The iSchool Senior Squad is excited to announce Mary Spio as our convocation speaker for the class of 2019! Mary was chosen for her devotion to new and emerging technologies, her experiences in professional storytelling, her entrepreneurship, her inspiration to women and first-generation Americans, and her connections to Syracuse University.
Mary Spio was born and raised in Ghana. She moved to Syracuse when she was 16 years old. She graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1998. Spio pursued a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from Georgia Tech.
Between 1989 and 2005 Spio enlisted into the Air Force as a Wideband/Satellite Communications Technician. Her transition from the Air Force to engineering was sparked by a colleague who noticed her technical abilities. In the Miami Herald she says, “It was when I was in the Air Force that an engineer pulled me aside and told me I was really great at fixing electronics; and that I should look into becoming an engineer. I did, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done.”
After serving six years in the Air Force and studying at Syracuse University and Georgia Tech, Spio began working at a satellite communications firm. She had the opportunity to design and launch satellites into deep space on a NASA project. Spio’s work with NASA, led her to become the Head of Satellite Communication Systems for The Boeing Corporation. Her technology influenced major motion picture distributions through satellite technology.
An Inspirational Career Path
Mary Spio is truly an inspiration to all. Her success in every industry that she immerses herself into is in one core interest: information technology. From being appointed as the Speaker on Innovation and Entrepreneurship by the Department of State to becoming the Head of Satellite Communication Systems for The Boeing Corporation, Spio’s passion for technology is very apparent in not only her career, but her life as well.
Spio is the founder and Chief Visionary and Product Architect at CEEK VR, the first VR company with 4D Audio. She created the technology patent used to digitally release feature films over satellite. The technology was commercialized via Boeing Digital Cinema and Lucas Films.
The Department of State appointed Spio as the Speaker on Innovation and Entrepreneurship as a part of a global outreach program on behalf of the United States to speak in countries around world.
Why Mary Spio Was Chosen
Spio has been recognized and rewarded many accolades such as NBC News 100 History Makers in the Making, Boeing Outstanding Achievement in Electrical Engineering Award, IEEE Design and Yueh-Ying Hu Memorial National Award for Innovation, and the 2017 Arents Award from Syracuse University.
She is great role model for women, people of color, immigrants, and especially iSchool students because her body of work highlights the intersectionality of technology within other industries. Spio is also the Author of It’s Not Rocket Science: 7 Game Changing Traits for Uncommon Success. As iSchool students we are taught to apply a holistic approach to technology because technology is a part of every industry.
The iSchool Senior Squad chose Spio as our convocation speaker because she shows us that a technical degree is both interdisciplinary and applicable to almost every industry, she is a powerful public speaker and most of all, she bleeds Orange!