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MSMS students earn computer-tech honors


Dispatch Staff Report



RIDGELAND -- Three students from Mississippi School for Math and Science are among six Mississippi girls honored during the Mississippi Aspirations in Computing award ceremony. 


Held at Bomgar Corp.'s Ridgeland headquarters, the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) event honored students for their computing-related achievements and interest. Each winner received a scholarship to Mississippi State University. 


"With technology jobs projected to grow faster than all other job sectors in the next decade, it's imperative that we nurture the computing aspirations of women, who will make up half the professional workforce," said Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of NCWIT. "This award allows us recognize and encourage talent that might otherwise be overlooked." 


The NCWIT Aspirations Program encourages female students' continued growth in the traditionally male-dominated computing science and technology fields. By acknowledging their accomplishments and introducing them to leadership opportunities the program works to ensure they pursue education and careers in the field.  


MSMS students Rebecca Koehler of Cleveland, Christina Legradi of Hattiesburg and Emoree Heiselt of Starkville were among those honored. Also honored at the event was Kendra Carr, a computer science instructor at MSMS. Carr earned the Mississippi educator award. 


Award recipients are selected for their computing aptitude, leadership ability, academic history and plans for post-secondary education. The Aspirations program also recognizes outstanding educators who play pivotal roles in developing girls' computing and technology interests. 


The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a non-profit coalition of more than 450 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits working to improve U.S. innovation, competitiveness, and workforce sustainability by increasing women's participation in IT. NCWIT's work spans K-12 and higher education through industry and academic careers. Find out more at 


For more information about the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University and the computer science and engineering department, visit




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