This article is published in the June 2015 issue.

10 Years of RESPECT for Diversity: 10th anniversary of the STARS Celebration and the first annual RESPECT Conference

The 10th anniversary of the STARS Celebration and the first annual RESPECT conference on broadening participation.

There is an increasingly urgent need to engage people in computing, not only to satisfy growing workforce demands, but also to empower people to create and control the devices we use in our day-to-day lives. In computing, broadening the participation of persons from underrepresented groups is a matter of equity. Globally, underrepresentation differs regionally and culturally by gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic advantage, physical or mental impairment, and LGBT status.

With funding from the National Science Foundation, from 2006-2015, the annual STARS Celebration conference has convened the STARS Computing Corps, inspiring over 2,300 new student and faculty leaders from 52 colleges and universities to engage in student-led regional projects to broaden participation in computing. The Celebration builds capacity for leadership and technical skills and a community for professional advancement. At the Celebration, students and faculty present the results of their STARS service and civic engagement projects, attend workshops on best practices and curricula for computing outreach and service, and build a community centered around the common mission to broaden participation in computing.

Inspired by the success of STARS and its effectiveness for supporting the careers of computing faculty while also promoting work to broaden participation, Teresa Dahlberg and George Thiruvathukal formed the new IEEE Computer Special Technical Community on Broadening Participation ( to create a collective global strategy and community to research and improve participation and inclusion in computing.

“10 Years of RESPECT for Diversity” is the theme for this year’s STARS Celebration and first annual conference on Research on Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT) to be held in Charlotte, NC, just after the International Computing Education Research conference (ICER).

We hope you will get involved by joining, submitting posters to (due June 30), attending RESPECT 2015 on August 13-14 and/or the 2015 STARS Celebration August 13-15, and helping us build a strong foundation for the next 10 years of respect for diversity.