Barbara Hewitt honored with Women in IT Award
Barbara Hewitt, Ph.D., assistant professor Department of Health Information Management, was recently honored as Woman of the Year by the Women in IT Awards Silicon Valley.
The awards, which were held in San Francisco, serve to showcase the achievements and innovation of women in technology and identify new role models in a sector where U.S. women represent 25 percent, a steady decline from 35 percent over the last 15 years.
Some 16 winners were chosen from 400 nominations.
Hewitt says she was initially very surprised to be nominated by one of her Texas State graduate students. “There are so many people out there who are deserving. I thought, I’m not even going to make the cut, and then I and saw who else was on the short list! I was very shocked when they called to ask if I would be attending.”
In 2011, Hewitt founded San Antonio Women in Technology to encourage young women to pursue computing professions. She also coordinates the San Antonio Aspiration Award, encompassing a 20-county region of South-Central Texas. The awards recognize female high school students in the field.
Hewitt founded the San Antonio University Women in Technology Symposium, which brings female students studying IT majors together for a half-day workshop with IT professionals. The symposium is held each fall and serves as a career fair. Sponsors for both programs include Rackspace, USAA, Accenture, Digital Defense Inc., and Jungle Disk.
At Texas State, Hewitt’s teaching areas include undergraduate and graduate fundamentals of health information systems, healthcare data and privacy, project management and health information technology.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Texas at San Antonio math, computer science and system design and her MBA from Texas State University. In 2008, she received a Ph.D. in information technology from UT-San Antonio. She previously was on the faculty at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, where she taught in the computer information systems program.
“I found computing as a really rewarding career because someone once asked me to sit down and type something into a computer,” she says. Before she was finished, she had also learned to debug the computer program. It was 1979 and Hewitt was a high school senior. “I went home and told my parents I was going to change my major, from English to computers.”