Aspirations in Computing Awards - Wisconsin
On Tuesday, April 17, the Wisconsin Award for Aspirations in Computing ceremony was held at BMO Financial Institute for Learning in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The event honored young women for their accomplishments in computing and technical abilities.
The event started with a brief introduction to NCWIT and SIM. Kim Ehlert, Associate Dean of Business Information Technology at Waukesha County Technical College, and Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives at NCWIT, explained NCWIT’s purpose and shared some facts on the number of women in IT positions. Farmer shared that currently only 18% of computer science degrees are awarded to women. That is a big drop from the peak in 1991 when females received 37%. The information technology workforce is growing, and currently only 29% of the industry’s need for IT professionals will be filled based on the number of people enrolled in IT related education. Because of this need for jobs, the opportunities for women in computing-related jobs are endless. NCWIT encourages women to join the workforce as IT professionals.
The keynote speaker was Nancy Olson, CIO for the City of Milwaukee. She spoke on three main points of advice she gives to young women: get out of your comfort zone; look for new opportunities; and look for what is next and prepare for it. She said not to be afraid to learn about something from another industry. This will help you be more valuable to your employer, it will help you understand your own field better, and it will help you in your future career. She also encouraged the girls to consider a career in public service. Recognized at the event were:
Wisconsin Aspirations in Computing Educator Award Winner:
- Robert Getka, from Parker High School in Janesville
2012 Wisconsin Affiliate Winners:
- Winner: Kelly DeLano from St. Francis High School
- Winner: Mary O’Leary from Parker High School
- Winner: Ashley Rohn from Fennimore High School
- Runner Up: Amy Bartos from Menomonee Falls High School
- Runner Up: Larissa Hakes from Menomonie High School
The winners received special NCWIT WI Affiliate tote bags with prizes and engraved plaques with their name, school, and award; and they participated in a raffle to win an iPad3, Kindle, or Kindle Fire. UW-Madison also offered a $1,000 scholarship to any winner who enrolls in a computer science program at UW-Madison.
Closing remarks were made by Joe Kmoch, Phil Zweig, and Ruthe Farmer. After the event, refreshments were provided by culinary students from Waukesha County Technical College.