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Press Release for Tuesday, June 14, 2016

UNF Aims to Attract More Women to the Computing Field

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The School of Computing at the University of North Florida was selected for the 2016-18 National Center of Women and Information Technology Pacesetters program, a project designed to attract more women into the field of computing.

UNF is one of two institutions in the state selected for the program and is among 47 institutions from across the country that was selected for the program. The list includes universities such as Purdue, Carnegie Mellon, Penn State and Rutgers as well as companies like Apple, Intel and Bank of America.

“Our Pacesetters take advantage of this innovative, boundless computing community – collaborating alongside esteemed NCWIT peers and researchers to define and measure goals based on researched-based strategies for creating change for women in tech,” said Lucy Sanders, NCWIT CEO and co-founder.
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Qualcomm, the Pacesetters program is a two-year program in which participating institutions develop measurable goals for increasing the number of women in the U.S. computing and technology workforce. At UNF, 13.1 percent of female students are computing majors.

“We are proud and motivated to do our part in increasing the participation of women in computing, said Dr. Sherif Elfayoumy, UNF School of Computing director. “Our participation in the Pacesetters program will not only give us access to the methods and expertise of much larger institutions, but will also allow us to share our efforts aiming at creating a gender-neutral environment within the School and to promote computing to female students with other institutions,”

The School of Computing plans to include augmenting its curriculum with topics related to gender participation and leadership as well as inviting speakers to share their experience in improving those issues at other institutions. The School is also joining the NCWIT “Sit with Me” ( campaign that is aimed at inspiring women to study computing.

The National Center for Women and Information Technology is a non-profit community of more than 650 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT equips change leaders with resources for taking action in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K–12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers.

UNF’s School of Computing is dedicated to the promotion of an academically exciting and progressive intellectual climate, characterized by a superior program of instruction, peer-recognized scholarship, effective support services, and productive professional community involvement.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.