2016 NCWIT Summit – Academic Alliance (AA) Seed Fund

[upbeat music] [audience chatter]

LUCY SANDERS: Shhh. [laughs] Good afternoon everybody. Welcome back. This a little loud? Is this too loud? Is it good? Welcome back and also welcome to the people who are viewing this session remotely over the livestream. For new meeting attendees, I’m Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of NCWIT. Yesterday that got a huge round of applause. [laughter] [applause] Ahhh. Okay, good, good, good. Working on my confidence quota. [laughter] I hope you all enjoyed the break-outs over the last couple of hours. Lots of great content, like so much content and so little time. It’s almost frustrating in a way that there’s so much to go to and you can’t go to it all. Would like to tell you we’re going to try to archive as much as possible on the NCWIT Summit site, so that you can either refresh your memory about what was said in a workshop and/or go look at the content from a workshop that you didn’t get to go to. We’re going to start this plenary session with a few awards and some of my absolute favorite awards. First one is the NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund Award sponsored by Microsoft Research. Here to help with that is Daron Green. Many of you know Daron. He is a great friend and partner to NCWIT and to the academic community at large. He is a managing director for Microsoft Researchs, let me see if I can get this right, the University Research Collaboration. Did I do it right?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Close enough.

LUCY SANDERS: Close enough. [laughter] One too many research in there, but the bottom line is that he does really cool work with universities in computer science, so PhD scholarships, research centers, et cetera. Here to help with the NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund Award, please welcome Daron Green to the stage. [applause] [upbeat music]

DARON GREEN: Thank you. Good afternoon. Thank you, Lucy. I’m very pleased and proud to represent Microsoft Research here and really delighted to be part of what looks like another fantastic summit. I’m also proud to be able to represent Rane Johnson, who I think many of you will know much more than you know me, so Rane has been working in the diversity space for some time. She’s out on leave from Microsoft Research just at the moment. She may well be watching online, so if you are, hello Rane and get well soon. Over the past 10 years, Microsoft Research has awarded just shy of $550,000 to develop and implement initiatives for recruiting and retaining women in computing fields. Since its inception, over 3,000 student teachers and other adult stakeholders have been impacted by this program. That encompasses more than 370 schools and colleges that have benefited directly from the seed funding that we’ve provided. Of the 50 programs funded in the first 10 rounds, 28 reported that they’ve already found ways to sustain their programs outside the seed funding that we’re providing, which is really a great achievement. For those that haven’t yet secured that follow on funding, that’s okay. That may seem like an odd thing to say, but that’s actually okay. Part of what we expect to happen from the investments that we make is that some succeed but some fail. As part of Microsoft Research necessarily if we’re pushing the boundary, then we know that some things will fail. If you are one of those programs that actually hasn’t continued, one of the seed fund programs that hasn’t continued and you can see that you’re not gonna go forward, just let us know, give feedback to NCWIT. It’s really useful to get that input to help guide some of the other recipients or some of the other winners. Anyway, on with the winners, the four winners for this year. The 2016 recipients of the Academic Alliance Seed Funds are: Dr. Kari Sandouka from Dordt College and accepting for Dr. Sandouka is Dr. Nick Breems. Nick, if you could come to the stage, please. [applause] Dordt College will offer 10 annual scholarships for girls who attend the college’s residential overnight summer camp.

LUCY SANDERS: Is he done?

DARON GREEN: I think if you got a photo. [laughs] All right. [laughter] You just wanted to…


DARON GREEN: I know. Second, Doctors Hongmei Chi, Maurice Edington and Sharmini Pitter from Florida A&M University [applause] and accepting is Sharmini Pitter. [applause] Florida A&M University intends to purchase raspberry pie kits to be used in outreach activities for the purpose of creating instructional videos directed at high school and middle school students. Thirdly, Jennifer Whitlow and Cedric Stallworth [applause] and they’re from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia Institute of Technology plans to implement its Refocus program in order to increase the number of qualified under-represented female applicants in the college’s PhD programs. Refocus is a two-day program that includes informational sessions, lab tours, networking opportunities, interactive workshops, and individual meetings with faculty members. Lastly, Dr. Andrea Parker from Northeastern University. [applause] Accepting on Dr. Parker’s behalf is Dean Carla Broadley. Northeastern University aims to offer a unique opportunity of peer recruitment efforts involving various student groups on campus. The primary outcome of the efforts will be a video documenting why students transfer to the college of computer and information science. Finally, I just invite you all to give one more round of applause for all the winners. [applause] You’ll be hearing about the 2017 Seed Fund opportunities in the Academic Alliance meeting tomorrow. Thank you. Thank you, Lucy. [applause]

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