Leading the way into technology
Becky Papp ’92 moved around quite a bit as a “military kid,” but she found a home at the College of Saint Benedict. She met lifelong friends, amazing instructors and learned the power of being part of a community. “I have never strived to have an occupation as much as I have sought to be part of a community with a shared purpose,” she says.
Since leaving her home at Saint Ben’s, Becky, a Project Manager for Isos Technology in Tempe, Arizona, has found several ways to share her time and talents with the communities around her. Although she was a philosophy major, Becky started her career in journalism. At the time, journalism was moving quickly toward the digital world. In order to do her job, she needed to keep up with technology trends and ended up developing a passion for tech.
“I really fell in love with the tools and the potential. It was very exciting to see the world of communication transform so quickly. I didn’t realize that technology would not only change the mechanism for communication, but also our language itself,” she says.
Becky was able to combine her love of technology and being a part of community when she established the Phoenix chapter of ChickTech in December 2017. ChickTech is a non-profit founded in 2012 to engage women of all ages in the technology industry, while also working to create a better technology culture for everyone. The organization includes two main tracks, a high school program and a career program.
The high school track holds regular technology events, ranging from a single class to a full weekend program. The goal is to reach girls who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about tech and do hands-on tech activities.
The career track supports women currently working in, or who want to work in, tech. Programs include education, networking, developing job-search skills and general support from fellow tech women.
“I love working with women who are passionate about supporting one another and mentoring girls and young women. Empowering women changes lives and it’s very exciting to see that happen,” she says.
Becky was recently recognized for her work with ChickTech by being named a finalist in the Community Hero category at the AZ Top Tech Exec Awards.
Along with being the ChickTech Phoenix Chapter Director, Becky is an autism advocate, Ignite Phoenix volunteer and mental health speaker. She has also volunteered in theatre, women’s organizations and various other community groups.
Becky grew up volunteering and feels that is another reason Saint Ben’s felt like a natural fit for her. “The concept of servant leadership is one I feel is pervasive at Saint Ben’s, even though I didn’t know that is what it was called at the time or how it would apply to my professional life as well as volunteer work,” she says. “I am proud to be a Saint Ben’s alumna and it is evident to me, even 25 years later, that there is incredible value in graduating from an all-women liberal arts college.”