Cheryl Swanier, Associate Professor

Cheryl Swanier

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: 
Fort Valley State University

At Fort Valley State University, it is our goal to recruit students in computing via First Course Experience and Community Outreach. We have computing faculty to speak to freshmen students, particularly those who are undecided majors about their future aspirations and give a presentation on the interesting things that computer scientists create and are able to achieve, instead of focusing only on programming. This includes introducing the students to websites and mobile applications. In addition, we are working with the local middle school and high school to peak their interest in computing in an effort to create a pipeline from secondary education to higher education in computing. This is being accomplished by providing topic specific workshops such as Introduction to Robotics or Website Development. These workshops are held at FVSU to give students a memorable on-campus experience. We believe sparking the interests of females this way will help the success of our recruitment process.