I try to avoid gratuitous plugging of CRA or CRA activities here, but sometimes something is just too good not to mention. Today the President announced that CRA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) had won a 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) for their long-running work to address the underrepresentation of women in computer science and engineering.
So today I got to spend a good part of the day hanging around the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the grounds of the White House with CRA-W representatives Jan Cuny (also a CRA-W board member) and CRA-W Co-Chair Mary Jean Harrold (a CRA board member to be) as they received CRA-W’s award in a ceremony headlined by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Marburger. Also attending was CRA-W co-founder, and now ACM President, Maria Klawe. The President was, unfortunately, not able to attend as he was meeting with King Abdullah Bin Al Hussein of Jordan.
In any case, it was a great day for CRA-W. The President, in a note to the awardees read by Marburger, made it very clear that he believes that the innovation necessary to keep the nation flourishing can only be sustained by tapping into a broad and diverse, educated workforce, and that programs like the ones honored today would be the role models. Marburger himself called the organizations honored “exemplars” and leaders in the national effort to more fully develop the Nation’s human resources in science, mathematics and engineering. It was worthy praise for the women of CRA-W, who have been working since 1991 to “increase the number of women involved in computer science and engineering, increase the degree of success they experience, and provide a forum for addressing problems that often fall disproportionately within women’s domain.”
Watch this space for pictures of the event as soon as they are available. The extended entry (linked immediately below) contains the official CRA press release marking the award. Congrats to all the CRA-W participants, past and present!
OSTP also has a press release (pdf).
Update: NSF now has their press release online.
COMPUTING RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
Press Contact: Peter Harsha
CRA Director of Government Affairs
Phone: 202-234-2111 ext 106
Email: harsha [ at ] cra.org
PRESIDENT HONORS CRA-W WITH AWARD FOR MENTORING EFFORTS
WASHINGTON, DC, May 6, 2004 — President George W. Bush today awarded the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) for “significant achievements in mentoring women across educational levels.”
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John H. Marburger, III, presented CRA-W representative Dr. Jan Cuny and CRA-W Co-Chair Dr. Mary Jean Harrold with the citation at a noon ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. CRA-W was one of just eight institutional winners of the annual award, given to those organizations identified as “exemplars” and leaders in the national effort to more fully develop the Nation’s human resources in science, mathematics and engineering.
The award cites CRA-W’s work providing “hands-on research experiences, mentoring, role models and information exchange to women pursuing careers in [the] field.” CRA-W programs seek to increase the number of women involved in computer science and engineering, increase the degree of success they experience, and provide a forum for addressing problems that often fall disproportionately within women’s domain.
In a message from the President read by Marburger at the ceremony, Bush noted that new technology was redefining the American workplace and that, “in order to stay on the leading edge we must insure the participation of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.”
“The programs recognized today will serve as role models [in that process],” the President’s message said.
“I’m incredibly pleased that the long-term work of CRA-W has received this recognition,” Harrold said. “CRA-W’s success is owed to a long progression of women in computing who gave and give of their time and effort to share their knowledge and experiences with the next generation. As the President noted, the country will be well-served by continuing to increase the participation of underrepresented groups.”
“The problem is particularly acute in computing,” Cuny said. “Five of the 10 fastest growing occupations in the next decade will be computer related, but women make up less than a third of the IT workforce and an even smaller percentage of the academic pipeline. This underrepresentation represents a loss of talent and creativity that we will need shaping the future role of technology in society.”
In addition to the Presidential Citation, the award also includes $10,000 to be used by CRA-W to further its efforts. In addition to the eight institutional awards, the President also named nine individual awards for 2004.
More information about the PAESMEM program can be found here
The Computer Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) is an action oriented organization dedicated to increasing the number of women participating in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) research and education at all levels. The current CRA-W co-chairs are Carla Ellis (Duke University) and Mary Jean Harrold (Georgia Tech). For more information:http://www.cra.org/Activities/craw/aboutCraw.html
The Computing Research Association (CRA) is an association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies. For more information: CRA.org