Hesham Ali, Dean of College of Information Science and Technology

Organization Name 
University of Nebraska Omaha

The University of Nebraska-Omaha set a goal to increase the percentage of female students enrolled in each of our five programs. We will implement two strategies to attract women to our programs. First, we are designating tutors for women in our current intro courses who have little experience with programming.  We are planning to impement NCWIT promising practices for these introductory courses to teach our students computing principles as well as provide encouragement for them to consider technology as a potential major. We expect that some students will be attracted to our interdisciplinary majors such as IT Innovation and Bioinformatics.  Second, we intend to pair female students with professional men and women who will mentor and help them develop skills, identify university/college resources, and learn about career opportunities in information technology. We plan to develop a learning community to connect and encourage these women as they pursue IT degrees.

Bob Beck, Professor, Chair Department of Computing Sciences

Organization Name 
Villanova University

Villanova University has set a goal to increase the number of undergraduate women enrolled in the computer science major by January 2015. We will do this by making personal calls to women accepted to the computer science program at Villanova, posting information about computing around campus, developing information materials for the Career Services Office and faculty advisors.

Crystal Eney, Director of Student Services

Organization Name 
University of Washington

For our 2013-2015 Pacesetters goals, The University of Washington continues recruitment efforts focused on early-college women: recruiting a higher percentage of incoming female freshmen to UW CSE, and retaining strong women throughout our introductory programming course series. 

In the past two years, we greatly increased our outreach to middle school and high school women through our DawgBytes program.  DawgBytes includes summer camps, programming competitions, and hosting an NCWIT Aspirations Award Ceremony at our university.  We also reach out to influential teachers through our Inspirational Teachers Banquet and CS4HS (Computer Science for High Schools) workshops every summer, encouraging the K-12 community to cultivate technical interests in their students, and to send their strong men and women to our program.

Finally, more narrowly, we continue to work on our initial Pacesetters goal of retaining women in our introductory programming sequence, and encouraging them to pursue a CSE major.  Of high-performing students in intro programming, women are less likely to continue to the second course in the series than men. We are committed to solving this problem, and encouraging more to continue into the field of computing.  Our approach includes many of the efforts detailed in our initial Pacesetters plan: targeted outreach from Teaching Assistants to high-achieving women, emails from advising staff directly to the women doing well in the course, and invited teas where strong performing women have an opportunity to talk with young women in industry, faculty, and staff in our department. 

By expanding our focus to include middle school and high school outreach, along with ongoing retention efforts in our introductory programming courses, we hope to move the needle ever closer to achieving and surpassing our goal of 30% women in CSE.

Natasha Veltri, Assistant Professor

Organization Name 
University of Tampa

The Information & Technology Management department at the University of Tampa offers two majors: Management Information Systems (MIS) accredited by ABET’s Computing Accreditation Commission using the Information Systems criteria and Financial Enterprise Systems (FES). We joined the NCWIT Pacesetters program in January 2013 to use best practices to increase enrollment of females in the MIS program by 50 percent. We are using an in-reach strategy by focusing on female students who are already at the University of Tampa. On campus events introduce students to career opportunities in IT, dispel stereotypes and showcase successful female IT professionals.  Partnerships with local information systems professional associations provide many opportunities for student interaction with the IT community and female role models. Our faculty members and student leaders of the UT Technology Club serve as ambassadors and discuss the MIS major with other students in classes and on campus. Additionally, professors invite female guest speakers to introductory MIS classes and personally encourage female students to pursue career opportunities in the IT field. We hope that these efforts will allow us to spread the word about opportunities in IT field, and identify and provide one-on-one encouragement to students to pursue IT-related majors.

