Academic Alliance News – August 2011

Fall Career Fair Graphic
August 2, 2011

Welcome to the Summer 2011 edition of the AcademicAllianceNews, issued periodically to complement our weekly communication to AA members.

Headlines at a Glance

AA Member Survey

AA members should already have received a link to participate in the 2011 AA Member Survey which helps determine directions for the upcoming academic year. You also have the opportunity there to tell us if and how you want to get involved with our project teams. If you have not yet done so, please respond by August 8, 2011.

NCWIT AA Seed Fund Call for Proposals!

Thanks to continued funding from Microsoft Research, the NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund awards U.S. university members of NCWIT’s AA with start-up funds (up to $10,000 per project) to develop and implement initiatives for recruiting women and under-represented populations in computing and information technology. This year’s call for proposals focuses on using existing promising and effective practices for recruiting and retaining women and under-represented populations into your computing-related majors. The deadline for submission of proposals for Round 8 of the NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) Seed Fund program is October 17, 2011. Click here for more details and information about how to apply.

Student Seed Fund

The second round of the Student Seed Fund has begun! With funding from Return Path, the Student Seed Fund supports programs and initiatives for student organizations that promote increased women in computing and IT programs on our AA member campuses. This last spring, the AA awarded 15 organizations with $500 to fund their various events. To view previous winners and learn more about the Student Organization Seed Fund click here.

Applications will be accepted from any student computing or IT related student group that is involved in recruiting, retaining and supporting women in technology related majors and are therefore in alignment with the mission of NCWIT. The institution where the student group resides must be a member of the NCWIT Academic Alliance. Click here to see if your institution is currently a member of the NCWIT AA. (Note: An institution can receive only one award per campus institution per year.) Please click here to apply. The deadline is September 16, 2011 to submit an application for the Fall Semester. Winners will be notified on October 7th, 2011.

Regional Awards Wanted: Aspirations in Computing for High School Girls

The Academic Alliance is seeking schools or university partnerships to offer to coordinate regional awards for the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing Affiliate Program. Providing a local experience builds direct relationships for girls with the universities they might attend, local educational enrichment opportunities, and the companies where they might intern or work – creating a clear career pathway in computing.

Affiliate hosts can be universities, corporations, K-12 organizations, or a team of organizations working together. Affiliates can be any size, serving an entire state, a region, or metro area. Affiliate host organizations receive a complete toolkit for implementing the award program. For more information visit or contact us at

NCWIT 2011 Summit Summary Report

The annual NCWIT Summit was held May 23-25, 2011 at NYU in New York, NY. The program featured an inspiring set of speakers and workshops. For example, the presentation on Stereotype Threat by Joshua Aronson of NYU was very thought provoking and is spurring a number of activities on the part of NCWIT members.

Links to presentations:


Save the Date! Our next NCWIT Summit will be May 22nd through 24th 2012 at the Westin North Lake Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. Click here to find current Summit 2012 information and check back to see updates.

Academic Alliance (AA) Meetings at NCWIT Summit
The AA meetings at the NCWIT Summit included the AA Business meeting, interactive sessions for AA members to share ideas and expertise, and a panel discussion about the high school CS-AP courses. We had 96 attendees from the AA representing 83 different schools. Of those 83 schools, 66 were already members of the AA and 17 were potential members of the AA. The AA had 35 states in attendance at the Summit. From within the U.S., Marilyn Walker, from the University of California-Santa Cruz traveled the furthest, an approximate 2,960 miles. However, even that distance pales in comparison with the distance traveled by our international visitor. Jo Coldwell, from Deakin University, traveled an approximate 10,350 miles! The AA would like to thank all of our attendees for making the effort to come to the 2011 May NCWIT Summit, whether your distance was long or short!

The AA Business meeting included announcements and reports on AA projects. Bobby Schnabel, Dean of the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, described the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing and challenged AA members to offer scholarships to the winners. The Round 7 (Fall 2010) AA Seed Fund winners were announced and made brief presentations on their projects to the members, the REU Toolkit team presented their recently completed REU-in-a-Box AA resource and the other AA teams provided brief updates on their projects; see project team reports for more details.

The AA meeting included two interactive sessions, the Global Café, which was a brainstorming session that allowed AA members to provide input into current and future AA projects, and an Un-Poster Session, in which AA members could share their experiences and successes with programs at their institutions with other AA members. The Un-Posters (1 page handouts) are available on the NCWIT AA website.

Finally, the AA meetings also included a panel, moderated by NSF Program Manager Jan Cuny, of faculty who are piloting a new CS-AP course and to promote the 10,000 in 10,000 schools campaign. The goal of the CS/10K Project is to develop an effective high school curriculum that will be taught by 10,000 well-prepared teachers in 10,000 high schools by 2015. For more information about this initiative click here.

May 2011 Summit Feedback Results Are In
The feedback results of the May 2011 Summit survey are in and the AA would like to thank the AA respondents who took the time to complete the external evaluation. This is valuable feedback that will be used to plan our 2012 May Summit in Chicago. With 93.5% of respondents saying they “feel that my Alliance is having an impact on achieving NCWIT’s mission” we hope that many of you will respond to the recently sent AA 2011 Member Survey and volunteer to help the alliance by signing up for many of the opportunities in the survey. NCWIT members are what help keep NCWIT exciting and fresh and we need input from more than just a few in the alliance!

AA Project Team Reports

Student Seed Fund
Co-Leaders: Renee Bryce (Utah State), Julie Mariga (Purdue), Cheryl Swanier (Fort Valley State University)

See above update.

