The Microsoft Imagine Academy has bridged Iowa classrooms to the world of work through Microsoft Office training and certification opportunities. The Imagine Academy, led by Ann Watts on behalf of the STEM Council, has reached nearly 40,000 students through curriculum, exams and certifications since 2014.
With more than 20 years of experience with Microsoft, Watts has been instrumental in the success of the program. Throughout her career, she has made significant contributions to advancing computer technology in Iowa. After receiving her Master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Iowa, she was responsible for the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) library and computer laboratory. Other prior accomplishments include teaching continuing education in Microsoft Office programs, internet research and library instruction, co-authoring a text book on internet research and helping to coordinate shared workspaces to six DMACC campuses.
As of this May, Watts has completed the algorithm of her highly impactful career in technology and computer science.
“We were very fortunate to find Ann Watts when Microsoft won the competition to provide technology credentialing through Iowa’s STEM Council,” said Jeff Weld, STEM Council executive director. “Corralling her expertise to deliver IT education was the equivalent to getting Peggy Whitson to teach Iowa kids about space. We’re grateful for Ann’s service.”