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Virtual Summer REU


By Erik Russell
The Computing Research Association and organizers of the Distributed Research Experience for Undergraduates (DREU) Program made the decision to modify the 2020 DREU program from an onsite format to a virtual one.  Given the devastating impact of the COVID-19 virus we felt offering a virtual Distributed Research Experience for Undergraduates (vDREU) would better ensure the safety of all participants while continuing to provide research-intensive opportunities to students considering advanced degrees in computing.

Twenty-eight students are currently working with thirteen faculty mentors on virtual research projects in a number of areas.

In addition to offering students and mentors the opportunity to participate in a virtual research experience we will be providing students with a travel budget to be used for a follow-up onsite REU activity that is coordinated with their mentor at a later date.

The program has some tips for those also starting virtual REU programs.

  • Make an Onboarding Plan (proposed schedule, tasks, reading list, discuss meeting solutions)
  • Make Yourself and Your Team Available (set up regular meetings and check ins, be responsive to emails/chats, arrange virtual social time)
  • Share Information and Resources (help your mentee understand the bigger picture of their research project, help them think through educational and career goals)

Other resources for remote collaboration:

CRA’s Committee on Widening Participation (CRA-WP) and the DREU program partner with other organizations committed to broadening participation in computing to administer their summer REU programs including, the NSF funded Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS), and the NSF funded Alliance for Access to Computing Careers (AccessComputing).

The DREU Program is currently led by Nancy Amato, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Monica Anderson, University of Alabama, Chad Jenkins, University of Michigan, Ming Lin, University of Maryland at College Park, Raja Kushalnagar, Gallaudet University, Richard Ladner, University of Washington, and Amanda Stent, Bloomberg. They are assisted by Brianna Blaser, University of Washington, Daniela Cárdenas, Computing Research Association, and Erik Russell, Computing Research Association.

Expanding the Pipeline: Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security


The Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS) program provides scholarships of up to $10,000 for women earning their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in fields related to information security. The scholarships support collegiate women working to join the growing security industry through academic funding and mentoring opportunities. Over the past eight years, SWSIS has supported more than 90 women for one to two years each and have funded more than $625,000 in scholarships, providing assistance at the formative stages of their careers.

2020 Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security Recipients Announced


Thirteen women across the country were awarded SWSIS scholarships for their work in cybersecurity. The purpose of these scholarships is to provide assistance to women at the formative stages of their careers in these fields.

Sara Stehlik was the first recipient of the PrinSWSIS scholarship, awarded to a woman aspiring to work in computer security, and by her mere existence, challenging the stereotype of a cyber security professional and helping redefine what it means to be a princess.

Peggy Sue Mathis was the recipient of this year’s Rebecca Gurley Bace SWSIS Scholarship, meant to honor the memory of Becky Bace by selecting a scholarship recipient who shows her ability to mentor,  create community, and bring groups together.

Congratulations to all the 2020 recipients:

Elizabeth Anne Cerrone, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

Jennie Elizabeth Christensen, University of California-Santa Barbara

Julianne Cox, Volunteer State Community College

Meron Kebede, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Swathi Krithivasan, University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Morgan Livingston, University of California-Berkeley

Angela Ma, University of Maryland, College Park

Peggy Sue Mathis, University of Alabama in Huntsville

Sara Elizabeth Robinson-Camarena, Cochise College

Sarah Lynn Sha, Indiana University-Bloomington

Annette Stawsky, Cornell University

Sara Stehlik, Dakota State University

Samra Vithlani, University of Southern California

 
Read more about them here.