2010 - 2012 Pacesetters

Adrienne Harrell

Adrienne Harrell, Director of Undergraduate Student Affairs

Strategies: 

Partner with existing groups (company affinity groups, supervisory groups, local community organizations) to offer opportunities that women weren't aware of and to recruit and advance women into computing fields. This may involve efforts to change the image of computing or improving how the organization celebrates women's technical contributions and accomplishments.

Improving the first course can appeal to a broader demographic (not just women) by teaching computing in context and showing how computing skills can be is applied to disciplines such as healthcare, disabilities, or the arts. Such introductory courses introduce computational thinking skills (as opposed to just the mechanics of coding), keep students engaged, and increase retention in the major.

In-reach means looking more closely at the women already on campus and those already working in your company to recruit from the inside. Women already connected to your organization can be motivated to study CS / IT majors or take on variety of technical corporate jobs when they receive direct motivation to do so.

Outreach and programs that target middle and high school girls are important because they engage girls before they lose interest or decide to pursue other fields. Programs such as the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing and Dot Diva provide encouragement, inspiration, and community to young women that can influence career decisions.

Sometimes it's helpful to look externally for new pools of talent and introduce them to computing fields and careers. This can include offering new majors or creating interdisciplinary majors that allow students to combine computing skills with a variety of fields that interest them, or providing training to current employees that allows them to switch to a technical track.

Organization Name: 
University of California - Santa Cruz
Organization URL: 
http://www.cs.ucsc.edu/

Over the last 18 months, the number of women majoring in computer science at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) has increased by 40%. Faculty and staff at the Jack Baskin School of Engineering (JBSOE) have introduced a number of initiatives to encourage greater participation of women in computing on campus.

We are reaching out to middle school girls with a summer camp called "Girls in Engineering", which focuses computer science and engineering. Through our participation in the Bay Area Affiliate of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, we are encouraging high-school-age young women to pursue computing and establishing UCSC as a women-friendly place to study computing. An outreach "road show" is designed to influence more young women to consider computer science as a college option.

Our NSF-funded scholarship program targets financially disadvantaged students, especially women, and includes a unique live-and-learn community and shared curriculum in the first year. We also are reaching out to women already at UCSC through the redesign of an entry-level course and an advertising campaign we call "Project Awesome." Project Awesome is an aggressive "in-reach" program targeting first- and second-year women with brochures mailed to their homes, welcome events on campus, and a website (http://awesome.soe.ucsc.edu) that provides encouragement and incentive to study computing.

Hear Adrienne tell the University of California Santa Cruz Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1306.

Cedric Stallworth

Cedric Stallworth, Assistant Dean, Office of Outreach, Enrollment & Community

Strategies: 

Sometimes it's helpful to look externally for new pools of talent and introduce them to computing fields and careers. This can include offering new majors or creating interdisciplinary majors that allow students to combine computing skills with a variety of fields that interest them, or providing training to current employees that allows them to switch to a technical track.

Organization Name: 
Georgia Institute of Technology
Organization URL: 
http://www.cc.gatech.edu/

Georgia Tech has worked hard to level the playing field for women in computing, but there is still much work to be done. Georgia Tech seeks to become a national leader in graduating underrepresented students, and we believe our existing efforts here will also increase our number of net new women.

We are increasing the number of net new women by directly leveraging the strength of our graduate programs and our many relationships with a number of undergraduate institutions. We are using the College of Computing's transfer and dual degree programs as a mechanism for increased diversity. In partnership with local women's colleges, we are establishing a dual degree pipeline in computing and we have extended this to include partnerships with two-year colleges, some of which are increasingly sending transfer students to Georgia Tech. This initiative is focused on steering women who might have some interest in advanced computing, but who don't see an immediate path, into computing majors and degrees. We also are partnering with undergraduate institutions to provide dual degrees for students attending schools with no undergraduate computing degree programs.

Hear Cedric tell the Georgia Tech Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1312.

Dalene King

Dalene King, Senior Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager

Strategies: 

Partner with existing groups (company affinity groups, supervisory groups, local community organizations) to offer opportunities that women weren't aware of and to recruit and advance women into computing fields. This may involve efforts to change the image of computing or improving how the organization celebrates women's technical contributions and accomplishments.

In-reach means looking more closely at the women already on campus and those already working in your company to recruit from the inside. Women already connected to your organization can be motivated to study CS / IT majors or take on variety of technical corporate jobs when they receive direct motivation to do so.

