2020 Academic Alliance Seed Fund Recipients

Congratulations to the 2020 NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund recipients! 

  • Stony Brook University - State University of New York will establish a mentorship and academic support program for first-year undergraduate women students in the Computer Science department. Featuring a week-long, pre-college coding camp; near-peer mentoring; and ongoing discussions on topics related to academic and professional success throughout the year, the MERIT (Mentor, Educate and Retain Women in Information Technology) program aims to improve retention by increasing participants’ confidence and sense of self-efficacy.
    Project Principal Investigators: Kevin McDonnell, Aruna Balasubramanian, and Michael Glick
  • University of California - Riverside will develop a multifaceted recruitment and mentorship program designed to educate prospective women students about opportunities in Computer Science while fostering ongoing community support, encouragement, and professional development for women students. Key elements of the program include near-peer mentoring and faculty-led workshops for both computing majors and non-majors. High school and community college women will also be invited to attend a mini-symposium featuring talks by alumni, faculty, and industry professionals.
    Project Principal Investigators: Mariam Salloum, Cecilia Cheung, and Jiasi Chen
  • Wake Forest University will develop and implement a new curriculum that integrates AI topics into all introductory Computer Science courses. By emphasizing AI’s interdisciplinary connections, career opportunities, and practical applications for contemporary social issues, this project aims to attract women and other traditionally underrepresented students to the computing program. In addition, undergraduate women student researchers will be recruited to  lead group discussions and serve as near-peer mentors for women students in the introductory class.
    Project Principal Investigator: Natalia Khuri
  • Willamette University will expand its efforts to recruit and retain women in the Computer Science department by hosting twelve Women in Tech events and four Tech Treks over the course of two years. The Women in Tech series will bring female tech professionals to campus to engage with students through career talks, panels, and mentoring sessions, while Tech Treks take current and prospective students off campus to learn about regional tech employers.
    Project Principal Investigators: Haiyan Cheng and Evgenia Chuniknina