1. A.J. Brush
  2. CRA-W
  3. http://cra-w.org/
  4. Computing Research Association's Committee on the...
  1. Melissa Borts
  2. Program Associate
  3. CRA-W
  4. http://cra-w.org/
  5. Computing Research Association's Committee on the...
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Jenna Marks

    Jenna Marks

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 01:15 a.m.

    Happy 25th Aniversary to CRA-W! This seems like a much-needed and highly impactful program for creating a welcoming environment and providing a variety of support for women in STEM fields.

    I still remember attending my first undergraduate meeting about how to get involved in doctoral research – I was in a room of male professors who started telling the women about how important it was to plan our doctoral timelines around having children because we wouldn’t be able to juggle both. With this in mind, I was curious about the content of your programs. Do you discuss and provide training on how to deal with issues of sexism in STEM fields?

    Last, how has this program evolved over the past 25 years and how do you think it might continue to evolve as women increasingly enter into STEM fields? Are you finding it easier to amass mentors for younger women?

  • Icon for: Melissa Borts

    Melissa Borts

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 09:21 a.m.

    Hi Jenna,

    We discuss issues of sexism in the STEM fields during our Grad Cohort workshop, we have an open forum for the participants to share. This session has had great success among the participants; many times the participants leave this session with a renewed sense of self-efficacy and a stronger feeling of being a part of the CS community.

    Our programs have evolved over the last 25 years from starting with a focus on women, and gradually becoming more inclusive. We currently partner with a few different organizations within in our programs, allowing us to open our programs to underrepresented groups.

    Our programs have developed based on the needs of the community. We now provide virtual mentoring opportunities for students through an online webinar series, called the Virtual Undergraduate Town Hall Series.

    As more women participate in our programs and become part of the CRA-W community, we ask them to continue their involvement as mentors and speakers for new participants in our programs.

  • Icon for: Pati Ruiz

    Pati Ruiz

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 08:30 a.m.

    CRA-W is doing some great work! I appreciate the way you work with women starting with undergraduates and all along their career. I work in high schools and have been teaching computer science to 9th and 10th grade students for a while. Have you thought about adding programs for younger women? I know the young women I work with would love to learn about your programs and see what is possible for them in the field.

    I also think the work you do to support educators is very important and your mission to support all underrepresented groups is admirable. How do you work with the other organizations you mentioned to support diversity efforts? Also, how do your members communicate most? Where does the group “live” virtually and how does that space extend your current F2F events?

  • Icon for: Melissa Borts

    Melissa Borts

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 09:32 a.m.

    Hi Pati,

    We have discussed the idea of adding programs for younger women. At this time, the most applicable program to women in their high school career, is the Virtual Undergraduate Town Hall Series. It is a webinar series that introduces participants to a leading female researcher from academia or industry. The first 20 minutes are designated for a research presentation. We then move to an open question and answer session. Then we conclude the session with a virtual mentoring activity. Mentoring topics we have discussed are: Building Self Confidence, Why to go to Graduate School, and Finding an advisor. Over the summer we will conduct webinars with current Graduate students as they discuss their research and graduate school experience.

    We work with organizations, such as, Access Computing, Coalition to Diversify Computing, IAAMCS, etc., to broaden participation in the CS fields. Our partners assist us in reaching communities within CS that we have not previously contacted. They assist us in running a few of our programs, and provide insight into how we may improve our programs to better suit the underrepresented communities.

    Our alumni communicate mostly through our social media groups: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We send information about our programs and activities via tailored mailing lists, Tweets, and Facebook and LinkedIn posts.

    Our community lives on our website (cra-w.org) and our social media groups. We are not a membership organization, we are a virtual and physical community that interacts at various conferences (reunions), programs, and virtual forums.

  • Icon for: Pati Ruiz

    Pati Ruiz

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 11:41 a.m.

    Thank you for that information, Melissa! I will check out those resources.

  • Icon for: araina boyd

    araina boyd

    Student
    May 17, 2016 | 01:24 p.m.

    I am very happy to see your focus begins at the undergraduate level. Twenty five years is very impressive! Supporting educators as well as students is very important. Do you have specific curriculum available to the students and educators regarding negotiation strategies to help them navigate an often competitive, male dominated environment?

  • Icon for: Melissa Borts

    Melissa Borts

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 01:27 p.m.

    Hi Araina,

    Please specify what type of negotiation you are asking about, please. Do you mean negotiating salaries? negotiating work load? etc.

  • Icon for: araina boyd

    araina boyd

    Student
    May 17, 2016 | 02:20 p.m.

    Melissa,
    Thank you for your quick response. I would be interested to hear if you have resources regarding negotiating salary and/or workload.

  • Icon for: Melissa Borts

    Melissa Borts

    Co-Presenter
    May 23, 2016 | 10:25 a.m.

    Hi Araina,

    I would recommend that you review our resources from past events: http://cra.org/cra-w/resources/resources-from-p.... We are currently working on an online resource database, stay tuned.

  • Icon for: Avron Barr

    Avron Barr

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 07:33 p.m.

    Important program and well-done video. Thank you. What plans, if any, are in place for growing CRA-W and expanding its impact?

  • Icon for: Melissa Borts

    Melissa Borts

    Co-Presenter
    May 23, 2016 | 10:27 a.m.

    Thanks for asking Avron! We have just added a new program this year with our Virtual Undergraduate Town Hall online talk series (http://cra.org/cra-w/undergrad-town-hall-series/). We hope to reach many students through these talks because they can join from their desk to hear great women speakers. We also are looking closely at how we partner with other alliances working in the STEM field to identify scaling opportunities.

  • Icon for: A.J. Brush

    A.J. Brush

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 09:40 p.m.

    Thanks for asking Avron! We have just added a new program this year with our Virtual Undergraduate Town Hall online talk series (http://cra.org/cra-w/undergrad-town-hall-series/). We hope to reach many students through these talks because they can join from their desk to hear great women speakers. We also are looking closely at how we partner with other alliances working in the STEM field to identify scaling opportunities.

  • Icon for: Richard Ladner

    Richard Ladner

    Professor
    May 23, 2016 | 06:06 p.m.

    Congratulations on 25 year of successful programs in CRA-W. Very nice video too.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.