Session Details


1:00 – 2:55 pm     College and Job Fair with :

  • CIA
  • Cashstar
  • MaineHealth
  • Live and Work in Maine
  • Tyler Technologies
  • UNUM
  • State of Maine Office of Information Technology
  • Bay Path University
  • Husson University
  • Wex


1:00 – 1:50 pm     Encouraging interest in Computing

  • Maya Crosby, Director of Innovation and Technology, Lincoln Academy
  • Hannah Walden, Computer Science Teacher, Maine Central Institute
  • Dani McAvoy, Curriculum Development Manager,
  • Page Lennig, Director of Technology and Computing Teacher, Waynflete School

Discussion of how to encourage interest in computer science for young women, particularly during the critical high school years. Educators and curriculum developers who are actively working in this area will share their perspectives and encourage further discussion about goals and tactics.

2:00 – 2:50 pm     Workforce Career Ready or Not

  • Kelly Samson-Rickert, State of Maine office of Information Technology
  • Andrea Roma, Unum
  • Amber Heffner, Bangor Savings Bank
  • Sharon Horne, Office of Information Technology
  • CJ McCarron, Tyler Technologies

We will present information about careers in IT, share focused tips and tricks, what we look for when hiring IT talent, how to present yourself, and how to write a resume that stands out. Sometimes we are our worst enemy. We need to collaborate and invigorate – inspire women.

The IT panel will talk about the issues around hiring talented women in IT, the retirement and recruitment issues, and the shift of the skills in IT computing – it is a field where women can really excel. Women of all ages can reach their fullest potential.

2:00 – 2:50 pm You Can Bank on IT

  • Cynthia Beaulieu, IT Business Management Specialist of Audit, Regulatory and Compliance
  • Mary Natale, Senior Risk and Control Business Manager, Technology Business Office
  • Aimee Adams, Manager IT Build, ISD Application Release Management
  • Dr. Marci Delaney, Senior Business Management Analyst, Technology Business Office
  • Laurie Tannenbaum, Business Management Specialist, Technology Business Office

Technology is the key driver to the way people bank and what we know of conventional financial services. For today’s brick and mortar banks, they must compete with FinTechs not only for customers, but for technology talent in its workforce. There was a time when technology was not mobile or able to fit in the palm of one’s hand, a time customers did not have the power to manage their finances with an app on a phone. Our panelists represent Maine women who have transformed their careers and adapted to this rapid change in technology. From managing data on disks, to warehousing Big Data; from programming 486 processors to architecting in the Cloud; from monitoring internet threats when the movement of data was a fad, to the development of an entirely new science called cyber-security, these pioneers of the computing science field continue to contribute to the problem solving and leadership in an industry dominated by men. Come listen, learn, and ask questions about these womens’ career paths, the accomplishments, rewards and challenges of being a part of the 21st century technology workforce.

3:00 – 3:50 pm     Inside the Cyber Studio

  • Caroline Dennis, Principal, STEM Career Catalyst & Professional Advisor, UNE Academy of Digital Sciences
  • Jen King,  Detective with the Maine State Police
  • Nicole Kearns: Nicole is a recent grad of USM in computer science. She worked at the Maine Cyber Security Cluster while a student learning and doing projects in cyber security. Currently she is a Log Forensics Analyst at Sage Data Security Services.
  • Whitney Dano, Technical Support Engineer & Graduate Student Virginia Tech
  •  Suzanne Kohler, Information Security Advisor Sage Data Security
  • Bridget Stuart, Information Systems Security Analyst, University of Maine at Augusta

The percentage of women represented in technology careers, and more specifically in cyber security
roles, continues to be staggeringly low. There is a national movement to inspire more women to pursue cyber security roles and it is gaining momentum all industry sectors, media platforms, and is even part of the national workforce development dialogue. As we look to inspire women to enter this field, particularly as the spotlight continues to focus on the sheer need to enable the country to manage global threats, our narrative about how women can enter this field often focuses on the “accidental” entry into cyber. The information security industry is still developing and changing rapidly, and even for our male counterparts the stories of how those before us made their way into cyber reflects the lack of any prescribed career pathway. This is an opportunity that can be perceived as a barrier.

This conversation will bring together women who have entered the field “accidentally” and those who are now paving the way for a more direct route into the industry. We will ask questions, share our stories, and enable our audience to ask questions about our decisions. As our stories intersect, it will help frame an important message that whatever “door” you come through, the field needs everyone regardless of age, gender, and background.

