About Our Judges

Judging for the Grand Prize will begin on October 17, 2016 by our panel of three industry experts:

Dirk Gates ─ Founder and Executive Chairman, Xirrus

20160106_Bigliardi_250bDirk Gates brings more than 15 years of executive management experience to Xirrus, as well as a track record of success evolving a high-tech startup into a world class, publicly traded company. Having founded Xircom, Inc. in 1988 on the premise of delivering Ethernet connectivity to mobile computers, he attracted venture funding from Greylock, grew the company to 2,000 employees, achieved revenues of $500M and a market cap in excess of $2B. During his tenure as Chairman and CEO, Mr. Gates led Xircom into the wireless arena through partnerships and acquisitions that positioned the company to deliver mobility solutions based on IEEE 802.11, GPRS and Bluetooth technologies. He subsequently negotiated the sale of Xircom to Intel Corporation in March of 2001. Mr. Gates holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from California State University at Northridge and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Clifford Russell ─ CIO, Morehouse College

clifford-russell-250Clifford Russell, a national innovator in technology, is Morehouse College chief information officer. Russell is president and CEO of Bridge Dataworks, where his work has been featured in multiple case studies. He has worked in many capacities throughout his career, including as CIO for HeiTech Services, Inc.; system analyst at the University of Maryland; and as system administrator for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Known for his creative approach to technology and wants to see Morehouse rise to the level of innovation that would make it a trendsetter among institutions of higher education.

Laura Devaney ─ Director of News at eSchool Media

LauraDevaneyeSM-250Laura Devaney serves as the Director of News for eSchool Media, overseeing news coverage and analysis for eSchool News, which covers K-12 ed-tech news, and eCampus News, which focuses on higher education tech news.

During college, Devaney interned with eSchool Media and developed her news reporting skills and education technology knowledge. Upon graduating, she joined the eSchool Media editorial team and has been covering ed-tech news for eSchool Media for 11 years.

Devaney has served as a panel moderator and presenter at various ed-tech conferences, including CoSN and ISTE. Devaney is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and currently lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

Judging Criteria

Each entry will be judged using a rubric that employs the following criteria:
• Overall education vision of the project
• Level of innovation used to execute this project
• Level of innovation used to overcome challenges in this project
• The measurable success and impact the project had on education outcomes
• How well the video or picture “tells the story” of the project