Late winter is one of the busiest and most inspiring times of year for NCWIT because we are celebrating the winners of our Award for Aspirations in Computing. NCWIT staff and representatives attend ceremonies all over the nation. At each event, we hear from magnetic speakers, meet dedicated educators, and more importantly, celebrate the amazing young women who are the Winners and Runners-up of the Award for Aspirations in Computing. Here are some of the highlights from two recent ceremonies.
The Carolinas Women in Computing 2014 Conference was the backdrop for the SC Aspirations in Computing Awards program in Charleston, South Carolina on February 7-8, 2014. It was very well attended and supported by ACM-W, Google, Microsoft Research Connections, Blackbaud, Benefitfocus, Scana, and IT-oLogy.The first day was filled with informational sessions covering topics such as, “Seize the Opportunity: Tips and tricks for taking your opportunity and turning it into a career,” and “Influential Women in Technology.” The following day, after another morning of informational sessions, I presented the NCWIT story and awards to the recipients, including the Educator Award Winner. The Winners received a trophy, Asus tablet, and bag of goodies. The Runners-up also received a bag and recognition. After lunch were several lightning talks where the Aspirations students got a chance to talk about their accomplishments. A career fair and poster session wrapped up the conference. There were so many phenomenal young women; I was certainly impressed.
The DFW event was hosted by the Metroplex Technology Business Council as part of their Tech Industry Luncheon Series. The day began with a morning session moderated by Jill Blanchar of Bank of America. Jill, Kim Stevenson of Intel, and I shared information, statistics, and career stories. During this the Aspirations Winners and Runners-up asked many thoughtful questions about their futures in tech careers. The awards luncheon followed. It was very well attended and the ballroom was full. Kim was the luncheon keynote speaker and did a phenomenal job presenting key industry trends driving business transformation. Nancy Phillips, CEO of ViaWest, presented the Aspirations awards, and I presented the Educator Award to Kari Winter. After the luncheon, Nancy and Tom Myer, Regional VP and General Manager at Viawest, hosted the Aspirations Winners, their parents and guests at their Dallas data center. We did a Sit With Me photo session right in the data center. After the Viawest tour, Assistant Dean Rod Wetterskog and Senior Lecturer Janell Straach took the group on a tour of UT Dallas.