NYU Tandon Helps Honor Aspiring Female STEM Leaders at NCWIT Awards

Laura Rokita gives keynote

Laura Rokita, Senior Software Engineer at Google, gives the keynote address at this year's NCWIT Awards for Aspirations in Computing

For the third year in a row, some 80 young high school women gathered at Tandon to be commended for their achievements in computing, leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for higher education. The MakerSpace was filled with friends and family of the young awardees as the NCWIT Awards for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) took place there earlier this month.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Awards honored women all around the greater New York City area from grades 9 through 12 who are interested in computer science and computer engineering. The awardees receive not only recognition at a Regional Affiliate Award event, but also an entry to a peer network of technical women in the NCWIT AiC community. This, in turn, helps them secure various scholarship and internship opportunities. In addition to these benefits and fun prizes, the awardees also receive cash and a trip to the National Award Celebration in March 2019, hosted by Bank of America. “To acknowledge and congratulate people who are doing wonderful things every day is so important. It’s great to feel like we young women and girls can contribute to the world by the work we do,” says Emily Fields, a New York City educator awardee from the Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria.

An evening filled with sage advice and soaring inspiration, the NCWIT awards were hosted by The NYU Tandon Office of Undergraduate Enrollment Management partnered with NCWIT and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. According to Cindy Lewis, the Director of Undergraduate Enrollment Management at NYU Tandon, “it is so important and exciting to have all these young women on campus, and have them exposed to what do in Tandon as we get closer to gender parity.”

In her keynote speech, Laura Rokita (Senior Software Engineer at Google and CEO & Co-founder of Pigeon @ Area 120) encouraged all the young women sitting before her to be themselves and never be scared of not knowing what they want. Rokita shared her story of switching careers from data scientist to Senior Software Engineer at Google and co-founder of Pigeon, a transit app that makes commuting via public transport a lot easier with accurate real-time info and accurate updates.

Given all these young women with unparalleled academic records, an exceptional technical aptitude, and extraordinary leadership qualities, it won't be long before we see them make the world a better place.

Apoorva Agarwal
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development 
B.S in Media, Culture and Communication, Class of 2020