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 diversifying the tech sector and making all areas of computing inclusive across the intersections of gender identification, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and disability status.

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

Vision:

We aim to create a supportive, vibrant and inclusive community of students, educators and researchers coming together to increase the involvement—and success—of all individuals from historically marginalized populations in computing.

Goals:

  • Support, educate and mentor students from populations underrepresented in computing majors and minors at the University of Maryland
  • Collaborate with the K-12 community to encourage all students, especially those from historically marginalized populations, to become creators and leaders within computing 
  • Foster a safe space for faculty and staff along with undergraduate and graduate students in computing to connect across intersections of their identities through social, academic and professional programming
  • Train, teach, and model community-building and advocacy skills so our community members are equipped with the tools and resources to advocate for change and make the computing field more inclusive.
  • 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.

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 2021-2022 annual report here

View our 2021-2022 infographic here.

View our 2021-2022 recap slides here.

History

Our History

The Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing  (I4C) was launched in April 2019 with a $1 million gift from Brendan Iribe, UMD alumnus and co-founder of the virtual reality company Oculus. I4C aims to increase diversity and foster a stronger environment of inclusion in the Department of Computer Science (CMSC). I4C serves as an umbrella over the Maryland Center for Women in Computing (MCWIC) and Break Through Tech DC at UMD in adition to our robust K-12 and current student programming . Break Through Tech is a national initiative that was brought to UMD in March 2021. 

In Spring 2019, two full-time coordinators were added to support the growth of programs as well as the expansion of our graduate assistantships.. Each semester, I4C hires at least 2 graduate assistants and 30+ undergraduate students in computing to support programs.

In Spring 2021, UMD announced a grant from Break Through Tech to propel more women into computing degrees and careers in tech—through curriculum innovation, career access and community building. The grant's goal is to increase the number of women graduating with a tech degree at UMD by at least 12% by 2026. New staff lines were added to support this grant including community, curriculum, career and communication lines: Amy Vallaincourt, Elias Gonzalez,  Caitlin Rudy and Katie Bemb, respectively.

In Spring 2022, Dr. Jan Plane announced her retirement from the University of Maryland.  Kate Atchison was promoted to the Associate Director of I4C. Dr. David Weintrop will serve as the Interim Director of I4C while the full search for the Director of I4C will launch in Fall 2022.

 

 

Slideshow:
MCWIC Launch

Staff

Profile Photo of Jan Plane

Dr. Jan Plane - Founder and Former 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. Dr. Jan retired from UMD in May 2022.

Profile Photo of Kate Atchison

Kate Atchison - Associate Director
Email - katea@umd.edu | LinkedIn

Kate Atchison is the Associate Director of the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing (I4C) at the University of Maryland. Kate joined UMD in 2016 as part of the Maryland Center for Women in Computing and has continued to support DEI efforts across computing. Currently, Kate oversees the corporate and community partnerships, NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Maryland Affiliate, Tech + Research, and strategic planning efforts around inclusion and diversity in computing. Additionally, Kate is the site lead of Break Through Tech DC.  Kate received her M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Florida State University and her B.A. in Communication from the University of Tennessee.

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

Veronica is the Coordinator for Retention for the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing (I4C) and the Maryland Center for Women in Computing. Veronica joined UMD in 2020. Prior to working at I4C, she worked as the Student Programs Manager for the National Geographic Society Education department. She also co-managed for several years the Texas State Science & Engineering Fair. Veronica, received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Sociology from Hardin-Simmons University, and a Master of Arts in Bilingual-Bicultural Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Veronica oversees the I4C Tutoring program, the Peer & Alumni Mentoring program, current student events and programming, student support for Break Through Tech DC, and DEI efforts across computing. 

Profile Photo of Caitlin Rudy

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

Caitlin is the Career Access lead for Break Through Tech DC at UMD. She joined UMD in 2021 after spending 10 years in the tech industry, first in operations and then in account management. She uses her background to help students connect to industry through mutually-beneficial corporate partnerships and innovative programs she manages with the support of her awesome colleagues. Caitlin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics from Messiah University (formerly Messiah College). A long-time advocate for the advancement of women in technical fields, she loves working with the I4C and Break Through Tech teams to create a more equitable and inclusive world.

profile photo of Katie Bemb

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

 

Profile Photo of kristina_kramarczuk

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

 

photo of Asia Jones

Asia Jones - Graduate Assistant
Email - jonesa3@umd.edu

 

Lucy Allan - Graduate Assistant
Email - lcallan@umd.edu

 

 Student Staff

  • Amber Melton (Staff Assistant)

 Ambassadors

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

Fall 2022

  • Lia Arakal
  • Abril Arias
  • Sam Bai
  • Emily Chang
  • Tara Choudhary
  • Enric Jiao
  • Jiaqi Ma
  • Lauren Manning
  • Shivasree Margam
  • Ipsa Mittra
  • Harpreet Multani
  • Yuan Qi
  • Mary Redpath
  • Nandini Venkatesh
  • Neha Shijo
  • Maryann Vazhapilly
  • Rae Wu
  • Daniyah Taimur
  • Aditi Hegde
  • Sirisha Koirala

Tutors

Fall 2022

  • Harpreet Multani
  • Ipsa Mittra
  • Konstantine Kahadze
  • Logan Stevens
  • Matthew Phillips
  • Michael Suehle
  • Rae Wu
  • Sanjali Yadav
  • Sage Leone
  • Justin Mallow
  • Mikhail Krepets
  • Amber Melton

Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing Undergraduate Research Assistant

  • Neha Shijo

Foundations

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

Contact Us