NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) Newsletter: September 2019

NCWIT Academic Alliance Newsletter

September 2019

Welcome to the 2019-2020 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, chair, and dean to join by directing them to our online form: Membership is free for all non-profit institutions!



AA Available Resources


Resources You Should Know About: Up Your Recruitment and Retention Game!

NCWIT is introducing a new self-guided, modular course designed for computing and information technology faculty and administrators who are just beginning this work or looking to reignite existing initiatives.

The course, Building Sustainable Initiatives for Diversifying Undergraduate Computing Programs, has modules on recruitment, retention, evaluation, and foundational social science concepts. You will hear from NCWIT social scientists and other professionals from our partner organizations, as well as faculty and administrators who have implemented successful initiatives. It’s focused on action: As you work through the modules, you’ll be building a concrete plan for broadening participation in your program, including evaluation mechanisms that will help you grow and improve your work.

This free, online course includes narrated slide decks, videos, links to relevant NCWIT resources, and other research. It is constructed so that you can do the entire course or select particular modules. While you can go through it on your own, for the greatest impact we recommend working through it with a team of colleagues in your department or program.



EngageCSEdu: Curating the Best Introductory CS Course Materials


EngageCSEdu is a growing collection of high-quality materials for introductory undergraduate computer science courses, created by faculty across the country.

  1. Find inspiration. While preparing your introductory computing courses this fall, check out NCWIT EngageCSEdu. Also, inspire others by helping to spread the word amongst your colleagues.

  2. Submit your intro CS course materials for publication. NCWIT EngageCSEdu accepts submissions year-round. We would love to see your best materials for introductory computing courses. Check out the requirements here.

  3. Join the Reviewer Pool. The review process works much like a peer-reviewed journal, and because of our focus on engagement practices, both computer science educators and social/learning scientists are needed. Your work will be overseen by Editors in Chief Briana Morrison (University of Nebraska at Omaha) and Michelle Craig (University of Toronto). Send your request to join the pool, along with a recent CV, to

For more information on any of these opportunities, check out or email



Other New and Updated Resources from NCWIT



AA Member Opportunities

We hope that you find your membership with NCWIT beneficial to both you and your institution. NCWIT has several award opportunities 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 other relevant person(s) or groups.

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.



Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award (Deadline: October 28, 2019)

NCWIT URM AwardThe 2019-2020 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 non-profit U.S. institution is eligible. Each recipient’s institution receives a $5,000 gift to support the recipient’s research.

Submit a short nomination form at by 11:59 p.m. MDT on October 28, 2019. You can nominate a colleague or yourself (a self-nomination is perfectly acceptable), and you can nominate more than one person. Recipients will be notified in March 2020. To learn more about this award, visit And, read about previous recipients online, including the 2019 recipients (who are also listed in this newsletter).



AA Seed Fund (Deadline: November 4, 2019)

NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed FundThe NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund (sponsored by Microsoft Research and other generous sponsors) awards members of non-profit, U.S. institutions of the NCWIT 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.

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. Proposals will be accepted through November 4, 2019 MST at 11:59 p.m.

Both you and your U.S. institution need to be a member, as listed here, no later than November 4, 2019. Not a member? Membership is free and can be accomplished by completing this simple form.

Recipients will be announced in March 2020, and each winning group will be reimbursed for one person’s travel to the May 2020 NCWIT Summit! Find out more information at, and submit a proposal here.

Need proposal ideas or want to be inspired? Read about previous recipients online, including those from 2019 (who are also included in this newsletter). To date, 66 member organizations have received a total of $735,450 to grow their technology-related outreach programs. A huge thanks to Microsoft Research and other generous sponsors for their generous support of the Seed Fund.



Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award (Deadline: December 2, 2019)

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 a non-profit, U.S. institution who combines 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 gift from NCWIT, and the recipient will be reimbursed for their travel to the May 2020 NCWIT Summit.

Find out more information at, and submit all materials by December 2, 2019 at Learn about previous recipients online, including the 2019 recipient (who is also listed in this newsletter).



NCWIT Membership Thank You Campaign

Once again, we are running a membership “Thank You” campaign to acknowledge your time and efforts, and to express our appreciation for your work towards the NCWIT mission. The best part? We will send your boss some of our resources and a letter of appreciation, thereby encouraging your boss to continue seeing the value of your extracurricular participation with NCWIT. Without passionate, change-leading member representatives, our efforts toward making the tech field more inclusive for all would not have nearly the same impact. Stay tuned for an email invitation to participate in the “Thank You” campaign, and be sure to complete it so your boss will receive a thank you!



