Ann Watts leads the Microsoft Imagine Academy on behalf of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council. The Imagine Academy provides a bridge from the classroom to the business world through Microsoft Office training and certification opportunities.
There are 150 high schools, some in collaboration with the local community college, that are taking part in the program annually. The goal is to help encourage digital literacy, training and certification, and employability for Iowa students.
Watts brings more than 20 years of experience with Microsoft to the program. She received her Master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Iowa. Early in her career, she was responsible for the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) library and computer laboratory. She has taught continuing education in Microsoft Office programs, internet research and library instruction courses. She has also helped write a text book on internet research and was the project manager for the Microsoft Sharepoint portal, which helped bring shared workspaces to all six DMACC campuses in the state.
"I have always focused on bringing information to people in the format that works best for them. The STEM Council and Microsoft Imagine Academy are a natural fit for me in that way. This is incredibly rewarding work," said Watts.