Ruth Davis

Ruth Davis

Ruth Davis
Santa Clara, California


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NCWIT Pacesetters Santa Clara University Ruth Davis: Hi. I'm Ruth Davis. I'm from Santa Clara University, in Silicon Valley. The Computer Engineering Department at Santa Clara University, the Jesuit University in Silicon Valley, is committed to recruiting more women students and to supporting their retention through our programs. We have a National Science Foundation grant that provides scholarships. We co-sponsor the Bay Area Aspirations and Computing Awards, and we engage in a variety of outreach activities including a residential summer engineering seminar for high school students and a similar program, that's a day program, on Saturdays in April. In addition to our degree programs in Computer Science and Engineering we've developed a Bachelors degree in Web Design and Engineering, with a unique blend of art, computing, communication and social science skills that enable our graduates to contribute to the world of new media. We have increased our support for existing women students by taking them to the Grace Hopper "Celebration of Women and Computing," and to the Anita Borg Institute's "Women of Vision" awards banquet every year. At these events, the students can learn to network with others in the field and also be inspired by the women they meet. On campus we have created a volunteer mentoring program that has successfully increased both the performance and the confidence in the students who take part in this program -- both the mentors, and the students they help. We have an informal meeting every term. We support all of our women students in computing by having a free lunch the first day of final exams, every term. We also have a dinner, once a year, that includes all of the women faculty and undergraduates in Engineering. All of these programs are aimed at supporting a vibrant community of technical women, confident in their ability to contribute to diverse teams -- both now and after they graduate. Transcription by CastingWords

My Story...

In October 2011, I sat in the red chair to share progress towards our goal to reach 35% by fall of 2013. We are tracking our women computing majors as they enter their junior year. We recently implemented a volunteer tutoring program that has helped both the tutors and students. We increased our focused support of existing women students by taking several of them to the Grace Hopper Conference each year, and to the ABI Women of Vision banquet. We host a luncheon for female computing majors on the first day of finals each term, and we celebrate all of our female engineering students at our “Women in Engineering” dinner every fall (at which we have computers available for everyone to sign up for MentorNet).