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2012.04.05 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO to Recognize Women for Computing Achievements

Omaha - As part of an effort to encourage more young women to choose careers in technology, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will recognize nine high school women and a high school educator for their accomplishments and aspirations in computing and technology.

Six of these young women were selected as winners of the 2011 Nebraska & SW Iowa Affiliate NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. Three women will also be recognized as runners up for this award. In addition, an educator will be honored for her efforts to encourage women in computing.

The award event will be held on the UNO campus at the Peter Kiewit Institute, 110 S. 67th St., on April 13, 2012 from 2 pm to 3:30 pm and will feature a keynote address by Karen Krabbe, assistant vice president at Union Pacific Railroad.

NCWIT is a coalition of nearly 200 universities, corporations and organizations dedicated to increasing the meaningful participation of women in computing. The Award for Aspirations in Computing was created to acknowledge the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field, and generate visibility for women’s participation in computing-related pursuits.

The first national award was offered in 2008 and this is the first time that an affiliate award has been offered locally in the state of Nebraska. One of the honorees at this event, Berkley Lyman of Papillion-La Vista High School, is also a runner up for the national NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. She is the first applicant to ever be honored nationally by NCWIT from the state of Nebraska. The 2011 Nebraska & SW Iowa Affiliate NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing winners are:

Patricia Hanus - Hanus Homeschool - Fremont, Neb.
Emily Kadavy - York High School - York, Neb.
Berkley Lyman - Papillion-La Vista Senior High - Papillion, Neb.
Karlee Schwisow - Meridian High School - Tobias, Neb.
Grace Siy - Omaha North High School - Omaha, Neb.
Katherine Slump - V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic - Omaha, Neb.

Three students were selected as runners up for the 2011 Nebraska & SW Iowa Affiliate NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing and will also be recognized at the ceremony. These students are:

Deirdre Burgdorf - Omaha North High School - Omaha, Neb.
Dominique Edwards - Central High School - Omaha, Neb.
Ellan Hasenkamp - West Point High School - Beemer, Neb.

“These young women represent a rich source of future talent in technology and computing, and this Award will encourage their continued interest and engagement in technology,” said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Foundation, which sponsors the award program.

In addition to recognizing these students, Therese Laux from Omaha North High School is being recognized as a winner of the national NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Educator Award. This award identifies outstanding educators who encourage young women to continue exploring their interest in computing and technology.

The Nebraska & SW Iowa Affiliate of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is a collaborative effort by dedicated award co-coordinators Stacie Petter and Ilze Zigurs, both from UNO’s College of Information Science & Technology.

NCWIT’s work leverages programs from organizations across the country, and connects efforts to increase women's participation in information technology along the entire pipeline, from K-12 and higher education through industry and academic careers. Find out more at www.ncwit.org.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urB.A.sn, regional, national and gloB.A.sl life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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