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INI Student Grace Kihumba Recieves EWF INI Fellowship

October 17, 2013

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First-year graduate student Grace Kihumba began her studies at Carnegie Mellon this fall as the sixth recipient of the EWF INI Fellowship, a unique fellowship program offered through the Information Networking Institute (INI) and the Alta Associates’ Executive Women's Forum (EWF).

Through the initiative, Grace receives a full-tuition scholarship and valuable opportunities to gain executive-level mentoring through the EWF, whose members hold senior-level positions in the areas of information security, IT audit, privacy and risk management. Offered since 2007, the EWF INI Fellowship supports a student from a historically underrepresented population. Previous recipients of the fellowship, known as EWF INI Fellows, have been recruited by major companies, such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark and Ernst & Young.

"The EWF INI Fellowship is like rocket fuel for the careers of these young women, who would otherwise face some major barriers—hurdles related to their culture or their geographic location, gender biases and financial hardships, even self-doubt, to name a few," said Dena Haritos Tsamitis, INI Director. "Grace shows exceptional potential, offering both talent and a passion for a future career in technology leadership."

Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Grace is focusing her studies on mobile technology and aspires to one day apply her knowledge and talents toward advancing technology in her home country.

"I would like to conduct research on mobile learning and intelligent tutoring systems for mobile devices," Grace said. "My interest is in educational technology and e-learning and I hope to work in a research center that has this focus. I also hope to get into a doctorate program after the INI. I plan to go back to Kenya and work in the field of educational technology because it can go a long way to complement learning resources in developing countries."

She is pursing the INI's Pittsburgh-Silicon Valley Master of Science in Information Technology—Mobility program, which will require her to spend the last half of her program in Mountain View, California, gaining hands-on experience with the industry's game-changers near Carnegie Mellon's Silicon Valley campus. She is currently in Pittsburgh digging into the academic life and diverse cultural assets of the main campus. She stated: "I'm looking forward to working with students from different countries at the INI. I also hope to learn to appreciate American football, which seems big here."

The EWF INI Fellowship recipient is presented annually at the EWF National Conference. This year the conference takes place Oct. 22-24, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"The Executive Women's Forum is proud to partner with CMU's INI to offer scholarships to deserving future thought leaders," said Joyce Brocaglia, CEO of Alta Associates and founder of the EWF. "Having the ability to make such a tangible positive change in a young woman's life is one of our proudest accomplishments."

View the original press release from Carnegie Mellon University. Watch a video on the EWF & INI partnership to support students from under-represented minorities in technology fields.

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