Academic Alliance News – September 2015

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NCWIT Academic Alliance Newsletter

September 2015

Welcome to the 2015-2016 academic year; we hope you are energized to begin another year with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Academic Alliance (AA). Please peruse this NCWIT AA newsletter to get updates on opportunities available to you and other news you will want to know.

To learn more about the AA, visit Encourage your peers to join by directing them to our online form: Membership for the Academic Alliance is free!


Did you complete your NCWIT AA Member Survey?

While AA membership is free for institutions, it requires the participation of individuals. If you’ve been wondering how you can be more involved in our community, simply click the unique survey link that was sent to you on August 28, 2015 from to see what opportunities might best suit your skills. Thank you in advance for your help!


AA Faculty Opportunities

We hope that you find your membership in NCWIT beneficial to both you and your institution. NCWIT has several award opportunities (both for faculty and students — please pass these on) currently open to our members. Consider submitting a short nomination or proposal for at least one of these opportunities, or passing along the information to the relevant person(s) or group. We thank our Award sponsors: AT&T,, Microsoft Research, and the NCWIT Board of Directors.

Not sure if you or your organization is a member of the NCWIT Academic Alliance? Check our list of members: Want to become a member (at no cost)? Complete this short request for membership.


2016 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring (URM) Award: Call for Nominations (Deadline: 10/18/2015)

NCWIT URM Award The 2016 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award (sponsored by AT&T) recognizes representatives of non-profit, U.S. institutions of the AA 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. Any faculty member of an AA member organization is eligible. Each recipient’s institution receives a $5,000 gift to support the recipient’s research.

Submit a short nomination form by midnight MST on October 18, 2015. You can nominate a colleague or yourself (a self-nomination is perfectly acceptable), and you can nominate more than one person. Winners will be notified in March 2016. To view previous winners and learn more about this award, visit


2016 NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund: Call for Proposals (Deadline: 11/01/2015)

NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund The NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund (sponsored by Microsoft Research) awards members of non-profit, U.S. institutions of NCWIT’s AA with startup funds (up to $10,000 per project) to develop and implement initiatives for recruiting women and underrepresented populations in computing and information technology. To date, 43 member organizations have received a total of $505,450 throughout the first eleven rounds.

This year’s call for proposals focuses on using existing, effective promising practices for recruiting and retaining women and underrepresented populations into your computing-related majors; we are especially looking for proposals that lead to increased PhD production. Proposals will be accepted through midnight MST on November 1, 2015. Winners will be announced in late February 2016. Find out more information at fund, and submit a proposal.


2016 Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award: Call for Nominations (Deadline: 11/04/2015)

Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award The NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award (sponsored by the NCWIT Board of Directors) recognizes an Academic Alliance member at non-profit, U.S. institutions who combine outstanding research accomplishments with excellence in graduate mentoring, as well as those who advocate for recruiting, encouraging, and promoting women and minorities in computing fields. The recipient’s institution will receive a $5,000 award from NCWIT. Find out more information at, and submit a nomination for a peer or yourself soon.


EngageCSEdu: Call for Submissions and Reviewers

NCWIT URM Award Calling all computer science faculty who teach CS1 and CS2! Get new ideas and inspiration for your fall classes at Or, submit your best assignments, homework, and projects to the collection. We’re looking for introductory course materials that are engaging and innovative, and that use one or more of the 17 research-based Engagement Practices. All submitted materials are peer reviewed, and authors with materials accepted into the collection are eligible for the NCWIT EngageCSEdu Engagement Excellence Award.

Other opportunities to get involved include becoming a computer science or social science reviewer, or participating in one of the many sub-committees for the EngageCSEdu program. Contact the Content Manager, Stephanie Weber (, for more information.


Student Opportunities (Please share!)

Create and Expand ACM-W Groups on Campus: Call for Proposals (Deadline, 10/30/2015)

Please pass these new NCWIT student group opportunities along to any women in computing (WIC) organizations on your campus.

Applications for the new NCWIT Student Seed Fund (now sponsored by will open soon! Any existing ACM-W student chapter or women in computing (WIC) group interested in becoming affiliated with ACM-W is eligible to apply.

This year, grants will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Trailblazer Grant (up to $15,000): Funding at this level is for well-developed groups with a history of institutional support that are interested in institution-wide projects such as funding large-scale events or course development.
  • Amplification Grant (up to $5,000): Funding at this level is intended for existing groups interested in expanding their impact through existing and new programs on their campus and in their geographic region.
  • Start-Up Funding (up to $3,000): Students looking to start a new ACM-W chapter on campus can apply for funds to help launch their group.

