20 Members Honored for Technological Accomplishments and Change-leading Efforts for Increasing Diversity in Computing | Press Release

NCWIT awards celebrate outstanding contributions and encourage persistence.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is virtually celebrating individuals whose technological innovations have made an impact or whose influence have inspired women to persist in computing, and institutions for their excellence in recruiting and retaining women in computing education. Recognitions will take place on NCWIT social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook) throughout the third and final week of “NCWIT Conversations for Change: an online thought leadership series.”

A summary of 2020 award recipients is as follows:

  • The 2020 NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) Seed Fund award recipients are Stony Brook University-State University of New York, the University of California-Riverside, Wake Forest University, and Willamette University. The AA Seed Fund, sponsored by Microsoft Research, awards AA members with startup funds to develop and implement initiatives for recruiting or retaining women in computing.
  • The 2020 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) National Educator Award winner is Catherine Tabor; a Math, Science, and Computer Science teacher in Canutillo Independent School District in El Paso, Texas. Over her five years of teaching there, Computer Science education has expanded from zero classes to multiple courses, two clubs and an Honor Society. Since receiving her dual credit certification, she also teaches college-level, credit-bearing CS courses to her majority non-white and predominantly Latinx high school students. The National AiC Educator Award, sponsored by AT&T, honors educators for their efforts to promote gender equity in computing. // aspirations.org/20NationalEdAward
  • The 2020 NCWIT Collegiate Award winners are Tiffanie Edwards, Fatemehsadat Mireshghallah, Kelley Paskov, Naba Rizvi, Eshika Saxena, and Ariana Isabel Sokolov. The Collegiate Award, sponsored by Qualcomm and Amazon, with additional support from Palo Alto Networks, honors the outstanding computing accomplishments of undergraduates and graduates who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary from academic institutions nationwide. Conferred annually, the award recognizes technical contributions to projects that demonstrate a high level of innovation and potential impact. // aspirations.org/20CollegiateRecipients
  • The 2020 NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award recipient is Mary Lou Soffa.The Harrold and Notkin Award, sponsored by the NCWIT Board of Directors, is given in memory of Mary Jean Harrold and David Notkin, in honor of their outstanding research, graduate mentoring, and diversity contributions. // ncwit.org/19HarroldNotkin
  • The 2020 NCWIT Extension Services Transformation (NEXT) Award recipients are Grand Prize Recipient the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Computer and Information Science; Second Place Recipient New York University Tandon School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; and Honorable Mention Michigan Technological University, Department of Computer Science.The NEXT Awards celebrate past and present ES clients for excellence in recruiting and retaining women in computing education. The awards reflect and reward practices that NCWIT recognizes as having the most significant impact on the long-term goal of increasing the number of women in information technology and other computing-related fields. Departments receiving a NEXT Award show significant positive outcomes in women’s enrollment and graduation rates, and have excellent potential for building on these gains. // ncwit.org/2020NEXTAwardRecipients
  • The 2020 NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award recipient is Ruzena Bajcsy. Ruzena has spent much of her career at the intersection of human and machine ways of interpreting the world, with research interests that include Artificial Intelligence; Biosystems and Computational Biology; Control, Intelligent Systems, and Robotics; Human-Computer Interaction; and “Bridging Information Technology to Humanities and Social Sciences.”Recipients of the Pioneer in Tech Award, sponsored by Facebook for 2020-21, are role models whose legacies continue to inspire generations of young women to pursue computing and make history in their own right. // ncwit.org/pioneeraward
  • The 2020 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award recipients are Dr. Donghee Yvette Wohn, Assistant Professor of Informatics, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Dr. Susan Rodger, Professor of Practice in the Computer Science Department, Duke University; Dr. Dave Levin, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Maryland; and Dr. Lenore Cowen, Professor in the Computer Science Department, Tufts University.This award, sponsored by AT&T, recognizes faculty at AA member institutions for their outstanding mentorship, high-quality research opportunities, recruitment of women and minority students, and efforts to encourage and advance undergraduates in computing-related fields. // ncwit.org/20URMawardRecipients


The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 1,240 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase the influential and meaningful participation of girls and women—at the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation, and disability status—in the field of computing, particularly in terms of innovation and development. NCWIT equips change leaders with resources for taking action in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K-12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers. Find out more at www.ncwit.org.

NCWIT receives significant financial support from Lifetime Partner Apple; Strategic Partners NSF, Microsoft, Bank of America, Google, Intel, Merck, AT&T, and Cognizant U.S. Foundation; as well as from Investment Partners Avaya, Pfizer, Bloomberg, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Qualcomm, Facebook, Morgan Stanley, Amazon, and Johnson & Johnson. View all of NCWIT’s supporters at http://www.ncwit.org/about/supporters.

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