Two in Research Computing receive gender diversity awards
May 25, 2017
ITaP’s Claire Stirm, a science gateway manager for HUBzero, and Jieyu Gao, an Emerging IT Leader working for ITaP Research Computing’s research services and support team, were among the six Gender Diversity Award winners recently announced by higher education IT consortium Internet2.
The awards provided support for travel to Internet2’s Global Summit held last month in Washington, D.C., where Stirm and Gao networked with leaders in the field and attended technical talks relevant to their work. They also participated in programming from the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) and discussed ways to engage with gender diversity issues.
Stirm received bachelor’s degrees in professional writing and classical studies from Purdue in 2016 and is currently earning a master’s degree in communications with a focus on strategic communications. As a science gateway manager for HUBzero, Purdue’s open source platform for scientific collaboration, she supports different hub clients and helps them use the hub to achieve their project goals.
Gao, who received bachelor’s degrees in applied statistics and economics from Purdue in 2016, is a member of Purdue’s Emerging IT Leaders program, a three-year rotational program in which participants work in two different ITaP units. She’s currently completing a rotation with ITaP Research Computing, where she helps researchers use statistical tools to solve data analysis problems. In addition to being exposed to different facets of information technology, Emerging IT Leaders receive funding for a master’s degree and meet monthly to network and share experiences. All four members of the cohort that began in 2016 are women.
Stirm and Gao both say they’re honored to have received the award and grateful for the opportunity to attend the Internet2 conference.
“The experience of attending the conference and talking to the executives and other award winners and having the chance to make connections with them was the most important part for me,” says Gao.
“It was more of a character build than anything,” adds Stirm, of the conference. “It helped grow my confidence in what I know and where I want to go with my career.”
One of the takeaways from the conference with respect to gender diversity was the importance of supporting female colleagues and students, something that Stirm and Gao are both doing as members of Purdue’s new Women in HPC group. That group, which connects student, faculty and staff women at Purdue with an interest in high-performance computing, was founded as part a broader ITaP initiative to encourage women to pursue research and careers in HPC.