Organization Name: 
Microsoft

At Microsoft, we believe a diverse workforce is key to driving continued innovation. Through cultivating an inclusive environment, we strive to capitalize on the ideas and perspectives of our talent to create the most innovative products, best business solutions, and ideal services for our global customers. As part of this commitment, Microsoft embarked on a partnership with the NCWIT to grow the number of women in computing technology in the industry.

Our approach focuses on three internal programs with the goal of increasing our overall representation. The first program supports the movement of college students into the industry through internships starting at the freshman and sophomore level. The second builds upon our current on-boarding programs by connecting new female hires to others in the company who help support their success at Microsoft. The third program centers on creating a global women’s community at Microsoft for women who deliver technical services and support to customers in the field. Over the last year, this third program focused on raising the visibility of the contributions these technical women provide to Microsoft and the industry, ultimately enhancing their own career advancement and showcasing them as role models for others.

Hear Dalene tell the Microsoft Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1305.

Debra Richardson

Debra Richardson, Ted and Janice Smith Family Foundation, Dean of Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science

Strategies: 

Improving the first course can appeal to a broader demographic (not just women) by teaching computing in context and showing how computing skills can be is applied to disciplines such as healthcare, disabilities, or the arts. Such introductory courses introduce computational thinking skills (as opposed to just the mechanics of coding), keep students engaged, and increase retention in the major.

In-reach means looking more closely at the women already on campus and those already working in your company to recruit from the inside. Women already connected to your organization can be motivated to study CS / IT majors or take on variety of technical corporate jobs when they receive direct motivation to do so.

Sometimes it's helpful to look externally for new pools of talent and introduce them to computing fields and careers. This can include offering new majors or creating interdisciplinary majors that allow students to combine computing skills with a variety of fields that interest them, or providing training to current employees that allows them to switch to a technical track.

Organization Name: 
University of California - Irvine
Organization URL: 
http://www.ics.uci.edu/

At the Bren School of ICS at the University of California Irvine, we are encouraging undeclared freshman (with a focus on women) to enroll in one or more of our non-major classes and then complete one or more of our minors or transfer into one of our majors. We reach out to non-majors and "advertise" our introductory courses and the importance of being computationally fluent in the 21st century. We "market"" to undergraduate students who are already enrolled in their non-major courses about the opportunities for both minoring and majoring in computing-related disciplines. UCI also offers computing-related workshops to middle and high school girls - such as AppJams teaching them to develop mobile applications for STEM education targeted at young children. Our experience is that these fun, relevant workshops engage students in the learning process and this may result in students joining ICS@UCI, or may result in them pursuing computing majors at other institutions.

Hear Debra tell the University of California, Irvine Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1287.

Ed Lazowska

Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering

Strategies: 

Partner with existing groups (company affinity groups, supervisory groups, local community organizations) to offer opportunities that women weren't aware of and to recruit and advance women into computing fields. This may involve efforts to change the image of computing or improving how the organization celebrates women's technical contributions and accomplishments.

In-reach means looking more closely at the women already on campus and those already working in your company to recruit from the inside. Women already connected to your organization can be motivated to study CS / IT majors or take on variety of technical corporate jobs when they receive direct motivation to do so.

Faculty, admissions staff, counselors, parents, mentors, managers, and peers are all powerful influencers of women's decisions to enter or stay in a technical career. Influencing the influencers provides an inflection point for causing them to consider their own biases or perceptions, and helping them encourage more women to pursue technical careers.

Organization Name: 
University of Washington

University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) created a multi-pronged strategy with the goal of adding "net new" women in computing fields. We targeted female freshman honors students with a new course called "Brave New World: Scientific, Economic and Social Impact of CS". We created popular honors sections in our introductory programming courses with the purpose of engaging smart women and getting some of them to add Computer Science & Engineering to their "might be interested in" list of majors. We coordinated our instructors and support staff to ensure consistent, encouraging communication with students (specifically women) in the Intro the Programming class. Emails sent to high achievers suggested that they consider applying for the major; informational "teas" invited women to network with faculty, students, and staff from the department; and a special women's seminar introduced women to the breadth and depth of CSE by visiting local companies, listening to current student panels, seeing research presentations, and talking about their experiences in the courses.

We also are in the early stages of our traveling road show program, in which CSE graduates and undergraduates visit local middle and high schools to show them exciting applications of computer science. The number of women in the University of Washington CSE is about 4% higher now than when we started; since many of our outreach programs target students early in the pipeline, we hope to continue to see our numbers increase over the next few years.

Hear Ed tell the University of Washington Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1302.

Gabriela Marcu

Gabriela Marcu, Ph.D. Student, Human Computer Interaction

Strategies: 

Partner with existing groups (company affinity groups, supervisory groups, local community organizations) to offer opportunities that women weren't aware of and to recruit and advance women into computing fields. This may involve efforts to change the image of computing or improving how the organization celebrates women's technical contributions and accomplishments.

