College of Computing & Informatics Diversity Initiatives
The College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte is redefining the future of computing by creating an inclusive climate for all students, staff and faculty. Our goal is to expand and engage the participation of students that traditionally have not entered the computing field. We believe that in order to innovate in computing and informatics education and research, we must cultivate an atmosphere that is welcoming across all aspects of human diversity. We strive to be a preeminent creator and provider of talent and intellectual capital by empowering diversity of thought and experiences.
Below are a few areas the College is demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion:
- CCI was a Gold Supporter for the 2017 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, where CCI had an exhibit hall booth and supported 5 students’ participation in the conference.
- CCI sponsors a Corporate Mentoring program connecting technical professionals with female freshmen students. The program offers mentoring activities such as sharing success stories of women tech leaders, engaging undergraduate female with the Charlotte technical community, showcasing attractive career options, and providing avenues for skill building to increase confidence and competence for long-term success. In 2017-18, the program included 20 professionals paired with 20 students.
- Sponsored by our Business Partner Program, CCI offers the Future of Computing Scholarship as a way to attract students to the College in an effort to diversify the student population.
- CCI has established several new scholarships that focus on promoting economic mobility and seek to diversify our students.
- The Duke Energy STARS Scholarship provides substantial support to undergraduate students in computing.
- The NorthState Velva Hayden Memorial Scholarship emphasizes diversity.
- The SIM College Access Program Scholarship focuses on diversity from the economic mobility perspective.
- Dr. Manuel A. Pérez Quiñones, Associate Dean of CCI, was recognized with the 2017 Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversifying Computing. This is an annual award given to an individual who demonstrates significant leadership, commitment and contributions to diversifying computing.
- Dr. Manuel A. Pérez Quiñones, Associate Dean of CCI, was recognized with the 2018 Computing Research Association’s A. Nico Habermann Award. This award is given to a person who has made outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and/or successes of underrepresented members in the computing research community. This award recognizes work in areas of government affairs, educational programs, professional societies, public awareness, and leadership that has a major impact on advancing these members in the computing research community.
- The Dr. Fatma Mili (College Dean), Dr. Manuel Pérez Quiñones (Associate Dean), Dr. Bojan Cukic (Computer Science Department Chair), Dr. Mary Lou Maher (Software Information Systems Department Chair), and Dr. Audrey Rorrer (Director of Assessment) were chosen to serve on a think tank charged to ‘bust bias’ in computing, with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Pacesetters Team. As members of the Pacesetters team 2016-1018, we developed a Bias Busting Toolkit, and deployed a Cultural Climate Pulse Poll among CCI faculty and staff.
- Three CCI faculty (Dr. Manuel Pérez Quiñones, Dr. David Wilson, Dr. Audrey Rorrer) were awarded the 2017 NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund Award in recognition of developing and implementing initiatives to recruit and retain undergraduate women in computing.
- CCI has a tradition of providing fun and educational computing outreach to K12 and campus through the STARS program (Students in Technology, Academia, Research and Service). Since 2006, CCI STARS students have provided community outreach programming to over 2,400 K12 students, in activities such as Lego Mindstorms, Robotics Clubs, and SPARCS Saturday Academy. STARS students participate in a diversity leadership seminar course.
- CCI engages in diversity research. CCI has been awarded a National Science Foundation CISE REU Site since 2006, in which our labs host 10-15 undergraduate researchers each summer. The overall program goal is to recruit, retain, and prepare a more diverse student population for graduate programs in computing.
- CCI has the most diverse computing student body in the state. We enrolled 23% female students and 19% underrepresented minority students in fall 2017. 30% of our graduates were female and 14% were from underrepresented minority groups in 2016-17. CCI graduated more African American and Hispanic students in CS than any college and university in North Carolina (most recent year available 2015-16).