Innovator a Product of Oklahoma Schools

Business writer Don Mecoy writes in Tuesday's Oklahoman about 2002 Westmoore High School graduate Ryan Dowling winning this year's Innovation Challenge, with his team from Virginia Commonwealth University (

Congratulations Mr. Dowling on you and your team’s outstanding achievement. Your idea to help meet the connection needs of small business in a dynamically changing business world is outstanding! This project truly has huge potential.

Mecoy reports that Dowling graduated from Westmoore in 2002 and is now working on a Master's in math communications at Virginia Commonwealth. His team earned $20,000 for their winning ideas on ways for AT&T to better connect its cloud-based hosting systems with mobility applications to meet the needs of small business. AT&T said the idea "has a lot of potential." Dowling said the company is working to produce the idea.

Having had a great deal of experience working closely with small to mid-size business in Oklahoma and around the nation, this will be received with open arms. I can tell you firsthand, those business owners are very interested in being able to optimize communication efficiency while at the same time trimming their budgets and decreasing their costs. Business owners are always trying to find better ways of staying connected to their personnel and easing the burden of their work through the uses of technology. It especially pleases me, as the state Executive Director of STEM, to know that a son of Oklahoma has been part of this potentially groundbreaking project. Excellent work and keep pushing forward with your team Mr. Dowling.

-By Jeff Downs, executive director of STEM for the Oklahoma State Education Department

Last updated on February 14, 2012