Douglass-SAS-DIMACS Computer Science Living-Learning Community students participate in the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration

February 2018

GHC-all-lr.jpg With generous support from Microsoft Research and Nokia Bell Labs, a group of 13 Rutgers women participated in the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration, October 4-6, 2017 in Orlando, FL. Organized by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery, The Grace Hopper Celebration is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists.

The group included nine members of the Douglass-SAS-DIMACS Computer Science Living-Learning Community (CS LLC) from the class of 2020, a member of the class of 2019 who is the undergraduate peer academic leader for the CS LLC, the graduate mentor for the CS LLC, the program director of the CS LLC, and one undergraduate member of the class of 2019 and the Douglass-DIMACS Computing Corps who is not affiliated with the CS LLC.

The trip provided these participants with benefits including:

  • A great platform for networking with women in the computer science and technology field, including executives, leaders, and other contributors
  • Enlightening talks and sessions covering cutting edge technology, career development, work/life balance and gender issues
  • An environment to be inspired or inspire other women to succeed in the field of technology

Participants attended a variety of events during the Grace Hopper Celebration, including:


  • Technology Sessions, such as:
    • Alternative Futures: Shaping How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect Our Lives
    • Expressive Electronics for Computer Scientists: An Introduction to Paper Circuits
    • Building VR Apps: Lessons in Human Perception in VR
  • Keynotes, including:
    • Mary Spio (CEEK VR Inc.)
    • Debbie Sterling (Goldiblox)
    • Maureen Fan (Baoba  Studios)
  • Career Sessions, such as:
    • BRAID Research: Updates on Introductory Computing Students from Year Two of Data collection
    • Making the Most of your Summer Internships
    • Studying STEM to Starting a Company: Get Your Idea Funded
  • Community Sessions/Networking Opportunities:
    • Social Celebrating Indian Women in Technical Roles
    • Social Celebrating Chinese Women in Technical Roles
    • Social Celebrating Black Women in Technical Roles
  • Career Fair
    • A stimulating forum to discover and apply for job opportunities at all levels across industry and academia. The Expo featured an Interview Hall where sponsors hosted in-person interviews.

Reflections from Students:

“The session that impacted me the most was the one focused on Chinese Women in Computer Science. At Rutgers, I receive much support from DRC as a woman in Computer Science, but this session made me feel more confident about being a Chinese woman in the field.”Xiao Yan (CS LLC student)

“At GHC, I was able to interview with Northrop Grumman and was recruited for an internship as a software engineer in Northrop Grumman’s Software and Digital Technologies organization for 2018.” Maura Trojnar (CS LLC student)

“Attending Grace Hopper allowed me to gain confidence in networking with other individuals, whether it was though the career fair or through the social events and workshops that were held.”Laurah Onkendi (CS LLC student)

“Through the Grace Hopper Celebration, I gained better networking skills and I gained confidence in myself.”Gianna Schwarz (CS LLC student)

“The Grace Hopper Celebration is the best place for women in computing to meet and socialize. They have such encouraging keynote speakers and an excellent career fair!”Cindy Tao (CS LLC graduate mentor)

“One of my favorite sessions was the Product Management session. Since I am studying Computer Science and minoring in business, my goal one day is to become a product manager. For an hour, I heard from a panel of Female Product Managers working for the top technology companies in the industry: Google, Lyft, and Facebook. I learned that a lot of managers don't necessarily follow a straight path to become a PM”.Megan Kuo (CS LLC student)

Printable version of this story: [PDF]