NCWIT Higher Education Listserv

NCWIT is launching a new way to stay in touch with other change leaders: the NCWIT Higher Education Listserv. The inaugural moderator, Maureen Doyle from Northern Kentucky University, presented the basic idea to the Academic Alliance membership at this year’s Summit. She and two new co-moderators, Laura Dillon (Michigan State University) and David Cooper (Cheyney University of Pennsylvania), are finalizing the details. While the Academic Alliance is taking leadership of the project, the forum will be open to members from any alliance who are interested in discussing issues around broadening participation in computing in higher education. Look for a separate email in coming months with instructions on how to sign up. If you have any questions about the project, contact



Student Opportunities (Please share!)


NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Student Opportunities (And a Few for You)


AspireIT Opportunities

NCWIT AspireITNCWIT AspireIT connects high school and college women of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Community with K-12 girls to teach programming and computational thinking fundamentals in fun, creative environments. Since 2013, NCWIT has gifted more than $1 million to 491 programs, providing an estimated 324,000 instruction hours to nearly 11,000 girls in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Visit our website to find out more about the program and how to get involved:

Applications will reopen by October 1, 2019; they will be due in March 2020. Check our website for updated information and timelines in October. Key opportunities for AA members to engage with AspireIT include:

  • Have students register to be AspireIT Leaders. Any woman who is majoring or minoring in a computing-related field can join the AiC Community. As a member of this community, they are then eligible to apply for AspireIT funds to teach computing to girls in grades K-12. Post-secondary students can find out about becoming an AiC Community member and submit a registration form here. To find out more about what it means to be an AspireIT Leader, check out our Leader page.

  • Become an AspireIT Partner Organization. As a partner, you’ll work in collaboration with our AspireIT Leaders to provide computing programs to girls at the local level. Partner Organizations are nonprofits that serve as the fiscal agent, responsible party, and mentor to help Leaders deliver a fun, engaging, and safe AspireIT Program. Find out more about what it means to be an AspireIT Partner Organization by visiting our Partner page.

  • Review applications. We are always looking for folks to help us review the applications that are submitted for funding. It typically takes two to three hours of your time, and you will be asked for your input on how the Program Leaders can strengthen their implementations. Our next round of reviews will take place in March 2020, and you can express your interest in lending a hand here.

Have questions about opportunities to get involved with AspireIT? Reach out to us at


Aspirations in Computing Award Recognitions Opportunities

Aspirations in Computing

NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Award Recognitions offers three distinct awards that honor high school and college students, and their educators, for aspirations, abilities, technical accomplishments, and influential guidance in computing. The multi-tiered award structure includes designations at National and Regional Affiliate levels, serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and all U.S. overseas military bases. Learn about eligibilities, prizes, the application process, and more online.

Applications are now open! Key opportunities for AA members to engage with AiC Award Recognitions include:

  • Volunteer to review applications. Your knowledge and expertise are greatly needed and valued! Plus, you can be inspired by today’s women in technology.
  • Encourage college students to apply for the Collegiate Award by October 15, 2019 through this online form. The NCWIT Collegiate Award honors the outstanding computing accomplishments of undergraduate and graduate students who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary. Conferred annually, the award recognizes technical contributions to projects that demonstrate a high level of innovation and potential impact:
  • Encourage college students who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary to apply to join the NCWIT AiC Community — an opportunity to connect with more than 16,000 like-minded high school, college, and early career women in tech.

If you have any questions about the NCWIT Collegiate Award, please email For general questions about Aspirations in Computing, please contact



Spread the NCWIT Word


NCWIT at the Tapia Conference

NCWIT will be at the 2019 Tapia Conference, September 18-21, 2019 in San Diego, California. Where can you find us?

  • NCWIT K-12 Alliance and TECHNOLOchicas Director Jannie Fernandez will present as part of a panel on Increasing Diversity in Computing: Sharing of Good Practices on Thursday, September 19 from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. in Marriott 2.
  • NCWIT AA Member Representatives Colleen Lewis and Kyla McMullen, with NCWIT K-12 Alliance Director Jannie Fernandez, will facilitate a workshop, What Would You Say if… Responding to Microaggressions, Bias, and Other Nonsense, on Thursday, September 20 from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. in Marriott 11.
  • Stop by the NCWIT Booth #311 to meet our team, learn more about NCWIT programs, and pick up the latest resources to support your change-leading efforts.
  • Join us for a special NCWIT member reception on Thursday, September 19 at 6:00 p.m. at Seasons 52. Socialize and network with other members over appetizers and refreshments! Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP soon.



