Letter from Gloria Townsend

After seventeen years working with ACM-W, I’m writing my last article.  I’m proud of all the success that ACM-W has had in recruiting, retaining, and celebrating women in computing, during these seventeen years.

I thank Tracy Camp who listened to my "small regional celebrations for women in computing" concept in 2000 and invited me to join the ACM-W crew in 2000. 

I thank Elaine Weyuker who funded the very first ACM Celebration (Indiana Celebration of Women in Computing or INWIC) in 2004.  Today the ACM Celebrations of Women in Computing span the globe.  I thank Bettina Bair and company who formed the #2 Ohio Celebration; Tracy Camp et al, the #3 Rocky Mountain Celebration; and Laurie Dillon and friends, the #4 Michigan Celebration.  I thank the National Science Foundation for funding a large grant to create 12 additional celebrations – along with thanking the many women who organized the 12 conferences. 

At the beginning 0f 2013, I handed the Celebrations project over to Jodi Tims and took over chairing ACM-W Chapters.  There were 45 chapters in early 2013; now there are 183.  I thank wonderful Paula Gabbert for her brilliant ACM-W Chapters concept and for leading the project in the early years from 2000 to 2013, because growing a project from "scratch" is always more difficult than carrying on a project that has gained momentum.  I thank the ACM-W Chapters Committee for all of its excellent support:  Z Sweedyk, Virginia Grande, Melanie Williamson, Ranjani Parthasarathi, Chutima Boonthum, Lindsay Jamieson, Alan Jamieson, Priya Chawla, and Shahnaz Kamberi.  I send best wishes to Z, as she assumes chairship of ACM-W Chapters.

Finally, I thank Valerie Barr and Jodi Tims for their joint vision and leadership of ACM-W.  Last, but by no means least, I thank my dear friend Wendy Powley (current chair of the Celebrations Project) for her work on behalf of women in computing in Canada and ACM Celebrations all over the world.