Stevens Institute of Technology Launches Effort to Recruit More Women to Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Majors

3/19/2014

Hoboken, NJ - Stevens Institute of Technology is partnering with the “Extension Services – Undergraduate Programs” (ES-UP) initiative of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) to implement a new strategic plan for recruiting more women into the fields of computer science, electrical engineering, and computer engineering. The plan includes recruiting and retention strategies designed to attract more undergraduate women into these majors.

The first step, initiated in Fall 2013, is an Ambassadors program that sends Stevens undergraduate women students into area high schools and brings K-12 girls' groups to campus for curriculum-specific visits during which female Stevens students perform engaging technology demonstrations, serve as role models, and discuss educational possibilities and career paths in information technology as well as other STEM fields.

A second initiative to inform and reach out to potential future students involves undergraduate computer science majors from Stevens teaching 6th- through 8th-grade students in Chatham, New Jersey, as part of the “ChathamSTEM” program that provides young students exposure to information technologies. Over 10 weeks in early 2014 Stevens students will teach after-school classes in Chatham on subjects such as Lego Robotics, programming in Scratch and Python, and Android application development.

University faculty and administrators are excited to learn more about what they can do to improve the recruitment and retention of women in the targeted majors as well as other STEM fields. Stevens Computer Science Department Director Dr. Daniel Duchamp explains: “there are exciting intellectual challenges and rewarding career opportunities in information technology fields, and women who enroll at a technological university such as Stevens are exceptionally well prepared for study in these fields. It is important that we reach out to high school girls and make them aware of the many exciting possibilities that are available to them.”

“Encouraging young women’s interest in technology careers is critical: our workforce needs their creativity and their innovation,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of NCWIT. “The goal of this launch is to immediately increase the visibility and raw numbers of women in these programs”.

The team includes faculty members from across Stevens including Dr. Daniel Duchamp, Director of the Computer Science Department; Dr. Jennifer Chen, Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; Dr. Hong Man, Associate Professor and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Program Director in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; Dr. Kristie Damell, Assistant Dean of Students and Coordinator of Women’s Programs; Marissa Brock, Associate Director of Recruitment; Susan Metz, Director of Diversity and Inclusion; and NCWIT Extension Services Consultant Dr. Jennifer Goodall, Assistant Dean in the College of Computing and Information at the University at Albany, SUNY.

About Stevens Institute of Technology:

Stevens Institute of TechnologyThe Innovation University®, is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, N.J. overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Founded in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark and legacy of Stevens’ education and research programs for more than 140 years. Within the university’s three schools and one college, more than 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate with more than 350 faculty members in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment to advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront global challenges. Stevens is home to three national research centers of excellence, as well as joint research programs focused on critical industries such as healthcare, energy, finance, defense, STEM education and coastal sustainability. The university is consistently ranked among the nation’s elite for return on investment for students, career services programs and mid-career salaries of alumni. Stevens is in the midst of a 10-year strategic plan, The Future. Ours to Create., designed to further extend the Stevens legacy to create a forward-looking and far-reaching institution with global impact. www.stevens.edu

About NCWIT

NCWIT is the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a coalition of over 450 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits working to increase women's participation in IT. NCWIT's work spans K-12 and higher education through industry and academic careers. Find out more at www.ncwit.org.