Updates

Why You Can Be a Technologist Too

October 06, 2014

By Lucy Wang, Co-Director of Brand
Read on Medium

It’s 9 AM in Bristol, CT and Alison Kohl walks into ESPN headquarters for a big day. The 2014 FIFA World Cup has been breaking live streaming records for sporting events, and Kohl’s team developed the WatchESPN app. The USA is playing Germany, and it’s expected to be the most streamed sporting event of all time; the team makes sure everything is in place.

Meanwhile on the west coast, Raiyan Khan walks into the Functional Imaging in Neuropsychiatric Disorders (FIND) Lab at Stanford University, where she will spend her day using image processing tools and techniques to extract hippocampal information from MR images of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Two completely different worlds, and yet their internships share one huge commonality – computer science.

Computer science is ubiquitous – it exists in every field and it permeates our lives, every moment of every day. It’s there in the morning, when our fitness wearable makes sure not to wake us up during REM sleep. It’s there at lunch, when we’ve forgotten our credit card, but it doesn’t matter because we can pay with our phones. And it’s there at night, when we’re able to get where we are going without planning ahead, because with a click of a button we’ll always have a ride.

Wherever you look, there is always a need for computing. You can truly take any interest, combine it with computer science, and do something that you love.

Unfortunately, many women are deterred from the computer science major because it’s such a male dominated field. Instead, they will choose to study a field that they perceive to be closer to their interests, while in reality, the interdisciplinary nature of computer science makes it a major you can tailor to any passion.

It is this very insight that inspired Alison Kohl (Stanford ’15) and Raiyan Khan (Stanford ’15) to direct the she++ College Ambassador Program. she++’s newest initiative aims to foster communities that promote diversity in technology by providing resources to college students interested in increasing the accessibility of computer science at their college or university.

“Technology is changing the way every industry operates, and studying computer science can put you at the forefront of this evolution,” said Kohl.

“The effects of the she++ College Ambassador Program will be two pronged,” Khan said. “First, by making computer science more accessible at colleges where it is not currently, and second, by strengthening the network of existing computer science communities.”

For Kohl and Khan, the College Ambassador Program is about bringing valuable insights about computer science to college campuses. “Our College Ambassadors will share what they have found to be true about computer science with their peers with the goal of dispelling myths about the field,” Kohl said. “We are reshaping the environment for female technologists, one community at a time.”



she++ Launches College Ambassador Program

September 25, 2014

by Lucy Wang, Director of Brand at she++
You asked, we heard. This fall, she++ is expanding to college campuses nationwide with the launch of the College Ambassador Program. she++’s newest initiative aims to foster communities that promote diversity in technology by providing resources to students interested in increasing the accessibility of computer science at their college or university.

Alison Kohl (Stanford ’15) and Raiyan Khan (Stanford ’15), co-directors of the College Ambassador Program, believe that every student should have access to computer science curricula as well as a computer science community for mentorship and support.

Both Kohl and Khan know first hand how important it is for new computer science students to have a strong tech community. Kohl hadn’t even considered studying computer science when she came to Stanford, but took the introductory computer science course her freshman fall at the suggestion of an advisor. “It’s scary for me to think that I was one class away from missing out on a field that challenges and opens doors for me every day. That’s why the College Ambassador Program is so important,” said Kohl.

“The effects of the she++ Ambassador Program will be two pronged,” said Khan. “First, by making computer science more accessible at colleges where it is not currently, and second, by strengthening the network of existing computer science communities.”

For Kohl and Khan, the College Ambassador Program is about bringing valuable insights about computer science to college campuses. “Our College Ambassadors will share what they have found to be true about computer science with their peers with the goal of dispelling myths about the field,” Kohl said. “This is a grassroots movement, and we’re looking for college ambassadors nationwide.” said Khan. “We’re helping more girls go geek, one community at a time.”

Interested in becoming a she++ College Ambassador on your campus? Find out more at sheplusplus.com/ambassadors or contact Alison Kohl or Raiyan Khan.

#include Fellowship Sign ups Now Open!

September 09, 2014

Sign ups for the 2015 #include Fellowship program are now open! The #include Fellowship provides resources and content for high school students to start initiatives to bring tech opportunities to their local communities. Head over to the #include page to find out how you can help spread tech education across the country. Registration closes on November 1, 2014.