NCWIT at the Grace Hopper Celebration

Once again, NCWIT is attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which takes place October 1-4, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Where can you find us?

  • NCWIT Co-Founder and CEO Lucy Sanders will present “What Does Success Look Like? Come Learn How to Make Classrooms and Workplaces Inclusive and Welcoming” on October 2, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. at the OCCC W308D.
  • We will also staff Booth #314 at the Career Fair. Please stop by to say hello, pick up some resources and swag, and to hear about NCWIT opportunities to support your change-leading efforts.



Where Do I Find My Organization at NCWIT?

The NCWIT Academic Alliance now has more than 575 member organizations with more than 2,300 individuals representing them. You can find them all listed alphabetically here. Take a look at your listing, and email if you need any updates made.

See a dynamic map of where AA member organizations can be found here, and find your neighbors!



NCWIT Enrollment Data

Interested in evaluating your recruitment and retention efforts? Want to see how your data compares to IPEDS, Taulbee, and other AA members in longitudinal trend charts? Submit your data to the NCWIT Tracking Tool, and you will be able to visualize all this — and, you will help NCWIT at the same time! 

NCWIT needs all Academic Alliance members to enter or update their enrollment data in the NCWIT Tracking Tool. This data is essential for NCWIT reporting to NSF, for our continuation of funding, and for evaluating our support of your efforts. Please take a few moments today to check out our information sheet and webpage, and make a plan for collecting this data with the help of your department staff or Institutional Research unit on campus. Thank you for your assistance with this important process; we deeply value your commitment toward our mission of increasing the meaningful participation of women in technology.



K-12 Alliance Collaboration Opportunities

As a member of the Academic Alliance, would you be interested in an NCWIT Cross-Alliance Working Group? This group will work on identifying projects and initiatives for potential collaboration and identifying existing programs where all Alliances can leverage their reach. Please express your interest by sending an email to

All AA members who are interested in learning what our K-12 Alliance member organizations are doing (and how to connect and collaborate with K-12 members) are invited to join quarterly NCWIT K-12 Huddles. If you would like to receive an invite, please email



NCWIT Summits


May 2020 NCWIT Summit

The annual NCWIT Summit will be held May 18-20, 2020, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. Stay tuned for the agenda, speakers, and other information:


2020 Summit in Detroit


Thanks to all who submitted feedback on the 2019 NCWIT Summit evaluation. We are already using it for our 2020 NCWIT Summit planning!



AA Meeting at the 2019 NCWIT Summit

We enjoyed seeing more than 200 of our members at the NCWIT Summit AA meeting; we missed those of you who were not able to join, and we hope to see you at the 2020 Summit. Below is a wrap-up of what we covered.  

The Summit kicked off with Alliance meetings. AA members were introduced to the four Undergraduate Research Mentoring award recipients, as well as the Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award recipient. Members were able to catch up with peers they had not seen in a while, and new members were sure to meet others in our networking session. We all enjoyed lively discussions on topics such as recruitment, retention, inclusive classrooms, administration, diversity, male allies, and, of course, NCWIT. 

The following morning, we started our AA meeting by hearing about the NCWIT Seed Fund. Former recipient Jennifer Rosato from the College of St. Scholastica talked with Melanie Williamson about how her college used their Seed Fund for growth mindset training. Co-chair Cheryl Calhoun then provided tips on how to create an effective Seed Fund proposal. Last, but certainly not least, Bichlien Nguyen from Microsoft Research announced the 11 institutional recipients of the 2019 Seed Funds.

We then had the pleasure of listening to our peers present lightning talks, giving tips on topics ranging from how students and TAs are selected to techniques for retaining students through curriculum and pedagogy. Thank you to these outstanding volunteer presenters: Raven Avery, University of Washington – Seattle; Amir Kamil, University of Michigan; Christine Alvarado, University of San Diego; Briana Morrison, University of Nebraska – Omaha; Katie A. Siek, Indiana University; Clif Kussmaul, Muhlenberg College; and Olga Glebova, Georgia State University.

After lunch, newly assigned NCWIT Social Scientists for the AA, Gretchen Achenbach and Beth Quinn, led us through NCWIT “GPS Tools,” navigation tools that will help organizations assess where they are in developing a sustainable culture of inclusion in higher education and in technology workplaces. We look forward to continuing to develop these tools; stay tuned for updates!

