By: Kathleen Tuck, Boise State University Communications and Marketing
Boise State University has received a $250,000 donation from Eileen Barber for the Kount Tutoring Center in the Department of Computer Science. The new center is located in the Clearwater Building on The Grove in downtown Boise. Barber is co-founder of Kount’s parent company, Keynetics.
With plans to open this fall, the Kount Tutoring Center will offer students a new community facility with state-of-the-art technology, along with a support staff consisting of students and faculty from the computer science department.
There are more than half a million unfilled science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs today – a number that is projected to increase to 2.4 million by 2018, according to recent White House figures – and Barber’s donation on behalf of Kount aims to combat this staggering trend and provide STEM opportunities to an untapped talent pool.
“STEM careers are incredibly rewarding careers that most females, minorities and economically disadvantaged students historically were not encouraged to pursue,” said Barber. “I hope that this donation, among others of its kind, fosters more opportunities for women in computer science and other science and engineering fields and continues to support the university’s program.”
Barber, who has been involved in the continued growth and expansion of Keynetics’ subsidiaries ClickBank and leading fraud and risk management innovator Kount, has been a longtime proponent of encouraging enrollment in STEM education. Along with the Kount Computer Tutoring Center, she also has established a number of scholarship opportunities for women in computer science, including the Keynetics Inc. Computer Science Scholarship for Women, a presidential-endowed scholarship established in 2009, and the Ada Lovelace Computer Science Scholarship for Women, established March 2013 to provide recognition of the world’s first computer scientist, Ada, Countess of Lovelace. Additionally, Barber donates annually to the university’s E-Girls summer engineering program for high school students.
“We are grateful for Eileen’s continued contributions and tireless dedication to underrepresented students in STEM education and look forward to opening the new tutoring center for our growing community,” said Amy Moll, dean of the College of Engineering at Boise State. “Since the founding of Eileen’s scholarships in 2009, enrollment in the department has increased significantly, especially among women. These contributions have not only afforded students with financial support, but also instilled greater confidence in their pursuit of careers in this field.”
“Not only are students who graduate from Boise State’s top-notch computer science program in high demand and incredibly qualified, the university also is one of the top-rated schools in terms of faculty, with women making up 25 percent of its STEM educators,” said Brad Wiskirchen, CEO of Kount. “I am proud to support the growing tech talent in Boise, and encourage my fellow industry leaders to create, recognize and champion even more opportunities for the community.”
The relocation of the fast-growing Department of Computer Science to downtown Boise places students just steps from the companies seeking to bring them on as interns and hire them when they graduate, and positions computer science students for long-term success.