Gabrielle LaBorwit

  • Undergraduate Student
    Bucknell University
    Attended CHI 2019
    2019, Glasgow, United Kingdom

It has always been a dream of mine to attend CHI, but as an undergraduate I didn’t know if I would ever have the chance. When I received the ACM-W scholarship, I was absolutely thrilled. CHI 2019 was such an amazing adventure to have embarked upon. I met and connected with graduate students and professors alike, in addition to some other undergraduates who came. It was especially fun having two other HCI-minded students from my university by my side, introducing each other to new friends and connections everywhere we went. I even got to meet up with some mentors from across the world that I did research with a while back. Another magnificent part of the ACM-W scholarship is that they pair you with a mentor at the conference to help with any questions or advice. My mentor gave me great advice for my future in HCI, told me the story of how she got involved with the field, and explained what a day in the life of someone in her work position is like. Overall the mentorship was an incredible addition to the already wonderful conference.

In regard to the paper sessions, there were so many to choose from that I never felt bored. I sat in on panel discussions about research ethics, learned about the accessibility options that companies are exploring for their users, and so much more. It was also great to have had the opportunity to attend two of my fellow classmates’ award-winning paper session on data visualizations.

Prior to my experience at CHI, I had always considered the option of going to graduate school but I could never figure out the specific degree in which I wanted to pursue. CHI reinforced my interest in research and gave me some friends, mentors, and motivation to do what I love. I am so lucky to have had this experience and forever will appreciate the generosity of ACM-W.