May 21, 2013

BOULDER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and AT&T today will honor the recipients of the 2013 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, which recognizes computing professors for their outstanding mentorship, high-quality research opportunities, and efforts to encourage and advance undergraduates (particularly women and minorities) in computing-related fields. The NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award is sponsored by AT&T, who will honor each of the recipients’ academic institutions with a gift of $5,000.

“AT&T is proud to support educators whose outreach and encouragement engages students from diverse backgrounds to study computing,” said LuAnn Chrumka, VP of Information Technology at AT&T. “This award is a natural extension of AT&T’s Aspire program, and our commitment to education-focused groups that concentrate on STEM disciplines for students in underserved communities. We hope this award motivates additional faculty who are developing students to become our future researchers and innovators.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to recognize these influential educators with support from AT&T,” said NCWIT CEO, Lucy Sanders. “Their work with students is directly diversifying the computing pipeline.”

Research experiences for undergraduates (REUs) have been shown to impact students’ career decisions and influence the path of their graduate studies. REUs can be particularly powerful for female students, who currently earn only 18% of undergraduate degrees in computing.

Following are the 2013 winners of the NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award:

Dr. Margaret Martonosi, Hugh Trumbull Adams '35 Professor of Computer Science, Princeton University. Dr. Martonosi has mentored students on a wide range of research projects, including power measurement platforms, hardware prototypes for GPS-based mobile sensors, and mobile apps for health and education. Among her undergraduate protégés, 27% are women and 51% have continued on to graduate school. She says mentoring students in research is “the best part of my job.”

Dr. Anne H.H. Ngu, Professor of Computer Science at Texas State University. Dr. Ngu was the first professor to establish a computer science undergraduate research program at Texas State University. The 20 students who have participated in her research program include women, Latinos, African Americans, and first-generation college students. External evaluation of her REU program found that “students reported multiple learning gains from their research experiences, including increased confidence in computer science, and a greater understanding of the technical research process.”

Dr. Fay Cobb Payton, Associate Professor of Information Systems, North Carolina State University. Dr. Payton’s goal is to provide her students with research opportunities – via social impact and technology initiatives – that better prepare them for graduate education. Her NSF-supported project,, gives students a voice on healthcare discourse in the African American community. Eighty percent of her protégés are members of underrepresented groups and 40% are women.

Dr. Cheryl Swanier, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Fort Valley State University. Dr. Swanier is the faculty advisor for the FVSU Student Chapter of ACM (Association of Computing Machinery), the program coordinator for the STARS (Students in Technology, Academia, Research, and Service) Alliance, and the program coordinator for ARTSI (Advancing Robotics Technology for Societal Impact) Alliance. She helped establish the robotics lab at her university and 99% of her undergraduate protégés are ethnic minorities.


NCWIT is a non-profit organization of organizations working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT helps its members more effectively recruit, retain, and advance girls and women in K-12 through college education, and from academic to corporate and startup careers. Members of the NCWIT Academic Alliance – nearly 650 distinguished faculty from more than 275 colleges and universities across the country – work to increase the number of women graduating with computing and technology degrees, with access to leading-edge practices for recruiting and retaining women and a supportive professional community. Find out more at



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Jenny Slade, 303-735-6600