ACM-W Connections – February 2018

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

In the February issue of Communications of the ACM (CACM), I had the opportunity to contribute my first article on the status of ACM-W and gender equity within ACM.  If you have not yet had a chance to read the article, I encourage you to do so.  At the end of the article I encourage members of the ACM community to visit a blog posting ( where ACM-W would like to gather the thoughts and ideas on how individual members of ACM impact long term positive change for women in computing.  Our hope is that we can present the ideas generated by the community on our website and in our resource materials so that others outside ACM may benefit as well.  So, if you have yet to read the article and visit the blog to contribute, please do so right away!

ACM-W/CRA-W Grad Cohort Partnership 

The Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women (CRA-W) hosts several mentoring workshops each year for women in computing at various stages of their careers from graduate school through the mid-career.  The CRA-W Grad Cohort program ( gives current graduate students the opportunity to learn about various research career options (academia, industry, government labs) and to begin to build a professional network as they interact with fellow participants and the many professionals who provide mentoring advice.  To date, the program has focused on participation by graduate students from the United States.

For the past two years, ACM-W has been providing funding for faculty groups from outside of the US to attend the Grad Cohort workshop to experience the program and perhaps replicate a similar effort in their home regions.  This year, we are sponsoring groups from the United Kingdom, France, Greece, India, and Brazil.  In future issues of Connections, we will highlight the grad cohort programs that occur all around the world as a result of this partnership.

CRA-W also has a connection to our Student Chapters project.  Each month, a virtual town hall meeting gives undergraduate students to hear about exciting projects from leading researchers in computer science.  These webinar events also include an opportunity to chat with the presenters after their presentations.  If your ACM-W Student Chapter has not participated in a town hall meeting, please encourage them to do so – they will be glad they did!

In the rest of this Connections issue…

  • Laura Spencer and Rachelle Hippler present important information on how to form an ACM-W Professional Chapter and the benefits of doing so.
  • Z Sweedyk welcomes new ACM-W Student Chapters and reminds Chapters of the upcoming deadline for the next round of chapter networking awards.
  • The Celebrations project report gives highlights of the Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas Celebration of Women in Computing (MINK-WiC).
  • ACM-W Europe reports on the First Workshop on Gender Equality in Software Engineering, which will occur in Gothenburg, Sweden in May.

For those attending SIGCSE in Baltimore next week, please stop and greet our ACM-W volunteers in booth 117 in the exhibit hall and tell us all about the activities you are involved in that support women in computing.

Thanks for standing with us as we work to fulfill our mission.

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair

News from ACM-W Celebrations

The Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas Women in Computing (MINK WIC) conference was held on Friday, November 3rd, and Saturday, November 4th at the Hyatt Hotel and Conference Center in Lexana, Kansas. The 2017 MINK WIC conference had 229 attendees including 22 industry speakers, 161 undergraduate and graduate students and 46 faculty from thirty-one colleges and universities from the 4 MINK states.  The conference theme was “Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity”.

Conference highlights included two keynote addresses sponsored by Computing Research Association for Women (CRA-W). The Friday keynote address was titled “Supporting Computational Algorithmic Thinking: Exploring Social Change and Complex Cognitive Capability Development in the Double Bind” by Dr. Jakita Thomas, an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Auburn University. Jeanne Johnson, a Director of Business Development in the worldwide Strategy and Planning team of the One Commercial Partner organization at Microsoft, presented Saturday’s keynote address titled “‘Always on’ Stories and advice from a lifetime as a minority in technology”.

