans to continue in the field of technology.
While the technology workforce mostly consists of males, King wanted to make a big point that the industry is open to anybody who wants to go to the effort of getting involved.
According to her, “the message many girls and marginalized populations are getting about STEM fields is that they should want to be involved, but the other side tells them that they will be alone.” She explained that this sort of fear should not keep people from doing what they want to do.
King said “I’ve gotten to tap positive energy and motivation from my husband, technology gurus in my network and family as well as my friends.”
Lately King developed a strong support system that enabled her to go “full steam ahead” in terms of her education. She also credited her instructors in the Business Intelligence program at BC for their influence and support.