June 12, 2013

BOULDER, COLO. (June 12, 2013) – The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is pleased to announce that two participants of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing talent development initiative have been selected to join British Airways’ UnGrounded “hack at 30,000 feet” on June 12, 2013.

UnGrounded brings together 100 diverse innovators for a private, transatlantic flight from San Francisco to London, dubbed as an “Innovation Lab in the Sky.” Participants will spend the 11-hour flight co-designing platforms that solve challenges related to the lack of talent and the abundance of potential in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) innovation around the globe.

The NCWIT Aspirations in Computing talent development initiative increases women’s participation in technology careers by providing awards, encouragement, visibility, community, leadership opportunities, scholarships, and internships to aspiring technical women. Since 2007, NCWIT has inducted more than 2,500 young women into this unique community. Following are the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing participants flying with UnGrounded:

Kitt Vanderwater is a software engineer at Google, where she works on Google Plus security. She joined Aspirations in Computing in 2008 and interned at Google while earning her computer science degree from North Central College. Kitt is on Team Wingspan, which will look at “expanding STEM through education.”

Cassidy Williams joined Aspirations in Computing in high school and currently is a junior at Iowa State University (class of 2014), majoring in computer science. Cassidy will intern this summer with Intuit. She is on Team Altitude, which will work on “fostering women in STEM.”

“We’re thrilled that British Airways has selected Kitt and Cassidy to participate among the creative, technical thinkers on UnGrounded,” said Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives at NCWIT. “Innovation benefits from diverse perspectives, so technology should be created by as broad a population as the one it serves.”

Upon arrival in London, the UnGrounded participants will present their solutions to the United Nations ITU Secretary General, Dr Hamadoun Touré, while attending the DNA (Decide Now Act) Summit.


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. NCWIT is supported by the National Science Foundation, Microsoft, Bank of America, Avaya, Pfizer, Merck, Turner, AT&T, Bloomberg, EMC, Google, Motorola, Qualcomm, Intel, HP, Symantec, and more than 450 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide. Find out more at


Jenny Slade

NCWIT Communications