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UW CSE wins NCWIT Grand Prize for supporting women in computer science


UW CSE’s Ed Lazowska, Crystal Eney, Allison Obourn, and Ruth Anderson with the NCWIT NEXT Award Grand Prize trophy

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) has recognized UW CSE with its Excellence in Promoting Women in Undergraduate Computing Award – the Grand Prize in the organization’s inaugural NEXT Awards. NCWIT selected UW CSE for this honor based on our strong commitment and demonstrated success in encouraging women to pursue computer science education and careers.

From the NCWIT Award website:

“These accomplishments are the result of strategic, well-planned recruiting and retention efforts. They conduct multi-pronged outreach to K-12 schools in their region, including providing professional development, networking opportunities, and other support to high school teachers. K-12 students benefit from camps, campus visits, computing open houses and coding competitions. These programs serve all students interested in computing but are implemented and designed with girls and other underrepresented students in mind.

“The UW program does an excellent job of retaining its majors, including women. There appears to be a strong sense of community and inclusion in the department. One way this has been built is by redesigning the introductory courses so that they are accessible to a range of students by hiring strong, engaging faculty to teach these courses and using well-trained undergraduate teaching assistants, including many women… The University of Washington has grown an inclusive, welcoming community that spans beyond the walls of the university and has demonstrably advanced women’s meaningful participation in computing.”

NCWIT logoUW CSE director of student services Crystal Eney and faculty members Allison Obourn (who also coordinates CSE’s K-12 outreach program, DawgBytes), Ruth Anderson, and Ed Lazowska (a member of NCWIT’s Executive Advisory Council, and also of the National Academies’ Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine) attended this week’s 2015 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT, and accepted the award.

Congratulations to the members of our hardworking student advising team, the DawgBytes team, and the entire CSE faculty (and especially our introductory course team, led by Stuart Reges) for walking the talk when it comes to supporting gender diversity in our department and in our field! We have a long way still to go, but we’re extremely proud of this recognition for what we have accomplished thus far.

Read NCWIT’s award commendation for UW CSE here.

And see coverage in the New York Times, the Seattle Times, Xconomy, GeekWire, UW Today, and KIRO Radio.