Academic Alliance News – September 2012

NCWIT Academic Alliance Newsletter

September 2012

Welcome to the 2012-2013 academic year; we hope you are energized to begin another year with the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT) Academic Alliance (AA).

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


  1. AA Member Survey
  2. Microsoft Seed Fund Round 9 Call for Proposals
  3. Student Seed Fund Round 4 Winners Announced!
  4. Student Seed Fund Round 5 Call for Proposals
  5. Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award 2013 Call for Nominations
  6. Aspirations in Computing Award Applications Open Soon & Regional Award Programs Still Wanted
  7. NCWIT Thank You Campaign
  8. Academic Alliance Reception at Grace Hopper Celebration
  9. NCWIT May 2012 Summit
  10. Academic Alliance (AA) Meetings at NCWIT Summit
  11. AA Co-Chair and Project Team Leader Changes
  12. AA Project Team Reports
  13. New NCWIT Website!
  14. NCWIT Resources

AA Member Survey

On September 11, 2012, you should have received a link to our annual AA member survey. If you have not already had a chance to participate in this survey, please take a few minutes to help us plan the direction of the AA in the next academic year.


Microsoft Seed Fund Round 9 Call for Proposals

Project Co-Leaders: Christine Alvarado (University of California-San Diego), Margaret Burnett (Oregon State University), Charlie McDowell (University of California-Santa Cruz)

NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed fund 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 was emailed to AA members September 13, 2012 and 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 9 of the NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) Seed Fund program, funded by Microsoft Research, is November 25th, 2012, at midnight MST. Winners will be announced in mid-February. Click here for more details and information about how to apply.


Student Seed Fund Round 4 Winners Announced!

Project Co-Leaders: Renee Bryce (University of North Texas), Stephanie Ludi (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Project Team Members: Julie Mariga (Purdue University), Susan Martin (University of Maryland-Baltimore County), Linda Ott (Michigan Technical University), Cheryl Swanier (Fort Valley State University)
Co-Chair Liaison: Charlie McDowell (University of California-Santa Cruz)

The NCWIT Student Seed Fund, sponsored by Symantec, has awarded 44 student-run programs with funds to recruit, retain, and support women in computing. On August 31st, we announced the winners of the Round 4 Student Seed Fund, who will each receive a $750 award to support an initiative that aligns with NCWIT’s mission of recruiting, retaining, and supporting women in technology- and computing-related majors.  And here they are!

  • Ball State University — Women Working in Technology
  • Fort Valley State University- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) FVSU Student Chapter
  • Loyola University Maryland — Loyola University Maryland Society of Women Engineers
  • Michigan State University — Women in Computing
  • Ohio State University — ACMW: Association of Computing Machinery Committee on Women
  • Santa Clara University — SCU ACM-W Student Chapter
  • University of Delaware — CISters@UD

Additionally, Symantec has invited all winners of the Student Seed Fund award and their advisor to attend a free luncheon October 5, 2012 during the Grace Hopper Celebration. This will be a great opportunity to meet with the award sponsor.


Student Seed Fund Round 5 Call for Proposals

Please pass the following information along to any computing organizations at your institution:

NCWIT Student Seed Fund The fifth 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 44 student organizations up to $750 each. 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 online. The deadline is October 15th to submit an application for the Fall Semester. Winners will be notified on November 30th.


Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award 2013 Call for Nominations

Project Co-Leaders: Scott McCrickard (Virginia Technical Institute), Patricia Morreale (Kean University)
Co-Chair Liaison: Margaret Burnett (Oregon State University)

The NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award recognizes American and International Academic Alliance representatives 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. The deadline for submission of nominations for the NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award 2013 is October 28th, 2012, at midnight MST. Click here to complete a short online nomination form and click here for more details on this award. You can nominate more than one person and you can nominate yourself.


Aspirations in Computing Award Applications Open Soon & Regional Award Programs Still Wanted

Project Co-Leaders: Matthew Hertz (Canisius College), Kamaljeet Sanghera (George Mason University)
Co-Chair Liaison: Charlie McDowell (University of California-Santa Cruz)

NCWIT is seeking applications from young women for the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. Competition for the 2012-2013 Award is open to any US high school-level female (grades 9-12). Applications will be accepted beginning September 15, 2012, and must be submitted online at no later than 11:59 PM ET on October 31, 2012.

