2015 NCWIT Summit – Collegiate Award


LUCY SANDERS: With that, let’s get to it. I mentioned all those awards and we’re gonna open and close the summit this year with some award ceremonies because we think it’s very important, a, to really encourage excellent change leadership and we should all celebrate that with people who are awarded. We want to have those award ceremonies in the plenary session. We’re gonna open the session with an inner-generational set of awards. One award will be for the future technologists, the Aspirations in Computing Collegiate Award and then we will honor those who helped invent and define the computing industry with our Pioneer Award. Here to help with the Collegiate Award, Janice Zdankus, who comes to us from HP. She’s a Vice President at HP. HP is a very generous sponsor of the Aspirations in Computing Collegiate Award. She got her BS in computer science and industrial management from Purdue University and her MBA from Santa Clara, I believe, correct? Her favorite title for me is Member of the NCWIT Board of Directors. Please, welcome Janice to the stage. [upbeat music]

JANICE ZDANKUS: I’m just so excited to be here today with you all representing HP. First of all, let me tell you the NCWIT Collegiate Award honors outstanding technical accomplishments of undergraduate women at the junior level or above by recognizing specific technical projects. HP supports this program basically because the current data shows that although we have a number of students entering computing fields, there is a large dropoff of students that don’t complete their degrees. They either change majors or face challenges. We want to use this award to encourage those of you students to stay in the degree field and to continue pursuing your degree. We started the program last year and after the first year I’m pleased to say that there were 150 college students that have entered through this collegiate entry point and currently in the Aspirations community there are over a thousand college students enrolled in the Aspirations community. More than 200 were eligible for the Collegiate Award and this year we had 39 applicants for the award. There are also over 200 universities that are in the Aspirations community and we ask those of you representing academia to please, if you’re not already part of this community, to please look at bringing it more fully onboard on your campus and to reach out to those computing degree students and encourage them to stay in computing. The recipients of the award will receive an engraved trophy, an HP Chromebook computer, a check for $7,500 and some HP swag as well. Let’s start first of all, I’d like to ask Natalia Rodriguez from Southwestern University, whose project was Mapping Instagram Data To Visualize Body Image Hashtags, to please come to the stage. [applause] Congratulations. We’re gonna pause here. Thank you. If you’ll just pause and wait right here. Next I’d like to invite Angela Sun from Michigan State University. Her project was YOU++:a Smartphone Battery Drain Study. [applause] Congratulations. Thank you. I’ll give you that. We have a third winner unfortunately who fell ill and was not able to join us today and that is Bri Connelly from University of Texas at Austin and her project is Callscout. A round of applause for our winners. [applause] But there’s more. Next we’d like to acknowledge the 2015 NCWIT Collegiate Award Honorable Mentions. I’d like to ask the awardees to stand. There here in the front row. Please hold your applause until I’ve read their names, until the end. The awardees will receive a special certificate, a cash award of $500 and some HP swag. For those of you with us who are honorable mention winners, please stand. [applause] Wait, wait. I’m gonna tell you their names. [applause] Our winners are Serena Booth, Amanda Downs, Brooke Bosley, Roya Edalatpour, Bri Chapman, Katherine Miller, Caitlin Cowden, Angela Sy, Stephanie Djidjev, Antonella Wilby. Please join me in congratulating all of our winners. [applause] Congratulations. [applause] All right, on that note I think I’ll hand it back to you, Lucy. Thank you.

LUCY SANDERS: Thanks so much.

JANICE ZDANKUS: Thank you. [applause]

LUCY SANDERS: You can, yeah, you can. We’re really grateful for that support. It’s a personal treasure of mine and I know of many of you to recognize technical excellence in computing. Also, again, Academic Alliance members, any women in a four-year degree program, major or minor is eligible to join the Aspirations in Computing Community and to be eligible for this award in her junior or senior year. Please do get involved and congratulations again for your accomplishments. It’s really great.

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