The application deadline is October 30, 2015. Winners will be notified by January 2016. In order to be eligible, the host institution must be an NCWIT non-profit Academic Alliance Member within the United States. To become a member, simply submit this Academic Alliance Membership Form.


Topplers Domino Award

NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance Member Herb Morreale established the non-profit Topplers in 2002, which offers an annual award for computer science students. The Topplers Domino Award encourages students to “think big” by seeing how the work of computer scientists has significantly impacted modern society. Reaching 43,000 undergraduate computer science students at 300+ universities across America, the 2015/2016 Domino Award competition provides winners an all-expense paid trip to the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas in March, 2016. At SXSW students will meet VIPs from across the world, and see first-hand many exciting new innovations. Topplers is committed to diversity. Women have been among the award winners for the past four years, and have accounted for nearly half of the entries in recent years. The contest opens Sept 17, 2015. For more information, contact


NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Opportunities

Aspirations in Computing Encourage your students to join the Aspirations in Computing Community and to apply for the NCWIT Collegiate Award!

NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) provides a long-term community for female technologists, from K-12 through higher education and beyond, encouraging persistence in computing through continuous engagement and ongoing encouragement at each pivotal stage of their educational and professional development.

Thanks to generous support from HP, a college entry point into the Aspirations Community is available for technical women in college who weren’t previously exposed during high school.

Benefits to young women who become part of this vast network include:

  • private invitations to virtual and in-person meetups
  • visibility for technical achievements
  • computing outreach programs in local communities for growing members’ leadership and entrepreneurial skills
  • hands-on activities for exploring computer science concepts
  • exclusive access to scholarships, internships, and job opportunities

Applications for the Aspirations in Computing Community are always open. Encourage all of your female students to join the AiC Community by accessing the application form at

As members of the AiC Community, your students are also eligible to apply for the NCWIT Collegiate Award (sponsored by HP), which honors the outstanding technical accomplishments of undergraduate women at the junior level and above. The award recognizes a specific technical project that demonstrates a high level of creativity and potential societal impact. Applications launch later this fall! Visit for more information.


Spread the NCWIT Word

NCWIT at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

NCWIT members and those interested in becoming a member are invited to attend the NCWIT Member Reception on Thursday, October 15 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Grove Restaurant, located in the green space across from the Houston Convention Center in Houston, Texas. Learn more, and RSVP at

In addition to the reception, NCWIT is hosting a break room at the Hilton Americas Hotel (Room 343AB), which is attached to the Houston Convention Center. The break room is open to the public between 8:00-10:00 a.m., 12:00-1:00 p.m., and 5:00-6:00 p.m. each day conference day (Wednesday-Friday, October 14-16). So please stop by to say hello, charge your devices, and use the space to meet a colleague.

Lastly, visit the NCWIT booth (#128) at the career fair to pick up resources and hear what’s new at NCWIT.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


NCWIT Member Activity and Change Tracker (ACT)

ACT This year the engagement team is focused on maintaining the momentum of the Summit to keep Academic Alliance members engaged with NCWIT throughout the academic year. We hope to make it easier to explore ways to get involved, to find resources, and to network with other alliance members. In particular, our team will be working on increasing participation in the Activity and Change Tracker (ACT tool), promoting EngageCSEdu, and hosting alliance receptions at major conferences. You’ll hear more about these great opportunities from us in the coming months. If you have any suggestions for resources or activities that would help you to more actively engage with NCWIT and supporting women in technology, please let us know. Our team can be reached at


NCWIT Resources

NCWIT resources provide research and theory-based practices and recommendations to equip change leaders to take action toward increasing women’s meaningful participation in technology. Our resources are free and available in digital and print formats. This year, we published some great new content, and updated some of our most sought-after materials. Check them out here!

Hint: All NCWIT Higher Education resources can be viewed here. Additional filters can be found on the left side of the screen, such as “Goals” or “Resource Type.”

Community Colleges can check out the new community college landing page on the NCWIT website. The Community College project team pulled together all the NCWIT resources relevant to community colleges.


Partner with NCWIT to Support School Counseling for Computer Science

Counselors4Computing Logo Are you involved in increasing access to computer science in K-12 schools? Consider partnering with NCWIT Counselors for Computing (C4C) to bring local counselors up to speed on your efforts.

To get a sense of what a day-long professional development workshop for counselors might look like, read this workshop “wrap-up” from one partner event.

