Education - Page 6 - New programs, from page 1

- Page 6
New programs, from page 1
computer science classes, computing-related student organization activities, a computer science inclusion speaker seminar series and funding to attend computing conferences. The initiative also supports after-school programs and summer camps for elementary through high school students from all backgrounds.

“As far as the job market, there’s so much available and there’s such a lack of diversity participating at the education level that we can’t fill those jobs,” says Jandelyn Plane, Ph.D., director, Iribe Initiative for Diversity and Inclusion in Computing. “If you look at cybersecurity, those jobs can’t be farmed out for the most part. We need to have participation of women and minorities in order to fill those jobs and there’s going to be so many jobs in computing and cybersecurity in the next five years. That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing for the current students, but we also have a series of things we’re doing for K-12 in order to get more in the pipeline.”

UMD sophomore computer science major Utsa Santhosh was introduced to computing when she was in middle school, when her parents signedherupfor the firstCompSciConnect, a UMD summer camp aimed at getting girls excited about computing.

“I really appreciated the introduction to computing that I got,” says Santhosh. “During all four years of high school, I came back and volunteered as a teaching assistant with the camp and returned to UMD throughout high school. I helped teach kids about computing, help develop some curriculum and help code.”

By the time Santhosh got to college, UMD had launched MCWIC and she was comfortable in the computing environment.

“CompSciConnect and MCWIC are the biggest reasons I am a computer science major at UMD,” says Santhosh.

Santhosh now works as an ambassador for the program, spreading her passion and knowledge to others who may also choose to become computer science majors.

The Center for Race, Equity and Identity at Goucher College supports students of color, first-generation students, socioeconomically disadvantaged students, LGBTQIA+ students, international students and disabled students by engaging students through advocacy, programs and workshops designed to improve the advancement of all marginalized students.

CREI seeks to foster an environment in which marginalized community members feel affirmed and comfortable exploring and expressing their identities.

CREI offers affinity spaces for specific identities so that marginalized people and historically minoritized people can discuss issues and celebrate who they are in positive spaces. Affinity spaces such as House of Marsha (queer students of color), Lavender (for the LGBTQIA community), ASPire (Asian students) and several others meet twice a month throughout the year. CREI also provides programming for the entire Goucher community, including Tasty Tuesday, an exploration of food from other cultures, and the Gender Affirming Closet, which provides clothes to students who identify as transgender or nonbinary, among others.

CREI has evolved into a resource on campus, where students find academic help and information about graduate school and internships.

“One of the things many people don’t realize, especially when you come from an underrepresented group or you’re first generation, you want a place you can call home that can be your safe space,” says Nicole Johnson, assistant dean of Students for Race, Equity and Identity. “That’s what we try to provide. Not only do students find information about the institution and how to be successful but also it’s a place they can relax and have fun and also keep up to date with any pop culture that’s going on – that’s really important.”