Monday, April 12, 2010

Celebration a Success!

Last week Carleton's Women in Science and Engineering hosted the very first Carleton Celebration of Women in Science and Engineering, and it was a great success!

I organized this event after being inspired by the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. The networking opportunities, the ability to find role models, the chance to hear the latest and greatest research being done by women in my field... I wanted to bring that to Carleton, even if it would be on a smaller scale.

My main goals were to showcase what the Carleton ladies in science and engineering have been up to, and to give us an opportunity for us to network, since WISE spans so many technical and scientific disciplines. I think we succeeded on both counts!

In terms of getting the word out about what we do, I had a media advisory sent out from Carleton's external communications office and managed to get an interview with the CBC, Canada's public broadcasting company. Terri and I prerecorded an interview with the Morning Show host Kathleen Petty to be played the morning of our event. In addition to the actual event, we talked about what got us into computer science, why women are such a minority, and what to do about it. Terri's boyfriend recorded the interview as it streamed online, and you can listen to it now from the CU-WISE website.

During the event, I saw so many new connections being made. For example, there were a few talks from biologists, who many of us engineers and computer scientists would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise; some of them are even jumping on board to help out with CU-WISE. There were also multiple people talking about their outreach efforts, some from science and some from engineering, and now they want to work together. The networking continued during the speaker's dinner (which was covered by the event's funding).

I can't tell you how happy I am with this event overall. With the help of my fellow CU-WISE executives and officers, the room looked great and the day ran perfectly smoothly. Every single speaker did an amazing job. The quality and enthusiasm was nothing less than exhilarating. Thanks to everyone involved!

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