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Gearing up for the 2012 Grace Hopper Celebration

August 17, 2012

Professionals, academics and students come together annually for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, named after the famed computer scientist Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, who taught and inspired many people in her lifetime. The annual conference attracts a growing national audience, which typically includes a group of students, faculty and staff from the INI. This year, the conference takes place October 3-6 in Baltimore.

"The conference was an awesome experience for me. I got to learn a lot from the sessions," said Ruta Gadkari (MS23), a 2011 conference attendee who is in the Master of Science in Information Networking program. "I gained insight about many new avenues and research areas in the field of computer science."

Also at last year's conference, INI alumna Luz Jaramillo (MS22) was honored to be a panelist. She had proposed and organized the panel discussion about industry careers with a group called Latinas in Computing.

"It was a pleasure to share the stage with a group of brilliant and valuable women on the IT field," said Luz. "It was very rewarding to help other women to find their passion and to contribute to their professional development."

Luz has been accepted again as a panelist for the 2012 conference. She and fellow INI alumni Natalie Bennett (MS22) and Nandita Rao (MS22) will discuss how academic work can be applied to real-life use and will present a case study on a student project they completed for the Disaster Management Initiative in the emergency medical field. Carnegie Mellon faculty member Patricia Collins will moderate the panel discussion.

Each fall, the INI awards several conference scholarships to INI students through an essay contest by the Women@INI (WINI) student organization. The winners of the essay contest are announced during orientation.

The 2012 conference promises to be as inspiring as ever with two excellent keynote speakers, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and the Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.