Mission Statement

ACM-W supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field, providing a wide range of programs and services to ACM members and working in the larger community to advance the contributions of technical women.

Download and distribute the ACM-W brochure.

Our Corporate Supporters

We are very grateful for the support of several corporate sponsors. At present, ACM-W has funding from Oracle (through Oracle Academy), Microsoft Research, and Google for our scholarships, from Google for the Athena Lecturer Award, and continuing support from Microsoft Research for the Celebrations and for community college related activities. Thanks to their generosity in helping us to support, celebrate and advocate for women in computing.

Letter from ACM-W chair

Welcome to the June, 2017
June, 2017, issue of ACM-W Connections

This month I wrap up five years as chair of ACM-W.  It’s been quite a ride!  ACM-W has grown tremendously during this time, and there is a lot of which I am very proud.  None of it would have happened without the awesome volunteers who contribute to our activities, and the ACM staff who are there for us every step of the way.  I can’t possibly list everyone, but I do want to give a “shout out” to a few people:

Jodi Tims – Jodi started as chair of the Celebrations Ctte. 5 years ago, and then became vice chair of ACM-W.  She has been my right hand in all things ACM-W for 5 years, and I look forward to seeing the direction in which she takes ACM-W when she takes over as chair on July 1.

Gloria Townsend – Gloria has given an uncountable number of years to ACM-W (okay, 17 years, but that’s practically uncountable when you talk about volunteer work).  The Celebrations were her brain child, she launched them, and helped secure the National Science Foundation money that supported a great increase in the number of events.  Then Gloria moved on to Chapters and her efforts there have helped us quadruple the number of chapters.  Gloria is retiring but I know that she will keep advocating for women in computing every chance she gets!

Yuqing Melanie Wu – five years ago Melanie suggested that our web page needed updating.  Fast forward to today, Melanie has overseen two complete web site overhauls (our new site will be launching soon!) and she is responsible for monthly production of this newsletter.  Now that our Communications Ctte. is well organized and our communications strategy is better developed, you can expect to see Melanie shift in the coming years to another ACM-W committee. 

Adriana Compagnoni – Adriana took over the Scholarship program when I became ACM-W chair.  She has done a wonderful job increasing the size of the committee, improving the reviewing process, and working with the award recipients.  She has built a structure that could handle even more awards than we can currently make – if your company would like to support the scholarships, we’re happy to take more money and keep the scholarship ctte even busier!

Sheila Anand and Reyyan Ayfer – Sheila and Reyyan have run ACM-W India and ACM-W Europe respectively.  They have seen to it that ACM-W’s programs are implemented in their areas, increasing the number of chapters and celebrations, as well as suggesting representatives for our committees so that we have global representation in all of the operational parts of what we do. 

Additional thanks to Lissa Clayborn (Education), Beth Hawthorne and Cindy Tucker (Community Colleges), Wendy Powley (Celebrations), to all the members of the ACM-W committees, and to all the many celebration coordinators and chapter leaders who keep our programs running around the world!

Finally, the ACM staff are amazing.  As our programs have grown, their support has increased apace.  They provide logistical support, handle donations and payments for many of the Celebrations, created and support the scholarship application system, helped coordinate the website overhaul, provide support to our chapters, arrange shipment of swag to all ACM-W events, and answer email seemingly at all hours of the day and night.  I won’t list names because I’m afraid I would leave out some people, but unquestionably the full-time ACM staff are an incredibly dedicated, wonderful group of people.  Working for ACM is clearly more than just a job for them.

I won’t be going too far away once I step down from ACM-W.  For the last year I have been working on development of a new ACM Council on Diversity and Inclusion, and will continue with those efforts.  This will include working closely with ACM-W (Jodi and I just aren’t ready to give up our weekly phone call) as we develop more complete and expansive diversity activities for ACM. 

