Summit Speakers

Kamau Bell Photo

W. Kamau Bell

Socio-Political Comedian

Emmy-nominated comic and CNN host W. Kamau Bell delivers incisive, scathingly funny commentary on modern society that will change your view of race, politics and social issues in America. As host of the CNN docu-series “United Shades of America,” Kamau travels the country, offering viewers a rare yet eye-opening look inside the various subcultures of American life. The second season for United Shades of America starts this April. He first captured audiences’ attention with his thought-provoking one-man show, “The W.


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Lise Eliot, PhD

Professor of Neuroscience
Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science

Lise Eliot is Professor of Neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science. Her research centers on neural plasticity — the effect of practice and experience on brain circuitry — and is currently directed toward public education about brain and gender development. She received a BA in History & Science from Harvard, a PhD in Cellular Physiology & Biophysics from Columbia University, and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr.


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Jackson Katz

Jackson Katz, PhD

Director
MVP Strategies

Jackson Katz, PhD, is an educator, author, filmmaker, and cultural theorist who is internationally renowned for his pioneering scholarship and activism on issues of gender, race, and violence. He is co-founder of the multiracial, mixed-gender Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, which in 1993 introduced the “bystander” approach to the gender violence prevention field. MVP is one of the longest-running and most widely influential gender violence prevention programs in North America and beyond, and is the first large-scale program of its kind in the sports culture and the military.


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Lorinda Cherry

Lorinda Cherry

NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award Recipient

Lorinda Cherry received her Master’s in Computer Science from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1969, at a time when the computer science program was more of a specialized math degree, with some programming courses but little theory. She worked for a few years as a Fortran programmer, but found it “very boring” to constantly write programs based on someone else’s ideas. She yearned to work on systems, but there were few entry points for such jobs: individual labs tended to recruit new graduates and train them in their in-house programming language, and Cherry was already overqualified.


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Evi Nemeth

Evi Nemeth

NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award Recipient

Evi Nemeth is known worldwide as the lead author of the set of best-selling handbooks known as the “bibles” of system administration: Unix Systems Administration Handbook (1989, 1995, 2000) and LINUX Administration Handbook (2001, 2007). A visionary with a knack for foreseeing which trends would shape the direction of her field, Nemeth taught a popular class on “Hot Topics in System Administration” each year at the Usenix LISA conference.


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Brenda J. Allen

Vice Chancellor, Diversity and Inclusion; Professor, Department of Communication
University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

Brenda J. Allen (PhD, Howard University) is the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion and a Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver and the Anschutz Medical Campus. Her scholarship focuses on organizational communication, power and identity, with an emphasis on diversity in higher education. Among her publications is the groundbreaking book — Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity (Waveland Press, 2011).

 


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Kenn Barron

Professor, Psychology
James Madison University

Kenn Barron is a Professor of Psychology at James Madison University (JMU) and Co-Director of the Motivation Research Institute. He began working at JMU in 2000 after receiving his PhD in social/personality psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999.


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Dr. Sarmila Basu

Senior Director
Microsoft

Dr. Sarmila Basu, as a Sr. Director at Microsoft, leads the Data Science within Enterprise Services’ Data & AI domain and oversees global customer engagements. In this role, she has played a key role in setting the direction and execution of the company’s commitment to leveraging Advanced Analytics solutions using Microsoft technology. Using this Data Science strategy maximizes management’s ability to make data driven decisions and solve challenging business problems.


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Enobong (Anna) Branch

Associate Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer; Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Enobong Hannah Branch is the Associate Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion and the Chief Diversity Officer for UMass-Amherst as well as an Associate Professor of Sociology. She provides strategic leadership for campus diversity efforts to promote an institutional culture at UMass Amherst that values and supports diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Branch’s research focuses on race and gender, work and occupations, and diversity in science.