Organization Name: 
Carnegie Mellon University
Organization URL: 
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/

Carnegie Mellon University has a renowned history for recruiting women to its computer science programs and has achieved its Pacesetters goals in part by working with the strong, visible community of women (Women@SCS) already active in the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. This year we've seen a growth spurt in enrollment of women in CS majors and a steady demand for our outreach programs.

In response to participating in Pacesetters, Dr. Carol Frieze, Director of Women@SCS, built an advisory team of CMU faculty, headed by the Dean, to review current and future diversity programs. Our approach has been two-fold. First, we have fostered an on-campus community that includes mentoring programs, connects women across all levels and departments, and offers professional development workshops and invited speakers. All of these activities support our retention efforts and sharpen students' professional skills. Second, our outreach programs are helping to spread the word about computing, broaden the image of who can do computing, and engage teachers and students in computational concepts and hands-on activities.

Hear Gabriela tell the Carnegie Mellon University Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1299.

Ignatios Vakalis

Ignatios Vakalis, Chair, Department of Computer Science

Strategies: 

Partner with existing groups (company affinity groups, supervisory groups, local community organizations) to offer opportunities that women weren't aware of and to recruit and advance women into computing fields. This may involve efforts to change the image of computing or improving how the organization celebrates women's technical contributions and accomplishments.

Improving the first course can appeal to a broader demographic (not just women) by teaching computing in context and showing how computing skills can be is applied to disciplines such as healthcare, disabilities, or the arts. Such introductory courses introduce computational thinking skills (as opposed to just the mechanics of coding), keep students engaged, and increase retention in the major.

Organization Name: 
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Organization URL: 
https://www.csc.calpoly.edu/

At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, students in computer science and software engineering expressed interest in learning more technologies in context and application, beginning very early in their major. In 2010 we revised our first-year course selections, so that now students can choose a flavor from a menu of an introductory computing course. Current flavors include:  Game Design, Mobile App Development, Robotics, Music Composition, and Computational Art. We are working on adding: Cybersecurity and Data Analytics. These courses reflect the evolution of computing instruction by giving students choices in their introductory class, teaching "algorithmic thinking," using context to draw students in and keep their interest, and implementing project-based learning in a group environment. Initial results show that this approach has been especially popular and effective with female students.

Cal Poly also has emphasized opportunities for women in computing to develop visibility for themselves and the field. Our Computer Science Department promotes the women in computing student club, runs a speaker series, and established a mentoring mechanism for female students. The department provides outstanding support to female students for attending and participating the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference (32 female students attended and Grace Hopper conference in Oct 2013; a record number for a public University). The department has successfully hosted three “NCWIT Awards for Aspirations in Computing” for high school girls and will continue this commitment.  Our recruitment efforts have been substantially enhanced with the dedicated efforts of our female majors who are visiting their former high schools, using NCWIT road show materials, to ignite the passion of prospective female students.

Hear Ignatios share the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1294.

Jessica Murillo

Jessica Murillo, Software Engineering Director, Systems & Technology Group

Strategies: 

Partner with existing groups (company affinity groups, supervisory groups, local community organizations) to offer opportunities that women weren't aware of and to recruit and advance women into computing fields. This may involve efforts to change the image of computing or improving how the organization celebrates women's technical contributions and accomplishments.

Organization Name: 
IBM

IBM has a long-standing focus on innovation and we believe diversity is a competitive advantage. At IBM we leverage our differences to create innovations that matter and drive the best results for our clients.

Our Technical Women's Pipeline Program is a career framework and networking community for our technical innovators that support women's growth and advancement. As part of the Technical Women's Pipeline Program IBM assigns each participant a long-term technical role model and an executive sponsor, who actively coach and mentor her to be an innovator. IBM creates a set of targeted activities and learning opportunities tailored to each participant. These include creating an annual actionable development plan with measurable goals, and developing a promotion package to ensure the candidate continues to progress in her career. Participants receive a career roadmap tailored for their specific needs, and have opportunities for visibility and development through temporary assignments, job shadowing, and other experiential learning opportunities. Regular checkpoints between the IBM employee, her coach, her executive sponsor, and her manager keep the team focused on her development and progress.

Hear Jessica tell the IBM Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1303.

Jim Cohoon

Jim Cohoon, Professor

Strategies: 

Improving the first course can appeal to a broader demographic (not just women) by teaching computing in context and showing how computing skills can be is applied to disciplines such as healthcare, disabilities, or the arts. Such introductory courses introduce computational thinking skills (as opposed to just the mechanics of coding), keep students engaged, and increase retention in the major.

