The NCWIT Mentoring Award for Undergraduate Research (MAUR) recognizes Academic Alliance representatives at non-profit, U.S. institutions (including U.S. territories) 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.
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- Dr. Diba Mirza, Junior faculty member (Assistant or Lecturer rank—6 years or less) at Associate, BS or MS granting university or Teaching-track faculty at Ph.D. granting university
Associate Teaching Professor in Computer Science, University of California (UC) Santa Barbara
In 2018, Dr. Mirza established an Early Research Scholars Program at UC Santa Barbara, expanding a program already in operation at UC San Diego. More than 50 percent of program participants have been women, and three student teams (including eight women students) have published four first-author papers at peer-reviewed conferences. In addition to teaching an undergraduate research methods course, Dr. Mirza has co-mentored 28 students. She also organizes an annual student research showcase.
- Dr. Gloria Washington, Junior Faculty member (Assistant or Lecturer rank—6 years or less) of research-track at Ph.D. granting university
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Howard University
Dr. Washington has mentored numerous students through a DHS/DOD-funded grant designed to expose undergraduates to research in biometrics and cybersecurity. She is also Co-PI for a program called I-RISE Scholars, in which undergraduate students have the opportunity to work directly with her graduate students on research in biometrics, computer science education, and augmented reality. In addition, Dr. Washington teaches an undergraduate research class in which students pursue independent research projects of their own.
- Dr. Damla Turgut, Senior faculty member (Professor or Associate rank—more than 6 years) of Research-track at Ph.D. granting university
Charles Millican Professor of Computer Science, University of Central Florida
Dr. Turgut served as PI for an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in which 50 percent of the participants were women, and more than 75 percent were Hispanic, African American, and/or first-generation college students. The program produced such projects as smart mobility devices and ScaledHome, a reconfigurable model of a suburban home and its external environment. Of the students who co-authored papers as a result of this program, 38 percent were women.
- Dr. Haiyan Cheng, Senior faculty member (Professor, Associate or Lecturer rank—more than 6 years) at Associate, BS or MS granting university or Teaching-track faculty at Ph.D. granting university
Associate Professor of Computer Science, Willamette University
Dr. Cheng’s approach to mentoring is to immerse students in real-world problems by integrating computational science and data science into interdisciplinary research. Her students have participated in cross-disciplinary projects in such areas as numerical methods for forecasting weather and computational social science. Fifteen of her students, including five women, have presented posters at local conferences. She has also mentored students through upper division courses that combine computational thinking, data-driven problem solving, project-based learning, and research.
(pictured from left to right): Haiyan Cheng, Damla Turgut, Gloria Washington, and Diba Mirza
- Donghee Yvette Wohn, Junior Faculty member (Assistant or Lecturer rank—6 years or less) of research-track at PhD granting university
Assistant Professor of Informatics, New Jersey Institute of Technology
As the director of the Social Interaction Lab, Dr. Wohn successfully recruited and worked with 59 undergraduate researchers on projects related to human-computer interaction. Almost half of these students have been women. As a result of working with Dr. Wohn, undergraduate students have been co-authors on ten peer-reviewed publications, four of which listed an undergraduate student as the lead author. Students have also attended numerous academic conferences to present research they did in her lab.
- Susan Rodger, Senior faculty member (Professor, Associate or Lecturer rank—more than 6 years) at Associate, BS, or MS granting university or teaching-track faculty at PhD granting university
Professor of Practice in the Computer Science Department, Duke University
Since 1990, Dr. Rodger has supervised 93 undergraduates in research, 36 of whom have been women. For the past 15 years, she has organized a weekly research seminar series for Computer Science undergraduates doing research in the summer. Research topics Dr. Rodger’s students have worked on include the development and evaluation of ways to integrate computing education into K-12 curricula and ways to visualize theoretical computer science concepts, in particular automata theory and grammars.
- Dave Levin, Junior Faculty member (Assistant or Lecturer rank—6 years or less) of research-track at PhD granting university
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Maryland
Dr. Levin is committed to creating opportunities for undergraduates to gain experience with research so that they can explore whether a research career is right for them. Recognizing that many undergraduates lack awareness of what computing research entails and the benefits it can offer, Dr. Levin reaches out to students through an “Introduction to Research” course and an all-women Tech+Research hackathon. He established Breakerspace, an undergraduate research lab, to help scale research opportunities for students.
- Lenore Cowen, Senior faculty member (Professor or Associate rank—more than 6 years) of research-track at PhD granting university
Professor in the Computer Science Department, Tufts University
Many of Dr. Cowen’s 21 undergraduate research advisees have gone on to top graduate programs in computer science, including MIT, Brown, Princeton, University of Washington, and Rice. She has served as a mentor four times for the Computing Research Association’s Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) program, which matches undergraduate women with women faculty for a summer research experience. Three of these projects resulted in published papers, co-authored by the student(s).