Interested in learning more? Contact Jane Krauss at


Frontiers in Education Conference

If any AA member will be attending the Frontiers in Education conference October 21-24, 2015 in El Paso, Texas and could share NCWIT resources via NCWIT2GO, please contact

Please keep NCWIT in mind for any conference you attend, as we would be pleased to provide you with resources that you can take with you.


NCWIT Summits

2016 NCWIT Summit

The annual NCWIT Summit will be held May 16-18, 2016 at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. Stay tuned for the agenda, speakers, and other information:

2016 NCWIT Summit

Thanks to many of you for the timely feedback from the 2015 NCWIT Summit. We will certainly use it for our 2016 NCWIT Summit planning.


Academic Alliance (AA) Meeting at the 2015 NCWIT Summit

We enjoyed seeing nearly 300 of our members at the NCWIT Summit AA meeting; we missed those of you that were not able to join and hope to see you at the 2016 Summit. Below is a wrap-up of what we covered.

Members led 24 separate Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions during the AA meeting at the Summit. They provided an excellent way for peers to learn from past award winners, hear from AA project teams, and brainstorm on topics such as two-minute actions, using NCWIT resources, barriers to reform, enrollment data, collaboration across disciplines, and supporting community colleges.

In addition to the BoF session, forty AA Members also took the opportunity to showcase their projects during the Summit Un-poster session. We were lucky to have such great participation during this event! If you were unable to attend the Un-poster session during the Summit, feel free to view the Un-posters in the Activity and Change Tracker (ACT) tool. To do so, follow this link and login with the username and password that you used for Summit registration. At the bottom of the search fields, you will see the option “Presenting an Un-poster at Summit?” Select “Yes,” and you will be able to view those that have been uploaded to the ACT tool by their presenters.


AA Co-chair and Project Team Leader Changes

This year, Robert Beck (Villanova) and Maureen Biggers (Indiana University) joined Pat Morreale (Kean University) as Co-chairs of the AA. Charlie McDowell (University of California-Santa Cruz) and Sharon Mason (Rochester Institute of Technology) rotated off as AA Co-chairs. We thank Charlie and Sharon for all of their help and are excited that they will continue to participate in AA leadership through the AA Advisory Committee, which includes all previous AA Co-chairs. We look forward to working with Bob and Maureen in their new leadership roles in the AA.

After we receive the AA Member Survey responses, we’ll have some new project teams and new faces on some of them. Be sure to complete the project team section of the survey, if you’re interesting in volunteering for a team.

Please take a look at our website to see the members that work extra hard for the AA as the teams are now forming for the 2015-2016 year:


2015 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring (URM) Award Recipients Announced!

2014-2015 Project Co-leaders: Christine Alvarado (University of California-San Diego) and Maureen Doyle (Northern Kentucky University)
2014-2015 Co-chair Liaison: Patricia Morreale (Kean University)

Congratulations to the 2015 URM Award recipients!

2015 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award Winners

2015 URM Award winners: [Left to right] Renee Bryce, Margaret Burnett, Mayim Bialik (award presenter), Colleen Lewis, and Patricia Morreale (accepting award for Lorie Loeb)


Spring 2015 NCWIT Student Seed Fund Winners Announced!

2014-2015 Project Co-leaders: Blanca Polo (Leeward Community College) and Jennifer Rosato (College of St. Scholastica)
2014-2015 Project Team Members: Kathryn Moland (Livingstone College); Linda Ott (Michigan Technical University); Bo Sun (Lincoln University); and David Walter (Virginia State University)
2014-2015 Co-chair Liaison: Charlie McDowell (University of California-Santa Cruz)

On May 5, 2015, we announced the Spring 2015 Winners of the Student Seed Fund (then sponsored by the Symantec Corporation):

  • Berea College aims to maintain an online blog and launch a series of informative videos addressing specific issues that concern women pursuing a degree in computer science.
  • Bryn Mawr College will collaborate with students on various projects relating to software engineering, including websites and mobile applications. Read more here.
  • Georgia Gwinnett College will host a Fall Kick-off and Spring Celebration to allow students to familiarize themselves with the project. They will also host a three-day WIT Boot Camp where students learn technical skills while forming a community of support.
  • Livingstone College plans to conduct a six-week course that introduces elementary and middle school girls to the concept of coding.
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will send members to NYCWiC 2016. The conference is modeled after the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference, and it promotes the academic, social, and professional growth of women in computer science. Read more here.
  • San Jose State University plans to host the inaugural SWE-SJSU’s Women’s Hackathon, aiming to empower women in computer science. Attendees will put together a list of projects and ideas that they will have the opportunity to demonstrate at the event.
  • University of Delaware will organize an E-Textiles Workshop that combines learning how electronics and programming can be combined to create fun and useful e-textiles.
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst will organize, host, and promote a series of technical workshops designed to build every day skills that students who are introduced to computer science in an academic setting often lack. Read more here.
  • University of Pennsylvania intends to leverage their relationship with local teachers by developing a bi-weekly workshop series, InsipiHer, which will target local middle and high schools.
  • University of South Alabama will hold a series of three events over the course of the fall semester aimed at increasing the organization’s membership base by attracting both female students currently enrolled in the School of Computing and undeclared female students at the university.
  • Western Washington University will engage with students using LittleBits, which allows them to demonstrate the applications of computer science, allowing students to learn how circuits work. Read more here.


