Nearly 40 Members Honored for Technological Accomplishments and Change-leading Efforts for Women in Computing

NCWIT Awards celebrate outstanding contributions and encourage persistence.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is holding its annual “NCWIT Summit on Women and IT: Where Conversations Lead to Change” May 14-16, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee. At this three-day event (, more than 700 change leaders from the NCWIT community of educators, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and social scientists convene to focus on improving inclusion and diversity in computing.

“Giving credit for change leaders’ extraordinary accomplishments is important in marketing the need for women’s invaluable technical contributions,” said NCWIT CEO and Co-founder Lucy Sanders. “By utilizing the Summit stage, we’re broadcasting their value and worth to a diverse community of influencers who work to make computing inclusive for all.”

A summary of honorees is as follows, and full commendations are available in the printed program (PDF):

  • The 2019 NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) Seed Fund honorees are “Surging Enrollment” Recipients Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Georgia State University, Lord Fairfax Community College, Southern New Hampshire University, and the University of Michigan; “Microsoft Research Faculty Summit” Recipients Duke University and the University of Texas at Arlington; and “General” Recipients California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo, Central New Mexico Community College, Knox College, and Michigan State University. The AA Seed Fund, sponsored by Microsoft Research and other generous supporters, awards AA members with startup funds to develop and implement initiatives for recruiting or retaining women in computing.

  • The 2019 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) National Educator Award winner is Helena High School Computing Instructor Buffy Smith. The National Educator Award, sponsored by AT&T, honors educators who have demonstrated an exceptionally strong, consistent, and positive involvement in supporting female students in computer science. (

  • The 2019 NCWIT Collegiate Award winners are Isabel Gallegos, Sharon Lin, Tayebeh Bareini, Annika Muehlbradt, Katherine Spoon, and Courtney Thurston; honorable mentions are Samsara Counts, Anna Dodson, Amel Hassan, Amber Johnson, Veenadhari Kollipara, Ashlie Martinez, Vilina Mehta, Taylor Miller-Ensminger, Samhita Pendyal, Swetha Prabakaran, Abby Stylianou, and Angelique Taylor. The Collegiate Award, sponsored by Qualcomm, with additional support from Palo Alto Networks, honors the outstanding computing accomplishments of undergraduate and graduate women. Conferred annually, the award recognizes technical contributions to projects that demonstrate a high level of innovation and potential impact. (

  • The 2019 NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award recipient is Dr. Richard Ladner. 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. (

  • The 2019 NCWIT Extension Services Transformation (NEXT) Award honorees are Grand Prize Recipient Colorado School of Mines and Second Place Recipient University of California, Berkeley, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (CS), Letters & Science CS Major. The NCWIT NEXT Awards celebrate past and present NCWIT Extension Services 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. (

  • The 2019 NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award recipient is Lynn Conway. Pioneer in Tech Award recipients are role models whose legacies continue to inspire generations of young women to pursue computing and make history in their own right. (

  • The 2019 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award recipients are Dr. Anna Ritz, Dr. Tzu-Yi Chen, Dr. Natalia Villanueva Rosales, and Dr. Katie Siek. This award, sponsored by AT&T, recognizes faculty 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. (

View the full 2019 Summit agenda ( for more event highlights.

About the NCWIT Summit

The NCWIT Summit is the world’s largest annual convening of change leaders focused on significantly improving diversity and inclusion in computing. Educators, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and social scientists (both men and women) from across industries and disciplines participate in this one-of-a-kind opportunity.

We are especially appreciative of our 2019 NCWIT Summit Community Reception Sponsor Amazon. We would like to give a huge thanks to our 2019 NCWIT Summit Media Partner Facebook. We are also incredibly grateful for 2019 NCWIT Summit Sponsors Anchor Point Foundation, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Chevron, FedEx, PNC, and Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 1,100 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase girls’ and women’s meaningful participation in computing. 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

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