“Right before the conference, I was contemplating dropping out of computer science….After speaking with others at the conference and listening to some of the inspiring speeches, I have renewed energy to press on.”
Dore Weber, Computer Science UG student at the U
Graduating in the 70’s, I believed computer science was an excellent career for women since the field was so new. But in recent years to my surprise, there has been an alarming drop of women enrolling in and graduating from CS programs. Currently, undergraduate women in computing majors at the U of U represent less than 8% of the total number of students.
To reverse the trend, the School of Computing has been focusing on diversity programs that encourage increased enrollment and retention of women and minorities in computing programs. One target area is student conferences. An important conference for women in computing is the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, a national conference presented by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery. Last year four students attended the Grace Hopper Celebration and the experience was transformational for the women that attended, including Dore quoted above.
This year, faculty member and Diversity Committee Chair, Mary Hall would like to take even more women to the conference in Baltimore, October 3-6. Mary could use some help. With a budget of $16,500, interested undergraduate and graduate women students can attend the Grace Hopper Conference and interested minority students can attend a similar conference, the Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing. With your help we can make this possible.
Join me in donating $50, $100, $500 or more to the travel fund. A donation of any amount will be appreciated and could make the difference on a student becoming a graduate versus a drop out.
If you have any questions about the diversity initiative please contact Mary Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions about the fund raising effort please contact me.
We look forward to seeing the travel fund grow with your donation!
Sue M. Dintelman, MS CS’77
CEO, Pleiades Software Development, Inc.