Meeting of the Minds

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The Meeting of the Minds is a web-based discussion series, hosted by the NCWIT Academic Alliance. By bringing together experienced practitioners and evidence based research, the series takes on today’s largest broadening participation challenges in computer science. These problems are commonplace but require unique solutions. Join in to learn and discuss innovative solutions alongside colleagues.

This web-based series is free and open to the public – geared toward postsecondary computer science faculty, staff, researchers, graduate students, and those in student-facing roles.

Previous Webinars

Inclusive Pedagogy Panel Discussion on Peer Instruction and Curriculum Development 

Originally aired on April 12th from 9:00-10:30 a.m. PT / 12:00-1:30 p.m. ET

We learned about and discussed innovative solutions alongside peers on two vital components of Inclusive Pedagogy: Peer Instruction and Curriculum Development. An engaging session was planned with a mix of short presentations and small group conversations guided by Dr. Leo Porter, Dr. Beth Simon, and Sophia Krause-Levy, a Ph.D. Candidate from the University of California San Diego, along with special guest Dr. Cynthia Taylor from Oberlin College. This dynamic group led our 90-minute, web-based event and provided attendees with evidence-based research, applicable case studies, and honed techniques to increase learning outcomes for every student.


  • Guest Speaker Dr. Cynthia Taylor is an Associate Professor and Department Chair in the Computer Science Department at Oberlin College.   
  • Sophia Krause-Levy is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Computer Science & Engineering Department at UC San Diego. 
  • Dr. Leo Porter is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at UC San Diego.  
  • Dr. Beth Simon is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Education Studies at UC San Diego. 


Interrupting Bias and Creating Inclusive Culture

Originally recorded on February 16, 2023

This Meeting of the Minds session explores how implicit biases play out in academic contexts and what specific actions leaders, faculty, and staff can take to create more inclusive cultures within their computing and information technology programs.


  • Moderated by Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder, Senior Research Scientist with NCWIT
  • Dr. Dee Weikle, Associate Professor at James Madison University;
  • Dr. Sherif Elfayoumy, Director and Professor at University of North Florida; and
  • Joanne Esch, Senior Research Associate at NCWIT for a conversation about building inclusive cultures where all faculty, staff, and students can thrive. Please bring your questions, concerns, and experiences, as the second half of the program provided an opportunity for group discussion.


Broadening Participation Through Partnerships Between Two-Year and Four-Year Programs

Originally recorded on April 21, 2022 

Establishing partnerships between two-year and four-year institutions is an art form. Join us as we listen in to our expert panel to learn best practices to implement as well as key pitfalls to avoid when aligning curriculum to support student success. We discuss how these partnerships form and how they can help remove existing barriers through the shared lens of empowering women-identifying and underrepresented students in computing. 


  • Matthew Henry, Assistant Professor and Program Director of IT-Service and Support, Wake Technical Community College, NC
  • Melanie Williamson, Professor and Academic Dean, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, KY
  • Thu D. Nguyen, Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Professor of  Computer Science, Rutgers, NJ

Faculty Hiring: Ensuring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from the Job Description to the Offer
Originally recorded on February 2, 2022

Join us in reviewing the most recent installment of the Meeting of the Minds hosted by NCWIT’s Academic Alliance. Hiring faculty in computing and IT is challenging, especially when trying to reach beyond the majority groups. Our panel shared some of their expertise, insights, and helpful resources before heading into group breakout discussion.
In this conversation, you will hear from Robyn Sandekian, Ph.D. Director of Faculty Advancement, University of Colorado Boulder, Grayson Hunt, Ph.D. Director of Equity Outreach and Resources, University of Texas Austin, Cheryl Swanier, Ph.D. Senior Teaching Faculty, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Brianna Blaser, Ph.D. Associate Director of AccessComputing, University of Washington.

How To Best Prepare Teaching Assistants (TA) To Foster Inclusivity in Computer Science Classrooms
Originally recorded on October 21, 2021

Hear from Dr. Colleen Lewis, Associate Professor of Computer Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Scott Heggen, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Berea College and Concepta Njolima, a recent Teaching-Assistant at Berea College while pursuing a BA in Computer and Information Systems & Support Services, and current Microsoft Explore Intern.

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