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.
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 October issue of ACM-W Connections.
Busy as ever, we have news this month from the ACM Celebration and Hackathon in Goa, India. Our People of ACM-W team has interviewed A.J. Brush, currently co-chair of CRA-W. There’s also news from the Chapters Ctte. and from the Rocky Mountain Celebration event.
There are a few upcoming events I want to make sure our readers know about:
- Faculty and student scholarships applications for the href="https://www.csc.tntech.edu/wicys/register/">2017 Women in Cybersecurity Conference can be submitted through November 21.
- Consider becoming an implementation site for CompuGirls. Go to their site, scroll to the bottom and you’ll find a detailed brochure for partners. This includes information on the various implementation models, benefits for sites, and resources needed.
- Applications are open for the CRA-W 2017 Grad Cohort Workshop which will be held in Washington, DC, in April, 2017. This program is for women graduate students in their first three years of graduate school.
If you will be at the Grace Hopper Conference, please stop by our booth to say hi. We will have a number of stalwart ACM-W volunteers there!
Thanks, as always, for your work on behalf of women in computing!
~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair
People of ACM-W
A.J. Brush is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft currently on loan from Microsoft Research to the Windows product group. She is well known for her research in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), with a focus on ubiquitous computing and computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW).
Currently Co-Chair of CRA-W, Brush is also a Senior Member of the ACM and has received several recognitions, notably a "Borg Early Career Award" in 2010, two "Best Papers" awards, and several “Best Paper" nominations. Brush serves on the UbiComp Steering Committee and was co-general chair of UbiComp 2014. She also serves regularly on Program Committees for many conferences including UbiComp, Pervasive, CHI, and CSCW.
This month, we feature A.J. Brush in our People of ACM-W series. Read an interview with Chesnais here.
Summer Report from ACM-W Uganda
This summer was a great period for ACM-W, Uganda Chapter, as we saw more Ugandan women join the chapter and more villages open up their doors to the chapter for activities in computer lessons. The summer also saw more streamlining of activities and prioritizing of objectives, both for rural and city outreaches, thereby making progress on our quest to meet the needs of women at different levels in Uganda.
During the summer months, ACM-W was able to work out a computer literacy program that addresses the needs of women living in impoverished urban areas, such as certain slums and very low income communities, thanks in part to Stawa University’s willingness to avail facilities and equipment for this vital mission establishing ACM-W Technology Center. As such, through this center, ACM-W is now addressing the need of women in urban areas who are computer illiterate. Slum dwelling women stand a great, daily chance of using computer skills to advance their livelihoods, for most of these are engaged in small business venture and or low level employments where computer skills come in handy, thereby securing jobs and or making their businesses more competitive, to say little of making themselves more desirable to, or sought after by, employers.
ACM-W Uganda Chapter views the proliferation of smart phones, the pocket computer, as a great call to leverage urban women’s skills so that they can take advantage of the social media in advancing their businesses and other needful activities in order to better their livelihood. In light of this reality, ACM-W is planning a series of workshops and short courses designed to highlight to the women the potential benefits of just not the computer, but also of the smart phone in light of the social media. In sum, ACM-W in Uganda is taking women from merely taking photos of themselves and posting them on Facebook to taking photos of their businesses and posting them on the internet for a worldwide clientele.
In one of the weekly reports filed with the ACM-W office this summer, Doris Nalubega, a student at Stawa University and a teacher in a local primary schools, in discussing a weekly rural outreach, said, “We carried on from the previous home work assignment, where the students were supposed to do the letters of the alphabet both in upper case and lower case. The assignment was marked and the feedback was provided.” In her lesson to the rural women, Doris said “No one can write what they can’t read and no one can read what they can’t write.” During the lesson she explained that “The alphabet is made up consonants and vowels, and that the importance of learning the alphabets is to be able to read.” During the lesson she had taught each letter ‘s name, its sound, and showed the printed form.
In a different weekly report filed with the ACM-W office, in regards to teaching computer skills to rural women, Harriet Onyinge, another student at Stawa University and ACM-W member, taught a computer package for the day. The report goes on to state:
“She skillfully guided the women through the significant steps when using a computer. She taught the students how to start a computer, and each student had a try at it. She showed them how to move the cursor, to open an application, to begin typing, how to minimize and to maximize, to save, and how to close or shut down the computer.”
Students at Stawa University do a weekly fundraising in order to purchase some household items which they freely donate to these often impoverished, rural women during each ACM-W outing to the villages. Among the items they donate, one choice item is soap. In one of the reports filed to ACM-W office during the past two months, students stated, “At the end of the lesson, each participant took home a piece of soap. What a nice way to crown the day!”
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.