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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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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Enobong (Anna) Branch

Assistant Professor, Sociology
University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Enobong Hannah Branch is an Associate Professor of Sociology and the Chancellor’s Faculty Advisor for Diversity & Inclusive Excellence at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her research interests are in race, racism, and inequality; intersectional theory; work and occupations; and diversity in science. Her book "Opportunity Denied: Limiting Black Women to Devalued Work" (2011) provides an overview of the historical evolution of Black women’s work and the social-economic structures that have located them, in particular, and devalued places in the U.S. labor market.


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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

Former Senior Policy Advisor for Tech Inclusion
White House

Ruthe Farmer has focused her efforts on diversity and inclusion in tech and engineering since 2001. She served as Senior Policy Advisor for Tech Inclusion at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy focusing on President Obama’s call to action for Computer Science for All, and served as Chief Strategy & Growth Officer and K-12 Alliance Director at NCWIT. Over the course of her career, Ms.


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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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Mike Hess Photo

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 in Mathematics and Business Data Processing as well as BA 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. and Associate Vice President for Digital Education and Engagement at the University of Colorado System Office, is a creative educator and thought leader with over two decades of experience in IT and higher education. She began her career at the University of Colorado in 1998, where she served as director of academic technology; oversaw strategy and research in the use, implementation, and evaluation of educational technologies; and managed a team of consultants and technologists.


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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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Karla Monterroso

Karla Monterroso

Vice President, Programs
CODE2040

Karla Monterroso is committed to closing the opportunity gap for Blacks and Latinos in the United States. She believes CODE2040 sits in the perfect intersection of a skills- and network-building opportunity for Black and Latino talent and a systems change opportunity for a critical segment of the country's economy.


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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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Sneha Veeragoudar Harrell

Learning Scientist

Sneha Veeragoudar Harrell, Ph.D., is a learning scientist whose research fosters transformative computer-based learning experiences for under-represented youth. 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 consultant on an NSF funded project investigating relations between virtual and physical world social identities in computer science learning.


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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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Lucy Sanders

Lucy Sanders

CEO and Co-founder of NCWIT
NCWIT

Lucy Sanders is CEO and Co-founder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and also serves as Executive-in-Residence for the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU).


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Sherri L. Sanders

NCWIT
Extension Services Program Director

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

Director of Research & Consulting, 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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