Dori Farah

Dori Farah, Graduate Recruitment Manager

Organization Name 
Syracuse University - School of Information Studies (iSchool)

Our Pacesetters journey began with Syracuse University’s Chancellor Nancy Cantor kicking off the Syracuse University Sit With Me campaign, affirming our commitment to act as an entry point and springboard for women interested in the STEM disciplines. With the Chancellor’s visionary charge, our iSchool Dean, Liz Liddy’s, support, and our countless champions amongst our faculty, staff and –most importantly – students, the iSchool is implementing a number of special initiatives to meet our Pacesetters goal: to increase female enrollment by 15% at the undergraduate B.S. and graduate M.S. degree levels by January 2015.

To build awareness overall, we’ll be continuing the Sit With Me campaign, updating our website, and collaborating with our Women in Information Technology student groups on special campaigns to the campus and community. At the undergraduate level, we are continuing our It Girls Overnight Retreat program – a slumber party meets hack-a-thon designed to engage, inspire, and celebrate high school women and their potential in IT – and the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Upstate NY Affiliate Award. At the graduate level, we look forward to meeting outstanding graduate school candidates through our sponsorship at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference and on the road at new university graduate school fairs.

Christina Wujek, IT Recruiting Consultant at Governor's Office of Information Technology

Organization Name 
State of Colorado - Governor's Office of Technology OIT

The Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) intends to increase the number of tecnical women in their organization. We have identified a group of women in our workforce who are in a position to be developed into ‘hi-potential’ future leaders for OIT and are currently working on a succession plan to ensure they continue to contribute as an important part our technial organization. Our goal for Pacesetters is to incorporate into OITs Playbook Initiatives for Fiscal Year 2014, a strategy to refine OITs talent review process by ensuring that eligible women are identified and offered leadership coaching, mentoring and/or training and maintain that percentage through the next two years. This goal allows OIT to be progressive in our attempt to be a place where women want to work and are recognized for their contributions.

Leanne Smullen, VP Marketing

Organization Name 

At SpotXchange, we are committed to recruiting and retaining women in technology.  As a Pacesetter, we have aggressive goals to hire more women engineers, and we’re well on our way to exceeding our Pacesetter goals by 2015.  We're proud to let women know we’re a company that is hiring engineers, and we pay close attention to the number of women we hire.  We host events at our office like Girl Geek Dinners and Women Who Code, to introduce local women to SpotXchange and show them the fun, team-oriented environment we work in every day.  We communicate using social media to let people know that we’re a company that values diversity and that we’re actively seeking the best candidates; we want as many women engineers as possible to be part of our team! 

SpotXchange was a founding member of the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance, and was the first to purchase a red chair in support of the Sit With Me initiative, which was created by members of NCWIT to promote awareness of the importance of having women in technology by taking a seat to take a stand in their iconic Red Chair. Our leadership team at SpotXchange supports women in technology too. Both our CTO and VP of Engineering are committed to the NCWIT and Pacesetter vision, and as a team we're eager to continue an honest and open conversation about challenges and hopes for the future of women in tech.

Read more about the handful of ways SpotXchange leads the way as a startup focused on hiring and retaining technical women:

Alka Harriger

Alka Harriger, Professor Computer Information Technology

Organization Name 
Purdue University

Purdue University aims to have a specific number of Net New Women in both of their computing programs along with a higher graduation rate for both programs. We plan to improve retention to raise the number of female students graduating to pursue careers in computing-related fields.  Purdue University has a tradition of ethical conduct spanning its history. As a land-grant institution, they demonstrate their responsiveness to their constituencies and extend to them access to their knowledge resources. They nurture relationships with other partners in education who support their vision or join us to foster common interests. They integrate their mission with their responsibilities. They contribute their knowledge resources impartially in serving their public purposes. As faculty, students, staff, and administrators, they are a community of dedicated learners, scholars, professionals, and practitioners - all contributing their talents to uphold their standards, and improve themselves and the broader community in which they live and work. Their responsibilities and obligations toward the advancement of learning, discovery, and engagement in the University and in Indiana extend to their nation and the world.

