Updates from CRA-W

NSF Extends Application Deadline for CSGrad4US: New NSF Fellowship Opportunity for CISE Bachelor’s Degree Holders to Return for PhD – Due May 19


The Application deadline for the CSGrad4US Graduate Fellowship has been extended and is now due May 19, 2021, by 5:00 pm submitter local time. Please visit https://www.nsf.gov/cise/CSGrad4US/ for additional details and deadlines.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate has announced the new CSGrad4US Graduate Fellowship program that aims to increase the number of diverse, domestic graduate students pursuing research and innovation careers in the CISE fields. The new fellowship, which will provide 3-year fellowship opportunities for new Ph.D. students in the computing disciplines, was released in response to the increased demand for people with a Ph.D. in computer science (CS), the continued decrease of domestic students pursuing research and completing a Ph.D., and the overall small number of bachelor’s degree recipients in CS pursuing graduate school.

Expanding the Pipeline: Gaining Momentum through Research on Diversity in Undergraduate Computing


By Linda J. Sax and Kathleen J. Lehman, UCLA

Five years ago, we wrote in this column about the research our team was initiating on the BRAID (Building Recruiting and Inclusion for Diversity) initiative, a coordinated effort among 15 universities to increase representation among women and Students of Color in their undergraduate computing programs. Over these past five years, the BRAID institutions have indeed made significant strides towards greater diversity. Collectively, while BRAID departments experienced an 87% increase in overall undergraduate computing enrollments, such increases were even larger among women (139%), BLI (Black, Latinx, and Indigenous) students (106%), and BLI women (127%). While there is much more work to be done in order to achieve gender and racial/ethnic parity in computing representation (not to mention fostering more inclusive environments), these figures certainly reflect progress. Further, such progress was not experienced by BRAID institutions alone, as data from the nationwide CRA Taulbee Survey during this same time period also show significant gains in representation among women and underrepresented Students of Color.

Reflections on Black in Computing


By Quincy Brown, Tyrone Grandison, Jamika D. Burge, Odest Chadwicke Jenkins, Tawanna Dillahunt

In June 2020, a community of Black people in computing from around the world published an open letter, initiated by the authors, and a call for action to the global computing community.

Today, we are issuing another call to action to the individuals, organizations, educational institutions, and companies in the computing ecosystem to address the systemic and structural inequities that Black people experience.

As we did in June 2020, we ask that you translate the public statements  into public action to support the Black professional communities toward achieving systemic fairness in computing.

CRA and CRA-WP Welcome Elyse Okwu


CRA has recently hired Elyse Okwu as a program associate for the Widening Participation (CRA-WP) committee. In this role, she leads and supports CRA-WP programs that focus on increasing the success and participation of underrepresented groups in computing research.

Prior to joining CRA-WP, Elyse worked as a research associate at Arizona State University to examine factors of persistence for women in STEM doctoral programs nationwide. At the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, she worked with INVESTING NOW to expose young women to engineering. Elyse is passionate about working with underserved populations to ensure that access and equity are attainable in their quest for education in STEM.

Elyse holds a Master’s of Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor’s in Mass Media Arts from Clark Atlanta University. She is an HBCU enthusiast who believes in helping students to “find a way or make one” in higher education. Elyse is the proud mother of a sweet toddler son and their happy place is the beach.

Former CRA-WP Board Member Anna Karlin Elected to National Academy of Sciences


This year’s class of newly elected members includes a record number of women, including former CRA-WP Board Member Anna Karlin. She is the Microsoft Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science at the University of Washington. She has been active in several CRA-WP activities including Grad Cohort, Virtual Undergraduate Town Hall, and Career Mentoring Workshops.

Nominations Open for the Inaugural IEEE Frances E. Allen Medal – Due June 15


Last year the IEEE announced the creation of the IEEE Frances E Allen medal, recognizing the contributions of Frances “Fran” E. Allen as an American computer scientist and pioneer in the field of optimizing compilers.

The Allen Medal recognizes innovative work in computing leading to lasting impact on engineering, science, technology, or society. It may be awarded to an individual or a team of recipients up to three in number. The award will recognize contributions of substantial, broad impact and/or lifetime achievements and work must demonstrate fundamental impact on fields outside of core computing by creating new areas of investigation, or vastly expanding research in existing areas. An awardees’ contribution will have substantially expanded the scale of computational capability and/or the size of datasets that are exploitable by the worldwide community of engineers, scientists, and others using computing in their work. The prize consists of a gold medal, bronze replica, a certificate, and a cash prize.

The Allen Medal may be presented to anyone whose achievements or contributions satisfy the selection criteria for the award. It is not necessary for the recipient(s) to be a member or members of IEEE, but they must not have been awarded another IEEE Medal for the same work.

Nominations for this award are open now and are due by June 15. Please honor Fran Allen and outstanding members of our research community by submitting a nomination.

CRA Receives NSF Award to Develop a Mentoring Program for NSF’s CSGrad4US Graduate Fellowship


In response to the National Science Foundation (NSF) Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate’s recently announced CSGrad4US Fellowship program, the Computing Research Association’s Education (CRA-E) and Widening Participation (CRA-WP) committees are working to develop a CSGrad4US Mentoring Program for recipients of the CSGrad4US Fellowship.

Are you interested in serving as a mentor or coach?
The mentor and coach application is now available on the CS Grad4US Mentoring Program webpage.

CRA-WP Career Mentoring Workshop: Application Deadline October 12


Applications are now open for the 2020 CRA-WP Early and Mid-Career Mentoring Workshop! The purpose of the workshop is to provide historically underserved groups in computing research and education with support to further develop your career. Apply today to join sessions on career tracks in education, research and industry/government laboratories, participate in group mentoring, and build one-on-one mentoring relationships with senior researchers. Deadline: October 12.