Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Introducing a Passionate PhD Student

Hi everyone! My name is Gail, and I'm on this year's Grace Hopper Online Communities Committee. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and hope that you, too, will find a community you can introduce yourself in.

I went to my first Grace Hopper in 2008. We had just started our Women in Science and Engineering group (known as CU-WISE) on campus, and when I heard about the conference, I knew we had to go. My fellow executive members weren't so sure we would be able to get funding, but I pushed us to try, and lo and behold we succeeded! Attending the conference made an enormous difference to CU-WISE and our ability to put on a fantastic program at Carleton University.

In 2009, I wanted to get more involved with the conference. I love blogging, and started to volunteer more and more to help BJ Wishinsky, the Communities Program Manager over at the Anita Borg Institute, set things up. I ended up becoming the Lead Blogger and organized all our bloggers and note takers, ensuring we brought you info on as many session we could!

This year, as I said, I am on the new Online Communities Committee. Our main goal is to "evangelize and promote the Grace Hopper online communities... [by] participating in the online communities, recruiting diverse community volunteers, and evangelizing the communities to all Grace Hopper participants." I'm super excited to help everyone make the most out of the conference with these communities, whether they can attend in person or not!

To wrap up, a bit about me (and why I titled my post the way I did):I finished my Masters last summer and just finished my coursework for the PhD. I am very passionate about education and learning (could it be because my mom is teacher?), and I want my research to tap into that. I am planning on working on educational games, and in particular want to use augmented reality, as I believe there are some real cognitive advantages to the technology. I am also interested in the role of games and technology in the classroom, and want to help revolutionize how we teach computer science.

If anyone is interested in reading my personal blog or connecting with me, here are some useful links - I'd love to hear from you!

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