NCWIT is also looking for local affiliate hosts, especially in the following areas: Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, and Nevada. Connect us with contacts you may have in these areas so we can offer the Aspirations Award to every girl in the country. 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


NCWIT Thank You Campaign — Do you want NCWIT to provide your Boss with Recognition of your Service?

Members of NCWIT Alliances volunteer their time and passion to represent and act as change leaders within their organizations. As a member of NCWIT you have been on the front lines of our collective efforts to reach out to girls at the college level, increase the number of women earning computing degrees, recruit and advance women in IT careers, and highlight technical women innovators. Without our members, none of our accomplishments would be possible. Together, we can make a bigger difference than if each organization acted alone. We appreciate your continued involvement with NCWIT and express our deep thanks for your organizational commitment to increasing the participation of girls and women in computing and IT.

NCWIT Thank You Campaign Earlier this month, you should have received an e-mail from the NCWIT main office with your thank you letter. In this letter, there is a link to a form on the NCWIT webpage where you can request that a paper copy be sent to your boss or supervisor. If you have misplaced this link, please click here to complete a short survey:


Academic Alliance Reception at the Grace Hopper Celebration

Grace Hopper Celebration 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 Thursday, October 4th, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Baltimore Convention Center (BCC) Room 330, in Baltimore, Maryland.

NCWIT Academic Alliance members should wear their lapel pins that were distributed to those who attended the 2012 NCWIT Summit.


NCWIT May 2012 Summit

The annual NCWIT Summit was held May 22-24, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The program featured an inspiring set of speakers and workshops. To view the Summit 2012 agenda and list of speakers, along with other information, click here.

Your Feedback from the 2012 NCWIT Summit:
According to the exit survey given to Summit attendees, the 2012 NCWIT Summit was a huge success. In fact, some people said this was the “best NCWIT meeting yet.” 500 people attended the Summit in Chicago and 91% of survey respondents found the summit to be “very or extremely valuable,” the highest percentage since evaluation began in May 2006.

In the Academic Alliance, specifically, most members agreed that the combination of sessions met their needs. The Flash Talks were most engaging for veteran AA attendees and the alliance meeting seemed to be the most engaging for first time attendees from the AA. Furthermore, 96% and 95% of veteran and newcomer attendees, respectively, reported satisfaction with the AA Alliance Meeting.

During the course of the Summit, the vast majority of AA attendees agreed that our alliance is working towards the NCWIT mission and 96% of all Summit attendees indicated that they were “somewhat likely” or “highly likely” to attend another NCWIT event. All in all, the 2012 NCWIT Summit was a great success!

NCWIT Summit

Save the Date! Our next NCWIT Summit will be May 20th through May 22nd at the JW Marriott Star Pass Tucson Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona. Click here to find current Summit 2013 information and check back to see updates.


Academic Alliance (AA) Meetings at NCWIT Summit

AA members were able to breakout out for three hours over two days in separate meetings with their peers. The AA meetings at the NCWIT Summit included the AA Business Meeting, Seed Fund winner presentations, NCWIT Undergraduate Faculty Mentoring Award, Project Team Breakout sessions, an interactive “Action Planning Session”, a panel of AA members who are also Pacesetters presented “Tales from the Red Chair”, and an Un-Poster Session for AA members to share ideas and expertise. The Un-Posters (1 page handouts) are available on the NCWIT AA Sharing Practices blog here.

We had 153 attendees from the AA representing 114 different schools. Of those 114 schools, 106 were already members of the AA and 8 were potential members. The AA would like to thank all of our attendees for making the effort to come to the 2012 May NCWIT Summit, whether your distance was long or short!


AA Co-Chair and Project Team Leader Changes

According to the AA Bylaws, we will have one Co-Chair replaced each year to maintain continuity of leadership. This year, Maureen Biggers (Indiana University-Bloomington) rotated off as AA Co-Chair and Charlie McDowell (University of California-Santa Cruz) joined Christine Alvarado (University of California-San Diego) and Margaret Burnett (Oregon State University) as Co-Chair of the AA.  We thank Maureen for all her help and are excited that she will continue to participate in the AA leadership through the AA Advisory Committee that includes all previous AA Co-Chairs. We look forward to working with Charlie in his new leadership role in the AA.

