Participant of the CRA-W Distributed Mentor ProjectSummer of 2002
CRA-W stands for Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research. The CRA Distributed Mentor Project aims to encourage female computer science undergraduates to continue on to graduate school, by giving them a taste of the graduate school life. For the summer of 2002, 35 students from around the country were chosen to participate. The participants are sent to various schools to work under the guidance of a female computer science professional. The DMP is funded in part by the National Science Foundation.
I (Kris Hauman) had been building up excitement for months before the summer of 2002 began. I couldn't wait to implement my plans to hike with my husband on the Appalachian Trail all summer long.
Then one day in late January my plans changed. We were sitting in the computer lab on the third floor of Stillwell, the part of campus that's home to Western Carolina University computer science majors. One of our best professors, Mark Holliday, walked in and handed me some literature about the CRA-W accepting applications for the mentor project.
All I heard him say was that it was something for the summer, and since I already had great summer plans, I almost didn't read it. Yet after looking at the brochure, and realizing what a great opportunity it was, I decided to apply. I can hike another time, but when would I get another chance to be paid to learn with female computer science professionals at a graduate school in an unfamiliar place?
All my excitement for the summer was shifted to the idea of being accepted as a mentee. One month after applying, I got an email from the project's coordinator, Nancy Amato, congratulating me for being accepted. My mentor is Professor Lori Clarke at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Since the only state I've ever lived in besides North Carolina is South Carolina, I was thrilled to be going to New England. I was also looking forward to being around female computer scientists, since WCU has zero female CS teachers and almost no female CS majors.
Lori Clarke is a distinguished member of the Software Engineering community. Her research interests include analysis of concurrent software, object management, and software architecture. She is co-director of the Laboratory for Advanced Software Engineering Research (LASER). LASER is where I will fulfill my mentee duties, under the guidance of programmer/researcher Heather Conboy. My summer project pertains to Flow Analysis for Verification of Systems (FLAVERS), a LASER creation.
I'm beginning the summer of 2002 as a junior CS major in Western Carolina University's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.
Click here to see a picture of myself, Heather Conboy, and Lori Clarke.
Professors Mark Holliday and Julie Barnes for their reference letters;
Nancy Amato for coordinating the Distributed Mentor Project;
Lori Clarke for participating as a mentor.