SPIRIT - Our Team

"A good team is a collection of diverse people who respect each other and are committed to each other’s successes." (Anonymous) The SPIRIT team consists of a diverse group of individuals with academic and industry experience. Our teaching experience includes all levels from elementary school to high school to college and graduate levels. The subject matter includes science and technology teachers, and college faculty in education and technology. Industry experience includes work with large and small businesses as well as small-business owners. The common thread that binds this team together is a passion for sharing their knowledge and experience with young people so they will recognize the abundant opportunities available to them.

The SPIRIT team's profile is shown below. If you are interested in becoming part of our team as an industry partner, please refer to the Industry menu link.

Team MemberDescription
Alka Harriger, Principal Investigator
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.
Kyle Lutes, Co-PI
Kyle Lutes is an Associate Professor of Computer & Information Technology (CIT). He has authored/co-authored a numerous papers, many of which were presented at national conferences or published in trade magazines/journals as well as two college textbooks. His teaching and scholarly interests cover all areas of software development, including programming languages, mobile computing, object-oriented programming (OOP), software engineering, client/server information systems, web application development, user interface design, and rapid application development (RAD). His work on the SPIRIT project includes management advising and project web site development.
Toni Munguia, Senior Personnel
As the director of the diversity program in the College of Technology, I am very interested in recruiting and exposing females to areas in Technology. SPIRIT will give young women exposure to Computer Information Technology and allow the students to experience first-hand the transfer of academic information that can be applied to real world applications.
Mikel Berger, Senior Personnel
SPIRIT is an excellent opportunity to excite young people about a career in information technology that I have found, personally, to be very rewarding.
Jessica Berger, Senior Personnel
I love teaching and learning new things and have seen that information technology can be used in my science classroom to be a tool for students to learn in a different way. I look forward to sharing what I have used with my classes as well as learning from those attending SPIRIT.
No picture availableBarb Moskal, External Evaluator
Barbara M. Moskal is the Associate Professor and the Director of the Center for Assessment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at the Colorado School of Mines. Her research interest and expertise lie in assessment with a secondary interest in K-12 outreach. SPIRIT has a natural connection to both of these areas.
John Staver, Advisory Board Member
John Staver, a professor of science education in the College of Education's Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is Co-Director of the Center for Research and Engagement in Science and Mathematics Education, known as CRESME.
Brenda Capobianco, Advisory Board Member
Brenda Capobianco is an Assistant Professor of Science Education. Her research interests include young women's participation in science, technology, and engineering and the role teachers play in supporting young women’s participation. She is also interested in issues of gender, culture, and identity in science and engineering education.
Melissa Dark, Advisory Board Member
As a female faculty member in Computer and information Technology and a mother of three girls, I am interested in contributing in a positive manner to address the issue of women in computing. I come from a family of public educators and believe in the role of public education in addressing such issues.
Steve Florence, Advisory Board Member
I have been an Engineering/Technology Educator for the past 33 years and am always looking for ways to break the gender stereotyping of students interested in technology. I’m also involved with a FIRST robotics team for the past 9 years, where it also has been a battle to find gender equality. Getting female students involved with technology, engineering and robotics is an on-going passion of mine as a means to break the gender stereotyping. I joined the SPIRIT team to help bridge this gap.
Gail Farnsley, Industry Partner
Gail F. Farnsley is Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Cummins Inc., a global power leader based in Columbus, IN, with 2006 sales of $11.4 billion. Ms. Farnsley has worldwide responsibility for all information technology, including strategy, standards, applications, operations, and infrastructure. She has received numerous honors and awards for her efforts to encourage women and girls to consider IT career fields and to support women who have made that choice.
In the spring of 2008, Gail is assuming a new role as Visiting Professor at Purdue University’s College of Technology. With Cummins’ support, she will begin a new program in Technology and Society in hopes of spreading the benefits of information technology even more widely.
No picture availableKrishna Kumar, Industry Partner