The Chamber annually presents Business Excellence Awards to 20 professionals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated professional excellence, brought value to the Amarillo business community, and displayed a commitment to the city through community service.
“Receiving this award from the Chamber of Commerce was an absolutely humbling experience,” Higgs said. “I’m totally gratified. It’s personally uplifting when you come to the realization that your community believes in what you’re doing.”
Higgs has done plenty since joining the AC faculty full time in 2014, and some of his efforts have helped propel the reputation of the CIS program into the national limelight. AC students have captured a bevy of top awards at conferences across the country over the past few years, often edging out the competition from high-profile schools like Purdue University, University of Mississippi and many more.
Those successes have helped AC draw some conferences of its own, like the U.S. Information Technology Collegiate Conference this past October, which drew 145 students from a dozen colleges and universities in several states.
Higgs is also a driving force in grassroots technology collectives like Amarillo Tech Meetup and the Amarillo Technology Initiative, for which he is a founding director. Those organizations bring like-mined tech professionals together not only for networking, but for altruistic pursuits, as well.
By marshalling the resources of the College’s CIS program, Amarillo Tech Meetup and the Amarillo Technology Initiative, Higgs co-coordinated the Yellow City Hack-A-Thon in 2018 and a Make-A-Thon in 2017.
Those events drew some of Amarillo’s most creative and passionate programmers, entrepreneurs and marketers for problem-solving marathons under one roof to develop solutions to community problems.
Higgs serves as a sponsor of Bash Script Crazy, an active student organization at AC, and he has taken the lead among faculty in the integration of the “Amarillo College Can Code” partnership between AC and Apple, Inc. The partnership was launched in 2018 and enables delivery of Apple’s Swift app-development curriculum to students at AC.
In his spare time, Higgs is a mentor for robotics enthusiasts at the Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning, especially those with an interest in competing regionally.
Higgs, a graduate of both Amarillo College and West Texas A&M University, received a master’s degree in information systems from Dakota State University in 2011.