I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter which includes a final chapters note from Gloria Townsend, information from ACM-W Europe, a report on the recent Kentucky Community Colleges Celebration, and a first message from Jodi Tims as she prepares to take over chairing ACM-W.  We also have announcements about the first two recipients of our new “Best Chapter Officer” contest.  Lastly, undergraduates or 1st-2nd year graduate students interested in programing languages and/or software engineering should consider applying for the SPLASH 2017 Programming Languages Mentoring Workshop, being held in October, 2017.  Travel funds are available.  Keep an eye out for application instruction, available by June 23, 2017, at http://2017.splashcon.org/track/splash-2017-PLMW. 

Thanks for all of your interest in and support for ACM-W! 

P.S. You might note that I have sent this month’s newsletter from my new email address.  I have changed jobs and am now the Jean E. Sammet Professor of Computer Science at Mount Holyoke College.  Along with many other achievements and contributions to the field, Jean had a rich ACM history, including serving as the first woman president of ACM, and was a very important contributor to conferences on the history of programming languages.  Particularly relevant to me, Jean held an expansive view of the possibilities for interdisciplinary applications of computing, and I am honored to be the first person to hold the Sammet Chair.

Valerie Barr

ACM-W Chair

What's NEW

Featured News From ACM-W Uganda

This February the ACM-W group in Uganda organized its first outreach into Kenya and, accordingly, was much welcomed by many rural women in western Kenya. This first, historical class was held outside the town of Malaba, Kenya, where many rural women, from various part of the region, traveled to attend the class.


Following an appeal for aid in its effort to teach rural women computers, the ACM-W group in Uganda was able to get volunteers from Michigan, USA, who also carried three laptops for the effort. Erik Lovell is a computer and social media expert from Michigan. He traveled to Uganda with his wife, Vicky, both of whom taught women in both Ugandan villages and in Kenya. Erik told the women that they needed to learn computer so that they can connect with the international community for various opportunities. He further demonstrated that their villages are indeed connected to the internet when he called his virtual assistant on Skype in the presence of these Kenya rural women. The virtual assistant was in the Philippines.

This was amazing to the rural women, who vowed to make computers part of the Kenyan culture, thanks to ACM-W. On the other hand, his wife, Vicky, got down to teaching the rudimentary computer skills to the rural women, that is, how to push the power button, how to open the computer applications, how to write, how to save, and how to shut down, amidst many questions from the Kenyan women, who had to talk through a translator, one Catherine, from Uganda, who traveled to Kenya with other volunteers to participate in this maiden class.

IN SUM, the chapter has been able to streamline its regular rural outreach in Uganda, and is now attempting to do so in Kenya, and is considering opening classes in Rwanda. The chapter will continued to drum up support internationally, locally, and from local governments for this noble effort. The chapter is grateful to the unwavering support it gets from Stawa University and from ACM-W Chair(USA). ( The photos were taken in rural Kenya and rural Uganda during ACM-W computer classes).

Why You Should Join ACM-W

If you think it is important to recruit and retain as many women as possible in the computing field, you should join ACM-W! Together, we will help celebrate, inform and support women in computing:

  • Celebrate: One of the most popular ways to celebrate women in computing is by starting and/or attending an ACM-W Celebration of Women in Computing; the accomplishments of women in computing are at the heart of ACM-W's e-Newsletter. And ACM-W encourages its members to celebrate the work of prominent women by nominating them for Awards -- such as the Athena Award & Lecture -- as well as ACM Advanced Grade Membership.
  • Inform: Via ACM-W's student scholarship program, young women are informed about the research going on, and become acquainted with the researchers, in their field. Members of ACM-W Student Chapters are informed about the educational and career opportunities available to them.
  • Support: Lend your enthusiasm, inspiration, and support to ACM-W, and help make a difference in the global computing community!

When you join ACM, or renew your membership, check the box for ACM-W. You will be added to our email list and receive our ACM-W Connection newsletter.

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