2015 NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund Winners Announced!

2014-2015 Co-chairs: Sharon Mason (Rochester Institute of Technology), Charlie McDowell (University of California-Santa Cruz), and Patricia Morreale (Kean University)

On February 25, 2015, we announced the winners of the 2015 NCWIT AA Seed Fund. View them below, and read the press release:

  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach will help fund a woman’s engineering institute to recruit and retain female undergraduate and graduate students. The program will provide female students with unique mentoring and networking opportunities and will connect them with industry partners who are looking to hire recent female graduates.
    Project Principle Investigator: Shafagh Jafer
  • University of Maryland-College Park aims to host five workshops for high school and undergraduate students to kindle interest in computing fields. The workshops include hands-on activities involving web development, app development, Internet protection, grad school applications, and job interview exercises.
    Project Principle Investigators: Jandelyn Plane and Anusha Gururaj
  • University of North Carolina-Greensboro, in collaboration with Kennesaw State University, plans to host a three-day program that provides rising female sophomore students with an opportunity to get a head start on programming skills. The program aims to foster female students’ interest in information systems through engaging them in hands-on projects, mentoring and networking with IT professionals, and socializing with their peers.
    Project Principle Investigators: Lakshmi Iyer and Sweta Sneha
  • University of Texas-Dallas (UTD) intends to facilitate a summertime, residential, overnight camp experience for incoming freshmen female students who have been accepted to UTD for the fall semester. The program will help develop a community for attendees to meet faculty, do hands-on activities, and network with career professionals.
    Project Principle Investigators: Janell Straach and Mary Partain
2015 NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund Winners

2015 NCWIT AA Seed Fund Winners: [Left to Right] Susan Davis Allen, Janell Straach, Lakshmi Iyer, Keith Garfield (accepting for Shafagh Jafer), Mayim Bialik (award presenter), Mary Partain, Jandelyn Plane, Sweta Sneha


2015 Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award Winner Announced!

2014-2015 Project Leader: Mary Lou Soffa (University of Virginia)
2015 NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Award Winner2014-2015 Project Team Members: Nancy Amato (Texas A&M University); Lori Clarke (University of Massachusetts-Amherst); Laura Dillon (Michigan State University); William Griswold (University of California-San Diego); and Alessandro Orso (Georgia Institute of Technology)
2014-2015 Co-chair Liaison: Patricia Morreale (Kean University)

The 2015 Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award recipient is Elizabeth Belding, Professor at the University of California – Santa Barbara. Belding is the second recipient of this award, and she was honored at the 2015 NCWIT Summit.


2015 NCWIT Pioneer Award Winner

Pioneer Award NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson, 98, is one of two recipients of the 2015 NCWIT Pioneer Award — an award that recognizes technical women whose lifetime contributions have significantly impacted the landscape of technological innovation. Due to her advanced age, Katherine was unable to attend the awards ceremony at the 2015 NCWIT Summit in May, but you can take a moment to thank her for continuing to inspire us all! You may send a greeting or congratulatory note to the following address: Katherine Johnson; The Hidenwood; 50 Wellesley Drive, APT 218; Newport News, VA 23606.


Reminder to Complete the AA Member Survey

This is another plea that we need volunteers to run the NCWIT AA and complete the AA Member Survey by Sunday, September 20, 2015 at midnight MST. This will help us continue our programs and keep the alliance fresh! You should have received a unique link via an email from on August 28, 2015.


Enjoy your 2015-2016 Academic Year; I’m sure your start is as busy as this newsletter suggests!

2015-16 Academic Alliance Co-Chairs:
Robert Beck, Villanova University
Maureen Biggers, Indiana University
Patricia Morreale, Kean University

AA Program Manager: Kim Kalahar
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
University of Colorado-Boulder, 1125 18th Street, Boulder, CO 80309

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