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Tracy Camp

Tracy Camp

Department Head and Professor of Computer Science
Colorado School of Mines

Tracy Camp is the Department Head and Professor of Computer Science at the Colorado School of Mines. She received a BA degree from Kalamazoo College, an MS degree from Michigan State University, and a PhD degree from the College of William and Mary.


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Sapna Cheryan

Associate Professor, Social Psychology
University of Washington

Dr. Sapna Cheryan is an associate professor of social psychology at the University of Washington. Her research investigates the role of cultural stereotypes in causing and perpetuating racial and gender disparities in U.S. society. She has published numerous articles on these topics in journals such as Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Psychological Bulletin. Her work on gender disparities in computer science has been cited widely in media outlets, including in the New York Times, NPR, and Washington Post.


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Leigh Ann DeLyser

Leigh Ann DeLyser

Co-chair
CSforAll Consortium

Leigh Ann DeLyser is a lifelong advocate of computer science education. Leigh Ann is currently the Director of Education and Research at CSNYC and co-chair of the national CSforAll Consortium. She directs CSNYC's research agenda, co-directs the CSforAll Consortium, consults on the evaluation of CS4All in NYC, and advises on the implementation of CS education in NYC classrooms. Leigh Ann is an experienced computer science teacher, education researcher, textbook author, College Board consultant, certified professional developer, and curriculum writer.


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Mary Fairchild

Director, Organizational and Talent Development
Port of Seattle

Mary Fairchild brings 15 years of experience in the technology industry, working for companies like Microsoft and aQuantive, where she led data driven diversity programming efforts. She consults with companies looking to build their diversity strategy, utilizing academic research, statistical analysis, and program evaluation techniques. She is also the Director of Organizational and Talent Development for the Port of Seattle.


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Ruthe Farmer

Ruthe Farmer

Chief Evangelist
CSforALL

Ruthe Farmer has focused her efforts on diversity and inclusion in tech and engineering since 2001 and is currently Chief Evangelist for CSforALL.


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Jannie Fernandez

Jannie Fernandez

NCWIT K-12 Alliance Manager & TECHNOLOchicas Program Manager
University of Colorado Boulder

Originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, Jannie joins NCWIT as the TECHNOLOchicas and K-12 Alliance Program Manager. She obtained her BS in special education with a focus on learning disabilities from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Prior to moving to Colorado, Jannie taught various Science subjects, including Biology and Physics, and also served as Special Education Department Head for a public high school in Miami.


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John Fink

Research Associate
Teachers College, Columbia University

John Fink ​is a research associate at the Community College Research Center (CCRC), Teachers College, Columbia University. ​He conducts research on student course-taking and enrollment patterns, two- and four-year institution transfer partnerships, high school dual enrollment students, and implementation and impacts of “guided pathways” reforms.


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Perry Fizzano

Professor and Department Chair, Department of Computer Science
Western Washington University

Perry Fizzano earned a B.S. degree in computer science from Widener University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Dartmouth College. He has been a faculty member at Western Washington University since 2007. Perry has done research in areas such as algorithms, optimization, bioinformatics and computer science education. Perry was a principal investigator on one NSF S-STEM project aimed at increasing the representation of women in computer science and math. During the span of the grant from 2011-2017 the percentage of women in his department increased from 10% to 20%.


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Lisa Flores

Associate Professor, Department of Communication
University of Colorado

Lisa A. Flores is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado.  She has a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Georgia. In her research and teaching, she theorizes gender, race, and sexuality. Her work is published in numerous top journals. Currently, Lisa is the book review editor for the Quarterly Journal of Speech and the forum editor for Women’s Studies in Communication.


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Jeff Forbes

Jeffrey Forbes

Expert, NSF
Associate Professor of the Practice of CS, Duke

Jeff Forbes is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Computer Science and an Associate Dean of Trinity College at Duke University. He received his BS and PhD in computer science from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, respectively. From 2011-2014, he served as a Program Director for the Education & Workforce program in the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (NSF CISE), managing programs that address the critical and complex issues of education and broadening participation in computing.


