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Heartland faculty member receives significant technology award

October 26, 2016

One of Heartland’s own is standing out in the technology field.

Kim Travers AwardKim Travers, distinguished professor of industrial technology, received the 2016 STEM Outstanding Achievement in Technology Award. The award was presented by the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council (EDC) at the Central Illinois Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Gala on October 1, 2016.


Taking a look at Travers’ list of achievements, it’s easy to see just how deserving she is of the recognition.

Perhaps one of her brightest crown jewels is the development of the Students Involved with Technology (SIT) Conference. Launched in 2000, SIT is a homegrown community outreach program where students in grades 3 through 12 present to other students on various technology topics.

The conference is wildly successful and popular. Since its start, the conference has grown from 125 participants to more than 600 and thanks to Travers, SIT is offered in multiple cities across the state.

Prior to her time at Heartland, Travers made significant contributions to various organizations. As a technical specialist at ISU in 1994, Travers helped develop a youth academic enrichment program aimed at improving math and reading skills for middle schoolers. She also worked with Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America to develop a variety of forms to improve efficiencies and ergonomics.


In addition to her contributions to STEM, Travers has also been actively engaged in leadership roles. She’s a respected member of the Association of Technology, Management and Engineering (ATME) and served as their executive board chair. The organization provides accreditation to college programs and certifications for individuals. Travers’ association with ATMAE helps her students stay current in STEM fields, provides networking opportunities and guidance on scholarships and programs.

Travers’ efforts have been acknowledged through other awards and recognition. The National Association of Industrial Technology recognized her for serving as chair of the executive board, president of the community college technical institute division and for her excellence in teaching and service to the profession.

A Woman in STEM

Her most recent award from the local EDC is just one more example of her significant involvement and dedication to technology.

Two of her Heartland colleagues, Professor Ruifang Cao and Business and Technology Chair Dana King, nominated Travers for the award, stating, “Her large impact on the field of education and the discipline of technology inspires youth to consider choosing careers in technology-related fields. She is always working to recruit more people into the field of technology. What is most remarkable about Kim is that she is constantly and consistently encouraging and helping her students both inside and outside of the classroom. She truly embodies what it means to be a Central Illinois Woman in STEM.”

Written by: Becky Gropp