Recognizing educators, organizations, mentors and others who inspire and open doors for learners of all ages through technology.

At the root of all progress, there must be education. Indiana is a state that has time and time again proven its dedication to developing our future leaders, especially in the tech ecosystem. 

The Tech Education Award recognizes educators, organizations, mentors and others who inspire and open doors for learners of all ages through the creative, innovative application and/or support of technology. These leaders respond to the diverse needs of students and have an undeniably positive impact on student achievement and the future workforce.

As Indiana tech continues to grow, a major hurdle we continue to face as a community is a shortage of talent to fill the opportunities we create. The 2020 nominees are first and foremost dedicated to fostering unique and curated environments to reach students of all ages. Whether it be meeting at the library to lessen the disparity of tech knowledge; generating interest in STEM at an early age; expanding technology exposure in schools; or generating a greater vision for college campuses across the state, Indiana is serious about continued development of technology education and talent. All of our nominees have shown their dedication to inspiring future generations of technology leaders. 

As winner of the 2019 Tech Education Award in 2019, Ariel Crawley was leading tech education as the program director for Ivy Tech’s “Ivy Works”.  Through her work, she proved her dedication to empowering students to explore and thoroughly invest in Indiana tech, as well as going above and beyond to include more women.  Since leaving she has taken a full time role at Indy Women in Tech to help make strategic introductions to women to career opportunities in the STEM fields and provide career development, academic support, and financial guidance. 

2018’s winner, iDEW (Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce), is a branch of IUPUI which encourages high school students to explore opportunities in the tech sector, as well as helping to foster diversity. This program gives students real-life experiences and focuses on problem solving in computing and technology. In its first year, 70 students enrolled across three schools. When they won the award in 2018, the program had grown to more than 250 students across four high schools.  Since then, iDEW received $100,000 in grant money from JP Morgan Chase to grow and expand the internship program and was featured on RTV6’s “Hiring Hoosiers” segment. iDEW continues to knock down barriers for underrepresented minorities and groups in Indiana tech, proving their commitment to investing in local talent for the long-term. 

This year’s nominees include:

  • Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS), Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) CICS’s mission is to develop future leaders for Indiana firms at the intersection of technology, business, and leadership.
  • Codelicious (Indianapolis, Ind.) Codelicious provides full-year computer science curriculum for K-12.
  • Eleven Fifty Academy (Fishers, Ind.) Eleven Fifty Academy is a nonprofit coding and cybersecurity school for individuals ready to transform their lives and career path in just three or six months.
  • Matthew Etchison, CIO, Ivy Tech Community College (Indianapolis, Ind.) Matt’s driving a connected-campus solution that will result in socio-economic benefits felt by statewide – learners, communities and businesses!
  • Steve Fouty, McDermond Center Director, DePauw University (Greencastle, Ind.) As the Director of the McDermond Center for Management & Entrepreneurship at DePauw, Steve is committed to developing business-ready leaders the world needs within DePauw’s liberal arts experience.
  • Dr. Mary Giesting, Director of The Imagination Lab, Plainfield Community School Corporation (Plainfield, Ind.) Mary Giesting, former Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning at PCS and Current Director of the Imagination Lab.
  • Girl Scouts of Central Indiana (Indianapolis, Ind.) Girl Scouts leads STEM opportunities for girls with 2 mobile units, outdoor experiences, major corporate partners, and the largest all-girls STEM event.
  • Indiana University Idea Garden @IUPUI (Indianapolis, Ind.) The Idea Garden – a vibrant tech think tank redefining how higher education delivers advanced technology support and training to students.
  • Infosys Foundation USA (Indianapolis, Ind.) Infosys Foundation USA is committed to expanding access to computer science and maker education to K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. 
  • Marianne McKenzie, Code Cafe, Indianapolis Public Library (Indianapolis, Ind.) Marianne McKenzie created Code Cafe at the Indianapolis Public Library. She is passionate about bridging Indianapolis’ digital skill divide.
  • Nextech (Indianapolis, Ind.) Nextech is on a mission to bring computer science curriculum and experiences to ALL Indiana students, our community’s greatest asset. #CSforIN
  • Purdue Polytechnic High School (Indianapolis, South Bend, Ind.) PPHS is a free public charter high school that encourages learning outside the box – and the traditional classroom – through the lens of science, technology, engineering, and math.

The 2020 Mira Award winners will be announced live on a special broadcast during the 21st gala on Thursday, June 18, with presenting sponsors Eli Lilly and Company, Genesys, Infosys, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Salesforce. Thousands are expected to watch the live broadcast on social media platforms and via Zoom VIP room watch parties.

Get more information about the broadcast here. Join us on June 18 for the unveiling of the Tech Education of the Year Mira Award winner.