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Virtual ceremony celebrates AiC

May 26, 2020

2020 Michigan Aspirations in Computing ceremony honors almost 70

The first-ever virtual award ceremony honoring NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Award recipients from Michigan recently recognized some of the state’s most talented young women with computer-related interests.

Professor Emeritus Laura Dillon served as chair of the Michigan virtual AiC celebration.
Professor Emeritus Laura Dillon chaired the state's virtual Aspirations in Computing celebration, which recognized computing talent in Michigan high schools.

Laura Dillon, professor emeritus of computer science and engineering at MSU, served as chair of this year’s Michigan event, which was hosted online on May 9.

Teresa VanderSloot, director of Women in Engineering Recruitment and K-12 Outreach in the MSU College of Engineering, assisted Dillon as a member of the 2020 Michigan AiC Steering Committee.

Also assisting was Katherine Perry, a sophomore in computer science, who helped with planning and communications for the ceremony.

Awards, sponsored by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), Michigan State University (MSU), Michigan Technological University, and Oakland University, recognize a high school student’s computing achievements as part of an effort to encourage more young women to choose careers in technology.

Criteria includes a student’s outstanding aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing as demonstrated by their computing experience, computing-related activities, leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and plans for post-secondary education.

Dillon said the turnout was impressive for a virtual celebration.

“National and regional awardees and their families and teachers, Michigan AiC and NCWIT members, and well-wishers from sponsoring companies all gathered in homes across the U.S. to join us by Zoom. There were more than 80 connections,” Dillon said.

“We need the talents of these young women to meet the country’s technology needs." -- Professor Emeritus Laura Dilloneir innovative creativity and energy,” Dillon added.
“We need the talents of these young women to meet the country’s technology needs." - Professor Emeritus Laura Dillon

“We are extremely proud that the National AiC Committee selected 12 Michigan women to receive national awards: one national winner, seven honorable mentions and four certificates of distinction,” Dillon continued. “Additionally, from a pool of 117 outstanding applicants, the Michigan AiC Committee selected another 73 Michigan women to receive regional awards: 30 winners, 30 honorable mentions, and 13 rising stars.” 

Recipients receive an award, prizes, access to resources, scholarships and internship opportunities, and induction into a national community of 15,000 technical women. 

Highlights of the 90-minute virtual celebration included:

•  Breakout sessions in which award recipients got to learn a little bit about each other and share thoughts about the quarantine.

• A couple of “group photos” of award recipients - see photos on our web page

• A congratulation and words of encouragement from Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist

• An AiC Alumni Panel: Juliet Lévesque, from the University of Michigan, and Sarah Larkin, from Michigan Tech, described their experiences with AspireIT and as college students in computing – offering advice on everything from internships to being a woman in computing.

• Recognition of the award recipients: Short videos sent in by many of the award recipients showcased a talented and inspiring group of individuals

Two Michigan Educator Awards were presented to teachers known for encouraging careers in technology. The 2020 honorees are:
• Holly Corbett of Fenton High School and
• Richard Lamb of Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills.

The high school students honored in Michigan this year are:

Alena Song  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Greenhills School, Ann Arbor

Veda Srinivas  |  Michigan Winner, Huron High School, Ann Arbor

Carina Sanborn  |  National Honorable Mention, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor

Sarah Ma | National Certificate of Distinction, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor

Aayana Anand  |  Michigan Winner, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor

Anna Vogel  |  Michigan Winner, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor

Ariel Mobius  |  Michigan Winner, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor

Mandy He  |  Michigan Winner, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor

Allayah Tucker  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor

Helena Heinonen  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor

Gianna Cordova | Rising Star, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor

Yongwen Zheng | Rising Star, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor

Zora Jovicevic | Rising Star, Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor

Maria Cheriyan  | National Winner, Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills

Subashri Ramesh  | National Honorable Mention, Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills

Lena Elkoussy  |  Michigan Winner, Dearborn Center for Math, Science, and Technology, Dearborn

Celina Bazzi  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Dearborn Center for Math, Science, and Technology, Dearborn

Sammer Saeed  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Dearborn Center for Math, Science, and Technology, Dearborn

Shaqyna Ross  |  Michigan Winner, Cass Technical High School, Detroit

Madolyn Glocksine  |  Michigan Honorable Mention,  Garber High School,  Essexville

Isis Diaz | National Certificate of Distinction, Farmington High School, Farmington

Bridget Beale  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Farmington High School, Farmington

Allison Hajec  |  Michigan Winner, Fenton High School, Fenton

Claire Grob  |  Michigan Honorable Mention,  Fenton High School,  Fenton

Gabriella Stickney  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Fraser High School, Fraser

Megan Gill | Rising Star, Fraser High School, Fraser

Alyssa Shelton  |  Michigan Winner, Hartland High School, Hartland

Melody Denby  |  Michigan Winner, Hartland High School, Hartland

Camryn Ihrke  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Hartland High School, Hartland

Kayla O'Donnell  |  National Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Lesly Mares-Castro  |  National Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Shelby Alexander  |  National Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Amiti Goel | National Certificate of Distinction, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Tavishi Budagavi | National Certificate of Distinction, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Kendalyn Fruehauf  |  Michigan Winner, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Anna Buck  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Anna Kitagawa  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Ava Apolo  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Freya Kailing  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Jessaly Zhu  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Katherine Xendzova  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Khadijah Siddiqui  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Lauren DeHaan  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Sydney Hyde  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Abigail Earl | Rising Star, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Abigail Houtrow | Rising Star, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Alyssa Park | Rising Star, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Anna Tai | Rising Star, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Genevieve Kim | Rising Star, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

Lydia Allabaugh | Rising Star, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo

 Kayla Jones  |  Michigan Winner, University High School Academy, Lathrup Village

Mary Jiang  |  National Honorable Mention, Churchill High School, Livonia

Alyssa Anderson  |  Michigan Winner, Churchill High School, Livonia

Kiran Sequeira  |  Michigan Winner, H.H. Dow High School, Midland

Abigail Yoo | Rising Star, H.H. Dow High School, Midland

Madeleine Hong | Rising Star, H.H. Dow High School, Midland

Ashley Siegmund  |  Michigan Winner, Midland High School, Midland

Edie Haase  |  Michigan Winner, Midland High School, Midland

Eleanor Haycock  |  Michigan Winner, Midland High School, Midland

Jaime Brooks  |  Michigan Winner, Midland High School, Midland

Julianna Thompson  |  Michigan Winner, Midland High School, Midland

Maylee Rielle  |  Michigan Winner, Midland High School, Midland

Therese Joffre  |  Michigan Winner, Midland High School, Midland

Abigail Haag  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Midland High School, Midland

Alexandra Swanson  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Midland High School, Midland

Courtney Collamer  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Midland High School, Midland

Eden Ozkan  |  Michigan Honorable Mention,  Midland High School,  Midland

Meghana Srinivas Reddy  |  Michigan Honorable Mention,  Midland High School, Midland

Nicole James  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Midland High School, Midland

Magdalana Gorby  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Reeths-Puffer High School, Muskegon

Ashley Oleksy  |  Michigan Winner, Negaunee High School, Negaunee

Serena Fan  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Novi High School, Novi

Elise Pridoehl  |  Michigan Winner, Stoney Creek High School, Rochester Hills

Kelly Morck  |  Michigan Winner,  Eisenhower High School,  Shelby Twp

Hannah Dunn  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Eisenhower High School, Shelby Twp

Shreya Kalyan  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Athens High School, Troy

Christine Zeng  |  National Honorable Mention, Troy High School, Troy

Lily Yang  |  Michigan Winner, Troy High School, Troy

Abigail Liang  |  Michigan Honorable Mention, Troy High School, Troy

Sonnet Xu | Rising Star, Troy High School, Troy

“We need the talents of these young women to meet the country’s technology needs. Our workforce needs their innovative creativity and energy,” Dillon added.

 

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