New York Celebration of Women in Computing Goes Virtual, April 9-10

New York Celebration of Women in Computing graphic.

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 6, 2021) – Students, faculty and staff leaders from the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) are gearing up to virtually host this year’s New York Celebration of Women in Computing (NYCWiC) event, April 9-10.

The annual event encourages the growth of women in STEM fields by exploring career opportunities and offering connections with leaders in business, industry and academia. It is a collaborative effort among partnering institutions including UAlbany, Emma Willard School, Baylor University, Velan Studios and Marist College.

Traditionally, NYCWiC has rotated between regional locations such as Syracuse, Rochester and Lake George. It will transition to a digital platform this year due to the pandemic. The event is open to students, faculty, staff and working professionals. Attendees have registered from around the country and globe.

“NYCWIC not only celebrates women leaders in technology, but also presents a unique opportunity to raise awareness about closing the gender gap in STEM fields,” said CEHC Vice Dean Jennifer Goodall, who chairs the conference’s planning committee. “This year’s virtual conference format might look different, but our goal remains the same. We are looking forward to welcoming students and working professionals from around the world to build new connections and inspire each other.”

Interactive Virtual Space 

Virtual space created through "Gather" for the virtual NYCWiC.
This year's event will be hosted on a virtual conference platform created by CEHC.

While the conference format is different, Michael Leczinsky, a CEHC professor of practice, teamed up with Informatics student Andy Xu to create a virtual platform that is interactive using the web-based service “Gather.” Each attendee creates their own avatar and mingles with others at the conference, even getting to walk their avatars into conference rooms and pick their seat for each session.

The event will include a number of student presentations, panel discussions, hands-on workshops and a career fair. It also includes network training opportunities with professionals from numerous industry partners including IBM, Blizzard Entertainment, WB GAMES NY and Vicarious Visions, along with a presentation from New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. Conference rooms in the virtual space are named after various women in the computing technology industry.

"With NYCWiC 2021 being virtual, we’ve created a synchronous interactive virtual event space that mimics attending a real conference,” said Leczinsky. “Much of the credit goes to Informatics student Andy Xu, who made invaluable contributions as a part of the development team on this project, utilizing interdisciplinary skills in design, coding and digital project management.”

To ensure the event is interactive, NYCWiC is mailing packages to attendees filled with treats and swag from sponsors, and a surprise for a hands-on maker session. Raffle tickets and quizzes will give participants the opportunity win prizes during the event.

To register or learn more about the conference visit: https://nycwic.org/