Alumna, professor of computer science
After earning her master’s degree in computer science at Montana State University, Betty Coffey taught computer science in the MSU College of Engineering from 1977 until her death in 1984. She was distinguished as the first woman to achieve tenure in the college. In 1986, the Betty Coffey award was created to recognize Coffey as an outstanding teacher and pioneering professor who made considerable contributions to faculty development, teaching excellence and women's equity at MSU. Each year faculty and staff who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in incorporating women's perspectives into the curriculum or developing academic programs that contribute to the elimination of persistent barriers to women's success are considered for the award. Several award winners have received the award for creating innovative courses that introduce students to women's issues from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Other winners have been the instigators of important programs on campus that provide opportunities for women students to gain access to traditionally male disciplines and to broaden their educational and career opportunities. This award continues to recognize an engineering professor who was noted for her teaching excellence and championing women’s equity and minority issues in the curriculum.
Betty Coffey was noted for her teaching excellence and for championing women's equity and minority issues in the curriculum.