NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) Fall 2020 Newsletter: October 2020

Fall 2020 Newsletter


Welcome to the 2020-2021 academic year! We send our thoughts and positivity to you all as we navigate a semester like no other. We hope you are finding ways to remain energized as we begin another year, and that the Academic Alliance (AA) can provide some support.

You might notice that this newsletter is shorter than in the past. Instead of an annual newsletter, we’re moving to more frequent and focused newsletters. So, keep an eye out for AA newsletters this spring and summer!

Your AA Leadership Team is working diligently to bring you resources and initiatives to support the work you are doing today, as well as the work that needs to be done tomorrow and beyond. To learn more about the AA, visit Encourage your colleagues to participate with NCWIT by sharing this newsletter and encouraging them to become member representatives for your institution.


AA Celebrations

Clapping Hands Circle ThumbWelcome the 2020-2021 AA Chairs. The AA chairs work closely with the NCWIT AA Staff Team to identify strategic goals and objectives for the AA, and to develop and implement projects in service of these goals. A big welcome to our newest chair, Melanie Williamson (Bluegrass Community and Technical College), and many thanks to outgoing chair, Cheryl Calhoon (Santa Fe College), for her commitment as an AA chair for the past three years. Returning chairs are Leen-Kiat Soh (University of Nebraska at Lincoln) and Amber Wagner (Birmingham-Southern College).


Congratulations are in order!

  • 2020 Harrold & Notkins Recipient, Dr. Mary Lou Soffa []

  • 2020 Mentoring Award for Undergraduate Research Recipients: Donghee Yvette Wohn (New Jersey Institute of Technology), Susan Rodger (Duke University), Dave Levin (University of Maryland), Lenore Cowen (Tufts University) []

  • 2020 Seed Fund Recipients: Stony Brook University – State University of New York (PIs: Kevin McDonnell, Aruna Balasubramanian, and Michael Glick), University of California – Riverside (PIs: Mariam Salloum, Cecilia Cheung, and Jiasi Chen), Wake Forest University (PI: Natalia Khuri), Willamette University (PIs: Haiyan Cheng and Evgenia Chuniknina) []

  • 2020 NCWIT Extension Services Transformation (NEXT) Award Recipients: Grand Prize – The University of Pennsylvania, Department of Computer and Information Science; Second Place – New York University Tandon School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; and Honorable Mention – Michigan Technological University, Department of Computer Science

AA Member Opportunities

  • Keyboard Circle ThumbSubmit a nomination for the Research and Mentoring Awards. The NCWIT Mentoring Award for Undergraduate Research (MAUR) and the Harrold & Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring awards honor outstanding mentors who participate in and advise high quality research opportunities, uplift the recruitment of women and minoritized students, and encourage and advance students in computing-related fields. Both mentoring awards include a $5,000 gift and are due October 19, 2020.

  • Submit a Seed Fund proposal. The NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) Seed Fund provides up to $20,000 in funds to Academic Alliance member organizations to develop and implement initiatives to broaden participation in their computing programs. This year’s call seeks projects that support inclusivity in an online environment within postsecondary computing and information technology programs. Proposals will be accepted through November 2, 2020. []

  • Join the NCWIT HigherEd email list. Join our community of practice! All employees of NCWIT member organizations are invited to participate in our growing conversations on broadening participation in computing in postsecondary institutions. Learn more and subscribe. []

  • Complete the AA Volunteer Solicitation Survey. Looking to deepen your involvement with the Academic Alliance? Complete our volunteer solicitation form to become a member of our resource pool. []

  • Tell your students about the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Community and the NCWIT Collegiate Award:

    • Connect college students who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary with a national network of peers where they can gain exclusive access to computing hackathons, internships, scholarships, jobs, awards, and more. Applications for the AiC Community are always open. [

    • Encourage college computing majors who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary to apply for the NCWIT Collegiate Award, due by October 15, 2020. The NCWIT Collegiate Award honors the outstanding computing accomplishments of undergraduate and graduate students with up to $10,000 in cash prizes. []


NCWIT Partners



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