Gloria Townsend

Gloria Townsend, Professor of Computer Science

Organization Name 
DePauw University

DePauw University has set a goal to increase the numbers of graduating computer science majors by leveraging the large minors' pool in two ways.  First, we are expanding the pool by employing a strategy developed in our first-round NCWIT seed grant:  The "content preview", a strategy in which we send an invitation to all first-year women (immediately preceding fall and spring registrations) and offer to teach the concepts necessary to complete the first Computer Science I laboratory.  We work through the laboratory in a just-in-time fashion, using female role-models (who are upper-class student majors) as individual instructors for each small group of first-year women.  Instead of encouraging only majoring in computer science as an outcome of the "content preview" events, we now also stress minoring.  Our second in-reach strategy is to implement targeted recruiting of women who plan to minor in computer science to participate in the many activities we offer for female majors, as encouragement for extending the computer science minor to a major.

DePauw University joins Pacesetters as its first small liberal arts school. Liberal arts institutions provide especially effective climates in which to nurture female students: Undergraduate students receive the kinds of opportunities normally reserved for graduate students at large research universities, and professors maintain close relationships with students in classrooms with very low student-to-faculty ratios. Accordingly, DePauw graduated many female computer science seniors between 1988-2012. A number of programs contribute to DePauw's success of graduating female computer science majors such as, a longstanding ACM-W Chapter, student and faculty attendance at Grace Hopper Celebrations and ACM-W small regional conferences; encouraging women to serve as laboratory and in-class teaching assistants and tutors; and adhering to NCWIT best practices such as student encouragement, stressing that the mind is elastic, and emphasizing the importance of practice. DePauw will continue to implement these programs to ensure the continual success of our computer science women.

Scott McCrickard

Scott McCrickard, Associate Professor, School of Computer Science

Organization Name 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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:

Ed Lazowska

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

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:

Tiffany Grady

Tiffany Grady, Assistant Director for Academic Initiatives

Organization Name 
University of Texas - Austin

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:

Ken Anderson

Ken Anderson, Associate Professor of Computer Science

Organization Name 
University of Colorado - Boulder

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:

Adrienne Harrell

Adrienne Harrell, Director of Undergraduate Student Affairs

Organization Name 
University of California - Santa Cruz

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 ( that provides encouragement and incentive to study computing.

Hear Adrienne tell the University of California Santa Cruz Pacesetters story:

Debra Richardson

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

Organization Name 
University of California - Irvine

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:

Ruth Davis

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

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:

Dalene King

Dalene King, Senior Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager

Organization Name 

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:

Kim Warren-Martin

Kim Warren-Martin, Women's Initiative Manager, Global Diversity and Inclusion

Organization Name 

Intel's contribution to Net New Women centers on retention through growth and development of our senior women and pipeline of mid-level technical women. We piloted two programs: Command Presence Workshop is a development opportunity where senior technical women facilitate half-day sessions with the goal of helping mid-level technical women be successful when presenting in task forces, decision-making meetings, and to senior and executive-level audiences. It includes a discussion on constructive confrontation and a simulated "intense meeting" with an executive audience to make the experience as realistic as possible. Command Presence Workshop has helped over 100 mid-level technical women build confidence, command a room, respond to rapid-fire questions...and that number continues to grow.

Extend Our Reach is a strategic sponsorship program designed to help high-potential senior women establish sponsor relationships with influential executive women who can share knowledge and, most importantly, connect them with growth experiences and potentially opportunities for advancement.

Extend Our Reach has added extra resonance having executive women sponsor, not just mentor, their junior female colleagues. The pilot matched 36 female proteges and 27 executive women's sponsors. Its goal is to help the group of senior women move from where they are to where they desire to be. As more executive women learn to excel at sponsoring, the hope is that their expertise and example will cascade down a few levels and across business unites and functions and continue to support and retain women at Intel.

Hear Kim tell the Intel Pacesetters story:

Maureen Biggers

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

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: