NCWIT and HP Honor Distinguished Technical Accomplishments of College Women

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The first-ever NCWIT Collegiate Award encourages women undergraduates to persist in computing majors by recognizing their impressive innovations.

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We’re recognizing them as role models who can inspire younger girls with their exciting, real-world technical achievements.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and HP selected three college women as inaugural winners of the NCWIT Collegiate Award ( The award recognizes three undergraduate women students for completing outstanding technical projects at the junior level or above.

They will be honored today, May 19, at the 2015 NCWIT Summit: practices and ideas to revolutionize computing in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina – an annual gathering of hundreds of change leaders from the NCWIT community of educators, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and social scientists who receive research, ideas, and action items for increasing girls’ and women’s participation in computing ( Each recipient will also receive an engraved trophy, a cash award, and an HP notebook computer.

“We’re not only recognizing these young women for their leading-edge innovations, we’re recognizing them as role models who can inspire younger girls with their exciting, real-world technical achievements,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-founder, NCWIT. “We’re thrilled to introduce this new award program along with HP in an effort to encourage more women to pursue computing degrees.”

In the U.S. in 2013, women earned 57% of all undergraduate degrees. Yet, women earned less than one-fifth of all computer and information sciences undergraduate degrees and engineering degrees (

“HP is a proud sponsor of the NCWIT Collegiate Award and the college entry point into the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community. With 70% of college students not completing their computing degrees, HP is committed to addressing the retention of women in computing,” said Janice Zdankus, Vice President, Enterprise Group Knowledge Management, HP. “Therefore, HP has chosen to support the creation of the NCWIT Collegiate Award, and today we celebrate these young women for their astounding technical accomplishments.”

The following are winners of the 2015 NCWIT Collegiate Award:

  • Brianna Connelly, University of Texas at Austin, “Callscout”

Brianna’s project “Callscout” is a mobile application for Android and iOS that presents an alternative to the national 2-1-1 information hotline, using cognitive computing to connect individuals to social services related to housing resources, rental assistance programs, food pantries, healthcare, and more. Originally developed with a team as a class project, “Callscout” is now the basis of a startup to launch in July 2015 in Austin, Texas. (

  • Natalia Rodriguez, Southwestern University, “Mapping Instagram Data To Visualize Body Image Hashtags”

Natalia’s project “Mapping Instagram Data To Visualize Body Image Hashtags” is a data visualization tool that allows users to reveal fundamental differences and similarities between hashtags #selfie and #blithe, a pro-anorexia keyword used by individuals suffering from eating disorders, on Instagram. Intuitive visuals created by merging computer science, data analysis, and various visualization tools shines light on the research surrounding the field of “body image” by closely analyzing all of the data linked to these images including likes, comments, and captions. (

  • Angela Sun, Michigan State University, “YOU++: a Smartphone Battery Drain Study”

Angela’s project “YOU++: a Smartphone Battery Drain Study” is a mobile application for Android that allows users to discover patterns that affect their battery life such as the amount of time spent on apps, most used apps, and the number of times a phone is accessed in a day. “YOU++” collects data anonymously and confidentially from more than 3,000 person-days.

Honorable mentions include:

  • Serena Booth, Harvard University, “SwimSwallow: An Abstract, Bio-inspired Robotic Fish”
  • Brooke Bosley, Wesleyan College, “Social Interaction: Robots and Apps Working Together to Educate Children”
  • Briana Chapman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Palette”
  • Caitlin Cowden, Purdue University, “The Volts Wagon: Exploring Microcontroller Peripherals”
  • Stephanie Djidjev, University of California, Berkeley, “Logi-gif”
  • Amanda Downs, Southern Polytechnic State University, “ICD-9 to ICD-10 Converter”
  • Roya Edalatpour, University of Texas at El Paso, “Impulse Oscillometry Improves Discriminative Capacity of the Detection of Asthma in Anglo and Hispanic Children”
  • Katherine Miller, University of Pennsylvania, “Tracking Gun Violence: Machine Learning, Human Computation, and Epidemiology”
  • Angela Sy, Stanford University, “Nomz: Building Communities Around Passions”
  • Antonella Wilby, University of California, San Diego, “Stereo Camera Rig for Nautical Cyber-Archaeology”

The Collegiate Award is a component of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) program, a sweeping national talent development initiative for young women in computing, from kindergarten through graduate school. In addition to HP, the AiC program is supported nationally by Apple, AT&T, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Northrop Grumman, and the Symantec Corporation. Find out more at

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 600 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT equips change leaders with resources for taking action in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K–12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers. Find out more at

NCWIT receives significant financial support from Lifetime Partner Apple, Strategic Partners NSF (the National Science Foundation), Microsoft, Bank of America, Google, and Intel, as well as from Investment Partners Avaya, Pfizer, Merck, AT&T, Bloomberg, and HP. View all of NCWIT’s supporters at

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