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Illuminating the Computing Pathway for Women in Mississippi

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Vemitra M White Mississippi State University

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Dr. Vemitra White, a native of Crawford, Mississippi, is currently the Director of K-12 Educational Outreach and Support Programs for the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU) where she recently received her doctoral degree in Instructional Systems and Workforce Development. She received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from MSU with concentrations in Finance, Insurance, and Management. Vemitra also received her Masters of Science degree in Instructional Technology from MSU. Vemitra has been involved with recruiting under-represented minority students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) areas at Mississippi State University since the summer of 2010. Vemitra is a member of Columbus Lowndes County Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the recent award recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Woman Award from the President's Commission on the Status of Women, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Women's Basketball Collegiate Association, and Mississippi Educators Association. Her active participation in these organizations reveals her passion in helping others succeed. Vemitra is also a former collegiate basketball player where she played 2 years of women’s basketball at Bevill State Community College in Fayette AL and her last 2 years at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton GA. She was a 4 year Academic All American.

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Sarah B. Lee Mississippi State University Orcid 16x16

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Sarah Lee joined the faculty at Mississippi State University (MSU) after a 19 year information technology career at FedEx Corporation. As an assistant clinical professor and Assistant Department Head in the Computer Science and Engineering Department, she is co-founder and co-director of the Bulldog Bytes program at MSU that engages K-12 students with computing and provides professional development to K-12 teachers in computer science and cybersecurity. She is the PI for the NSF INCLUDES Mississippi Alliance for Women in Computing (MSAWC), partnering with stakeholders throughout the southern US to leverage, strengthen, and create awareness of existing programs and create new programs for young women in computing.

Sarah holds a BS in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems from the Mississippi University for Women and a master’s degree in computer science from MSU. She earned her PhD in computer science from the University of Memphis.

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Litany H Lineberry Mississippi State University


Jessica Ivy Mississippi State Universitt

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Dr. Jessica Ivy is an Assistant Professor of Secondary Education at Mississippi State University. Her research focuses on the integration of technology to teach in secondary classrooms.

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C. Danielle Grimes Mississippi State University

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Danielle is a fourth year doctoral student in Biomedical Engineering at Mississippi State University. She graduated Cum Laude from Mississippi State University with a Biological Engineering bachelor's degree in May 2014, and Danielle was inducted into the Bagley College of Engineering Student Hall of Fame in April 2014. She is a current NSF GRFP Fellow. Danielle is also the standing Division Chair for the Student Division. Her research interests center around women and minorities in engineering.

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The NSF INCLUDES Mississippi Alliance for Women in Computing (MSAWC) strives to: generate interest and participation of women in computing; improve recruitment and retention rates of women in undergraduate computing majors; and help post-secondary women make a transition to the computing workforce. Activities designed to engage girls and young women with computing, emphasizing computational thinking and cybersecurity knowledge and awareness, and to illuminate a pathway forward are hosted and facilitated through Alliance partnerships.

The authors will describe a project-based approach to facilitating learning among K-12 students. By engaging students at an early age, we believe we can promote the development of self-efficacy in computing before adolescent opinions are formed that may discourage girls from seeking curricular or co-curricular experiences in computing. Further, we will describe how the MSAWC is illuminating the path for girls and women in the state, to engage them with computing and to influence their persistence on the computing pathway through college and into the workforce, using collective impact strategy.

White, V. M., & Lee, S. B., & Lineberry, L. H., & Ivy, J., & Grimes, C. D. (2018, June), Illuminating the Computing Pathway for Women in Mississippi Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30596

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