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NMSU, UTEP join national organization to encourage women in computer science careers

LAS CRUCES, NM ? Thirty years ago the number of women earning computer science degrees was nearly double what it is today. New Mexico State University and the University of Texas at El Paso have joined with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) to change that trend by encouraging more young women to choose careers in technology.


Thirty-seven young women from area high schools will be recognized for their accomplishments and aspirations in computing and technology at an award ceremony from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, April 24 at Domenici Hall on the New Mexico State University campus.

?We are honored and excited to host this group of rising stars. All of these young women show incredible promise and creativity in the world of computer science and information technology,? said Rebecca Galves, NMSU coordinator for the Young Women in Computing program, who is also organizing the event.

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing was created to acknowledge the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field, and generate visibility for women?s participation in computing-related pursuits. Award-winners have been selected for their outstanding aptitude and interest in computing and desire to pursue computing-related studies of occupations.

The El Paso/Las Cruces area 2015 winners are:

Analyssa Martinez, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Arianna Martinez, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Ariel Capps, Chapin High School, El Paso
Astrid Chacon, Harmony Science Academy, Horizon City
Elena Davidson, Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces
Jazmin Collins, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Lesli Atchison, Centennial High School, Organ
Paola Perez, Harmony Science Academy, El Paso
Pilar Gonzalez Rueda Flores, Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts, El Paso
Raquel Gonzalez, Chapin High School, El Paso
Rosa Gonzalez, Chapin High School, El Paso
Sophia Sanchez-Maes, Mayfield High School, Las Cruces
Taylor Galliete, Presidio High School, Presidio

The El Paso/Las Cruces area 2015 runner-ups are:

Alejandra Plascencia, Harmony Science Academy, El Paso
Andrea Jimenez, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Belle Trevino, Mayfield High School, Las Cruces
Carolina Lopez, Harmony Science Academy, El Paso
Connie Hu, Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces
Dafne Bencomo, Loretto Academy, El Paso
Elisa Rivera, Harmony Science Academy, El Paso
Elisabeth Partin, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Emily Ramsey, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Emma Locklin, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Eve Mayes, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Giselle Hinojosa, Chapin High School, El Paso
Grace Cowie, Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces
Helen Cai, Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces
Isabel Crist, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Jasmine Levario, Andrews High School, Andrews
Jessie Brown, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Kameron Lozano, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Lluvia Vazquez, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Maegan Chavez, Chapin High School, El Paso
Mollyanne Hurd, Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces
Nahtasha Gonzalez, Chapin High School, El Paso
Rawan Elaksher, Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Trianna Valigura, Centennial High School, Las Cruces

The El Paso/Las Cruces Affiliate of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is a collaborative effort by volunteers from the NMSU Department of Computer Science, the UTEP Department of Computer Science, NMSU?s Young Women in Computing Program, and the NMSU?s Center for Smart Grid Technologies.

Nationally, the program is sponsored by AT&T, Bank of America, Bloomberg and Microsoft, with additional support from Google, Intel, Motorola Solutions Foundation and Northrop Grumman.

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is a program of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a coalition of over 450 universities, corporations and organizations dedicated to increasing the meaningful participation of women in computing. NCWIT?s work leverages programs from organizations across the country, and connects efforts to increase women's participation in information technology along the entire pipeline, from K-12 and higher education through industry and academic careers. Find out more at www.ncwit.org.