Academic Alliance News – January 2012

Fall Career Fair Graphic
January 2012

Please peruse the NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) newsletter to keep you updated on our activities and to inform you about opportunities. To learn more about the NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA), click here.

Headlines at a Glance

Student Seed Fund (Deadline: 2/10/12)

The third round of the Student Seed Fund has begun! With funding from Symantec, 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. To date the AA has awarded 30 student organizations $500 each. View previous winners and learn more about the Student Organization Seed Fund.

Applications will be accepted from any 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. 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 February 10, 2012 to submit an application for the Spring Semester. Winners will be notified on February 28, 2012.

Aspiration Scholarships & Regional Award Programs Wanted: Aspirations in Computing for High School Girls

The Academic Alliance is seeking schools or university partnerships to offer scholarships to Aspiration Award winners and/or to coordinate regional awards for the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing Affiliate Program. Offering a scholarship to award winners ensures quality young women apply to and attend your university, keeping them in the IT pipeline. These scholarships may be tailored to fit your program. See a list of schools already offering scholarships to these remarkable young ladies.

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 you can visit our website or contact us at

NSF CE21 Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The NSF and NCWIT look forward to seeing many of you at the 2012 Computing Education for the 21st Century (CE21) Community Meeting, February 2–3, 2012, at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel. Please encourage colleagues to join the NCWIT Academic Alliance.

Upcoming AA Reception at SIGCSE

NCWIT members and those interested in becoming a member are invited to attend the NCWIT Academic Alliance wine and cheese reception sponsored by Microsoft Research. Please join us Friday, March 2 at the Raleigh Convention Center room 305A from 6:00-6:50.

NCWIT May 2012 Summit

SAVE THE DATE for the 2012 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT, May 22–24 Westin North Lake Hotel Chicago, Illinois!
We hope you will join us for three days of practices, workshops, ideas, research, inspiration, conversations, and innovation. Learn from noted experts and voices in the fields of computing, innovation, and diversity; share perspectives with other practitioners; and celebrate the achievements of girls and women in IT. An official invitation from NCWIT will be coming soon! Our Summit 2012 website is frequently updated.

Funding Available to MSI’s and Community Colleges to Attend Summit (Deadline: 3/1/12)
A limited number of NSF scholarships are available for Minority-Serving Institutions and Community College members to attend the NCWIT May 2012 Summit. Click here to apply. Deadline for applying is: March 1, 2012. See if your school is a member of the NCWIT Academic Alliance. If not, contact AA program manager, Kim Kalahar for information on how to join our free AA.

Call for “Un-Poster” Idea Exchange Session Participation (Deadline: 5/7/12)
We are organizing an Academic Alliance (AA) “Un-Poster” session during the morning AA meeting on May 24, 2012 from 9:45-10:45 AM ET. This session will provide an opportunity for AA members to informally share and brainstorm ideas about their current activities and projects being tried in departments to promote women in computing. The format will be similar to a poster session or information fair—but with no posters! Presenters will bring a one page flyer with program details to hand out to peers who visit their tables to learn more. This is your chance to brag about something you are trying or a success you’ve achieved.

Sign up now to register your un-poster by May 7, 2012.

View 2011 un-posters to get an idea of what others have submitted.

REU Faculty Recognition Award (Deadline: 2/24/12)
This year, NCWIT will be recognizing outstanding faculty mentors of REU students. Members of the Academic Alliance are asked to nominate faculty members who conduct research with undergraduate students which embody the objectives of NCWIT: individual or team research experiences, including undergraduate women, leading to student accomplishment and professional success.

Please nominate someone! To nominate a faculty member, just fill out the short nomination form. You can nominate more than one person and you can nominate yourself. Additional details can be found on the AA homepage.

Deadline for nominations: Friday, February 24, 2012.

Nominations will be peer-reviewed, and recipients will be recognized at the NCWIT Summit meeting in May 2012.

Academic Alliance (AA) Meetings at NCWIT Summit
The AA project team leaders are planning an agenda that will enable AA members to gather ideas on recruiting and retaining women and underrepresented groups at their institutions. Members will hear from a team of Pacesetters, Seed Fund winners, and will break into teams of action planning groups.

Hope to see you in Chicago! You will receive an official invitation from NCWIT in March 2012.

AA Project Team Reports

Community College Outreach
Co-Chair Liaison: Christine Alvarado (Harvey Mudd College); Project Team Co-Leaders: Kate Lockwood (California State University-Monterey Bay), Lisa Sandoval (Seattle Central Community College)

The recently-formed community college outreach project is team excited to work with NCWIT to recruit more community college members into the Academic Alliance. As part of this mission, the team has been working on a survey to assess what types of resources and support would be most beneficial to community college faculty and students. Along with the survey we are working on a one-sheet flyer explaining the goals of the AA and the benefits for 2-year colleges who join. We are planning to distribute the letter and the survey to targeted community college faculty members this spring, and to follow up with several respondents to collect more detailed feedback by the summer. By fall we plan to have developed a strategic plan for increasing participation from community colleges in the AA and to have identified a set of community college specific NCWIT resources that we can begin to develop. We are very excited about this project and the opportunity to work on broadening participation at this often-overlooked stage in the pipeline.