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Daron Green

Director, Research Operations and Academic Relations
Facebook

Dr. Daron Green is responsible for strategic oversight and operational delivery across all of Facebook’s external research engagements and collaborations. He works with all of the Facebook research leads to ensure that their strategic goals can be realized and that Facebook actively partners with the academic research community in open, collaborative and mutually beneficial research engagements.


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Mike Hess

Founder and Executive Director
Blind Institute of Technology

An English proverb states, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Mike Hess began his journey as a disabled person at the age of 7 in a small, Mid-western town in Ohio. As an April Fools baby, he was a natural class clown and wanted to sit in the back of the class cracking jokes as early as the 1st grade. He quickly moved to the front of the class after realizing he was not able to see the chalkboard. He was, however, still fully able to participate in class.


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Shalini Kesar

Shalini Kesar

Associate Professor, Information Systems
Southern Utah University

Shalini Kesar is Associate Professor in Information Systems, department of CSIS, Southern Utah University (SUU). She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delhi, a MPHIL in information systems from De Montfort University, a MSC in analysis, design and management information systems from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Doctorate in information systems from the University of Salford from UK. Her research expertise is in cybercrime.


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Deborah Keyek-Franssen

Deborah Keyek-Franssen

Associate Vice President, Digital Education and Engagement
University of Colorado - Denver

Deborah Keyek-Franssen, Ph.D. is a creative educator and thought leader with over two decades of professional experience in information technology and higher education. She began her career at the University of Colorado in 1998, where she served in a variety of positions, including director of academic technology, oversaw strategy for the use, implementation, and evaluation of educational technologies, and managed a team of consultants and technologists.


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Donald Kossmann

Distinguished Scientist and Director
Microsoft Research, Redmond Lab

Donald Kossmann is the director of the Microsoft Research Lab in Redmond, USA.  Before that, he was professor in the Systems Group of the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich for 13 years, doing research and teaching all flavors of databases and data management systems. He was chair of ACM SIGMOD from 2013 to 2017 and served on the Board of Trustees of the VLDB Endowment from 2005 to 2011. He is a co-founder of four start-ups.


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Rachel Kutz

Rachel Kutz

VP-Strategic Initiatives-Global Supply Chain
AT&T

Rachel is the VP-Strategic Initiatives-Global Supply Chain. She is responsible for the overall supply chain strategy, purchasing operations, corporate sourcing functions and critical Enterprise-wide programs including supplier diversity, compliance and sustainability. She also sets strategic direction for supply chain systems and tools to improve the efficiency of AT&T processes through the use of data analytics and automation.


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Colleen Lewis

Colleen Lewis

Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Harvey Mudd College

Colleen Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College and specializes in computer science education. Colleen has a PhD in education from the University of California, Berkeley. She researches how people learn computer science and how people feel about learning computer science. Her research seeks to identify effective teaching practices for creating equitable learning spaces where all students have the opportunity to learn.


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 Mealer-Burke

Vicki Mealer-Burke

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
Qualcomm

Vicki Mealer-Burke has been recently appointed as Qualcomm’s first Chief Diversity Officer. In this role as Vice President & CDO, Vicki brings nearly 20 years of business and operational leadership experience at Qualcomm which uniquely position her to drive the vision, leadership and oversight of inclusion and diversity initiatives across the company.


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Yvonne Melton

Program Manager, Computer Science Education
Google

Yvonne is a Program Manager on Google’s Computer Science Education team. In her role she manages external partnerships and works with program teams such as CS First & Applied Digital Skills to increase access and exposure to computer science education and digital skills. Previously, Yvonne worked to engage talent for business roles at Google as a Diversity Industry Programs Specialist, and Staffing Analyst.

Yvonne has a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Howard University.


