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Crockett’s work on Braille models for computing concepts honored with McCord Award for 2021

April Crockett recently received the T.S. McCord Innovation and Techno-Entrepreneurship Award from the College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech University in recognition of her work on Braille modeling for computing, innovative course delivery, and diversity initiatives. Crockett is a lecturer in the Computer Science program at Tech.

She has worked closely with visually impaired students to create models and diagrams in Braille to support better comprehension of computing concepts. Her work in this area was published in the Frontiers in Education 2020 Conference journal. And, in fall 2020, Crockett launched a Diversity and Inclusion Seminar Series in fall 2020, which features prominent speakers.

She is passionate about improving Computer Science education, and expanding opportunities in the field for women, Blacks, Hispanics, and persons with disabilities. Crockett serves as chair of the Computer Science Diversity Committee, and is a member of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and a faculty sponsor for the Game Development Club.

 “It is such a great privilege for me to receive this award,” said Crockett. “I am very thankful for my colleagues in the Computer Science program and the College of Engineering, because they have built an inclusive, positive, thriving work environment that makes it easy to care for and encourage our students with enthusiasm and grace.”

Crockett received a bachelor’s degree from Tech in Computer Science in 2001, and three years later, was the first person to receive a master’s degree in Computer Science from Tech. She began teaching as an adjunct professor in the college in 2009.

The T.S. McCord award was established by Theodore Sanders (Mac) McCord, Sr., who earned a bachelor’s degree from Tech in General Engineering in 1940. McCord had a long and distinguished career at South Central Bell Telephone Company, and chose to endow an award at Tech to recognize engineering faculty who “make a difference in the lives of students.”

Tennessee Tech has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report in its Best National University listing for the past four years, and in the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs listing for a doctorate university for the past five years.

The College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech offers ABET-accredited undergraduate programs in basic engineering, chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, manufacturing and engineering technology, and mechanical engineering. At the graduate level, Tech offers both master’s degrees in the above disciplines and an engineering doctorate. 

Founded in 1915, the state’s only public technological university, Tennessee Tech offers degrees from eight academic schools and colleges to more than 10,000 students across its 282-acre campus. Its degree programs focus on Agriculture and Human Ecology, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Nursing.

College of Engineering Dean Joseph C Slater presents the T.S. McCord Innovation and Techno- Entrepreneurship Award for 2021 plaque to April Crockett.

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