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Betsey Ryder Shelley Scholarship Fund

The following biography was written at the time of this scholarship establishment; some information may not be up to date:

Robert McDowell, vice president for Information Worker Business Value at Microsoft Corporation, has more than 40 years of experience in the information technology industry. He joined Microsoft in 1990, established Microsoft Consulting Services, and expanded the organization to more than 1,200 employees in more than 40 countries. His current focus is on identifying business problems that can be solved through the application of technologies.

In 1968, Robert received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Virginia Military Institute, where he was a Dean’s List Cadet and a supply sergeant in the Corps. He earned his master of science degree in business administration from Boston University. Robert embraces the vision that institutions of higher learning must respond to the needs of businesses by producing graduates who are prepared to think, write, and communicate clearly.

Lissa McDowell graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1968 with a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in advertising design. She and Robert McDowell met in eighth grade, reconnected during their college years, and married after graduation. Lissa maintains her strong connection with the arts and collects work from local and national artists.

Robert McDowell has written several articles on the impact of information technology on business and is the author of the books “Driving Digital” and “In Search of Business Value: Ensuring a Return on Your Technology Investment,” which examines how to translate technology investments into business value. He has lectured at professional association meetings, universities, and technology conferences around the world.

This scholarship is named in honor of Lissa’s mother, Betsey Ryder Shelley, who was born in Spokane, Washington in 1917. Betsey graduated from Alfred University in 1939 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in ceramic design. In her career, she worked in the Student Aid Office and was always interested in supporting students in the arts.