Recruitment & Engagement
Co-Leaders: Christine Alvarado (Harvey Mudd College), Gondy Leroy (Claremont Graduate University), Leen-Kiat Soh (University of Nebraska)

The recruitment and engagement team launched several successful initiatives this last year. On the recruitment side, we have been working to recruit new members through targeted emails, and receptions at professional conferences, including GHC 2010, ICIS 2011, SIGCSE 2011, and FCRC 2011. If you will be attending the Grace Hopper 2011 Celebration in Portland November 9-12, we are currently working on setting up an event there—look for further details soon! We also facilitated travel awards sponsored by the National Science Foundation for minority serving institutions (MSIs) to attend the NCWIT Annual Summit. We were able to award support to all schools and almost all members who applied for support, for a total of 22 awards (8 Hispanic Serving Institutions, 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and 1 Tribal College).

On the engagement side, we organized the Global Café session and a New Member lunch at the NCWIT Annual Summit in May, and we are launching a new partnership program that pairs new AA members with a more experienced member who will serve as a mentor. Those interested in the partnership program are encouraged to indicate their interest on the 2011 AA Member Survey.

Our efforts have significantly increased the number of NCWIT AA members, particularly among MSI institutions. Over the past year, 68 schools or departments joined the NCWIT AA. As of April 2011, the number of MSI AA members is 32, up from 22 in May 2010. These 32 MSIs represent 34% of all MSIs (93 in total) in the country. We intend to continue our recruitment effort with an added focus on diversity of member types, e.g., departments in community colleges, 2-year and 4-year institutions, but also diversity of size and focus. If you are interested in working on this with us, please indicate your interest on the 2011 AA Member Survey.

REU Toolkit
Co-Leaders: Margaret Burnett (Oregon State), Patricia Morreale (Kean U)

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Project Team of the NCWIT Academic Alliance has completed the development of REU-in-a-Box. REU-in-a-Box: Expanding the Pool of Computing Researchers is available here. Designed to assist faculty and undergraduates working on research together, this material was developed by project co-leaders Margaret Burnett and Pat Morreale along with Nancy Amato, Ann Gates, and Jose Cossa. Peer review was provided by volunteers from the AA (thank you!). Lecia Barker, Jane Krauss, Stephanie, Hamilton, and Adriane Bradberry of NCWIT provided editorial, social science, and design oversight.

This resource was developed to encourage retention in the major and undergraduate engagement in research to broaden participation in computing. If you are interested in working on future projects related to REUs, please indicate your interest on the 2011 AA Member Survey.

Sharing Practices
Co-Leaders: Sam Kamin (UIUC), Sharon Mason (RIT)

The AA Sharing Practices wiki is now publicly accessible and located at About a half dozen pages are in a viewable (not necessarily complete) state and about ten more have been started.

The front wiki page provides links to pages listing the institutions represented, and also links to various types of activities.

The purpose of the structure is to allow browsing in various ways. You can look at the activities of a particular school, or at all the activities of a particular type. We intend that every activity reported for a particular school or institution fall in a category listed on the front page. Beyond the front page, there are activity pages that provide detailed descriptions of activities and events at represented schools, as well as individual school pages that provide some details about the school relevant to running activities at the school.

If you are interested in working on a page for your school, please contact Kim Kalahar (, or indicate your interest on our annual AA Member Survey.

AA Webinar Series
Project Leader: Terry Steinbach (DePaul)

The Academic Alliance held three Webinars during last academic year.

  • NCWIT Can Help With That: November 16, 2010
    • Joanne McGrath Cohoon, NCWIT Senior Research Scientist
    • Wendy DuBow, NCWIT Internal Evaluator
    • 38 registered / 28 attended / 66 accessed the archive
  • Retaining Undergraduates in Computing through Mainstreamed Interventions: February 15, 2011
    • Lecia Barker, NCWIT Senior Research Scientist
    • 44 registered / 37 attended / 23 accessed the archive
  • Attracting K-12 Students to Computing: April 14, 2011
    • Barbara Ericson, Director, Computing Outreach
      Institute for Computing Education (ICE)

      College of Computing, Georgia Tech
    • 107 registered / 56 attended / 106 accessed the archive

If you were unable to attend, the sessions have been archived here within the Webinar Series section for your review. Please contact Terry Steinbach at with any questions or suggestions. The annual AA Member Survey gives you a chance to tell us your preferences for topics to be offered during 2011-12 academic year.

Announcing AA Co-Chair Changes

The AA will be undergoing several leadership changes this year. At the end of August, Nancy Amato (Texas A&M) and Andrew Williams (Spelman College) will rotate off as AA Co-Chairs and Christine Alvarado (Harvey Mudd) and Margaret Burnett (Oregon State) will join Maureen Biggers (Indiana University) as Co-Chairs of the AA.  Eventually, according to the AA Bylaws, in the steady state we will have one co-Chair replaced each year to maintain continuity of leadership. However, this time, since all three Co-Chairs started at the same time, we’re replacing two Co-Chairs at once. Nancy and Andrew will continue to participate in the AA leadership through their participation on the AA Advisory Committee that includes all previous AA Co-Chairs.

AA Project Team Vacancies

There are openings for AA Members to serve as Project Team Leaders for existing projects or for one of the potential new projects. The annual AA Member Survey provides an opportunity for individuals to indicate which projects are of interest to them—please complete the link that was sent to you July 25th.

If you and/or your institution is not yet a member of the NCWIT Academic Alliance, contact program manager, Kim Kalahar, for details on how to join our free organization.

To learn more about the NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) and the NCWIT resources, click here:

Academic Alliance Co-Chairs:
Nancy Amato, Department of Computer Science, Texas A&M
Maureen Biggers, Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing
Andrew Williams, Department of Computer Science, Spelman College
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
231 ATLAS Building, 1125 18th Street, Boulder, CO 80309 

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