We wrapped up our meeting with videos the team recommended as suitable for use at your home institutions to help address various intersectionality topics. We even created this discussion guide to help with navigating those tricky conversations. Have you used them yet?

A huge thank you to our 2019 NCWIT Summit Planning team: Co-Leaders: Cynthia Lee, Colleen Lewis, and Melanie Williamson; Team Members: Christine Alvarado, Yolanda Anderson, Shira Broschat, Amy Csizmar Dalal, and Cheryl Swanier; and Co-Chair Liaison: Cheryl Calhoun.

To view information from the entire 2019 NCWIT Summit (and stay tuned for 2020 NCWIT Summit updates), go here.



AA Co-chair and Advisory Board Updates

This year, Amber Wagner (Birmingham Southern College) will be joining Cheryl Calhoun (Santa Fe College) and Leen-Kiat Soh (University of Nebraska – Lincoln) as co-chair of the Academic Alliance. We look forward to working with Amber in her new leadership role!

In May, Maureen Doyle (Northern Kentucky University) rotated off as AA Co-chair, and moving forward, she will be serving as the chief moderator of the new NCWIT Higher Education Listserv (see above for more information). Maureen will also continue to provide leadership to the AA as a member of the AA Advisory Board, a committee on which all previous AA Co-chairs serve. We thank Maureen for her invaluable contributions as Co-chair, and we look forward to working with her in these new capacities!

AA Advisory Committee

Left to right: Cheryl Calhoun, Kim Kalahar, Leen-Kiat Soh, Amber Wagner

We again convened all current and former Academic Alliance Co-chairs who were able to attend the Summit, and we had a very productive three-hour working dinner focused on NCWIT strategies going forward. We are very fortunate to have these leaders working for you and us!

Academic Alliance Advisory Board

NCWIT Academic Alliance Advisory Board (AAAB) and NCWIT staff, left to right (back row): Kim Kalahar (NCWIT), Amber Wagner, Gretchen Achenbach (NCWIT), Margaret Burnett, Christine Alvarado, Beth Quinn (NCWIT), Patricia Morreale; (front row) Terry Hogan (NCWIT), Maureen Doyle, Cheryl Calhoun, Leen-Kiat Soh.



AA Award Recipients Honored at the 2019 Summit


2019 NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund Recipients

2018-2019 Co-chairs: Cheryl Calhoun (Santa Fe College), Maureen Doyle (Northern Kentucky University), Leen-Kiat Soh (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

2019 “General” Track Seed Fund recipients were notified in March 2019 and honored at the NCWIT Summit. (Get inspired, and submit your proposal for the 2020 awards by November 4, 2019; view details here.)

  • California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo will create a new course, Teaching Computing, geared toward computing TAs, tutors, and future K-12 teachers. The new course will emphasize inclusive pedagogical practices and near-peer mentoring. Goals of this project include fostering a more inclusive learning environment within the department while also equipping future computing educators with the skills to effectively recruit and retain students from underrepresented demographics. 
    Project Principal Investigators: Zoë Wood and Bruce DeBruhl
  • Central New Mexico Community College will work to grow the percentage of women pursuing computing degrees at the college by recruiting high school women to participate in a Girls Code Community led by female faculty. Outreach efforts will particularly target underserved areas, including rural and tribal communities. The program will provide intentional role modeling to help students learn about possible education and career pathways in computing.
    Project Principal Investigators: Hyekyung Clark and Donna Diller
  • Knox College will create an annual retreat where current CS students can meet and connect with Knox alumni who are working in the tech industry. At least 50 percent of alumni speakers will be women, and all speakers will complete the NCWIT Inclusive Speaker Orientation. A goal of the project is to retain female computing students by fostering a greater sense of community within the major.
    Project Principal Investigators: Jaime Spacco, Monica McGill, and David Bunde
  • Michigan State University will create a two-week, non-residential Computer Science Bridge Program (CSPB) to help incoming female computing students build community and gain confidence in their programming skills prior to entering college. The CSBP aligns with a broad strategic plan for increasing the percentage of women students in computing through marketing and outreach initiatives, pedagogical innovations, role modeling, and peer support.
    Project Principal Investigators: Laura Dillon, Teresa Isela VanderSloot, and Yolanda Anderson

2019 “Surging Enrollments” Track Seed Fund recipients were notified in March 2019 and honored at the NCWIT Summit. (The Surging Enrollments Track was a “special call” of the Seed Fund and is no longer available.)

