‘State of Grace’ Returns to Campus to Celebrate Women in Tech

Photomontage of computer pioneer Grace Hopper and CEHC Vice Dean Jennifer Goodall.
Computer pioneer Grace Hopper (left) and CEHC Vice Dean Jennifer Goodall.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 23, 2021) – The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) is hosting its annual “State of Grace” conference next week for the first time in-person since the start of the pandemic.

The three-day conference, which is organized by CEHC Vice Dean Jennifer Goodall, celebrates women in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM). Open to students, faculty, staff, and local professionals, State of Grace offers opportunities to hear from women industry leaders, network, and polish resumes and interview skills, along with a number of hands-on workshops that encourage gender diversity in computing.

Students work together on a design challenge during UAlbany’s State of Grace conference.
UAlbany students take part in a design challenge with programmers from Vicarious Visions as part of CEHC’s last State of Grace conference on campus in 2019. (Photo by Patrick Dodson)

Goodall brought the idea to campus in 2018 as a spinoff of the national “Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.” Computer programmer and inventor Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was a pioneer in her field and a role model for women technologists.

“Women make up less than 30 percent of the U.S. workforce in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Goodall. “It’s important that we show our students, through events like State of Grace, that they can be successful in these fields and help close the gender gap. I’m thankful to CEHC, along with my many colleagues around campus, for their support and shared belief that more work needs to be done in this space.”

“State of Grace is a special event because it provides us with an important opportunity to further highlight the contributions of women in technology, inspire and support our students, engage in meaningful conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as to provide numerous opportunities for professional growth,” added Michael Leczinsky, a CEHC professor of practice, who is leading multiple sessions focused on digital gaming during the conference. “I’m proud to be a part of this event and the continued work being done in this area.”

The conference takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 28 through Thursday, Sept. 30. Most of the activities will be inside UAlbany’s new $180 million, 245,000 square-foot ETEC building, except for two virtual lectures.

You can read more about Goodall’s passion for women in STEAM through our “5 Questions with Faculty” profile.


Full list of events:

Tuesday, Sept. 28

1 p.m. – Technical Resume Writing Workshop

Hosted by Megan Ermalowicz, talent acquisition manager, Alaant

ETEC: 149A/151A

2 p.m. – Women of UAlbany ITS

Hosted by Lisa Trubitt, assistant CIO, UAlbany

ETEC: 149A/151A

3 p.m. – Networking Workshop

Hosted by Cathy Parker, associate director, Career and Professional Development, UAlbany

ETEC: 149A/151A

3:30 p.m. – Networking

ETEC first floor atrium

5 p.m. – Lieutenant Commander Rhianna Macon, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco

Hosted by CEHC professor Eric Stern

Zoom link: https://bit.ly/3yZRKob

Wednesday, Sept. 29

10 a.m. – Initiatives for Women: Supporting women in STEAM and beyond

Hosted by CEHC associate professor Carol Anne Germain

ETEC: 149A/151A

1 p.m. – Rear Admiral (Select) Rebecca Ore, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles

Hosted by CEHC professor Eric Stern

Zoom link: https://bit.ly/3EhRwMf 

3 p.m. – Natasha Cohen, senior liaison, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Hosted by CEHC assistant professor Brian Nussbaum

Zoom link: https://bit.ly/2VioNpE (register in advance)

Thursday, Sept. 30

10 a.m. – Design Challenge

Matt Nolin and Erin Wasik of Epic Games, Rachel Maille of Vicarious Visions

Hosted by CEHC professor of practice Michael Leczinsky

ETEC: 149A/151A

3 p.m. – Male Allies

Hosted by CEHC professor of practice Michael Leczinsky

ETEC: 149A/151A

7 p.m. – Game Design Panel

Hosted by CEHC professor of practice Michael Leczinsky

ETEC: 149A/151A

8 p.m. – Pop Up Game Night

Hosted by CEHC professor of practice Michael Leczinsky

ETEC: 149A/151A (bring your own Nintendo Switch)