ACM-W organization wins start-up grant
By Kiara Mays | Published April 7, 2017
A new Kean University group devoted to advancing women in computer science machinery has been awarded a $3,000 grant to sponsor activities that will help lessen gender inequality in the male dominated field.
The Association for Computing Machinery-Women Student Chapter (ACM-W) entered the national ACM-W student seed fund competition and proceeded to win the third tier, $3,000, prize for Start-up Funding.
The top tier prize Trailblazer Award, was awarded to two universities, which received a grant of up to $15,000. The second tier prize Amplification Award, was awarded to five universities, which received an award amount of up to $5,000.
The award was sponsored in part by Google and National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).
Although similar, ACM-W is not to be confused with its counterpart, Association for Computing-Machinery (ACM). While both are internationally recognized student chapters, unlike ACM-W, which focuses on bettering women in Computer Sciences, ACM does not focus specifically on any particular demographic.
“The funding not only provides us with startup funds to begin our chapter activities, it formally recognizes us as well as Kean University in the computing community nationwide,” said Stephanie Eordanidis, Computer Science major, and senior at Kean.
Eordanidis, founding member, VP, and former First Chair for ACM-W explained that while the chapter is geared towards women, anyone is allowed to join as it is considered an all-inclusive organization. However, anyone looking to become a member should know that all events and chapter activities will be geared specifically towards women.
“All members aspire for change to lessen the gap in the Computing Sciences with regards to gender inequality,” said Eordanidis.
The ACM-W chapter sheds light on the under-represented demographic of women in the male-dominated field while also providing them with a wide range of unique programs and opportunities. Through information sessions, career fairs and guest speakers, the chapter at Kean wants to further educate women to assist their success in the Computing Sciences.
ACM-W hosted its first, official chapter meeting on Thursday, March 23 on Kean’s campus. Members and prospective members learned more about the chapter, executive board members, as well as received information about future events and opportunities.