Feb. 7, 2014

Contact: Zoë Wood

Amy Hewes

Cal Poly Helps Promote Aspiring Female Computer Scientists

SAN LUIS OBISPO -- The Cal Poly Computer Science Department and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) will recognize 13 female high school students for their accomplishments and aspirations in computing and technology.

The young women will receive the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, created to encourage computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field, and generate visibility for women’s participation in technology fields. Winners are acknowledged for their outstanding aptitude and interest in technology and computing, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education.

The winners of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing – Central California Affiliate are from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Kern and Fresno counties.

Each winner will receive a $200 gift card, engraved awards for the recipient and her school, and the opportunity to meet with faculty, students and industry representatives from the field of computer science. The presentations will be given at an award ceremony April 19 at Cal Poly.

The 2012-13 Central Coast region award winners are:


High School


Anna Brewer

Santa Barbara Senior High

Santa Barbara

Callie Carbajal

Buchanan High School


Delia Bullock

Dos Pueblos Senior High


Diana Chiu

San Luis Obispo High

San Luis Obispo

Helen Cheng

Buchanan High


Katherine Eisenbrand

Thousand Oaks High

Thousand Oaks

Lauren Chin

Westlake High (California)


Leeya Loera

East Bakersfield High


Maria De Angelis

Santa Barbara High School

Santa Barbara

Sierra Schwellenbach

Morro Bay High

Morro Bay

Sophia Bylsma

Arroyo Grande High

Arroyo Grande

Sophie Russo

Dos Pueblos Senior High


Yijin Wang

Dos Pueblos Senior High


The Central California affiliate of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is coordinated by Zoë Wood, Cal Poly associate professor of computer science, and is a collaborative effort by volunteers from the Cal Poly Computer Science Department, the Cal Poly student club Women Involved in Software and Hardware (WISH) and the Cal Poly Women in Engineering Program (WEP). The Central California award is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Computer Science Department, Northrop Grumman, iFixit and Mindbody, with additional sponsors supporting the April award ceremony.

About NCWIT:
NCWIT leverages programs from organizations across the country and connects efforts to increase women's participation in information technology from K-12 and higher education through industry and academic careers. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing represents a coalition of more than 450 universities, corporations and organizations dedicated to increasing the meaningful participation of women in computing.

According to NCWIT, women are disproportionately under-represented in computing fields, despite their advances in academia and the workforce. Although they comprise 54 percent of all Advanced Placement (AP) test-takers and earn 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, women represent just 19 percent of all AP computer science test-takers and account for only 18 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computer and information sciences.

The NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program is sponsored nationally by AT&T, Bank of America, Bloomberg and Microsoft, with additional support from Google, Intel, Motorola Solutions Foundation and Northrop Grumman.

Find out more at

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