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.

Upcoming Webinar

February 16, 2023: Inclusive Culture and You Panel Discussion – Register now

Join our next panel conversation around 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, and hear from panelists 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 will be used for group discussion.

Participants in the session will:

  • Explore why the problem of underrepresentation persists and how it impacts individuals, institutions, and society
  • Learn about what gets in the way of diversity, equity, and inclusion–from subtle everyday biases to institutional barriers
  • Find out what people like you are doing to transform bias and barriers and build cultures of inclusion
  • Connect with others doing this work and share resources
  • Leave with tangible ideas and resources for next steps

Previous Webinars

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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