Gini and Watters Launch the Emerging Scholars Program

September 6, 2018

Faculty members Maria Gini and Shana Watters launched the Emerging Scholars Program, which aims to support the next generation of female scientists and engineers.

With grant funds from the National Center for Women and Information Technology’s (NCWIT) Surging Enrollment Seed Fund, Gini and Watters created the program for women enrolled in our introductory programming course in order to build a greater sense of community among the students and provide resources to encourage them to continue their pursuit of computer science.

“We all have great gifts and abilities and we all think differently,” Watters is quoted as saying in a recent Minnesota Daily article. “In order to create a society that is operating at its best, you don’t want to leave anybody behind because everybody has the ability to contribute.”

The NCWIT created their Surging Enrollment Seed Fund to help universities and colleges find ways to meet heightened demand for their services and expand inclusivity without inadvertently leaving underrepresented populations behind.

University of Minnesota was one of only four institutions to receive the funding. The Seed Fund projects were selected for their potential to apply promising and innovative practices for recruiting and retaining women in higher education.

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