Scholarship to help bridge gender gap in computer science, technology

CONWAY - Six University ofCentral Arkansas students have been awarded the 2012 Computer Science FemaleFreshman Scholarship.

The scholarship is funded through theNational Center for Women and (NCWIT) Academic Alliance Seed Fund, a program designed to help bridge thegender gap in computer science and technology. Its goal is to recruit andretain women with opportunities for learning, research, service and leadershipin the field of computer science and technology.

Currently, women earn more than halfof all undergraduate degrees in the U.S., including 45 percent of math degrees and 38 percentof chemical engineering degrees, but they earn only 11 percent of computing degrees.

UCA received a $10,000 grantearlier this year from the NCWIT and Microsoft Research to help support femalestudents. UCA was one of five universities that received the grant for 2012.Other schools were the University of Virginia, Fisk University, Claremont , andUnion College. The grant is administered through the university's Department ofComputer Science.

Samantha Anima of Rogers, Amanda Fallsof Conway, Yaying Li of China, Angela Lewis of Bryant, Jessica Stewart ofSearcy and Kelsey Zahorec of Jacksonville are the first group of students toreceive the scholarship. Each student received a $500 scholarship.

"All of the sixstudents ranked UCA Computer Science their top choice to pursue theirundergraduate study. In their applications for the scholarship, most of themexpressed extremely strong desire to become one of the female leaders inComputer Science and Information Technology," said Dr. Chenyi Hu, Chair ofComputer Science. "The faculty will do their best to help these female studentsto reach their career goal."

The Department of Computer Science is currentlytaking applications for the spring 2013 scholarships. For more information,visit