Ball State alumna and professor Megan McNames won a Tech 25 award from TechPoint, an organization that promotes Indiana's technology industry.

McNames was recognized for being important to the growth of technology through her work in software product development.

"I am heavily involved with some of the basic concepts of what our product is doing, who it is for and how we can make a product that is going to connect with and help a lot of people," McNames said.

McNames works for a company called Emplify, where she develops technology software that is unique to each customer's needs. She challenges herself to solve the weaknesses of companies through her work.

"One thing that I've learned from Ball State is to really focus on understanding people and creating things for other people, even when they are not like you," McNames said.

While working with past products, McNames realized that busy leaders of companies don't get enough time to get to know and understand their employees. She then designed Emplify Insights to help such leaders better connect with employees through technology.

The software consists of three main components: a mobile app, web app and a survey that measures employee's engagements. McNames used a technique called psychometrics in the survey component of the software to measure personalities of workers and how engaged they are with their work to help serve the company in the most efficient way possible.

Emily Brungard, senior advertising major, said that McNames is always working beyond what is required in everything she does.

"She helped us with the Cardinal Communications website, even though she wasn't even involved with Cardinal Communications," Brungard said. "She went above and beyond with her students even outside of the classroom. 

"If the way she taught the classes I took with her is at all similar to the way she works at Emplify, I am not surprised she won this award."

McNames said that she felt strange being the recipient of the award because of how important the rest of her team is to success. They have helped teach her and support her even when she was brand new to Emplify.

"I'm on this team that's doing all this great work," McNames said. "I feel like it's important to say 'I'm on a team, it's not just me!'"