Outreach and programs that target middle and high school girls are important because they engage girls before they lose interest or decide to pursue other fields. Programs such as the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing and Dot Diva provide encouragement, inspiration, and community to young women that can influence career decisions.

Organization Name: 
University of Virginia
Organization URL: 
http://www.cs.virginia.edu/

Computer Science at the University of Virginia is committed to an environment where diverse, capable, inspired individuals can collaborate to learn and advance knowledge. Our reasoning is trifold: we wish to be a model in reaping and sharing the benefits of diversity; we seek to enhance our intellectual and creative environment; and we expect to better produce happy, capable, and broadly-educated graduates.

To support our vision we have three undergraduate programs: B.A. and B. S. degrees in Computer Science, and a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering. These offerings allow our students flexibility to tailor their education towards their careers goals. We call our "Net New Women" goal 30-30-30. We want female undergraduate and graduate participation in computing to reflect their overall school demographics of 30%. It is also our intention to see the percentage of women faculty exceed 30%. To help us achieve a diverse, well-qualified undergraduate body we actively recruit with career nights and with three first-year course offerings. Although all offerings prepare students for immediate entry into secondary courses, they differ in pedagogy and intended audiences, from the inexperienced to the experienced. These practices are achieving results. Our major graduation rates are projected to climb from a historic high of 15% to over 25% women.

See Jim's University of Virginia Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1426.

John Bennett

John Bennett, Director of ATLAS

Strategies: 

Sometimes it's helpful to look externally for new pools of talent and introduce them to computing fields and careers. This can include offering new majors or creating interdisciplinary majors that allow students to combine computing skills with a variety of fields that interest them, or providing training to current employees that allows them to switch to a technical track.

Organization Name: 
Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society Institute

ATLAS students explore the complex interaction of technology and society and work to realize the full potential of that interaction. We created a new intro course in CS using a virtual world called Second Life and use it as a programming laboratory. We now offer a new track in game development that blends artistic and technical education. We introduced a new Master’s program focused on communication and information technology to improve the quality of life for people in the developing world. Our results to date include an Undergraduate program that is 58% women, a Masters program is 50% women, and a Ph.D. program that is 75% women. We have a lot left to do. Stay tuned!

Hear John share the ATLAS Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1293.

Ken Anderson

Ken Anderson, Associate Professor of Computer Science

Strategies: 

In-reach means looking more closely at the women already on campus and those already working in your company to recruit from the inside. Women already connected to your organization can be motivated to study CS / IT majors or take on variety of technical corporate jobs when they receive direct motivation to do so.

Sometimes it's helpful to look externally for new pools of talent and introduce them to computing fields and careers. This can include offering new majors or creating interdisciplinary majors that allow students to combine computing skills with a variety of fields that interest them, or providing training to current employees that allows them to switch to a technical track.

Organization Name: 
University of Colorado - Boulder
Organization URL: 
http://www.cs.colorado.edu/

At the University of Colorado, the Department of Computer Science is situated within the College of Engineering. While we produce terrific graduates, not all students identify as engineers and our program has endured low enrollments since the dot-com crash and low percentages of female students since the mid-1990s. This is in spite of interest in computer science by the more diverse students of the College of Arts and Sciences who, typically, do not want to take the math and science classes required to transfer to our program.

To address these problems, our participation in Pacesetters motivated us to develop a new degree program - the Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science - to be taught by our department but housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. This new degree program is designed to enable what we call "CS + X": the ability to major in computer science and then earn a degree or minor in a second area of study, such as biology or physics. Interest is strong and we are almost through the approval process. Interest is strong and we anticipate accepting students into this new program by Fall 2012.

Hear Ken tell the University of Colorado at Boulder Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1298.

Maureen Biggers

Maureen Biggers, Director, IU Center of Excellence in Technology (CEWiT)

Strategies: 

In-reach means looking more closely at the women already on campus and those already working in your company to recruit from the inside. Women already connected to your organization can be motivated to study CS / IT majors or take on variety of technical corporate jobs when they receive direct motivation to do so.

Faculty, admissions staff, counselors, parents, mentors, managers, and peers are all powerful influencers of women's decisions to enter or stay in a technical career. Influencing the influencers provides an inflection point for causing them to consider their own biases or perceptions, and helping them encourage more women to pursue technical careers.

