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archivesA. Nico Habermann Award

CRA makes this award, usually annually, to a person who has made outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and/or successes of underrepresented groups in the computing research community. This award recognizes work in areas of government affairs, educational programs, professional societies, public awareness, and leadership that has a major impact on advancing these groups in the computing research community. Recognized contributions can be focused directly at the research level or at its immediate precursors, namely students at the undergraduate or graduate levels.

2012Lucy Sanders, Robert Schnabel, Telle Whitney

2012 Habermann Award Awardee

The CRA Board of Directors has selected Lucy Sanders, CEO, National Center for Women & Information Technology; Robert Schnabel, Dean, School of Informatics, Indiana University; and Telle Whitney, CEO and President of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology to receive the 2012 A. Nico Habermann Award.

The award is given for their joint efforts to establish and sustain NCWIT, a national resource dedicated to encouraging greater participation of women in the development of computing technology. Each of these individuals has played an essential role in NCWIT’s creation and success.

In 2003, Lucy, Bobby, and Telle had a vision of creating a national center that would bring together institutions, organizations, and individuals committed to the goal of increasing the participation of women and girls in information technology. The stakeholders of this center would span academia, industry, K-12 educators, and entrepreneurs. The center would facilitate sharing of promising practices among its members, incorporate social science research about the impact of gender in computing careers and the effectiveness of intervention strategies, and create a community of change agents challenging each other to amplify their efforts toward this goal. It would provide a forum for greater cooperation and communication among various organizations working in this space (e.g., ABI, CRA-W, MentorNet, ACM, and the Girl Scouts are all current NCWIT members).

NCWIT’s impact on the computing research community is especially evident in the activities of its Academic Alliance and Workforce Alliance. The Academic Alliance, comprised of nearly 200 colleges and universities, has focused on recruitment and retention of undergraduate and graduate women students, as well as making the overall climate within their CISE departments more supportive of women students and women faculty. The Workforce Alliance, whose members include corporations with the premier research labs, is dedicated to recruiting and advancing technical women in corporate R&D. As one professor commented, ”In a short time, Lucy, Bobby, and Telle raised the visibility of computing’s gender imbalance and distributed effective tools and practices for amplifying and quickening progress on this important issue.”

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