New Albany High School senior Katherine (Kate) Miller was honored with the 2011 TechColumbus Student Innovation Award at an event held February 2 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. This is the second consecutive year a New Albany High School senior won this award. The TechColumbus award provides a $2500 scholarship to the winner. Kate has been accepted for enrollment at the University of Pennsylvania next year.
Among Kate’s recent accomplishments that led to the award:
- 2011 Ohio Affiliate Aspirations in Computing Award from the National Center for Women & Information Technology
- Founding member and leader of the High School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Girls Club
- Founder and leader of 2011-2012 FIONA (Future Innovators of New Albany), an after-school program to introduce advanced STEM experiences to Middle School girls
- Team Leader for the NAPLS Digital Network Assistant (DNA) student technology team
- 2012 National Aspirations in Computing Award from the National Center for Women & Information Technology
More than 1,000 attendees gathered to celebrate the Columbus Region’s rich legacy of innovation and it bright future at the 2011 Innovation Awards ceremony. The celebration brought together the region’s largest corporations, newest young startups, non-profits, education and healthcare institutions to shine the light on what is driving central Ohio forward.
The evening featured guest appearances from Mayor Michael B. Coleman, OSU President Dr. E. Gordon Gee and Limited Brands Founder and Chair, Les Wexner.
“I challenge you to always stay curious,” said Wexner in his keynote address. “Be both personally curious and curious in your organization. Keep tabs on what’s going on in the world. Look at things with fresh, youthful eyes and constantly ask yourself ‘What did I learn from that?’”
Wexner said the success of the Limited and its spin-out brands was not so much the result of some great master plan, but rather was borne from curiosity – from asking himself, “I wonder what would happen if we tried this.”
“I’m a great tinkerer,” he said. “I like to take things that are working and tear them apart to see what makes them work. Then I like to put them back together again in new and different ways to see how they will work.”
He further encouraged the innovators in the room to never repeat what they had done yesterday. He cited his own organization’s shift from women’s apparel to the lingerie and home and beauty categories.
“It’s important to migrate your basic skills,” said Wexner, “but when you’ve done something the same way for a while, you must embrace change.”
And that change he says cannot be gradual, it must represent a physical distortion.
Wexner’s remarks preceded the awarding of 13 Innovation Awards to individuals and organizations across the Columbus Region who certainly embraced such radical change in 2011.
Once again WBNS 10TV’s Andrea Cambern was the event’s hostess and emcee, while her colleague, Jeff Hogan, provided color commentary and interviews from the audience.