CRA-WP Staff

Curtis Cain

Director of BPC Initiatives, CRA
As Director of BPC Initiatives at the Computing Research Association (CRA), Curtis provides operational leadership, program management, and relationship building for the CRA-WP Committee.

Before joining CRA, Dr. Curtis Cain’s expertise focuses on the cultural and societal influences impacting the participation of minority groups in the technology and engineering fields. He has experience in quantitative and qualitative research methodology and has published journal articles using both. He employs a teaching pedagogy that heavily emphasizes practicality and project-based learning. He enjoys teaching courses that depict the influence of people, and technology firms, on computing, informatics, and engineering and the impact of computing on individuals, organizations, and society.

Dr. Cain believes in the value of diversity, not only in traditional aspects, such as ethnicity, race, and gender, but also in diversity of thought and social inclusion. Dr. Cain also taught Software Engineering to the inaugural cohort of Howard West students at Google’s corporate headquarters in Mountain View, CA. His professional experience extends well beyond the classroom and academia, as he has held various positions in industry, where he has been asked to improve inefficiencies throughout organizations. Lastly, Dr. Cain believes in the value of advising. He firmly believes in assisting students to reach their personal and professional goals.

Lauren Lashlee

Program Associate, CRA-WP
As a Program Associate at the Computing Research Association (CRA), Lauren has provided program coordination, facilitation and planning for the CRA-WP and CRA-E Committees.

Before joining CRA, Lauren was an elementary school educator who enjoyed teaching about science, technology, and history. She enjoys work that has inherent meaning.

In her free time, Lauren likes to bake, cook, make various crafts, play with her two kitties, and go to orange theory fitness.

Richard Elam II

Program Associate, CRA-WP

Richard serves as a program associate at CRA for the Widening Participation committee. At CRA-WP, Richard actively contributes to programs dedicated to expanding the participation of underrepresented populations in computing from undergraduate years and beyond. Originally from (west) Philadelphia, PA, Richard brings a diverse background in architecture, design, and UX design. Before joining CRA, he gained valuable experience in various design areas within the DMV region.

Richard, an advocate for diversity, believes in ensuring equal and equitable access to resources. His philosophy aligns with the wisdom of renowned Iraqi Architect Zaha Hadid, who famously said, ‘There are 360 degrees, why stick to one.’ This perspective encourages embracing a broad outlook, exploring diverse angles, ideas, and possibilities instead of confining oneself to a narrow viewpoint. Richard’s approach reflects open-mindedness, creativity, and a willingness to consider a full spectrum of options in decision-making and life.”