UM Information Technology Employee Earns Two National Accolades

November 15, 2017

MISSOULA – Kayla Pierson, a designer and user experience specialist for the University of Montana Information Technology department, recently earned two national awards.

Kayla Pierson with Cassie AwardPierson was one of six winners from the research and education community to receive funding to attend Internet2’s 2017 Technology Exchange meeting in San Francisco.

The Inclusivity Initiative Scholarship recognizes talented individuals seeking opportunities to gain hands-on technical experience, and spotlights women in the field of information technology and their efforts to use technology to serve research and education at their individual institutions.

“The main goal of the Inclusivity Initiative Scholarship is to increase the meaningful participation of people who are underrepresented in the information technology field, from both the national and global research and education communities, at conferences and technical meetings,” said Ana Hunsinger, Internet2’s vice president of community engagement.

“The Internet2 Technology Exchange was a great opportunity for me personally and professionally,” Pierson said. “It was an unexpected distinction and I'm grateful for the opportunity.

Pierson also was honored at the 2017 Cascade User Conference with a Cassie Award for Customer MVP. The Cassie Awards recognize excellence in the Cascade client community. The Customer MVP award honors individuals who provide outstanding support to other Hannon Hill clients.

“Everyone nominated to receive the Customer MVP award provides value to other clients, either in the form of code-sharing, quick answers to questions, or by being a case study or client reference for us,” said Patrice Meadows, Hannon Hill content marketer. “Kayla has done all of three, as well as presented at our annual user conference in 2015, 2016 and 2017. This year’s presentation was especially helpful as it provided practical steps that our attendees could apply to their organization as they also try to launch mobile apps. She’s a very talented individual and we’re so proud to have her as a part of our client community.”

“I look forward to the Cascade conference every year because of its incredible higher-education web community and the ability to ‘talk shop’ with other web designers/developers across the country,” Pierson said. “Receiving the Customer MVP Cassie is an incredible privilege, particularly since conference attendees vote for the recipient, so I consider this award to be one of the highlights of my career. It’s nice to be appreciated for your work, but earning back-to-back national recognitions has been an overwhelming honor.”

Pierson assists the UM web team with design, development and support. She is the University’s design lead focused on brand continuity and user experience for web presence and mobile applications. She plays a large role in continuing to grow UM's content management system and developing a modular framework in which University websites are built. Additionally, Pierson heads the training and support effort by supervising student employees and teaching short-training courses. Pierson holds a bachelor's degree in media arts from UM and is currently pursuing a master’s in computer science at UM.


Contact: Kayla Pierson, designer and user experience specialist, UM Information Technology, 406-243-5492,