[Published originally in the May 2002 edition of Computing Research News, p. 12.]
CRA-W Holds Successful Career Mentoring Workshop at SIGCSE
On February 27, CRA's committee on the status of women in computing held a daylong career/mentoring workshop entitled "Managing the Academic Career for Faculty Women at Undergraduate Computer Science and Engineering Instiutions" at the SIGCSE 2002 Conference.
The workshop, funded by NSF, was geared toward faculty members and advanced graduate students interested in undergraduate education. Workshop sessions offered mentoring activities specifically for women in undergraduate teaching and research who face particular challenges in pursuing and maintaining academic careers at primarily undergraduate academic institutions. CRA-W's main focus is on increasing the number of women participating in computer science and engineering research and education at all levels through research mentoring, community building, information sharing, and effecting organizational change. Based on participant evaluations, the SIGSCE met these goals.
Speakers included Nell Dale (University of Texas), Ann Smith (Saint Mary's University), Merry McDonald (Northwest Missouri State University), Dian Lopez (University of Minnesota-Morris), and Deborah Knox (The College of New Jersey).
In addition to sessions on teaching and mentoring students, the workshop discussed strategies for getting started with research/finding funding; staying current in a generalist environment; promotion and tenure issues; and time management. The workshop also provided networking opportunities that several of the 32 participants pointed to as especially valuable. "The opportunity to network with so many other women CS faculty was fantastic. I came back home from the workshop and SIGCSE with a renewed sense of excitement and energy," wrote attendee Laurie Murphy from Pacific Lutheran University.
Holding one of its career mentoring workshops in association with SIGCSE, a teaching-oriented conference, was a first for CRA-W. The enthusiastic response from participants and speakers convinced the committee to begin planning for SIGCSE 2003 with new and expanded topics. In particular, the need for a transition program/workshop for women seeking to move from the Masters level to the Ph.D. level was significant, according to workshop co-chair, Sheila Casteneda. "CRA-W hopes to cover this topic in more depth at the next mentoring workshop, and perhaps to expand into a multi-day event," said Casteneda. More information on CRA-W and its activities can be found at /Activities/craw/index.html.
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