Winter 2008



NCWIT Newsletter – Winter 2008

In This Issue

Greetings from NCWIT!

NCWIT November 2007 Meetings Wrap-up
NCWIT held its 3rd annual Promising Practices Workshop on November 5-7, 2007 in Redmond and Seattle, Washington. These three days were filled to the brim with invigorating presentations and networking opportunities. To those of you who joined us, thank you for your participation, enthusiasm, and time. View our speaker presentations, photos, award-winners’ video, and the workshop program here.

Seattle Award-Winners

Aspirations Award Winners

“You can really do anything with technology. It’s unlimited.”

Front row; center: Lenda Nguyen. Middle row; From left to right: Melinda Mudd, Nicole Mina Askarian, Kayleigha Holten, Kaitlin McKinnon, Amy Li, Manpreet Kaur. Back row; From left to right: Nicole Torcolini; Ed Lazowska, Chair of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington; Lucy Sanders, NCWIT CEO and Co-founder.


Winners of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing are young women at the high-school level recognized for their demonstrated, outstanding aptitude and interest in information technology and computing; solid leadership ability; good academic history; and plans for post-secondary education. Each winner received a commemorative award and $500 to recognize her aspirations in computing. View the presentational video and more on our Awards page.

Save the Date: May 2008 Meetings
NCWIT’s upcoming meetings will take place May 14-15, 2008, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The theme is “Advancing Computing from Multiple Disciplines.” Distinguished researchers in science and engineering will tell us how their disciplines are pushing the frontiers of computer science today, and how these exciting research areas offer grand challenges with the potential to change the image of computing and attract top talent to the field. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Mae Jemison, M.D., former NASA Astronaut and Founder of The Jemison Group, Inc.
  • Richard M. Murray, Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems, Division of Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology.
  • Lydia E. Kavraki, Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science and Bioengineering, Rice University; Graduate Program in Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine.
  • Freada Kapor Klein, PhD, Founder and Co-chair, the Level Playing Field Institute.

We look forward to seeing you there! Visit our Meetings page for updated information as it comes in.

Academic Alliance Seed Fund
The NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund awards members of NCWIT’s Academic Alliance with start-up funds (up to $15,000 per project) to develop and implement initiatives for recruiting and retaining women in computing and information technology. Startup funding is provided by Microsoft. Congratulations to the following November 2007 funding winners!

“PowerUp” at the University of Texas at Austin will use its $10,000 award to create a Saturday Morning Computer Science Club to provide a continuous outlet for engaging middle and high school students in computer science concepts and opening their minds to future CS careers.

“Girl Empowerment and Mentoring” at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has been awarded $15,000 to inspire secondary school girls to study computing by providing big sisters as mentors. The big sisters will receive training about mentoring and will be able to use these skills towards leadership for their careers in IT.

“Golisano Scholars, Kids in Class” at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) will use its $15,000 award to establish a two-week residential summer honors program geared to junior and senior level high-school women. Additionally, RIT will also leverage the success of the existing “Kids on Campus” activities and introduce a grade 10-12 program.

“Just Be: Making IT Real” at Indiana University was awarded $15,000 for the development and evaluation of three to five team-based activities for high school students, incorporating basic computing concepts such as sensors and robots as well as pervasive computing concepts.

The deadline for the next round of NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund proposals is June 1, 2008. Information about the Seed Fund program, including proposal requirements, the review process, and how to become an eligible Academic Alliance member, is available at

NCWIT Scorecard Released

Did you know…

  • Girls comprise fewer than 15 percent of all Advanced Placement (AP) computer science exam-takers, the lowest representation of any AP discipline.
  • Within the top Fortune 500 IT companies, fewer than five percent of Chief Technical Officers are women.

Find these statistics and more on the inaugural NCWIT Scorecard – the only national report that assembles comprehensive metrics on female participation in IT at every level, from K-12 and post-secondary education to faculty and workforce careers.

This research report, funded by Microsoft, suggests two interesting outlooks – women’s lack of participation in the IT workforce is leaving IT professions with a shrinking pool of qualified professionals and women’s participation could have a profound impact on innovation and economic competitiveness. Find the Scorecard online at

New Resources from NCWIT
NCWIT has launched several new resources in the past several months, and we invite you to come check them out:

Heroes Podcasts
NCWIT Heroes ( is a series of magazine-style audio interviews highlighting women entrepreneurs in information technology (IT) careers, sponsored by the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The series profiles 20 successful, creative, and technical women, from space explorers to game designers to CTOs, including the founders of such companies as Evite, Freshwater, meebo, iRobot, and Blurb. Listen as they discuss their lives and their work — how they first got into technology, why they chose to be entrepreneurs, and what advice they would give to young people interested in IT or entrepreneurship.

Website Re-Design
This month NCWIT will undertake a major re-design of its website. When NCWIT first launched the site a few years ago it was designed simply to tell people who we were and what we were doing. Now, with a substantial community to support, we find ourselves offering all kinds of resources – including practices, research, reports, news, events, recruitment/retention tools, outreach materials, award videos, audio interviews, blogs, and more. The re-design will focus on making the site easier for you to navigate, with information and resources easier to find and the outreach and community areas greatly enhanced. This re-design comes after collecting extensive feedback from our members and the community, so we’re excited that your attention and participation will help to make the site even better. Thanks for your feedback, and we’ll let you know when the new design goes live.

NCWIT in the News
NCWIT garnered more than 20 press mentions in the second half of 2007, on topics including our patent and Scorecard reports, women in the IT workforce, our Seed Fund award, the work of our Entrepreneurial and K-12 Alliances, and Lucy Sanders’ induction into the WITI Hall of Fame. Highlights included stories in Computerworld, the Wall Street Journal‘s Business Technology blog, Forbes, CIO magazine, Campus Technology, and several local Colorado dailies. Please visit our Press Room to read all about it.


About the National Center for Women & Information Technology
NCWIT is the National Center for Women & Information Technology. We are a coalition of over 100 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase women’s participation in information technology (IT). We believe that inspiring more women to choose careers in IT will influence American innovation, competitiveness, and workforce sustainability. We leverage the work of organizations in K-12, higher education, and the workforce through a national infrastructure of alliances, workshops, research, publications, and evaluation. Find out more at sponsorbanner.jpg

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