Spotlight on Trondheim ACM-W Professional Chapter
ACM-W would like to spotlight the Trondheim ACM-W Professional Chapter this month through an interview with Dr. Letizia Jaccheri. Dr. Jaccheri is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the General Co-chair of WomenENcourage 2023.
Why did you decide to form an ACM-W Professional Chapter?
One researcher, who was working as postdoc at my university in 2019, challenged me to start the chapter. She is Zacharoula Papamitsiou now working at SINTEF (https://www.sintef.no/alle-ansatte/ansatt/xara.papamitsiou/) Zacharoula knew the work of the Greek chapter and suggested we should start here. The Trondheim ACM-W Professional Chapter was chartered in 2019.
What strengths does your chapter have?
Our strength is that Norway is the country in Europe which is doing best when it comes to increase number of female students in computing. A recent report by Informatics Europe supports this statement. At our university we have the ADA project, running since 1997 which has been a pioneer and very successful project.
Where do you see your chapter five years from now?
When I started to focus on gender and computing not only for students but in the pipeline from PhD to professor, I was alone. Now we are a team of people and I see that in 5 years we will be 5 times as many.
What projects are you working on?
- IDUN (https://www.ntnu.edu/idun) This project received 1M Euro funding and the central measure in this project was the employment of nine female adjunct professors, at least one at each of the seven institutes of the faculty. IDUN provided training for these professors to become role models and mentors for 3-5 mentees each.
Several smaller projects that led to IDUN:
- Several iterations of Kodeløypa (https://www.ntnu.no/skolelab/kodeloypa) programming for children. More than 100 children participate to the workshop each year since 2015. E.g.,
Papavlasopoulou, S., Giannakos, M. N., & Jaccheri, L. (2019). Exploring children’s learning experience in constructionism-based coding activities through design-based research. Computers in Human Behavior, 99, 415-427.
- EUGAIN CA19122 (https://eugain.eu/) with 150 participants.
- Craft (https://www.ntnu.edu/smartcities/craft) – which is about inclusion and climate change.
- SENOBR (https://www.ntnu.edu/idi/senobr) – which is about software engineering with activities about intersectionality.
- Women Stem Up (https://women-stem-up.eu) – which is about gender inclusion in STEM education
What connections do you have with university students? What activities do you do? What connections do you have with K-12 students? What activities do you do?
We have connections with the ADA project (https://www.ntnu.edu/ada) and we also supervise master students who do research about gender and computing – see several examples here: https://sbs.idi.ntnu.no/master.
What involvement do you have with ACM-W Celebrations near you?
We will organize WomenENcourage in 2023. We have participated in WomenENcourage 2022 and in 2021 we organized a local physical event when it was virtual from Praha.
What benefits do the members of your chapter gain from your connections?
— We connect students to research and we share our industry partners.
— Our events are also open to students. We are present to the annual event that the department organizes for students.
— We are attracting sponsors for our ACM WomENcourage 2023 (https://womencourage.acm.org/2023/)
Do you have any suggestions or feedback for groups looking to start a chapter?
My suggestion is to start and to look at other successful chapters. For example we started by looking at the Greek chapter, as mentioned in the beginning. Another suggestion is that, when dealing with volunteering work like this, you should always remember to thank the people who help and are engaged and you try to inspire people. You should look for your successor from the beginning. I am so happy that Alicia Julia Wilson Takaoka is taking over. It is called ACM-Women Trondheim Chapter not Letizia’s chapter.
ACM-W Professional Chapters empower local voices for change with the backing of a worldwide organisation. Professional chapters work with student chapters and industry leaders to advocate for equity and diversity in the tech industry. Our chapters worldwide organize conferences, hack-a-thons, fundraisers, lecture series, community service, and networking events that gather together local students and IT professionals. To learn more about these activities, please stay tuned to more interviews with ACM-W chapter leaders throughout the year! For more information about ACM-W Professional Chapters, contact the Chair of ACM-W Global Professional Chapters, Rachelle Kristof Hippler (firstname.lastname@example.org).