SPIRIT - Who are our supporters

The SPIRIT program would not be possible without the generous support of several industry partners. The list below identifies our current partners as well as the what they hope to accomplish as a SPIRIT partner. You can view more information about the type of support they are providing to SPIRIT by using the SPIRIT Partners link under the Industry menu group. If you are interested in joining our support team as an industry partner, please use the Become a Partner link under the Industry menu group.

Industry Partner

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…" With an annual budget of about $5.92 billion, we are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

SPIRIT was made possible through the generous funding provided by NSF's ITEST (Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers) program.

SPIRIT Contact:

Siobhan Bredin, ITEST Learning Resource Center Project Director
Prior to becoming Project Director, Siobhan worked at EDC on the U.S. Department of Education's Information Technology Career Cluster Initiative - convening and collaborating with an industry advisory consortium and with ten high school and community college pilot sites to plan for, develop, test and implement a national IT Career Cluster Model, enabling increased numbers of students to access high potential careers in the IT field, with a special focus on attracting more females to IT careers.

  Purdue College of Technology

Purdue's College of Technology began with a strong vision to provide excellent applicationoriented degree programs as a key component of Purdue’s land grant mission. Today, the school’s faculty is comprised of exemplary teachers, accomplished scholars, and professional leaders. Strong industrial ties and close interdisciplinary partnerships between the school’s departments have also built a strong foundation for the school‘s work today while shaping the vision for tomorrow.

Purdue's College of Technology fully supports SPIRIT through its support of several faculty a staff members on the SPIRIT team, including Alka Harriger, Kyle Lutes, Toni Munguia, Melissa Dark, and Gail Farnsley. Additional support has been provided by the college's marketing staff who created the design for the SPIRIT brand.

SPIRIT Contact:

Alka Harriger, Professor and Assistant Department Head of CIT
Alka Harriger joined the faculty of the Computer and Information Technology Department (CIT) in 1982 and is currently a Professor of CIT and Assistant Department Head. Her current interests include reducing the IT gender gap, web application development, and service learning. As the SPIRIT PI, she is involved in all aspects of the project.

  Purdue College of Science

The mission of the Purdue University College of Science is to serve the citizens of Indiana, the United States, and the world through discovery that expands the realm of knowledge in the basic and applied sciences, learning through education and the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and engagement through the exchange of scientific skills and understanding.

Purdue's College of Science supports the SPIRIT project through the work of one of its faculty, Buster Dunsmore.

SPIRIT Contact:

Buster Dunsmore, Associate Professor
As Chair of the Undergraduate Program in the Department of Computer Science, I have seen our percentage of undergraduate women drop from 30% a few years ago to only 3% today. We must do creative things like our SPIRIT project to show young women that they have an incredible future in computing!


Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, began with the vision of a computer on every desk and in every home. Thirty years ago this seemed impossible. Today, for the more than 1 billion people who have access to technology, life has changed profoundly: Information is more readily available, connections are more easily made, and commercial trade is more efficient and accessible.

Microsoft also has a very long standing commitment to education, working to help learners and educators around the world. We are continuing to invest in education programs at all levels and have created products specifically to meet the needs of students and academic communities.

SPIRIT Contact:

Krishna Kumar,