Recent Alumnae To Present at Large Computing Conference

September 28, 2012

Lucky conference goers are looking forward to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing that is taking place Oct. 3-6. Considered the largest international gathering of women in technology fields, the conference offers a variety of well-attended educational programs and networking for women in high tech industries, U.S. government positions and academia.

This year, a small group of alumnae from Carnegie Mellon are presenting on their student experience while completing a capstone project. The INI's Natalie Bennett, Luz Jaramillo and Nandita Rao Narla (MS22) received the news over the summer that the conference had accepted their proposal for a panel topic, titled "Addressing Real-Life Problems through Academic Projects." The three had recently graduated from their bicoastal master's programs that were completed in part at the Silicon Valley campus, which is where they were encouraged by Wendy Fong, the senior strategic programs manager, to submit a proposal to the notable conference.

The three alumnae will discuss a capstone project they completed for Carnegie Mellon's Disaster Management Initiative. Together, they collaborated on a technology solution that aids the emergency medical services community. Now, the alumnae will have the opportunity to talk about their unique academic experiences and to encourage other students to try their hand at "real world" projects before graduating.

Assistant Professor of the Practice Patricia Collins will moderate the panel discussion. She is a member of the graduate studies faculty at the Silicon Valley campus, where real-world learning is a high priority. The students are empowered and inspired to create beneficial solutions that resonate beyond the classroom.

"We look forward to sharing with the audience these panelists' perspectives on the value of choosing academic projects with real-world applications and the value of an academic project with a focus that the student believes matters to a society, culture or institution," Ms. Collins noted.

In addition to the group of alumnae on the panel, the INI will be represented by several students and staff who are attending. As a Gold-level sponsor of the conference, the INI sends several students each year through conference scholarships.

"In the past, the INI has attracted talented prospective students to our programs as a direct result of our participation in the Grace Hopper Celebration," said Dr. Dena Haritos Tsamitis, the director of the INI. "This year, our efforts have come full circle. The INI is extremely proud to have our alumnae represented among the conference panelists."

Pictured above: Natalie Bennett, Luz Jaramillo, Nandita Rao Narla and Patricia Collins

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