University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Cheryl Kamenski (801) 863-6351
Susan Thackeray, director of Career & Technical Education Department at Utah Valley,
received the Women Tech Council innovation award for Educational Excellence award
Sept. 27 at the council’s 5th annual awards luncheon in Salt Lake City.
Thackeray manages programs designed to prepare and equip students with the marketable skills needed for employment in high-demand and higher-paying career fields. UVU’s 35 programs in these fields include accounting, business management, digital media, dental hygiene, nursing and technology management.
“Susan Thackeray has had a significant impact in developing and promoting the career and technical education programs at UVU,” said Ian Wilson, vice president for academic affairs. “She has built important partnerships with industry that have provided educational opportunities for our students while addressing the training needs of the community. She is a leader in expanding technology education at UVU as well as throughout the state.”
Thackeray along with Shauna Theobald, director of the Entrepreneur Institute at Utah Valley University’s Woodbury School of Business, were among 15 finalists selected from more than 65 nominees. Six award recipients were chosen from the finalists.
“Eight high-level executives from some of Utah’s most notable companies individually interviewed me for the award,” Thackeray said. “It is an honor to have my work publicly validated and recognized as valuable to the state of Utah.”
In addition to Thackeray’s work focused on development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees directed at women, she contributed to UVU’s Business Engagement Strategy for Career Pathways, a program now noted in the state as a model for disruptive innovation in education. The state’s has designated UVU as a Utah Cluster Acceleration partner site in digital media in an effort to increase jobs in digital media fields.
She also took part in a an initial group called the Utah Women and Education Project, which researched why more women are not completing higher education. As a result, the governor has put together several task forces to assist women in attending and graduating from college, especially in science and technology fields.
“Receiving this award recognizes the innovative and unique approach to education we offer at UVU,” Thackeray said. “It shows that our efforts are being validated by the businesses where our students are qualified to work.”
The Women Tech Council assists women in technology driven sectors by providing networking opportunities and developing leadership skills. The annual awards recognize technology-focused women who are driving innovation, leading technology companies and are key contributors to the community.