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Advocating For Women In Technology (AWIT) Awarded $1,000 Grant By NCWIT

AUSTIN, TX - The School of Information student chapter of ASIS&T's subcommittee AWIT was awarded the NCWIT Student Seed Fund Grant for $1,0000. AWIT will use the grant to hold an iSchool Showcase mini-conference in spring of 2014.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to address the gender diversity imbalance in the technology and computing workforce. The NCWIT Student Seed Fund grant, sponsored by Symantec, has awarded $43,250 to 70 student groups since 2011. The awards are given to organizations whose initiatives align with NCWIT's mission "by proposing activities, events, or other programs that will recruit, retain, and support women in technology- and computing-related majors." Thus far they have called for applicants in eight rounds. AWIT has won in the seventh round alongside organizations at schools like Princeton University, the University of North Texas, and The University of Texas at El Paso.

AWIT, a new sub-committee group at the University of Texas School of Information, was founded by four second-year iSchool students in spring of 2013 after holding a documentary screening and panel. The film, titled She ++, was created by Stanford University graduates and encourages women to pursue coding and careers in technology. Immediately following the film was a round of lightning talks featuring female professionals who had technology industry careers but did not have computer science or coding backgrounds. AWIT was established soon after and was supported by several of the iSchool staff and faculty as a result of that well-attended event. The group's main goal is to continue encouraging women students to pursue technology classes and careers.

Thanks to the NCWIT Symantec Student Seed Fund grant and recent donations from the School of information Advisory Council, AWIT will host an iSchool Showcase in spring of 2014 that will feature women professionals in the technology industry as well as a mini-conference opportunity for female students from across the UT campus to exhibit projects they have worked on in their jobs, internships, volunteer experiences, classes or independently.

For more information contact: AWIT faculty advisor Dr. Pat Galloway, galloway@ischool.utexas.edu, or student representative Marcia McIntosh, marmcintosh@utexas.edu.