(pictured from left to right): Donghee Yvette Wohn, Susan Rodger, Dave Levin, and Lenore Cowen
- 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.
(pictured from left to right): Anna Ritz, Natalia Villanueva Rosales, Tzu-Yi Chen, Katie Siek and award sponsor, Lisa Truppa, AT&T
- Dr. J. Jenny Li (Junior Faculty member at a BS or MS granting university): Assistant Professor, School of Computer Science, Kean University. Dr. Li’s undergraduate research mentoring has led to the publication of 20 co-authored papers, and several of her female mentees transferred into a computer science major as a result of working with her. Dr. Li has mentored more than 70 students, of whom 40 percent are women and 60 percent belong to minority groups that are underrepresented in STEM fields.
- Dr. Gabriela Marcu (Junior Faculty member at a PhD granting university): Assistant Professor of Information Science in the College of Computing and Informatics, Drexel University. With Dr. Marcu’s encouragement, undergraduate research teams with little prior experience have designed technological interventions to help breast cancer survivors and people living with HIV take advantage of best practices for improved health. She actively facilitates undergraduate women’s participation at national and international conferences through poster presentations. Of her more than 30 mentees, 40 percent have gone on to graduate study in computing fields.
- Dr. Zoë Wood (Senior Faculty member at a BS or MS granting university): Professor of Computer Science & Software Engineering in the College of Engineering, California Polytechnic State University. Dr. Wood’s passion for mentorship leads her not only to support teams of undergraduates in conducting original research, but also to mentor undergraduate computer science students in developing curricula to introduce computing topics to elementary, middle and high school girls in fun and creative ways. She has mentored more than 80 students and advised more than 10 individual women on their senior research projects.
- Dr. Lori Pollock (Senior Faculty member at a PhD granting university): Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Delaware. Dr. Pollock’s approach to mentoring undergraduate researchers begins with training them in the process and mindset of research, then coaching them toward refining their projects and publishing their results. She has mentored 55 undergraduates, 50 percent of whom are women, and her students have collectively earned more than 35 coauthor credits on software engineering research publications.
(pictured from left to right): Lori Pollack, Gabriela Marcu, J. Jenny Li (not pictured Zoë Wood)
- Dr. Bonita Sharif: Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems in the College of STEM, Youngstown State University
- Dr. Amy Hurst: Assistant Professor, Human-Centered Computing in the Information Systems Department, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- Dr. Daniel Garcia: Teaching Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, the University of California, Berkeley
- Dr. Tiffany Barnes: Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, North Carolina State University
(pictured from left to right) Luz Gonzalez (Senior Vice President of Solutions Delivery for sponsor AT&T), Bonita Sharif, Daniel Garcia, Tiffany Barnes, and Amy Hurst.
- Dr. Renee Bryce: Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of North Texas
- Dr. Margaret Burnett: Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Oregon State University
- Dr. Colleen Lewis: Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College
- Dr. Lorie Loeb: Research Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Dartmouth College
(pictured from left to right) Renee Bryce, Margaret Burnett, Mayim Balik, Colleen Lewis, and Patricia Morreale (accepting award for Lorie Loeb)
- Dr. Robert Beck: Professor, Department of Computing Sciences, Villanova University
- Dr. Marie desJardins: Professor, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland-Baltimore County
- Dr. Silvia Figueira: Associate Professor, Department of Computer Engineering, Santa Clara University
- Dr. Alan Jamieson: Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Read more in this press release.
- Dr. Margaret Martonosi: Professor, Department of Computer Science, Princeton University
- Dr. Anne Ngu: Professor, Department of Computer Science, Texas State University
- Dr. Fay Cobb Payton: Professor, Information Technology and University Faculty Scholar, North Carolina State University
- Dr. Cheryl Swanier: Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Fort Valley State University
(recipients pictured from left to right, front row) Anne Ngu, Cheryl Swanier, Fay Cobb Payton, Margaret Martonosi
Read more in this October 2012 issue of CACM (under “Milestones/CS Awards”)
- Dr. Diana Franklin: Tenure-Equivalent Teaching Faculty, Department of Computer Science, University of California at Santa Barbara
- Dr. Juan Gilbert: IDEaS Professor and Chair, Human-Centered Computing Division, School of Computing, Clemson University
- Dr. Scott McCrickard: Associate Professor Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech
- Dr. Mingrui Zhang: Professor, Department of Computer Science, Winona State University