Micaha Dean Hughes, assistant director of recruitment and female initiatives in the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, has received a 2018 Educator Award from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing Kentucky affiliate.
According to NCWIT Aspirations’ website, the Educator Award “publicly celebrates formal and informal educators who encourage high school women’s interest and participation in technology pursuits. To date, nearly 400 educators have been honored.”
Hughes, a native eastern Kentuckian and University of Kentucky graduate, is passionate about increasing the number of women who seek computer science degrees.
“I was never given the option to take a computer science course in high school or go to a summer camp for technology, although looking back, I would have reveled in that chance and excelled,” said Hughes.
As a regional affiliate winner and honorable, Hughes will receive recognition at an upcoming regional affiliate event, an engraved award and a trip to the NCWIT Summit on Women and IT in Grapevine, Texas this May.
Hughes oversees several initiatives directed toward young women interested in engineering, such as the Women in Engineering Explore Summer Camp, Women in Engineering Day, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, and more.
“We know that nationally, women are less likely to pursue engineering or computer science as a career option, but in Kentucky it is an even lower likelihood – it is my duty to change that; and to do my job, day in and day out, is an honor,” said Hughes. “We have the opportunity right now to encourage young women to seek higher education in an important and timely field of work.”
Hughes joined the UK College of Engineering in January 2017.