Alegria Baquero Merino

The ACM-W award allowed me to travel to Hyderabad, India to present my dissertation work at the Doctoral Symposium at the International Conference on Software Engineering. This experience was very enriching both academically and socially. By presenting at the Doctoral Symposium, I had the opportunity to get invaluable feedback on my work from experts in the field. Their comments provided me with new perspectives on the benefits and limitations of my approach towards policy-based and customizable web services. Industry adoption in healthcare, my experimental domain, was one of the issues brought up by the committee as well as the complexity of the domain’s privacy policies with respect to patient data. These questions clarified my research goals and the research activities that ought to be carried out to approach the weaknesses of my research proposal. It was a great honor and a unique experience of having the mentorship of such distinguished body of researchers assigned to discuss in the Doctoral Symposium.

Also, I had the opportunity to expand not only my academic, but my social network. Attending a conference is a great experience to meet new people during talks, coffee breaks, lunches, and dinners. I met people from all around the world and got a taste of what is being done in the field by a number of research groups in diverse universities. In talking to people about my work, I was able to obtain valuable information about researchers that are approaching similar challenges and reference to literature and existing information systems in the healthcare domain that I can refer to. It was also invigorating to hear, from those with whom I talked to, that approaching the problem of the safe exchange of health information is today a very relevant problem worth pursuing and the path to an interesting and challenging academic and career area. It is indeed very meaningful to work on a topic that has the opportunity to impact on so many people and so many aspects of our daily lives. Also, I made new friendships with my peers, mostly with students working along with me as student volunteers. They come from all over, the University of Delaware, Wayne State University, College of William and Mary, University of Lugano, Politecnico di Milano, Abu Dhabi University, IIIT Hyderabad, among others. These are people that are part of my community and from which I will enrich through the years.

Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity and to allow me to achieve another milestone in my career.