Anne Condon Wins A. Nico Habermann Award

Originally Printed in the Winter/Spring 2010 Newsletter

The CRA Board of Directors has selected Anne Condon to receive the 2010 A. Nico Habermann Award for her long standing and impactful service toward the goal of increasing the participation of women in computer science research. The A. Nico Habermann Award recognizes a person who has made outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and/or successes of underrepresented groups in the computing research community. This award recognizes work in areas of government affairs, educational programs, professional societies, public awareness, and leadership that has a major impact on advancing these groups in the computing research community.

Anne is Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at the University of British Columbia.

Anne joined the CRA-W Board in 1994 and became Co-Chair with Mary Lou Soffa from 2000 to 2003. She coordinated the Distributed Mentoring Project (DMP, now DREU) from 1995 to 1998. During her leadership she commissioned an external evaluation to determine DMP’s effectiveness, which found that 50% of DMP women go on to graduate school as compared to about 3% of all women who earn undergraduate degrees in computer science. Evidence of effectiveness like this assured the DMP would receive funding for years to come. Anne’s foresight in commissioning an external review means that many more young women have been given the opportunity for undergraduate research experiences that motivate them to try for a graduate degree.

With Faith Ellen at the University of Toronto, Anne initiated the Canadian Distributed Mentor Project (CDMP) in 2001 and solicited funds to make it happen. Of the 34 women who participated in the program between the years 2005 and 2009, at least 17 are in graduate school and another 8 plan to attend graduate school. The development and success of the CDMP is one of her major achievements.

In 2004 Anne was awarded the NSERC/General Motors Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering. With the chair came the responsibility to help increase the participation and success of girls and women in the physical sciences and engineering at all levels of the pipeline in BC and the Yukon. There are similar chairs for the Prairie Provinces, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic Provinces.

Her work had to expand to a broader arena both in terms of including more science and engineering and in including K-12 education. To support this effort, Anne created the Jade Bridges Network to build a supportive community of people who work on projects and to support financially some of the projects. Over the five years she held the chair, 13 projects have focused on computing events for K-12 and one project supported undergraduates in computer science to attend a conference. In addition to computing activities, her work has helped girls and women more broadly in the sciences and engineering. Her term as Chair ended in 2009, but her legacy is the creation of the Jade Bridges Network which still functions for the betterment of girls and women in BC and the Yukon.