Organization Name: 
Indiana University

The School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University doubled the number of female undergraduate majors, from 75 to 150 in 18 months. With strong support from the dean, we did it by using an engaging, research-based systemic change model promoted by NCWIT, and having a clear goal and a comprehensive strategic plan. Initiatives included faculty focus on best practices in pedagogy, programs to increase student success and retention, understanding our students and using that understanding in targeted marketing initiatives, community development to increase sense of belonging, and leveraging the power of parents and peers. It takes a village and this IU Village is now committed to the challenge of doubling it again to 300 female undergraduates in 2014!

Hear Maureen tell the Indiana University Bloomington Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1301.

Ruth Davis

Ruth Davis, Lee and Seymour Graff Professor of Computer Engineering; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Engineering

Strategies: 

In-reach means looking more closely at the women already on campus and those already working in your company to recruit from the inside. Women already connected to your organization can be motivated to study CS / IT majors or take on variety of technical corporate jobs when they receive direct motivation to do so.

Organization Name: 
Santa Clara University

At Santa Clara University, we are committed to engaging and retaining young women in our computing programs. We track our female computing majors as they enter their junior year; counting students in their junior year will be a measure of our success in both recruitment and retention. Our goal for fall of 2013 is to have 35% of our computing majors be female.

Santa Clara has implemented a volunteer tutoring program that helps both the tutors and their students. We have increased our support for existing women students by sponsoring several of them to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference each year, along with the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology Women of Vision banquet. We host a luncheon for female computing majors on the first day of finals, and we celebrate all of our female engineering students at our "Women in Engineering" dinner every year, where we encourage them to sign up for MentorNet. Each fall Santa Clara tracks the number and gender of students entering and staying in computing majors; likewise, each term that our tutoring program is in place, we track the number of tutor and student pairs, and survey the students about the benefits they feel they've received.

Hear Ruth tell the Santa Clara University Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1300.

Scott McCrickard

Scott McCrickard, Associate Professor, School of Computer Science

Strategies: 

Partner with existing groups (company affinity groups, supervisory groups, local community organizations) to offer opportunities that women weren't aware of and to recruit and advance women into computing fields. This may involve efforts to change the image of computing or improving how the organization celebrates women's technical contributions and accomplishments.

In-reach means looking more closely at the women already on campus and those already working in your company to recruit from the inside. Women already connected to your organization can be motivated to study CS / IT majors or take on variety of technical corporate jobs when they receive direct motivation to do so.

Sometimes it's helpful to look externally for new pools of talent and introduce them to computing fields and careers. This can include offering new majors or creating interdisciplinary majors that allow students to combine computing skills with a variety of fields that interest them, or providing training to current employees that allows them to switch to a technical track.

Organization Name: 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Organization URL: 
http://www.cs.vt.edu/

As an NCWIT Pacesetter, Virginia Tech is providing a positive computing experience for girls in high school by hosting and encouraging applications for the VA/DC Affiliate Aspiration in Computing Award. We have a focus on retention of female students in the CS major through strong support of our Virginia Tech Association for Women in Computing chapter and by offer women numerous scholarships to attend computing-related events with peers including the Grace Hopper and Tapia Conferences. We also continue to see interest in our new "designer minors" that combine CS with other disciplines (ex. business, math, psych, bioinformatics), drawing on populations with higher female/male ratios than engineering. Go Hokies!

Hear Scott tell the Virginia Tech Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1296.

Tiffany Grady

Tiffany Grady, Assistant Director for Academic Initiatives

Strategies: 

In-reach means looking more closely at the women already on campus and those already working in your company to recruit from the inside. Women already connected to your organization can be motivated to study CS / IT majors or take on variety of technical corporate jobs when they receive direct motivation to do so.

Outreach and programs that target middle and high school girls are important because they engage girls before they lose interest or decide to pursue other fields. Programs such as the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing and Dot Diva provide encouragement, inspiration, and community to young women that can influence career decisions.

Organization Name: 
University of Texas - Austin
Organization URL: 
http://www.cs.utexas.edu/

The Department of Computer Science at UT-Austin set a goal to increase the number of women entering the computer science undergraduate program and, through carefully targeted steps In 2011, we requested 40 slots for focused recruiting; in 2012, we doubled the number of women admitted. We intend to recruit and retain an increased number of women into our 2013-2014 freshman class this year. This year, a number of female students who attended our First Bytes camp were accepted to the department for 2013-2014. This year, we invited all accepted students to a recruiting event and we hosted a special lunch for the women.  We are holding a boot camp this summer for incoming students to help them get ahead with regards to programming and calculus as part of our retention efforts. We also offer scholarships sponsored by the National Science Foundation to many of our incoming female freshmen, as well as scholarships for winners of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. Each of these efforts has impacted our success. 

Hear Tiffany tell the University of Texas at Austin Pacesetters story: http://sitwithme.org/your-story/?story=1295.