SCE Associate Teaching Professor Judy Mullins co-chaired the NCWIT (National Center for Women and Information Technology) Missouri & Kansas Affiliate Aspirations in Computing Award Ceremony and Reception held Friday, February 8, at UMKC. Fifteen young women from Kansas and Missouri high schools (2 were home-schooled) and representing grades 9 – 12, were honored as winners of NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awards. Attending with their parents and their teachers, the students were welcomed by Judy Mullins and SCE Dean Kevin Truman. Awards were presented by Ruthe Farmer, director of strategic initiatives for the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT). The keynote speaker was NASA aerospace engineer Alicia Dwyer Cianciolo, who developed software for the entry and landing of the Mars Rover, Curiosity. Judy Mullins coordinated and organized the NCWIT event held at UMKC and co-chair John Dean of Park University organized a luncheon event at Park University. For pictures of the event and more information, see the UMKC Today article “Young Women Encouraged to Pursue STEM Careers”.
The launch of the Digital Sandbox KC in Kansas City will accelerate the growth of IT-related start-ups. Funded by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Digital Sandbox KC is supported by universities, entrepreneurial support organizations, government agencies and private companies. SCE Dean Kevin Truman, a Digital Sandbox KC advisory board member, is one of two Digital Sandbox KC University Representatives. The excitement generated by the Digital Sandbox KC launch was felt throughout the state and region with articles in the Kansas City Star and Omaha.com.