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MistyII

Misty II

Personal Office and Home Assistant
Misty Robotics

A Boulder native, Misty is an experienced (computer) visionary. She enjoys recognizing friends and meeting new people. She is an ardent traveler, and mapping is one of her favorite pursuits. Misty most enjoys learning new skills from her software pals, from speaking written text to patrolling the perimeter to greeting your office or AirBnB visitors.


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Danielle Olson

PhD Student and Research Assistant
MIT

Danielle Olson is a Ph.D. Student in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at MIT and works as a Research Assistant in the Imagination, Computation, and Expressions (ICE) Lab within the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). She serves as Founder at Gique (pronounced “geek”) Corporation, a Boston-based nonprofit 501(c)3 which exists to inspire and education youth in science, technology, engineering, art + design, and math (STEAM) through transformational learning experiences.


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Vicente Ordonez-Roman

Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science
University of Virginia

Vicente Ordonez is Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Virginia. His research interests lie at the intersection of computer vision, natural language processing and machine learning, with a focus on exploiting the natural connections that occur in vision and language using large amounts of data. Vicente was a recipient of the Best Long Paper Award at EMNLP 2017, the IEEE David Marr Prize in Computer Vision in 2013, a Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges Award in 2012, and a Renaissance Technologies Fellowship.


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John Paxton

Director and Professor, Gianforte School of Computing
Montana State University

John Paxton received a B.S. degree in computer science from The Ohio State University in 1985 with minors in German and Math. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from The University of Michigan in 1987 and 1990 respectively. His Ph.D. research at The University of Michigan Artificial Intelligence Laboratory involved machine learning.


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Aziria Rodríguez Arce

Student, Comparative Media Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Aziria Rodríguez is a political science graduate from the University of Puerto Rico, a community organizer, and a web developer. In Puerto Rico she worked for two major non-profits, tackling problems of government transparency, technology accessibility, capacity building and economic development. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s degree in Comparative Media Studies at MIT. There she hopes to study and understand collective cultural and media creation, with an emphasis on the development of participatory and collective tools that promote empowerment, equality, and justice.


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Bobby Schnabel

Bobby Schnabel

Professor, Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder

Bobby Schnabel is a Professor of Computer Science at University of Colorado Boulder, External Chair of Computer Science, College of Engineering Faculty Director for Entrepreneurship, and Campus Faculty Director for Computing. He was CEO of ACM from 2015-17, Dean of the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University from 2007-15, and on the computer science faculty at University of Colorado Boulder from 1977-2007.


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Rose Schooler

Rose Schooler

Vice President and GM, Internet of Things Group Sales
Intel Corporation

Rose Schooler is Vice President of the Internet of Things Group and General Manager of IoT Strategy and Technology Office at Intel Corporation. Her organization is responsible for delivering platforms for the networking and storage market segments as well as providing solutions for telecommunications service providers. Schooler joined Intel as a graduate rotation engineer and held several positions in new package development, fab process engineering, and quality and reliability (Q&R).


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Sneha Veeragoudar Harrell

Learning Scientist
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Sneha Veeragoudar, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) whose research fosters transformative computer-based learning experiences for youth under-represented in STEM disciplines. Her research seeks to catalyze youth excitement about computing as a means of empowerment, problem solving, and self-expression. She currently serves as the learning sciences expert on an NSF funded project investigating relations between virtual and physical world social identities in computer science learning.


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Mary Ann Villarreal

Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
California State University, Fullerton

Mary Ann Villarreal, Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, joined Cal State Fullerton in 2014 to provide leadership for a range of major University initiatives, including High-Impact Practices (HIPs), First Year Experience, Academic Master Plan, faculty diversity and recruitment, equity and inclusion, and serving as a campus representative to national organizations. She has a Ph.D. in History from Arizona State University and her A.B. from Mount Holyoke College. She has held faculty positions in Colorado and Utah.


