WOMEN IN COMPUTER SCIENCE GHC TRAVEL FUND
The University of New Orleans (UNO) Department of Computer Science needs your help to send students to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference (GHC). Held annually, the GHC offers an opportunity for students to engage in mentoring with industry professionals, network with their academic colleagues, learn about the latest work in various technology fields, and explore career options.
The 2016 conference takes place October 19-21 in Houston, Texas. Our goal is to raise $7000 which will cover the costs to send up to 7 undergraduate students to the conference. The funding we collect will directly support our students’ participation in the conference, including registration fees, travel, hotel, and meals.
WHAT IS THE GRACE HOPPER CONFERENCE?
Co-presented by the Anita Borg Institute and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), the conference offers professional development workshops, presentations on a variety of cutting-edge technology topics, an open source day, a career fair, student poster sessions, and plenty of networking opportunities.
There have been 15 conferences since 1994, with the scope and popularity increasing tremendously in the last few years. The 2015 Conference grew by 50%, hosting almost 12,000 attendees from 63 countries and 1300 tech companies. It had over 200 sessions, nearly 700 speakers, and over 200 booths at the career fair. The Grace Hopper Celebration is now widely considered the world’s largest technical conference for women in computing and it is expected that the 2016 conference in Houston will grow to 15,000 attendees.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
The media is full of reports on the gender gap in the Information Technology (IT) field. Here at UNO, the Computer Science Department struggles with the same issue – in Spring 2016, only 21% of students majoring in computer science were female. Over the last few years, we have been working on ways to both recruit more female students to the field and provide ongoing support once they are here. We have helped to send female students to the GHC for the last few years, each year trying to grow and offer this amazing opportunity to more female students. However, due to continuing state budget cuts, our ability to support this enrichment opportunity has diminished and we need your help!
This year, we had 15 female students apply for funding to attend the Conference in Houston. Our goal of $7000 will provide funds to support up to 7 deserving students who will be selected based on their academic achievements, leadership within the UNO community, and service to the community (e.g., outreach programs to mentor and educate youth in computer science). For our freshmen and sophomore students, we hope the GHC will spark a passion for their field of study and illuminate the varied opportunities. For our junior and senior students, the GHC will be most beneficial as a platform to explore career opportunities and network with professionals from various tech companies.
2015 Grace Hopper Conference: (back row, from left) Sabrina Farmer (UNO Alumni), Kristen Maus, Julie Green, (Front row, from left) Haydee Fernandez, Ambyr-Shae Jarrell, Hillary Aurang
What does the GHC mean to our students? Here are some personal statements from this year’s applicants:
“I've heard many great things about this event from a friend who went last year and I'd love to experience it for myself…everyone needs a little extra motivation every once in a while and I believe this event will do just that! And the fact that this is an event targeted to women makes it even more appealing.” (Banan Ibrahim, Sophomore)
“I want to go to the Grace Hopper Conference to gain insight from women working in the computing field, network with industry people, and attend seminars to improve my skills.” (Jeanne Vu, Junior)
“I would like to gain insight into the innovations currently being made by women in the field of computer science and software development. I would also like to meet and bond with other women my age that have aspirations and career goals similar to myself.” (Siobhan O’Connell, Junior)
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT US?
IT jobs are one of the fastest growing sectors in Louisiana, with Forbes recently naming New Orleans the number 1 metro area for IT job growth. UNO’s Department of Computer Science is the only ABET accredited computer science program in the Greater New Orleans area offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The department works closely with industry partners to ensure our curriculum reflects current demands and our graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce. A large part of this is due to our emphasis on experiential learning and the development of real world skills through internships, hands-on research and applied learning. The department hosts information sessions with industry partners, coordinates job shadowing with local companies, and sponsors seven student organizations (ACM, ACM-W, IGDA, STARS, UNO Robotics club, UNO Web Development club, CTF) that help students develop technical and leadership skills. Our students also have many opportunities to give back to the community such as through our Programming Club with local high schools.
PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE!
If there is friend, colleague, or family member you think would benefit from learning more about our story, please share this project with them via email, Facebook, or Twitter with the links at the top of this page. The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is an amazing opportunity for our female students to see the true potential of their future in this field. Thank you for your support of our students!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Gifts in support of the University of New Orleans are accepted and managed by the University of New Orleans Foundation, an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents. Contributions to the University of New Orleans are tax deductible as allowed by law.