Eight EECS students attended the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing; the largest gathering of women technologists in the world. The students were accompanied by Professor Annette Tetmeyer, the advisor for the new organization KU Women in Computing, or KUWIC. Each student, ranging from sophomore to senior, is a member of KUWIC. The conference is hosted annually by the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery. This year, the event in Houston and had around 20,000 attendees from around the globe. The event also had significant representation from an array of well-known companies, including Google, Tesla, IBM, Adobe, Facebook, Apple, Spotify, and more.
Two KU students were accepted into the competitive GHC 18 Scholars program and received scholarships for the conference. The EECS Department and the School of Engineering Office of Diversity and Women’s Programs provided funding for six additional students to attend. These students each had unique, impactful experiences at the conference, from first-time technical interviews and job offers to powerful keynote speakers to lavish networking opportunities.
Senior Katie Hrenchir had many positive comments about her experience. “The opportunity to attend this celebration as a student has changed my entire perspective on the tech industry. I am very, very excited to be a part of a community of women in tech,” said Hrenchir.
Junior Emilia Paz had similarly positive sentiments toward the experience. She had the opportunity to meet one of her most inspirational role models, Mariana Costa, a revolutionary Peruvian entrepreneur. Emilia spoke of her time at Grace Hopper: “The ‘C’ in ‘GHC’ stands for ‘Celebration’ and not ‘Conference’ and I think this is quite important… no matter how hard the path can be, I am doing something I like and I am passionate about, and that with effort and perseverance I can have a positive impact on the world.”
From left to right: Kalekidan Yeshiwas, Emilia Paz Ojeda, Katie Hrenchir, Rosie Charnley, Clare Meyer, Prof. Annette Tetmeyer, Surabhi Khachar, Katie Lucas, Jordan Love