Committee on Creating and Supporting Student Organizations that Promote Women in Computing
Co-Chair Liaison: Margaret Burnett (Oregon State University); Project Team Co-Leaders: Laura Dillon (Michigan State University), Ambareen Siraj (Tennessee Tech University)

The mission of the Committee on Creating and Supporting Student Organizations that Promote Women in Computing (CSSO), is to provide guidance to students and their mentors on creating and sustaining student organizations for women in computing. Formed this past fall, members met as a committee for the first time in December.

As of this first meeting, we started work surveying and cataloging existing resources that leaders of new student organizations can leverage. Relevant resources include: example bylaws and mission statements of student organizations for women in computing, how-to guides and blogs encapsulating lessons learned, reports of successful student organizations and their activities, data on how student organizations impact recruitment and retention of majors, information about professional organizations and companies that support student organizations for women in computing, and much more.

In the year ahead, we will identify how we can better support leaders of student organizations and connect them with the resources they need. Committee members are considering alternative mechanisms for communicating guidance to students and their mentors. We will likely use a combination of mechanisms—for instance, a curated web repository, communities created on top of social media, and NCWIT Top Ten lists and Best Practice reports.

If you are interested in contributing ideas, material, or your time and energy, please contact Kim Kalahar or one of the CSSO Co-Leaders. We would like to hear your suggestions.

Recruitment & Engagement
Co-Chair Liaison: Christine Alvarado (Harvey Mudd College); Project Team Co-Leaders: Kiranmai Bellam (Prairie View A&M), Gondy Leroy (Claremont Graduate University), Leen-Kiat Soh (University of Nebraska).

The recruitment and engagement team says goodbye to Christine Alvarado, who took on a role as one of the co-chairs of the Academic Alliance, and welcomes Kiranmai Bellam from the Computer Science Department at Prairie View A&M University. There are two activities that have been the focus of the team in the fall 2011 semester. Both activities focus on increasing engagement and providing more benefits specific to NCWIT members to increase the value of their membership in the Academic Alliance.

The first activity is the launch of a partnership program where two school/department representatives form a mentor-mentee pair and help each other increase the number of women in their programs. Example activities are exchanging information and best practices, starting collaborative projects, and even writing joint grant proposals. In response to our email invitation, more than two dozen representatives indicated an interest. We have matched mentors to mentees based on interests, geographical proximity, and school type.

Since there were more potential mentees than mentors, we started a waiting list for the mentees who could not be assigned to a mentor. We were able to match 18 pairs and invited them to initiate a mentoring relationship and commit to a common goal, a frequency and method of communication, and a duration of the partnership. As of 2012, three of the invited pairs have agreed to work together and have initiated their partnership.

The second activity is the initiation of a program that will facilitate NCWIT members to connect to others when attending a conference. We will make it possible for AA NCWIT members to post their attendance at a conference via Facebook and not only connect with other AA members attending the conference, but also with members from the different alliances or with local members who are not attending the conference. We are currently working out the logistics of how to best organize this for maximum visibility and minimum information deluge. Suggestions and comments are welcome by email.

If you are going to a conference and would like to meet up with others there, post it on NCWIT’s Facebook page.

REU Toolkit
Co-Chair Liaison: Margaret Burnett (Oregon State University); Project Team Co-Leaders: Nancy Amato (Texas A&M University), Patricia Morreale (Kean University)

The REU Project Team announces the 2012 REU Faculty Recognition Award for both junior and senior faculty. See above for more information.

Sharing Practices
Co-Chair Liaison: Margaret Burnett (Oregon State University); Project Team Co-Leaders: Jennifer Goodall (SUNY Albany), Sharon Mason (RIT), Monisha Pulimood (TCNJ)

The AA Sharing Practices is reviewing and testing the use of a blog for sharing the details about activities and events being hosted at schools and universities around the country. The goal is to provide a site that is easy to navigate and easy for users to make postings. Tags can be used to broadly categorize activities and events and subscribers can receive updates automatically.

If you are interested in working on an entry for your school, please contact Kim Kalahar, or indicate your interest on our annual AA Member Survey which will be sent in the summer.

We’ll also have an opportunity for you to put an entry onto the blog during the May NCWIT Summit. The co-leaders will be on hand to work with you to make the posting. All you need to do is bring any materials you think would be of interest to the meeting on your USB memory stick.

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: /alliances/aa

Academic Alliance Co-Chairs:
Christine Alvarado, Harvey Mudd College Computer Science Department
Maureen Biggers, Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing
Margaret Burnett, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
231 ATLAS Building, 1125 18th Street, Boulder, CO 80309 

Most Recent E-Newsletters

Scroll to Top