Spring 2015 was year two for the Techie Women Have More… conference, sponsored by the multidisciplinary IU Center of Excellence for Women in Technology (CEWiT), and all indicators show that it was a great success!
One important strategy in our five-year plan as a center is a commitment to provide a highly visible and responsive suite of program offerings, which we then assess to ensure our quality and scope is satisfactory. Because the center, at this point, is virtual, this conference is one major way we can have a highly visible presence and gathering space for concentrated, technology- related professional development for our faculty, staff, student and alumnae community members and other interested people.
Our 327 participants included faculty, students and staff from across campus, alumnae, UITS, corporate sponsors, and even a few visiting high school young women.
How else does the conference feed into our strategic plan? Several areas relate to it, including:
- Leveraging campus resources
- Facilitating internal and external partnerships
- Using feedback to inform program offerings that address needs and aspirations of women
- Empowering women
- Celebrating excellence and increasing visibility of women in technology
- Hosting distinguished speakers;
- Enhancing teaching and research excellence;
- Providing a career fair so women from multiple disciplines can explore how they might fit into this arena.
Specifically, it addresses our goal to host an annual technology conference for women on the IU campus.
Community members from across campus and beyond were invited to submit conference session proposals, and students, faculty, UITS staff and library faculty, staff from the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology, alumnae, and corporations presented the selected sessions.
More than 38 workshop presentations were part of the conference, as were plenary talks, a networking reception and dinner, and a Career and Majors Expo for students to gain vision of possibilities and explore internships and job opportunities. View a complete listing of all 2015 sessions.
The participation on the part of presenters is one way we empower women to be recognized, to lead, to increase visibility of IU women in technology from across multiple disciplines and areas. Another highlight of the conference was outstanding mentor award presentations to assistant professor Kim Novick from SPEA and staff member Anna Lynch, principal online instructional designer at eLearning Design & Services. The 2015 outstanding student leadership award was presented to Sophia Bender, a doctoral student in the learning sciences program in the School of Education.
We more than doubled our participation numbers for this conference when compared to last year, and our intent is to continue to grow it in size and scope. Next year’s dates are set for Feb. 26 and 27, 2016, so mark your calendars now!