MACAA Awards Ceremony!

This year ITA Software sponsored the Massachusetts Affiliate of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. This was ITA’s first year being the lead sponsor of the award and it was Massachusetts’ first year hosting an affiliate award program. We received 40 award applications, and selecting the winners was a difficult job because the applications were all fantastic!  Of the 20 winners, 12 were seniors, 5 were juniors, and 3 were sophomores.
The event was held on Sunday, November 21st, at Microsoft’s NERD (New England Research & Development) Center and the location for the event was perfect! (Check out the photos on Facebook.) As an afternoon tea-themed event, the guests got to drink tea while enjoying a fabulous view of the Charles River and the Boston skyline. There were about 70 guests in attendance including the winners, parents, teachers, and sponsors. UMass Lowell, Amherst, BATEC, CAITE and Lizzard Fashion were all represented.
Kristin Rauschenbach, Vice President and Department Head of the Disruptive Information Processing Technologies group at Raytheon BBN Technologies, was the guest speaker.  Rauschenbach gave an inspirational and motivational speech about quantum physics and always questioning “no”.
We presented the winners by reading a short bio about each one and then presenting them with crystal plaques.  At the conclusion of the event, Jesse Heines, Professor of Computer Science at UMass Lowell, presented one lucky winner with a $10,000 scholarship and the remaining 11 seniors with $1,000 scholarships.  These were extremely generous awards! But there was more: the winners also received a gift bag that contained an iPod shuffle, iTunes giftcard, notebook, speakers, scholarship information, and an invitation to an Artbotics day hosted by CAITE. 
Overall the event was a huge success and the excitement and appreciation from the girls and their families was worth all the effort!  A special thanks to the sponsors that worked with ITA to bring the awards program: UMass Lowell, Lizzard Fashion, BATEC, UMass Amherst, CAITE, EMC, WGBH, Google, DotDiva.

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