An IT Trailblazer for More Than Three Decades

TCC Faculty Member Julie Luscomb April 2023 Goody Award Winner.

A pioneer and trailblazer as a woman serving in STEM for more than 30 years, Julie Luscomb wants to inspire students to become future programmers and IT professionals who understand data analytics and artificial intelligence.

During high school, Julie Luscomb and two friends signed up for a programming course on a whim and the rest is history. “My high school administration provided a terminal linked to a computer housed at a local community college,” explains Julie, who grew up in Sioux City, Iowa. “During that class, I became fascinated with computers and how they worked.” 

For more than three decades, she’s seen incredible change in the Information Technology world. In the early 1990s she started her own contract programming company and provided software solutions to area businesses and the National Guard. Then she landed in academia and knew that was her calling. 

Professor Luscomb joined Tulsa Community College in 1999. Today she plays a pivotal role in establishing IT curriculum for the College and is one of only two individuals within the TCC School of Business & IT to have earned the rank of full professor. As Professor of Computer Information Systems and Information Technology Program Coordinator, she oversees both the AAS and the transfer AS degree programs. She’s also a successful grant co-author and presenter, integrating AI principles into the curriculum as part of the nationwide American Association of Community Colleges AI Incubator Initiative.  

“My goal is to inspire students to become future programmers and IT professionals who are knowledgeable of the importance of data analytics and AI,” says Luscomb, who has taught 15 different courses, including eight programming languages and numerous technologies, and developed curriculum for five of those courses. “IT is definitely a career path for those who enjoy being a life-long learner as technology constantly evolves and you must like change.”  

In April 2023, Professor Luscomb received the Goody Award from TCC President Leigh Goodson. The “Good Job Awards,” or also known as “Goodys,” were created by Dr. Goodson in 2016 to honor individuals and departments who go beyond job titles and department responsibilities to serve TCC’s mission and students in exemplary fashion. Dr. Goodon said, “Professor Luscomb is a pioneer and trailblazer as a woman serving in STEM and STEM education for three decades. Most recently she has been serving in a pivotal role as coordinator of Workforce IT programs. She is an all-around awesome person with a world-class commitment to students and their learning.”

Thoughts about AI? “AI affects the future careers of all students. The rapid pace of AI necessitates the development of principles for the ethical application of AI, including protection of individual privacy and issues of equity. AI also opens opportunities for career placement and advancement for those students prepared with knowledge of the application of AI in their chosen fields.” 

What benefits do students receive by attending TCC? “TCC provides a small class environment that allows for personal connections and opportunities for students to explore content beyond the course requirements.”

Fun fact: Professor Luscomb volunteers with The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate, a nonprofit focused on the preservation, promotion and teaching of the classic forms of swing dance from the 1920s-1940s Jazz Swing Era of Harlem. TOSS is recognized by the United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organization as a Global Cultural Heritage organization for its work preserving Jazz Swing culture.