Watkins Awarded Trailblazer Award

University of Central Oklahoma’s chief information officer Sonya Watkins has won the 2018 Trailblazer award from the Oklahoma Women in Technology Organization.

“This award is given to a member of our organization who has through example provided a path for other women to achieve milestones in their career,” said Brandy Semore, member of OKWIT.

Here’s a great piece from the Edmond Sun about our OKWIT Trailblazer Award recipient, Sonya Watkins! https://t.co/cOm4Go78fR

— OK Women in Tech (@OKWomenInTech) November 7, 2018

OKWIT was founded by Semore and three other women almost three years ago.

Watkins joined OKWIT in 2016, “I appreciate the networking opportunities and the great programming provided by the organization.” Watkins said.

This organization has about 1,500 members statewide, according to Semore. OKWIT provides scholarships and monthly events for members to further networking and education.

Semore said Watkins is a great example of this award, not only is she in technology but she is excelling as a woman of minority.

One particular program Watkins enjoys is the mentorship program through OKWIT.

“I can attribute much of my professional growth to the amazing support and mentorship I have received over the years,” Watkins said. “I am pleased that OKWIT provides an opportunity for young women in STEM to receive this kind of support and I enjoy participating as a mentor in the program.”

Watkins is very involved in the program and even helps fund it, according to Semore.

A career in technology was never Watkins’ first choice, but she describes herself as a problem solver by nature which led her to this department.

“I was always looking for a more efficient and effective ways to get things done,” Watkins said, “And I continuously found technology to be a key part of the solution.”

After 15 years in the IT department at UCO, Watkins has worked many different positions including assistant to the vice president, director of special projects, director of technology resources, assistant vice president and now chief information officer.

Semore said Watkins is a very humble hard worker who is very approachable, never giving off the vibe that she is better than anyone, even though she is a CIO.

“It is certainly an honor to be a recipient of the OKWIT Trailblazer Award,” Watkins said. “I am deeply grateful to receive this recognition from my OKWIT peers who also reflect the essence of this award.”

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