  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will expand peer mentoring through the Women’s Engineering Institute and implement a new supplemental advising program for pairing students from underrepresented groups with diverse faculty members. The Electrical, Computer, Software, and Systems Engineering Department will also provide funding to support undergraduate research; create tech-oriented, work-study jobs; and enable students to pursue opportunities to present at technical conferences; in an effort to alleviate the financial pressures that cause many students to leave the program.
    Project Principal Investigators: Shafagh Jafer and Courtney Thurston
  • Georgia State University will create a program to support and retain incoming women students through community building and mentorship. Near-peer undergraduate students will lead biweekly, small-group discussion sections that emphasize building strong connections among students in each cohort. In addition, the program aims to change students’ perceptions of opportunities for women in technical careers through visits to inclusive workplaces and guest presentations by female tech professionals. Students who complete the program may be recruited to become mentors themselves.
    Project Principal Investigator: Olga Glebova
  • Lord Fairfax Community College has a multiple retention approach: 1) expand high school recruitment, 2) improve marketing by removing unintentional bias, and 3) improve computational skills and coding ability for incoming students so as to improve self-confidence for success.
    Project Principal Investigator: Melissa Stange
  • Southern New Hampshire University will offer intentional role modeling, women-led mentorship, and community building to develop a culture of equity and inclusion for women in engineering that will support the College of Engineering, Technology and Aeronautics’ recruitment and retention initiatives.
    Project Principal Investigators: Susan Elsass, Angela Foss, and Bo Kim
  • University of Michigan will implement activities to boost the retention of women in computing courses. Within the classroom, they plan to educate all students on inclusive behaviors and the value of diversity. Beyond the classroom, they create community-building opportunities for women.
    Project Principal Investigator: Valeria Bertacco

2019 “Microsoft Research Faculty Summit” Track Seed Fund recipients were notified in March 2019 and honored at the NCWIT Summit.

  • Duke University will support a Code+R&D initiative in which a team of undergraduate women will undertake a 10-week research and development project in collaboration with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Computer Science, and the Office of Information Technology. Through this project, students who are interested in research careers can gain a systems-level understanding of university IT operations, while seeing the real-world applications of their research firsthand.
    Project Principal Investigators: Maria Gorlatova, Tracy Futhey, and John Board
  • University of Texas at Arlington will institute an annual Student Computing Research Festival, including a student research competition; exhibits of ongoing projects; recruitment for technical and research opportunities (both on and off campus); keynote talks by women in computing research fields; and mentorship from alumni, faculty, and graduate students. The festival is designed to encourage women computing students to explore research possibilities by connecting them with people, ideas, and resources to support their interests.
    Project Principal Investigators: Chengkai Li, Ming Li, and Shirin Nilizadeh

2019 Seed Fund Recipients (left to right, back row): Susan Elsass, Melissa Stange, Maria Gorlatova, Monica McGill, Melanie Williamson (presenter), Amir Kamil, Jennifer Rosato (presenter); (middle row) Hyekyung Clark, Donna Diller, Laura Dillon, Olga Glebova, Bo Kim, Angela Foss; (front row) Valeria Bertacco, Carter Tiernan



2019 Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award Recipient

2018-2019 Project Co-Leaders: Nancy Amato (University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign) and Jennifer Rexford (Princeton University)

2018-2019 Project Team Members: Rick Adrion (University of Massachusetts – Amherst), Maria Gini (University of Minnesota – Twin Cities), and William Griswold (University of California – San Diego)

2018-2019 Co-Chair Liaison: Leen-Kiat Soh (University of Nebraska – Lincoln)

The 2019 Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award recipient is Richard Ladner, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. Ladner is the sixth recipient of this award. He was honored at the 2019 NCWIT Summit, and you can read more about him in this NCWIT blog.

Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for this award? Nominate a peer! The deadline to submit the nomination packet for the 2020 award is December 2, 2019; details can be found here.

2018 Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award Winner

NCWIT Board of Directors Member Avis Yates Rivers presents the 2019 Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award to Richard Ladner at the 2019 NCWIT Summit.