This year, there have also been some changes to the project team co-leaders. Please take a look at our website to see the members that are working extra hard for the AA!


AA Project Team Reports

From the AA Project Teams (that were not already mentioned above). These team members are busy working to represent you in the NCWIT AA. Some of them have requested additional assistance, so please respond to the AA Member Survey that was sent September 11, 2012 if you are willing to help any of the teams.

AA Webinar Series

Project Co-Leaders: Kathryn Moland (Livingstone College), Robin Starnes (Texas A&M University)
Co-Chair Liaison: Christine Alvarado (University of California-San Diego)

The Webinar Series thanks Terry Steinbach and Jay Shaffstall for their help with previous webinars. The AA Webinar Project Team is planning the fifth in the series of webinars for the January/February 2013 timeframe.  The selected topic is Establishing and Funding Women in Computing Student Organizations on Your Campus. A request for speakers was included in the AA Survey that was sent out September 11, 2012.  Please respond if you are interested in speaking or being on this Webinar panel.

Previous webinars have included “Implementing NCWIT Strategies & Resources in Your Institutions: Experiences from the Field,” “K-12 Outreach That Makes a Difference: Attracting K-12 Students to Computing,” “Retaining Undergraduates in Computing through Mainstreamed Interventions,” and “Looking at NCWIT Resources.” To review webinars that have been archived, please click on the link

Best Practices in Undergraduate Research (BURP)

Project Team Co-Leaders: Nancy Amato (Texas A&M University), Felicia Doswell (Norfolk State University)
Co-Chair Liaison: Margaret Burnett (Oregon State University)

The Best Practices in Undergraduate Research (BURP) project is focused on identifying and sharing best practices in undergraduate research.  BURP is a collaborative project of the CRA committee on Education (CRA-E) that includes representatives from the NCWIT AA, the CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W), and the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC).  The team is working with the CRA-W/CDC data buddies project to identify best practices for conducting undergraduate research (both individual and group) in computing and impacts such programs have on their participants.  The data buddies project conducts surveys and analysis of students and faculty in computing from a large number of different types of institutions.  In order to share best practices, the team is developing a website for faculty research mentors that offer advice and resources on running an undergraduate research program, funding opportunities to support undergraduate research, and other related items.  This site will be developed with CRA IT staff and hosted on the CRA server. It will be analogous to the CCC’s CS URGE website but intended for faculty rather than students. It will include pointers to and additional material relevant to the NCWIT REU-in-a-Box resource. The goal is to launch the site by Spring 2013.

Community College Outreach

Project Team Co-Leaders: Kate Lockwood (California State University), Lisa Sandoval (Seattle Central Community College), Lennie Cooper (Miami Dade College)

The NCWIT Community College Outreach (CCO) just wrapped up its first year as part of the Academic Alliance. This past year we focused our efforts on collecting data through a nationwide survey of community college CS/IT departments (over 138 responses!) and a un-poster session at the Summit. The CCO has gathered a lot of information about the issues facing 2-year institutions and learned the common issues involved budget constraints and student retention. Very few respondents were familiar with NCWIT, but the majority was interested in learning more about NCWIT and the Academic Alliance, and some of the resources they are most interested in having available. Over 80% of respondents requested information and resources on entry-level IT careers.

To provide meaningful, accessible participation opportunities for community college AA members, the CCO is busy making plans to move forward on the most requested resources. We are currently recruiting: project team members interested in helping create a series of best practices for recruiting and retaining women in IT programs at 2-year institutions and AA Members who would like to do some exploratory work on developing resources around entry-level IT careers and sources of funding for community college IT programs. If you’d like to join us on any of these projects, please respond in the AA Survey that was sent September 11, 2012.

For more information on the Community College Outreach Team, you can e-mail us at

Creating and Supporting Student Organizations that Promote Women in Computing

Project Team Co-Leaders: Laura Dillon (Michigan State University), Ambareen Siraj (Tennessee Technical University)
Project Team Members: Bettina Bair (Ohio State University), Ruth Davis (Santa Clara University), Lynda Louis (Dillard University), Yolanda Anderson (Elizabeth City State University)
Co-Chair Liaison: Margaret Burnett (Oregon State University)

Student women-in-computing (WIC) organizations reduce feelings of isolation among women students and increase their confidence and enjoyment in their studies. But establishing and sustaining a WIC student group can be challenging. The CSSO team’s mission is to provide guidance to organizers of WIC student groups.

