On March 8th, twenty high school women from Washington State were honored at UW CSE with Awards for Aspirations in Computing from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). We also recognized the two national NCWIT award winners from Washington State, Sampurna Basu and Alisha Saxena.
The NCWIT Awards for Aspirations in Computing honor young women at the high school level for their computing-related achievements and interests.
Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education.
On March 8th we also recognized Maureen Coulton, CS teacher at Holy Names, as the Washington State Educator Award winner. The Holy Names CS program has grown rapidly over the past few years and has inspired many young women to pursue computing!
Many in the extended CSE community contributed to making this event a success. Kate Starbird from Human Centered Design and Engineering gave a fantastic keynote. Steph Burg from Microsoft (UW CSE Professional Masters Program student), Katie Chironis from Signal Studios, Krista Davis from Google (UW CSE alumna), and Colleen Ross from buuteeq Inc. (UW CSE alumna) were a great career panel.
CSE students Mike Chung, Hannah Misenar and Jessica Wong gave the girls a chance to program a PR2 robot by demonstration, and Lauren Milne exposed them to projects making technology more accessible.
CSE student Jen Kang was our fantastic photographer, and CSE professor Ed Lazowska spoke to the parents. Last but not least, CSE faculty member Hélène Martin organized and emceed the entire event.
Many thanks to Google, our primary sponsor. And thanks to CSE alumna Sierra Michels Slettvet and friends for donating a FitBit for each winner, to the Museum of Flight for giving them passes and to Valve for providing great swag.
Congratulations to the award recipients, their parents, and their teachers. We hope to see the award recipients as UW CSE students soon!