My Experience at the Techie Women Have More… Conference

With the 2015 Techie Women Have More… Conference on the horizon, I wanted to share my experiences at the 2014 conference. 2014 was CEWiT’s first conference in our first year of existing at IU. The conference was held over two days with sessions that were categorized and for anyone interested in the topics of what more women can gain from a tech field, regardless of your major or level of experience. There were breakout sessions and time to converse and meet students, staff, and faculty all around.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI loved the sessions and the tracks made available for students to pick, mix, and match throughout the days, but my favorite part was the conference dinner. The keynote speaker was Melissa Gregg, a gender studies PhD recipient from Sydney, Australia. I was able to sit at the table with her and hear about her fascinating life transitioning from getting her BA in English literature to her PhD in gender studies to being a Principal Engineer at Intel Corporation.  Listening to her talk about how easily her studies in humanities complemented the behaviors of people in a technology corporation and her view on the shortage of women in this workplace was awe-inspiring. I remember going home after the dinner feeling more confident and thankful to have met an influential person to validate the reason I want to be in technology.

This conference brings so much professionalism and optimism to techie women, and I know you would not want to miss it. Click here for more details about the 2015 Techie Women Have More… Conference, taking place March 6-7. Online registration will be accepted through March 3, and onsite registration will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you have ANY questions about the conference, let me know! Email cewit@indiana.edu

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Getting Techie with CEWiT’s Special Interest Groups

websig logoCEWiT recently launched special interest groups to provide a low-pressure, comfortable environment for women to gather and learn about technology topics. The special interest groups offer student-led workshops around two topics this spring semester: social media and web design, and are open to IU students, faculty, and staff.

In order to prepare students to lead these workshops, this past fall, CEWiT courses offered courses in which students gained expertise in either social media or website design, and were also trained as workshop leaders alongside a faculty champion. I was interested in not only being able to lead other women in development and design, but also to learn more for myself to add to my skill toolbox, so I picked the website design route.

The first eight weeks covered the purpose and need for workshops in web design and development for any reason someone would want to make a website—professional, personal, recreational, etc. The second eight weeks covered the technical skills and how to teach others how to create websites through online tools and applications. We also covered some HTML web building in Adobe Dreamweaver that was a teaser into the world of total website customization. I knew some HTML going in, but I found valuable the tools we learned that helped create websites with ready templates along with learning how to manipulate and be creative within the code that these web-builders compiled.

As a workshop leader, I am looking forward to showing the types of web design templates and best practices to all who attend, but I am most excited about sharing the combination of custom HTML code and the web development tools to give the attendees abilities beyond pre-made site structures. Giving people the knowledge of web customization and design is powerful. We are empowering individuals with technical skills in an open, secure, and judgment-free zone.

Are you interested in becoming part of our special interest groups and expanding your techie skills? Send me an e-mail at cewit@indiana.edu and we can talk about how YOU can get connected with tech through our special interest groups!

From Music to Health: IU Interdisciplinary Tech Courses

In high school, I was an art person who loved math. I really did not want to categorize myself as left or right-brained, so I kept to myself about my broad interests and figured I would have to eventually pick a side. When I came to IU, I enrolled in studio, photography, and graphic design courses because they were a relaxing outlet for me. Once I discovered I would be able to take more courses in fine arts that would count towards my cognate for my degree, I was beyond glad that I finally didn’t have to “pick a side” and could get more and more technical in my course load while doing what I love–to design interfaces for applications, web, and software. I took a digital art class FINA-D210, graphic design class FINA-S250, and currently a typography class FINA-S351 that opened my eyes to the importance of connecting technical knowledge with art and design. I’m learning how to communicate clearly through design. These skills led me to internship opportunities in and outside of IU, as well.

IU students have the opportunity to take a subject that is non-technical or technical by nature and find technical classes  complement their interests, and that is powerful. Technology touches everything, so why should it be limited to a student’s major or minor? I know students who are fascinated with the music industry, and they are taking classes at IU that involve computerized music and digital music theory. Some biology majors I know switched to bio-informatics due to the rise in new health and science industry technology. IU has many options for majors and non-majors for these topics, so do not think the degree you may be pursuing outside disqualifies you to take technology-related courses. CEWiT has a repository of technology-related courses by discipline that is an amazing resource. With this tool, you can explore your interests and see what courses IU is offering that will expose you to technical skills in that topic. For more details about when the course is offered by semester or year, you can do a class search in OneStart with the given course code (SPH-K 200 Microcomputer Applications in Kinesiology, for example) from the repository. You now have the ability to see a technical course list by discipline that CEWiT makes accessible.

Have any questions about how to find technology courses to complement your interests? Contact me to set up a meeting by emailing cewit@indiana.edu!

 

Meet Chelsie, CEWiT’s Peer Advisor

Fellow techie women,

Hello! My name is Chelsie Kasun, and I am joining CEWiT in a new role as a peer advisor to help YOU get connected with tech at IU.

To tell you a little more about myself, I am currently a junior majoring in Informatics with a cognate in Graphic Design and minor in Human-Centered Computing. I went through a rather unique route to get to where I am and to what I am studying. I was fortunate enough to have exposure to programming in a computer science class in high school. I started at IU as a Computer Science major, but I came to realize during my freshman year that I wanted a more holistic view of technology. In particular, I wanted to be on the front-end development side because I was so inspired by art and aesthetics in relation to technology.

Our goal at CEWiT is creating a safe and accessible place for women (and men too!) to explore and build skills in technology. This goal is what brought me to my new role as a peer advisor with CEWiT.  As a peer advisor, I will be available to talk to students who wish learn how to get connected with technology and how to plug into CEWiT’s resources to assist them in finding their opportunities and options. I am thrilled to be able to work with CEWiT to help students understand the potential personal and professional growth learning or studying technology can give them.

I also will be talking more about my experience and my path in blog posts I will be writing to help other students understand not all paths to the technology field are direct and that technology touches all disciplines.

Don’t be shy! Have any questions about getting connected? Contact me to set up a meeting to talk more about how YOU can find your pathway to connect with tech by emailing cewit@indiana.edu!

Chelsie Kasun