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Renee Wittemyer

Renee Wittemyer

Sr. Lead for Tech Innovation, Program Strategy
Executive Office of Melinda Gates

Dr. Renee Wittemyer is the Senior Lead for Tech Innovation at Pivotal Ventures, the executive office of Melinda Gates, which focuses on accelerating progress on social issues affecting women and girls in the U.S. In her role, Renee leads the organization’s work to activate and elevate girls and women as leaders of tech innovation. She previously worked at Intel in a number of positions, including as the Director of Strategy and Research of Intel’s $300 million Global Diversity and Inclusion effort. Renee also worked as a researcher in Microsoft Research Labs in India.


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Janice Zdankus

Janice Zdankus

Vice President, Quality
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Janice Zdankus is Vice President of Quality in Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Customer Experience and Quality team.  In this role, Janice and her team are transforming the experiences customers have with HPE’s product, solutions, and support information to foster positive customer business outcomes.


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Wendy DuBow

Wendy DuBow

NCWIT Director of Evaluation, Senior Research Scientist
University of Colorado Boulder

Dr. Wendy DuBow is a Senior Research Scientist and the Director of Evaluation at NCWIT. She conducts primary research, creates practical print and multimedia resources, and evaluates the effectiveness of the various programs and materials NCWIT produces. Her areas of research include gender, diversity, and the field of computing; evaluation methodology; and the social construction of gender roles. Along with NCWIT colleague Dr. Catherine Ashcraft, she recently completed a qualitative study on what motivates and deters male allies in their support of gender diversity in the workplace.


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Terry Morreale

Terry Morreale

NCWIT President and CTO
University of Colorado Boulder

Terry Morreale is the President and CTO at NCWIT. Her career began at U.S. WEST where she was the lead engineer of the original region-wide dialup Internet access service and then the subsequent DSL product, MegaBit Services. After U.S. WEST, Terry worked at the cable company MediaOne in Technology Intelligence, and then as an IT Strategy consultant for the Gartner Group. She worked in the leadership practice at Kalos Strategy Group and then joined AppliedTrust in 2005.


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Beth Quinn

Beth Quinn

Research Scientist & NCWIT EngageCSEdu Director
University of Colorado Boulder

Beth Quinn is research faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder working on post-secondary projects at NCWIT. Beth directs NCWIT’s EngageCSEdu project, an online repository of course materials for introductory CS courses that are selected and peer-reviewed for their pedagogical quality and potential to engage diverse students. She also serves as co-PI and director of research for the NSF-funded EngageIT project, which is testing new models of professional development for community college computing faculty.


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Lucy Sanders

Lucy Sanders

NCWIT CEO and Co-founder
University of Colorado Boulder

Lucy Sanders is CEO and Co-founder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).

Lucy has an extensive industry background, having worked in R&D and executive (VP) positions at AT&T Bell Labs, Lucent Bell Labs, and Avaya Labs for over 20 years, where she specialized in systems-level software and solutions (multi-media communication, and customer relationship management). Lucy was awarded the Bell Labs Fellow Award, the highest technical accomplishment bestowed at the company, and she has six patents in the communications technology area.


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Sherri Sanders

Sherri L. Sanders

NCWIT Extension Services Program Director
University of Colorado Boulder

Dr. Sherri L. Sanders is NCWIT’s Director of Extension Services, joining the staff in March 2017. As director, she is responsible for collaborating with senior leadership to establish and execute the program’s strategic vision and direction; providing leadership and guidance to the program’s core team, consultants, and clients; and ensuring ongoing funding for Extension Services. Working with the core team, Dr.


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Leisa Thompson

Leisa Thompson

Director of Research & Consulting, NCWIT Extension Services
University of Virginia

Dr. Leisa Thompson is a Research Scientist in Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Virginia. With NCWIT, she is the Director of Research and Consulting for NCWIT Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs (ES-UP). Dr. Thompson conducts research on systemic reform for gender balance in computing and analysis on enrollment and retention data provided by the ES-UP clients, all of whom are committed to diversifying their undergraduate major.


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