|For Immediate Release (01-18)
Date: March 2, 2001
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952
On her first day of work at
Montgomery College’s Information Technology Institute, back in
January 1999, Vicki Duggan, a newly minted professor and project
manager, was handed two weighty assignments: Develop a "boot
camp" to train career changers for technology jobs and create a
computer camp for girls.
Microsoft Technology Award for
After Duggan caught her breath, she rolled
up her sleeves and, in short order, rolled out two highly
Now, the Microsoft Corporation has
recognized her innovations with the David R. Pierce Faculty
Technology Award, which rewards community college faculty for
exceptional uses of information technology in the classroom.
Named for a former president of the
American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), David R.
Pierce, for his long-standing commitment to technology in higher
education, the award is sponsored by Microsoft Corp. Winners
receive a $5,000 honorarium.
Duggan, a Derwood resident, won for two
programs: Tech LEAP and GURL Power. Tech LEAP, or Technology
Leading Edge Apprenticeship Program, was started in 1999 to
create information technology workers to meet the needs of area
Through an intensive six-month program
tailored to meeting the needs of the local business community,
Tech LEAP takes adults who already have degrees and want to
change careers and retrains for work in the information
technology field. Classes initially cover basic subjects such as
office applications, software design, computer architecture,
security, and operating systems, and move to an intense study of
computer programming or networking. Students spend the last two
months of the program in paid internships with companies such as
General Electric, Lockheed Martin, ACS Government Solutions
Group, Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission,
Westat, and Montgomery County government.
In 1999, Duggan also created a summer camp
for middle school girls, in which the participants learned to
create Web sites. The goal of GURL Power – named by the girls
during the first camp, as a play on the Internet term: URL – is
to encourage more women to go into information technology
Duggan worked with local schools and area
organizations to develop the camp, and in its second year, GURL
Power expanded its constituency. The Montgomery County
Commission for Women and the High Technology Council of Maryland
provided scholarships for low-income, middle school,
English-as-a-second-language girls, and a bilingual teacher
taught the camp in English and Spanish.
"I was shocked when I was told I was a
finalist," said Duggan, who was not aware she had been
nominated. "It was quite a surprise and honor to be selected out
of 130 faculty nationwide who were nominated for this award."
Prior to coming to Montgomery College,
Duggan worked in the information technology in private industry
for 15 years, managing IT professionals. "This work [at
Montgomery College] has been the most rewarding work that I have
ever done," Duggan said.
Duggan will receive her award at the
Annual American Association of Community Colleges' Convention
in April in Chicago.