The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) has been awarded the second annual CMD-IT University Award for Retention of Minorities and Students with Disabilities in Computer Science by The Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT. The University Award highlights organizations that have exhibited commitment and success in accommodating students from underrepresented groups in undergraduate Computer Science programs.
The $15,000 cash award, sponsored by Microsoft, was presented to representatives from CCI on September 20 at the 2018 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing in Orlando, Florida.
CCI was chosen based on the college’s impressive record of high retention and graduation rates. A number of CCI programs and initiatives directly impact retention rates, including:
• The Connected Learner program that focuses on connecting students to peers, the profession and the community.
• The STARS program that reaches K-12 students interested in technology, academia, research and service.
• A task force created by the CCI Dean that uses strategies such as peer tutoring, mentoring and designated meeting spaces to assist women and underrepresented minority student organizations.
In recognizing institutions like CCI, CMD-IT and Microsoft are leading a cultural shift in the industry that will result in a more diverse, advanced and innovative future. Receiving the award will fuel the perpetuation and expansion of programs that effectively retain underrepresented groups in Computer Science at CCI.
"I am honored to have been asked to receive the CMD-IT University Award on behalf of UNC Charlotte's College of Computing and Informatics,” says Der Vang, Director of Mentoring at UNC Charlotte. “At CCI, we work every day to set a high standard for inclusivity and diversity across our entire community. This award, though it recognizes what we have done, also serves as a reminder that our journey is just beginning.”
-Lea Thompson ('20)
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