Responding to feedback from breakout sessions at the 2012 NCWIT Summit, the CSSO team is working with NCWIT to create two resources:

  • Steps to Creating and Sustaining Student Organizations that Promote Women in Computing: A one-page document outlining key steps for creating a vibrant WIC student group and keeping it going.
  • CSSO Living Website: A website with concrete details and sample materials for implementing each step. We intend leaders of WIC campus groups to also post ideas and questions of their own on the website.

Our team has created a survey to gather information from existing WIC student groups regarding their successful practices. Look for the survey this fall semester. Please fill it out promptly so we can include your lessons learned on the website.

Recruitment and Engagement (R&E)

Project Co-Leaders: Kiranmai Bellam (Prairie View A&M University), Doug Blank (Bryn Mawr College), Amy Csizmar Dalal (Carleton College)
Co-Chair Liaison: Christine Alvarado (University of California-San Diego)

The Recruitment and Engagement team says goodbye to Gondy Leroy and LeenKiat Soh and welcomes Amy Csizmar Dalal and Douglas S. Blank. The R & E team thanks Gondy and LeenKiat for their time and services to the NCWIT. There are two activities that have been the focus of the team in the Spring 2012 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. We launched this program in Spring 2012 and got good response. In response to our email invitation, 64 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 duration of the partnership. As of 2012, 6 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 NCWIT Facebook page and so 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 made few attempts in Spring 2012 to kick start the initiative but could not cast a wide net. We are currently working out the logistics of how best to organize this for maximum visibility and minimum information deluge. Suggestions and comments are welcome by email.

Sharing Practices

Project Co-Leaders: Jennifer Goodall (University of Albany-SUNY), Sharon Mason (Rochester Institute of Technology), Monisha Pulimood (College of New Jersey)
Co-Chair Liaison: Charlie McDowell (University of California-Santa Cruz)

Finding new ideas and connecting with their originators is as easy as visiting Share your practice by sending an email! Add events, activities, and Summit un-posters to the Sharing Practices Blog. Hundreds of people are viewing many of these resources, so be sure to add yours to increase your visibility. To add a sharing practice:

  1. Compose an email to
  2. Use the subject field for the entry title.
  3. You may attach photos, video, music, and documents (PDF). Please include a small image (it could be your school’s logo) for the thumbnail.
  4. In the body of the email, include (if applicable) Project title, Institution, Contact, URL/social media links, Goal, and Target age.
  5. Send! The entry will not be published automatically. One of our moderators will approve and publish.


New NCWIT Websiste!

As many of you know, on June 28, 2012 NCWIT launched its new website! Here are a few of the most important updates:

  • New and Improved Navigation
  • Easier-to-Find Resources
  • Easier to Use on Mobile Devices
  • AA Specific Changes:
    • Individual Pages for each AA Project Team
    • Improved Logos Page
    • Archive Page for all AA Newsletters
    • Membership Form for Easier Communication with Prospective Members
    • Job Search Engine within the Academic Alliance


NCWIT Resources

NCWIT Scorecard NCWIT Social Scientists work hard to create resources that are based in evidence and easy-to-use. Our new website makes them even easier to find, so we hope you’ve visited the site recently as there are an incredible number of resources created to help make your job easier. Having a hard time getting colleagues on board? Check out “Communicating for Change” resource. Need trend statistics on girls’ and women’s participation in computing to drop into a report or PPT? Have you looked at the NCWIT Scorecard?


Have a terrific Fall 2012 semester!

Academic Alliance Co-Chairs:
Christine Alvarado, UC-San Diego Computer Science and Engineering Department
Margaret Burnett, Oregon State University School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department
Charlie McDowell, UC-Santa Cruz Computer Science Department AA Program Manager
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
University of Colorado-Boulder, 1125 18th Street, Boulder, CO 80309

NCWIT Partners
Copyright ©2012 National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), All rights reserved.
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