When Dr. Stephanie Etter was named the interim dean of Information Technology and Engineering, she was making history. Stephanie is the first woman to occupy the position at Broward College, and she plans to seize the opportunity to bring along much-needed change.

The California University of Pennsylvania alumna found her passion for higher education on the very first day of undergraduate school when she was assigned as a work-study to the office of the vice president of academic affairs. She went on to complete a master’s degree in Business Administration from Carlow University and her Ph.D. in Information Systems and Communications from Robert Morris University.

A Closer Look

Dr. Stephanie EtterAn avid traveler and mother-of-two, Dr. Etter truly enjoys spending time with her family. “We love to be on the go. Traveling with my kids is my favorite time,” she says. “Our favorite activity is snorkeling. We tend to stay local, usually going to the Florida Keys.”

When it comes to her professional life, she translates her love for her children to a passion for her students. “She’s student-centric,” says Annie Myers, who works closely with Dr. Etter, as the associate dean of Information Technology. “Her priority is to build a program that will guarantee their success, and she’ll do everything in her power to see that through.”

Dr. Etter started at Broward College as a faculty member for the B.A.S Technology Management program in 2011. “I loved being a faculty member and working with the students,” she explains. “Making that one on one connection is priceless because you hear about the impact you make in their lives and their career decisions, and it’s very rewarding.”

Strengthening the IT Program

As interim dean, Dr. Etter has established short term goals. On her priority list is developing and strengthening relationships with more local workforce partners, getting additional input on the type of skills they expect from graduates, and improving the current curriculum.

“When you work in IT things are always changing, and one of the most exciting parts about this job is to make sure that we stay on top of that and constantly look at what’s out there and what we need to develop to guarantee our students are competitive in the workplace,” she says.

She is currently hard at work to make sure the program keeps its place for the number of state recognized industry certifications awarded to its students at the top of the list. The recent partnership with Wyncode, the development of the Spatial Computing program, and the incorporation of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certification are exciting steps towards the stronger academic curriculum she has in mind.

Creating a Strong Legacy

For Dr. Etter, the responsibility of being dean of Information Technology at Broward College and the first woman to serve in the position is not overlooked. “I’m exceptionally proud of this opportunity. Women are underrepresented in the field, and I hope that the work that I do as dean inspires other women to pursue a career in IT.”

Although it’s been just a few weeks since taking over the helm of the department, she is already leaving strong impressions among her peers. “She’s sharp, intelligent, and kind,” says Dr. Myers. “And it’s just wonderful to have a woman that supports and promotes women in IT and other STEM fields, so we are extremely excited to have her lead the way in our program.”

As inclusion is generating changes in Information Technology and other STEM fields, the demand for women in IT is growing. Learn about STEM pathway and the career opportunities within Information Technology.