Dr. Jennifer Leopold, assistant professor of computer science at the University of Missouri-Rolla, has been named UMR’s 2007 Woman of the Year.
UMR Chancellor John F. Carney III presented Leopold with the award during a Woman of the Year luncheon April 18 at the Havener Center on campus. The luncheon was part of UMR’s Women Advance Excellence Day, an event designed to celebrate the accomplishments of women associated with the university.
After Leopold was named Woman of the Year, UMR announced the winners of two new awards. Cynthia Tang was named the 2007 Alumnae of the Year and Kristen Loesch was named the 2007 Woman Student of the Year.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities in the computer science department, Leopold is an investigator at UMR’s Environmental Research Center. Her research interests include bioinformatics, scientific visualization and data mining. Leopold is collaborating with other UMR scientists to create a web-based, 3D library that could revolutionize the way anatomy is examined.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in mathematics at the University of Kansas in 1981, Leopold completed a master’s degree in computer science (1986) and a Ph.D. in computer science (1999) at KU. She joined the faculty at UMR in 2002 and proceeded to win numerous teaching awards.
The Woman of the Year award is given to an outstanding female faculty member who has helped to improve the campus climate for women and has served as a role model for other faculty and students through her research, scholarship and service. Last year’s winner was Dr. Kris Swenson, an associate professor of English and technical communication.
This is the 11th year for the Woman of the Year award, which is funded by UMR graduate Cindy Tang, winner of the 2007 Alumnae of the Year award and founder of Insight Industries Inc., one of the largest software engineering companies in Wisconsin. Tang earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from UMR in 1985 and a master’s of business administration degree from Drury College in 1987.
Among the other graduates recognized were Lois Highfill, Cecilia Elmore, JuliAnn Mazachek and Mary Reidmeyer.
Kristen Loesch, winner of UMR’s 2007 Woman Student of the Year award, is a senior in computer science from St. Louis. She participates in a project to develop an interactive recruitment program showing the social relevance of computer science to children, especially girls. She has also helped with UMR’s annual Expanding Your Horizons Conference, which introduces junior high girls to possible careers in science, math, engineering and technology.
Other student nominated were Lindsey Campbell, a senior in ceramic engineering from Parma, Mo.; Carla Cotita, a senior in English and technical communication from Rolla; Lauren Huchingson, a senior in information science and technology from Des Peres, Mo.; and Tricia Ann Mattson, a graduate student in nuclear engineering from Belton, Mo.