Computer Science Diversity Committee Webinars

To attend the following webinars, please contact for registration and the Zoom link.

Mirela Gutica, Faculty and Curriculum Head, School of Computing and Academic Studies, British Columbia Institute of Technology

Title: Barriers to Diversity in Computer Science Education: A Student Perspective

Time: Friday, Sep 24, 2021, 12:30-1:20pm PT

Mirela Gutica teaches and conducts applied research at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Her background is in computer engineering and technology education. She teaches computer architecture, human-computer interaction, programming and operating systems, and is actively involved in the BCIT community. Her research interests include advanced learning technologies, computer science education and diversity and inclusion in STEM. She was awarded the BCIT VP Research Seed Fund to conduct the study entitled “Building Advanced Learning Technologies for Improving Girls’ and Women’s Participation in STEM".

Patricia Garcia, Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan

Title: Expressive Electronics: Broadening Participation in Computing Through Identity Exploration

Time: Sep 10, 2021 12:30 PM Pacific Time

Patricia Garcia is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. She conducts qualitative research on the complex relationship between race, gender, technology, and justice. She is currently working on an NSF CAREER project to study how a computational justice program model can support girls of color (ages 13-16) develop agentic computing identities. This research involves the design of computing education programs that support girls of color in situating their computing identities within broader self-concepts and in ways that highlight how the intersections of race and gender can function as sources of power, rather than simply sites of marginalization.

Her research also examines how harmful data practices perpetuate structural inequities along racialized and gendered lines. She is planning to grow this research area by collaborating with data practitioners to imagine how the concept of critical refusal can be used to enact more equitable data practices. This work is done in collaboration with the co-authors of The Feminist Data Manifest-No.

Kathryn T. Stolee, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, North Carolina State University

Title: Nevertheless, She Persisted: An Intervention to Increase Women's Persistence Intentions in CS

Time: August 5, 2021 12:30 PM Pacific Time

Kathryn T. Stolee is currently an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. She was previously the Harpole-Pentair assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University. She received her PhD degree in computer science in 2013 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she also received her MS and BS degrees in computer science. She enjoys research in program analysis, code search, crowdsourcing, end-user software engineering and empirical studies. Her research uses program analysis to develop tools and techniques with the goal of making software easier to build, maintain and understand.  

In diversity efforts to improve retention of underrepresented individuals in computing, she has drawn from social-psychological research to create a lightweight intervention aiming to improve self-assessments of CS ability and Women’s CS persistence intentions.

Cinda Heeren, Professor of Teaching, Associate Head of Undergraduate Programs, Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia

Title: Redefining the Base Case: Broadening Participation in Computing by Embracing a New Historical Narrative

Time: Jul 22, 2021 12:30 PM Pacific Time

Cinda Heeren is a Professor of Teaching and Associate Head of Undergraduate Programs in the computer science department at the University of British Columbia. Her consistent, engaging work in UBC’s core CS Data Structures course was recognized with the Killam Teaching Prize in Spring 2020.

Cinda champions inclusive assessment strategies facilitated primarily by an accessible, modern, freely available, scalable, online assessment tool called PrairieLearn. Her most recent creative project is the development of a data structures and algorithms course designed specifically for non-CS majors, that ties together classic problems from CS with applications from the arts and sciences.

Cinda continues to be a vocal advocate for diversifying the field of computing through outreach, program development, and undergraduate community-building. She is the Chair of the CS Department’s Committee on Outreach, Diversity, and Equity (CODE), and she evangelizes for inclusive and innovative teaching practices at every level of instruction.

Wendy Powley, Associate Professor, School of Computing, Queen’s University

Title: Tips to Increase Participation of Women in Computer Science

Time: Jul 8, 2021 12:30 PM Pacific Time

Wendy Powley is a computer scientist, and diversity and inclusion advocate. Her main area of research includes database management systems and cloud computing. She has served as an executive member of ACM-W, Associate Program Chair of SIGSCE, and Diversity and Outreach committee of CS-Can/Info-CAN. She is the founder of CAN-CWIC, bringing the ACM celebration of women in computing to Canada. She is currently an Associate Professor in School of Computing, Queen’s University.