Southern Utah Aspirations Encourages Girls to Pursue Computing and Technology

Computing and technology are not just for men.

Since 2013, Southern Utah Aspirations, a National Center For Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) chapter, have been conducting outreach projects to honor high school girls from rural and remote counties who are actively pursuing and interested in computing and technology.

NCWIT Aspirations provides technical girls and women with ongoing engagement, visibility and encouragement for their computing-related interests and achievements from high school through college and into the workforce.

Dr. Shalini Kesar, associate professor of information systems at Southern Utah University, has been the driving force behind the Southern Utah Aspirations chapter since 2013.

“Outreach projects like these not only increase awareness but also show the female students the education and career opportunities in computing,” said Dr. Kesar.

Southern Utah Aspirations includes girls from across 20 counties in Utah and east Nevada.

In the last six years, more than 700 applicants from various high schools have applied to the free online competition. This year, with the support of parents and educators, 123 high school females competed, showcasing their talents, aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing.

Another outreach project, Southern Utah Girls In Technology (SUGIT) builds on the success of the Aspirations chapter. This program provides workshops in technology, coding, robotics and cyber security.

“Due to COVID-19, we have decided to make SUGIT available on a digital platform,” said Dr. Kesar.

The workshops are available digitally until June 30, 2020. Attendees will be able to learn new skills, hear motivation success stories and discover career opportunities. Click here to register.

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