About The Initiative

Brendan Iribe (center) at the Initiative's Groundbreaking
Iribe Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Logo

Mission Statement

The Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing is committed to making computing a field that includes participation of individuals across the intersections of gender identification, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and disability status. We aim to create a vibrant, inclusive community of students, educators, and researchers coming together to increase the involvement—and success—of underrepresented populations interested in computing.

photo of Brendan Iribe (center) with the 2016 UMD Delegation at the Grace Hopper Celebration
Brendan Iribe (center) with the 2016 UMD Delegation at the Grace Hopper Celebration

Goals:

  • Supports, educates and mentors from underrepresented populations majoring in computing fields at the University of Maryland
  • Collaborates with the K-12 community in order to encourage all students, especially those from underrepresented populations to participate in computing
  • Sustains a vibrant community of scholars, researchers, students and educators working together to increase the involvement—and success—of those from underrepresented populations interested in earning a computer science and other technical degrees
  • Fosters a supportive, collaborative, and inclusive community for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students studying computing at the university
  •  Advocates for underrepresented populations by increasing the awareness and skill set of those within the computer science community

In the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing, we base the foundation of our definition for “underrepresented populations in computing” on the National Science Foundation (NSF) statement below.

“Across the computing workforce at all levels, there is underrepresentation of various populations including women, minorities (African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds), and persons with disabilities.” (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2018/nsf18101/nsf18101.jsp)

We also recognize and support underrepresented populations across the intersections of gender identification, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and disability status.

View our 2020-2021 annual report here

View our 2020-2021 infographic here.

View our 2020-2021 recap slides here.

History

Our History

For over 20 years, efforts to support women in computing were apparent at the University of Maryland. Many of these programs centered around the formation of the Association for Women in Computing (AWC), Computer Science Women, and later our outreach programs. As each of these programs grew and expanded, it was clear a unified center was needed to capture the effort to bring more women into the field of computing and further grow the computing pipeline. As a way to formalize the important work being done by these organizations the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CNMS), The Department of Computer Science, and the University’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), worked together to form the Maryland Center for Women in Computing (MCWIC) in 2014.

Our Approach

We offer a series of outreach programs for K–12 girls aimed to spark an interest in computer science at an early age, showing them that it is both fun and accessible. These programs include an immersive multi-year curriculum for middle school girls, designed to catalyze and sustain their interest in technology. University of Maryland undergraduates  serve as student ambassadors and aspirational peers. Participants learn the mechanics behind social media, the importance of cybersecurity, and why computer science is essential to almost any career that demands critical thinking and decision-­‐making skills.

Retention programs specific to the University of Maryland that support female computer science majors throughout their undergraduate and graduate experience. This includes scholarships, mentoring and peer networking opportunities, along with workshops that allow female computer science majors to see firsthand the breadth and options available to them in industry and academia. The center also works to build community. The MCWIC lounge is availible for female computing students to gather, share ideas, and interact with peers and mentors.

Slideshow:
MCWIC Launch

Staff

Profile Photo of Jan Plane

Dr. Jan Plane - Director
Email- jplane@umd.edu

Dr. Jan is the Director of the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity, Director of the Maryland Center for Women in Computing, and Associate Director of ACES (the first undergraduate cybersecurity honors program). She has been a faculty member in UMD's Computer Science Department since 1990.  For 15 years of those years, she also worked on university computer science capacity building projects in sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan. She holds graduate degrees in both computer science and education; her work focuses on computer science education - curriculum development, pedagogical methods and underrepresented populations in computing. She encourages both quality of content and access to computing for students (elementary-school to graduate-school) through teaching, outreach programs and teacher professional development.

Profile Photo of Kate Atchison

Kate Atchison - Assistant Director
Email - katea@umd.edu

Kate is the Assistant Director of the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity and the Maryland Center for Women in Computing. She joined UMD in 2016. Previously, she worked at UMBC in the Career Center. Kate received her M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Florida State University and her B.A. in Communication from the University of Tennessee. Kate oversees the corporate and community partnernships, NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Maryland Affiiiate, Tech + Research, and strategic planning efforts around inclusion and diversity in computing. 

Profile Photo of charlotte_avery

Charlotte Avery - Coordinator for Outreach
Email - cjavery@umd.edu

Charlotte is the Coordinator for Outreach for the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing (I4C) and the Maryland Center for Women in Computing. She supervises and trains over 30 undergraduate computer science students who serve as teaching ambassadors to K-12 underrepresented students in over 150 computing events and programs that she oversees. She maintains partnerships with Reboot Representation, DC College Access Program, Girl Scouts Nation's Capital, NCWIT Aspirations and various schools in Prince George's and Montgomery Counties. Prior to working at I4C, she spent 9 years as a secondary mathematics and computer science teacher. She was a 2019 Prince George's County Public School Teacher of the Year nominee. She has also worked as an adjunct professor and instructor in mathematics at the University of Maryland and George Washington University. Charlotte, received a Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Event Management and a Master of Education in Student Personnel in Higher Education from the University of Florida.