The MINK WIC conference included:

  • Seven tech talks: (On Direct Communication Methods: from Smart City IoT Applications to Space Missions, The Genetic Link between Finger Length and Brain Function: How Hands Indicate Capabilities, What is Data Science?, Beyond Diversity: The Keys to Successful Recruitment, Retention and Ascension of Quality Women and Minorities in Computer Science, Swift: From Algorithm to App in Record Time, An Introduction to Cross-Platform Apps using Microsoft Xamarin, and Pursuing a Passion Project: Struggles and Successes)
  • Two workshops: (The Resume Workshop and Coding Collaboration with Git)
  • Four panels: (Exploring Careers Panel, Imposter Syndrome Panel, The Diversity Panel and Is Graduate School Right for Me? Panel)

The conference also provided opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to share their technical experiences through eight lightning talks, three graduate research presentations and sixteen undergraduate and graduate posters. There was a career fair attended by eleven national and regional companies: American Century, Cerner Corporation, Commerce Bank, DST, Firemon, Hallmark, Microsoft, NetApp, Target, Technology Services Group and Veracity Consulting. Fourteen generous industry sponsors supported the MINK WIC conference.

If you are interested in organizing a Celebration in your region, please contact the Chair of the Celebrations Committee, Wendy Powley for more information. International Celebrations are encouraged and welcomed!

ACM-W Professional Chapters

Start an ACM Profession ChapterACM-W Professional chapters are a great way to connect with like-minded technical women who want to make a positive impact on society.  Your experience and energy is needed.  Whether you want to inspire local K-12 girls to enter a technical field, mentor university students as they transition to the workplace, or simply want to network with other professionals to move your career ahead, creating a ACM-W Professional chapter can help you meet your goals and connect you with the ACM global community of computing professionals.  Starting a chapter is easy.  This is what you need:

  • Three women to serve as Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer (these individuals must be ACM members )
  • Ten individuals willing to carry out the chapter’s mission and participate in activities
  • Chapter contact information (name, email, postal address, phone)

This is what you get:

  • Chapter Web Tools – website hosting, wikis and blogs.
  • Administrative Tools – to manage your chapter’s member roster and update your chapter’s contact information
  • Local Activities Calendar – You can let chapter members, ACM members, and other computing professionals, know about your upcoming events.
  • Chapter Member Locator – ACM will send a message to a selected group of ACM members that might be interested in helping to start the chapter.
  • ACM Distinguished Speakers Program – The ACM Distinguished Speaker Program is one of the premier technology outreach programs in the computing industry. The ACM DSP has over 250 lectures from nearly 100 different speakers.
  • Promotional Materials – ACM can provide chapters with materials for chapter events.

Start an ACM Chapter:

News from ACM-W Student Chapters

We want to welcome new ACM-W student chapters at Oklahoma State University, Harvey Mudd College, Shiv Nadar University, and the University of Guelph.

Know of a nearby school that is thinking of starting a new ACM-W student chapter? The ACM-W networking grant can help you help them get started.  The grant provides up to $300 for a joint activity that helps them move their plans forward. For example, a recent award funded a dinner for the Uppsala ACM-W student chapter and Ruth Lennon of the nearby Letterkenny Institute.

Each quarter we award up to three grants.  The next deadline for submissions is March 1. For more information, check out our web page at

News from ACM-W Europe

womENcourage 2018: “Creating the Future Together”

Join us for the 5th ACM Celebration of Women in Computing: womENcourage 2018 in the beautiful city of Belgrade, Serbia on October 3-5 2018. The program includes a Hackathon, Workshops, Posters, Technical Talks and Panel Discussions and is sure to have something for everyone. Come to meet new and old friends, network with like-minded colleagues and enjoy sightseeing in historic Belgrade.

Upcoming European Conferences

Upcoming European ACM Celebrations of Women in Computing

  • LYIT-CWIC, February 8-10, 2018, Ireland
  • RusCWIC, March 1-3, 2018, Perm, Russia
  • ACWIC, March 3, 2018, Ankara, Turkey
  • ACM-W UK Inspire, April 20th, 2018, Leicester, UK
  • Ada’s Legacy, April 2018, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • ENTER, April, 25-26 2018, Belgrade, Serbia
  • IPT, Spring 2018, Madrid, Spain
  • WeEdR, Spring 2018, Limassol, Spain


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