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ACM-W Connections. July 2016

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the July, 2016, issue of ACM-W Connections.

I’m writing this while in Arequipa, Peru, at ITiCSE 2016 (Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education). We have quite a number of ACM-W volunteers here, including Reyyan Ayfer, chair of ACM-W Europe, Z Sweekyk, Barbara Owens, our ACM-W liaison to the ACM History Committee, Beth Hawthorne who just finished her service as chair of the ACM-W Community Colleges ctte., Mary Anne Egan who has been very involved in our New York Celebration, and Catherine Lang who has helped run the Australasia Celebration. We’ll have to try to get a picture for a future issue of Connections! Meanwhile, you can read about the Southern California Celebration event that took place in April.

ACM-W updates:

We had a very successful ACM-W Council meeting last month at ACM Headquarters. We have a few news items to share from that meeting:

  • In an effort to underscore ACM's support for diversity in computing, and in recognition that ACM-W is funded by ACM and committed to building up membership in ACM, the ACM-W Council and ACM Executive Committee will now be referring to each Celebration event as an ACM Celebration of Women in Computing, and referring to our scholarships as ACM Scholarships for Women Computing Students to Attend Research Conferences.  We recognize that this is a change, and we have asked all Celebration coordinators to begin the process of modifying their event web pages and other materials accordingly, showing both the ACM-W and ACM logos.
  • Melanie Wu, chair of our Communications Ctte., spent a lot of time at HQ with ACM staff who will be helping us roll out a much better communications program. Over the next few months, look for changes to our web site and improved use of social media.

As always, we want to thank the many staff members at ACM HQ who help ACM-W behind the scenes.

In other news, an ACM Celebration of Women in Computing was held in Valencia, Spain, on July 1. I hope that we’ll have more news about that in a future issue of Connections.

Announcements:

As usual, August will be our month off. Look for the next issue of Connections around September 15.

In the meantime, consider nominating someone for the AAAS mentoring award (http://www.aaas.org/page/aaas-mentor-awards) or for ACM Distinguished Member (http://www.acm.org/membership/distinguished).

Thanks, as always, for your work on behalf of women in computing!

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

News From ACM-W Celebrations

The Southern California Celebration of Women in Computing occurred April 9-10th at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel. This biennial event was the third such celebration of its kind.  An estimated 206 attendees registered from the event with approximately 180 of those being undergraduate students from Southern California schools (with the largest cohorts coming from UC Irvine and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo). 

The conference program ran for a full day on Saturday and a half day on Sunday and included, two keynotes, student talks, workshops, panel presentations, a job fair and poster session and a social activity. Some of the sessions that garnered very positive audience participation included the panel on `Outreach Activities and Opportunities’, the panel on `Careers in Industry’, the job fair, the social activity (focused on creating drawable circuits and card houses), the workshop on `Supporting and Growing a Student-Run Club for Women in Computing’ and the panel on `Work-Life Balance’.  The overall feedback about the conference was very positive with many students thanking the organizers for the opportunity to learn more about jobs or research areas in computing.  Student presenters expressed gratitude for a ‘friendly’ venue in which to present work and participants expressed thanks for a friendly atmosphere in which to ask questions of industry representatives about quality of life, balance, and opportunities.  Overall, the conference was a warm and celebratory event.  Student participants from Cal Poly provided great assistance with the webpage, t-shirt design, social event, and many of the conference tasks, and we recommend that high student engagement is a plus for future organizers.

Celebration registration for 2016/2017 is now underway. If you are planning an event that will take place between August 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 please register your event before July 31, 2016. Events registered after this date are not guaranteed ACM-W funding. If you would like more information, please contact Wendy Powley (wendy@cs.queensu.ca). We can help you get started!