Profile Photo of veronica_sanchez

Veronica Sanchez- Coordinator for Retention
Email - vsanche8@umd.edu

 

Profile Photo of Caitlin Rudy

Caitlin Rudy- Career Access Lead
Email - ckrudy@umd.edu

 

Profile Photo of Katie Bemb

Katie Bemb - Communications Coordinator
Email - kbemb@umd.edu

 

Profile Photo of kristina_kramarczuk

Kristina Kramarczuk - Graduate Assistant
Email - kkramarc@umd.edu 

 

Profile Photo of Sofia Gonzalez

Sofia Gonzalez - Graduate Assistant
Email - sgp1@umd.edu 

 

 Student Staff

  • Utsa Santhosh (Primary Student Worker)

 Ambassadors

Teaching Ambassadors are selected for the Summer and the academic year. View more about this program here.

Fall 2021

  • Abril Arias
  • Alyssa Pauline Comising
  • Amanda Ma
  • Ambika Sikri
  • Ananya Ramkumar
  • Aneesha Tamang
  • Ashna Mehrotra
  • Emily Chang
  • Emily Rivas
  • Esther Zhang
  • Hana Chitsaz
  • Harpreet Multani
  • Huma Chowdhury
  • Ishita Chatterjee
  • Jessica Lee
  • Jiaqi (Vicki) Ma
  • Lalitha Kasi
  • Lauren Manning
  • Logan Stevens
  • Maryann Vazhapilly
  • Nandini Venkatesh
  • Neha Swamy
  • Pauline Tanwin
  • Rachel Wu
  • Rose Riggs
  • Sadena Rishindran
  • Sam Bai
  • Sarah Flores
  • Shivasree Margam
  • Sophie Jorgensen
  • Tara Choudhary
  • Van (Jessica) Le
  • Nidhi Yabannavar

 

Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing Tutors

Fall 2021

  • Autumn Chiu
  • Alyssa Pauline Comising
  • Ajith Kanuri
  • Neha Swamy
  • Harpreet Multani
  • Rachel Wu
  • Sahir Mody
  • Logan Stevens
  • Rose Riggs
  • Emily Rivas
  • Ipsa Mittra
  • Matthew Phillips
  • Michael Suehle
  • Sanjali Yadav
  • Sage Leone

 

Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing Undergraduate Research Assistant

  • Maya Narayanasamy
  • Anaum Khan

Foundations

Photo of MCWIC Director Jan Plane Speaking
Brendan Iribe

The Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing was created in April 2019 with a $1 million gift from Brendan Iribe, University of Maryland alumnus and co-founder of the virtual reality company Oculus. The Initiative aims to increase diversity and foster a stronger environment of inclusion in the university’s Department of Computer Science.

Dr. Jandelyn Plane, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, leads the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing (I4C). I4C serves as an umbrella over the Maryland Center for Women in Computing and will be guided by the Department of Computer Science’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee and the I4C student advisory board, which will be created this spring. In addition, the Computer Science department; the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS); and the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences will continue to provide support.

 

To learn more or contact us about the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing, please email: i4c@umd.edu

 

Computer Science Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The mission of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee is to foster a climate of inclusion in our department and to develop and implement data-driven and scientifically proven strategies for increasing and maintaining diversity across all constituencies, as defined by the vision set out in Section V of the department’s Strategic Plan. The committee also serves as a liaison between our department and other diversity and inclusion-related activities/organizations across the campus, including, but not limited to the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Learn More About The CS Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Student Advisory Board

In partnership with the Department of Computer Science’s Inclusion and Diversity Faculty Committee, the Student Advisory board will assist in helping shape the programs under this initiative, promote diversity and inclusion within the department, and serve as an advocate for all underrepresented populations in computing.

The Student Advisory Board Application is open to undergraduate and graduate students in computer science. Students can serve on the Student Advisory Board up to 3 semesters during their time at UMD.

Student Advisory Board Leadership:

Chair: Valeria Arriola Pomasoncco (email)

Vice Chairs:  Simin Li &  Jaiaditya Upadhyay

Student Advisory Board Members:

  • Christine Herlihy
  • Christy Yau
  • Dhvani Patel
  • Surabi Ramamurthy
  • Trisha Mittal
  • Urisha Kreem
  • Usama Younus
  • William Liu
  • Yuelin Liu
  • Sonya Radichkova (email)

Advisors:

David Lee Turner
Senior Academic Advisor, Department of Computer Science

Oscar Avilez Marquina

Graduate Assistant, Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing 

 

 

Contact Us