Nominated for Best in Tech Education as a program in 2020, CICS is no stranger to the MIRA Award. However, this year Dr Anna Stumpf is nominated in the category, putting The Center for Information and Communication Sciences back in the spotlight for tech education. Anna has led the online recruiting and enrollment efforts for over two years as well as taught as a full time faculty member in the program. Anna’s most impactful role in the program, as many would tell you, is her role of advisor to the growing number of online students that now span over twelve states beyond Indiana.
TechPoint, the nonprofit, industry-led growth initiative for Indiana’s technology ecosystem, today announced the nominees for its 23rd annual Mira Awards program presented by Salesforce. The Mira Awards are the state’s largest, best known and most prestigious technology awards, and the annual gala celebrates the “The Best of Tech in Indiana.” The last time it was held in person, all 1,400 gala tickets were sold out six weeks before the event.
“The Mira Awards gala is not only the biggest tech event in the state, it’s also the barometer of Indiana’s tech industry growth, strength and dynamism,” said Mike Langellier, president and CEO of TechPoint. “The robustness of this year’s class of nominees bodes well for our tech community’s future, and we’re excited to finally, hopefully, celebrate together in person after two years of remote galas during the pandemic.”
Nominees were selected by 52 independent judges who evaluated and ranked the applications. In early March, nominees will present their cases and be interviewed by judging panels, after which the judges will deliberate and select the winners. Judges include company founders, CEOs and presidents, CTOs, CIOs and other community leaders and subject matter experts.
Dr. Stumpf was nominated for the award for multiple reasons. Here are the remarks from her nomination form:
“The most effective educators are coaches and mentors, committed to helping those whom they serve to grow, overcome challenges, find their purpose, and reach their potential. The most impactful educators don’t just teach subjects, they transform lives. There is no better way to describe the impact of Anna Stumpf than this. She lifts up everyone whom she comes into contact with on a daily basis. For those blessed to have her as an instructor, advisor or mentor, she is a life-changer and a daily dose of positive impact and purpose.
More specifically, Anna has had a remarkable career arc. She spent more than a decade as a manager for WalMart, finding her calling their as regional director of training. Recognizing her passion was for coaching and mentoring, she gain certification to be a middle school teacher, then gained a Ph.D. and shifted her focus on university instruction and adult learnings. At the University of Indianapolis and Anderson University, she led the MBA programs, recognizing the importance of technology and growing programs focused on supplying tech-savvy and tech-empowered leaders. In her current role, she leads the online CICS program, Ball State’s technology leadership program, which is ranked among the twenty IT programs in the United States.
Anna serves as the primary advisor and instructor for all students in the CICS online graduate program. The program serves diverse working adults who desire to enter tech and tech-enabled fields or elevated their professional skills. Anna approaches her current role with a focus on three-drivers that define the programs success. First, she is focused on working closely with each student to realize their potential and overcome personal barriers to success. Second, she is an indefatigable warrior for diversity, equity, and inclusion. She wants to build leaders who will build welcoming, collaborative organizations that accomplish big goals. Finally, she assures that the program is aligned with employer needs and real-world experiences. CICS graduates leave the program job ready, leadership-focused, and confident. If a typical job is 40 hours per week, Anna regularly spends more than twice that time each week meeting with students and alumni to coach and mentor them. This extends to extensive work with K-12 students.
Anna remains passionate about helping these students, especially from historically less represented groups in tech, to find their path into STEM and tech-enabled roles. She spoke to more than 100 classes and groups last year to help them see that their future could be in tech. If one put together a group of the 10 individuals in Indiana, who have done the most to attract and support youth and adults into and in tech and tech-enabled careers, Anna would be on it. The best testament to that is to share an image. If you go to a tech conference in Indiana with Anna, in any given hour, someone (s) will run across the room to give her a hug. She’s a life-changer.“
After reading that you can understand why Dr. Stumpf replied, when asked about the award, that “…just reading my nomination form was enough of a prize for me. To be able to represent my students and the CICS program is an honor that I feel blessed to have on April 23rd with an event like the TechPoint MIRA Award Gala.” It is exciting to help represent Ball State University along with another professor, Dr. Kitchens, also nominated for the same award.
Dr. Stumpf completed her twenty minute judging panel recently. The presentation she gave included a testimonial video from students, alumni, and faculty of CICS. Stumpf said she was honestly overwhelmed by the response to her idea to create a video. “It was surreal to receive so many kind words from so many of the people. Again, that is my true award in this experience!”
We in CICS wish Dr. Stumpf luck on April 23rd at the award ceremony. But to echo her sentiment, we already feel as though we have all won with having her grow and work with our online students.