(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Jan. 23, 2019) - - - Columbia State Community College assistant professor and program director for computer information technology, Deepa Janakiraman, was recently awarded the 2018 Williamson Business Educational Leadership Award. The Williamson Business Leadership Awards recognize leaders in 13 categories who have demonstrated professional excellence and a significant impact to the economic growth, prosperity and philanthropy in Williamson County.
Janakiraman has taken a leadership role in her position. She teaches, works on program and certification development, handles scheduling and staffing for CIT courses, develops dual credit opportunities, incorporates current and trending workplace skills into course curriculum and has collaborated with IT industry leaders like Tractor Supply Company, CISCO, Acadia Healthcare, Jackson IT, Williamson Medical Center and CJC Technologies to name a few.
Janakiraman has been instrumental in establishing a capstone program in partnership with TSC for Columbia State students. Through the program, students earn course credit while gaining hands-on workplace experience in the emerging technologies field.
“Deepa’s work over the past year exemplifies how higher education institutions can undertake creative measures in meeting the ever-changing needs of the community and industry,” said Dr. Dearl Lampley, Columbia State vice president for Williamson Campus and external services. “Her work with the Tractor Supply Company capstone program may well set the standard for other colleges to follow in growing information technology talent in the region. I am very grateful for her dedication to the success of Columbia State students.”
Janakiraman believes that the primary objective of teaching is to instill in students a strong sense of self-discipline and confidence that will help them undertake any task in life. Her goal is “to lead and create attitudes and actions that nurture success beyond the classroom.”
She goes above and beyond what is required of her. She organized an IT Career Exploration event to establish a platform for Columbia State IT students to network with prospective employers. The event included an IT panel which gave valuable insights about entry-level positions at their companies, resume tips, internship opportunities and IT certifications.
Janakiraman moved to the United States in 2004 after completing her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in her home country, India. When she arrived in the U.S., she worked as a database administrator for a healthcare firm before attending Middle Tennessee State University to earn a master’s degree in computer science in 2008. After earning her master’s degree, she returned to the industry for a couple years before joining the Columbia State family.
“The opportunity to teach at Columbia State has been a very lucky shift in my career,” Janakiraman said. “It allowed me to continue in my field of study while at the same time pursue a profession that I hold in great esteem.”
Janakiraman resides in Williamson County with her son, daughter and husband. She feels deeply honored and humbled to be able to give back to her community and to have won the 2018 Williamson Educational Leadership Award.
Photo Caption: Deepa Janakiraman, Columbia State assistant professor and program director for computer information technology and recipient of the 2018 Williamson Business Leadership Award in Educational Leadership.