2019 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring (URM) Award Recipients

2018-2019 Project Co-Leaders: J. Jenny Li (Kean University), Anne Ngu (Texas State University – San Marcos)

2018-2019 Co-Chair Liaison: Maureen Doyle (Northern Kentucky University) 

Congratulations to the 2019 NCWIT URM Award recipients:

  • Dr. Anna Ritz (Junior Faculty member at an Associate, BS, or MS granting university): Assistant Professor in the Biology Department, Reed College. As a computer scientist working in a Biology department, Dr. Ritz brought computational thinking to her college. Nearly 60 percent of students in her programming-heavy introductory classes have been women or non-binary individuals. She has supervised several projects in which undergraduates researched applications of computer science to questions in the field of genetics, including a project extending the use of hypergraphs to represent cancer cell data, which won Best Poster at ACM-BCB 2016.
  • Dr. Tzu-Yi Chen (Senior Faculty member at an Associate, BS, or MS granting university): Professor of Computer Science, Pomona College. Dr. Chen approaches undergraduate mentoring as an opportunity to help students gain skills and confidence in all aspects of the research process, from contextualizing a problem to publicizing the findings. Projects she has supervised have led to 13 co-author credits for undergraduate students on conference and journal publications. She also utilizes research meetings as a chance to provide supplemental guidance and mentorship for students from underrepresented groups.
  • Dr. Natalia Villanueva Rosales (Junior Faculty member in research track at PhD granting university): Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Rosales has mentored 26 students in undergraduate research, 96.15 percent of whom have been members of underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups. Her own research explores the ways diverse teams with membership spanning different disciplines, cultures, and geographical borders use and share knowledge. Her efforts have led to international exchange opportunities for undergraduate research students, as well as funding for more than 20 undergraduate Research Assistant positions.
  • Dr. Katie Siek (Senior Faculty member in research track at PhD granting university): Associate Professor of Informatics, Indiana University. Of the 52 students Dr. Siek has mentored in undergraduate research, 73 percent have been women. Her collaborations with undergraduates resulted in 13 highly competitive, peer-reviewed conference papers, with 22 undergraduates listed as co-authors. She started a yearly symposium where students can present their projects to the public, and co-organized a three-day research intensive for 92 undergraduate women called “Hello Research!” She also mentors other faculty in designing inclusive research projects for undergraduates.

Once again we received many nominations, and we were happy to award four outstanding individuals at the NCWIT Summit. 

Be sure to nominate yourself or a peer for this award no later than November 4, 2019. Nomination details can be found here.

2018 URM Award Recipients

2019 URM Award recipients from left to right: Anna Ritz, Natalia Villanueva Rosales, Tzu-Yi Chen, and Katie Siek. Seated: Lisa Truppa, representing URM Award Sponsor AT&T.



2019 NCWIT Extension Services Transformation (NEXT) Award Recipients

The NEXT Awards celebrate past and present Extension Services (ES) clients for excellence in recruiting and retaining women in computing education. The awards recognize practices that NCWIT promotes as having the most significant impact on the long-term goal of increasing the number of women in undergraduate computing programs. Departments receiving a NEXT Award show significant positive outcomes in women’s enrollment and graduation rates, and have excellent potential for building on these gains. 

  • University of California – Berkeley, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Letters and Science Computer Science Major received the $50,000 Second Place Award. Berkeley created the CS Scholars Program as a strategy to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups. Also, Berkeley demonstrated its commitment to creating an inclusive departmental culture by facilitating semesterly workshops for 300 undergraduate TAs, where they learn about imposter syndrome and stereotype threat while learning how to foster collaboration and inclusivity. Read Berkeley’s full commendation here.
  • Colorado School of Mines Department of Computer Science received the $100,000 Grand Prize. CS@Mines utilizes a research-based roadmap to create new (or connect with existing) institutionalized initiatives that are aligned with the NCWIT Undergraduate Systemic Change Model. An integral part of the roadmap is the engagement of faculty and students with well-defined recruitment and retention strategies, including the CS@Mines on Tour outreach program, and U-CLIMB, a near-peer mentoring program. Read Colorado School of Mines’s full commendation here.
NEXT Award Second Place Recipients

2019 NEXT Award Second Place Recipients from left to right: Christopher Hunn and Audrey Sillers, University of California Berkeley; and award presenter, Bobby Schnabel, NCWIT Co-founder and University of Colorado – Boulder Professor of Computer Science


2019 NEXT Award Grand Prize Recipient

2019 NEXT Award Grand Prize Recipient Tracy Camp, Colorado School of Mines, and award presenter, Bobby Schnabel, NCWIT Co-founder and University of Colorado – Boulder Professor of Computer Science



Enjoy your 2019-2020 Academic Year; we are sure your start is as busy as this newsletter suggests!

Academic Alliance Co-Chairs:

  • Cheryl Calhoun, Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL
  • Leen-Kiat Soh, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
  • Amber Wagner, Birmingham-Southern College, Birmingham, AL

AA Program Director Kimberly Kalahar
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