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 both Oracle (through Oracle Academy) and Google for our scholarship program and Athena Lecturer Award, and continuing support from Microsoft Research for the Celebrations. Thanks to their generosity in helping us to support, celebrate and advocate for women in computing.
Letter from ACM-W chair
Welcome to the July, 2015, issue of ACM-W Connections. We took a break in June while many of us were off having the annual ACM-W Council meeting, but we are back now with lots of news. And in the August issue we'll have a report on some of the changes and initiatives that we discussed at the Council meeting. Stay tuned!
Many ACM-W participants have been very busy lately. This month's issue of ACM-W Connections features a lot of news from ACM-W Europe, including many announcements regarding the upcoming womENcourage event, the ACM-W Europe Celebration of Women in Computing. Make sure that you check on the registration deadline as well as information about scholarships, the hackathon being presented jointly with Codess, and the career fair.
Meanwhile, our ACM-W India colleagues are involved in the 3rd International Symposium on Women in Computing and Informatics.
Rounding out our international news, ACM-W is a sponsor for TechKobwa '15. This project provides a residential technology/engineering camp for Rwandan girls and their teachers. The project is also supported by the U.S. Peace Corps, IBM, Michigan State University, the Rwanda Ministry of Youth and ICT, and IEEE. The project leaders expect that the evaluation results from this summer will make it possible for them to get funding for a 5-year project that will help transform the status of women in Rwanda and build ICT capacity. ACM-W is delighted to be helping with this effort!
Back in the U.S., at ACM headquarters, the big news is that Bobby Schnabel will be the next CEO of ACM. Bobby brings to the table his rich experience with ACM, as a faculty member and administrator, and a deep commitment to diversity in computing. We look forward to working with Bobby as ACM-W continues to expand and strengthen our programs.
Still in the U.S., this month we have a report from KYCC-WiC, the Kentucky Community College Celebration of Women in Computing. We support many Celebration events each year, but this is the only one so far that has a primary focus on community college students. It serves as an important model for that kind of event, and for building a strong relationship between 2-year and 4-year schools.
Finally, I know that people change email addresses over time, set up forwarding, etc. If you are receiving the newsletter at multiple accounts, or would like to receive it at a different address, please let me know.
~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair
Check out news from chapters, celebrations and our international partners in Europe and India in the July 2015 issue of ACM-W Connections.
The ACM-W Athena Lecturer Award
The ACM-W Athena Lecturer Award celebrates women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to Computer Science. This year’s recipient is Jennifer Widom, noted for her fundamental concepts and architectures of active database systems, a major area of research in the database field today. Active databases allow application developers to embed logic into the database that allows actions to be executed when certain conditions are met. Active database systems have had a major impact on commercial database management systems.
This Award is an annual award made by the ACM-W, begun in 2006-7. It has honored a number of stellar women in a variety of fields whose nomination packages are put together by their home SIG. The past winners include Deborah Estrin, Karen Spärck Jones, Shafi Goldwasser, Susan Eggers, Mary Jane Irwin, Judith Olson, Nancy Lynch, Katherine Yelick and Susan Dumais. Each winner gives a keynote at the SIG conference of her choice and is awarded a gift from Google Inc., originally at $10,000 and raised to $25,000 this year.
“Jennifer Widom has had a profound impact on the database field,” said Judith Olson, who heads the ACM-W awards committee. “Her contributions have influenced both the direction of research and of commercial products. But just as important, she is passionate about teaching, be it in the classroom or through her highly successful series of MOOCs.”
Community Colleges: An ACM-W Celebration of Women in Computing for You!
Contributed by Elizabeth K. Hawthorne
On April 10-11, 2015, the second Kentucky Community College ACM-W Celebration of Women in Computing (KYCC-WiC) took place on the recently-opened Newtown campus of Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington. Melanie Williamson and Cindy Tucker, Associate Professors of Computer & Information Technologies at Bluegrass, once again served as co-chairs for this year's KYCC-WiC. Prof. Pam Bridgman from Somerset Community College and Prof. Theresa Schmitt from Owensboro Community and Technical College also served on the organizing committee.
Attendance more than doubled from KYCC-WiC 2013. Over 100 faculty and students from both two-year and four-year colleges (University of Kentucky and Northern Kentucky University) enjoyed KYCC-WiC 2015. In addition, a faculty member with nine of her students from Bryan Station High School Academy of Information Technology in Lexington attended the ACM-W Celebration. Also new in 2015 were community college faculty and students from the neighboring state of Tennessee.
Northern Kentucky University organizes the Tri-WiC ACM-W Celebration on alternate years of KYCC-WiC. Tri-WiC includes a community college track, which helps attract both two-year and four-year students and faculty from area colleges and universities in the tri-cities of Lexington, KY, Louisville, KY, and Cincinnati, OH. The organizers of both KYCC-WiC and Tri-WiC collaborate with one another to offer ACM-W Celebrations every year for their shared region. This model of alternating years between two-year and four-year colleges is the first of its kind among ACM-W Celebrations.
The KYCC-WiC organizers came up with a fun and innovative idea. A deck of Notable Women in Computing, Keep our History playing cards was placed in each of the conference swag bags. Each attendee then had the opportunity to have her (his) picture taken during registration and have it printed on a blank playing card - the Ace of choice - with space leftover for writing a personal computing history. Another inventive feature was the showing of the “Women in Computing: Voices in Video” that was produced by Bluegrass Assistant Professor Stephanie Fitch and her digital cinematic arts students. Prof. Fitch's short film captured video clips from several student and faculty attendees as well as the conference organizers. Some of the Notable Women in Computing cards were also included in the production. A link to this innovative short film is available from kycc-wic.com.
Community college faculty and students are strongly encouraged to attend an ACM-W Women in Computing Celebration. Visit women.acm.org/celebrations to find a Celebration near you, or learn how to start a new event.
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 Blog. 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.