3:00 – 3:50 pm     Bridging the IT Classroom Gender Gap in Higher Education

  • Michael Knupp, Husson University
  • Laura Gurney, Husson University

Husson University professors Michael Knupp and Laura Gurney share anecdotes from their information technology classrooms on techniques to help effectively engage and empower female students.

Professor Knupp will focus on techniques utilized in an introductory database design course typically taken by non-IT majors pursuing health care related degrees. Degrees such as Healthcare Studies and Occupational Therapy are traditionally dominated by female students. These students typically come into the course with a modicum of IT skills and relatively low IT self-efficacy.

Professor Gurney will offer her insights from two IT-major courses; Managing and Maintaining a PC and an IT topics course in Drones, Robotics, and 3D printing. The female student population in these courses is comparatively smaller than in the introduction to database design course. However, the end goals are still the same. While each professor provides a unique perspective from two different types of courses, both overtly utilize specific techniques to bridge the IT gender gap in higher education in an effort to engage, empower, and educate their respective students.

4:15 – 4:50 pm      Using Python as an introductory Computer Programming Language

  • Michael Knupp, Husson University

Python is emerging as one of the most popular introductory programming languages. Python is an attractive on ramp to computer programming due in large part to being open source, ease of software installation, a simple development environment (IDLE) to initially use, and an easy to learn syntax. Python is a language that can grow as the programmer’s experience grows. There are a number of rich extensions and libraries that are free to download and use. Additionally, Python also dovetails very nicely with the data analytics craze. In this technical talk, students not familiar with Python will be exposed to the basics of the language and also a couple of ‘teaser’ analytical features. Attendees of the talk can follow along on their laptops using a natively installed version of Python or a free online interpreter that requires no software installation.

4:15 – 4:50 pm     Git Control

  • Jennifer Watson, University of Maine System

Git is a distributed version control tool that is often used by developers and is installed by default in most *nix (Unix, Linux, MacOS) operating systems and is easy to install on Windows. Developers use it to track and comment on changes to their code. I also see value in its use for
system administration for tracking changes to important configuration files and comment on
the reasons for changes. I will cover a brief overview of Git and how to use it for traditional development as well as for the non-traditional use for system administration. Using Git is a valuable skill for both students and developers.

5:00 – 5:50 pm      What is the ABI Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing? Ten reasons why you should go!

  • Stacy Doore, University of Maine
  • Lee Anne Ames, New Hampshire Technical Institute
  • Sonia Cook-Broen,

In 2016, the Anita Borg Institute’s Grace Hopper Celebration drew more than 15,000 attendees. This annual conference is the largest opportunity for women in technology from around the world to learn, network and celebrate their achievements. It has also become one of the biggest recruiting events for hiring interns and the next generation of women in technology. Come hear from several Anita Borg Institute Grace Hopper Scholars about their GHC experience, how to apply for scholarships to attend, and how this event has changed their lives.

5:00 – 5:50 pm       Why Do They Come – Why Do They Stay?: Career Motivations among Technical Undergraduate Students

  • Amy Prager, Cornell Univeristy

Presents qualitative research of undergraduate women in computer science.

7:00 – 7:50 pm      Keynote: Dr Soha Hassoun, Tufts University Why is re-designing biological systems so much harder than building smart phones?  Humans have engineered everything under the sun, from cars, to buildings, to mobile smart phones. Engineering biological systems is the next frontier, with recent gene editing techniques holding the promise of altering the fundamentals of life and producing valuable therapeutics to treat diseases such as malaria. This talk begins by drawing an analogy between re-designing biology and engineering a smart phone. The talk will then highlight some recent computational techniques for altering microbial cells to create biological factories capable of producing produce therapeutics, biofuels, and other useful molecules. No biology pre-requisites are needed to attend this talk!

8:00 – 9:00 pm     Student Research Posters and  Group Pictures

  • Development of a Dynamic Multisensory Interface To Provide Accessible Biological Diagrams for Blind and Low Vision Students.  Toni Kaplan, University of Maine ACM-W
  • Supporting Women in Computing Through Community. Ruth Leopold, University of Maine
  • Intonation and Evidence. Karina Bercan and Emily Chicklis, Simmons College


8:00 – 8:50 am     Keynote: Dr. Mary Fernandez, Mentor Net  Hidden in Plain Sight: Changing the Face of the U.S. STEM Workforce  In the past 10 years in the U.S., growth in jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) was three times greater than non-STEM jobs.   Despite the many opportunities available to STEM graduates, women, African Americans and Latinos are critically under-represented in the STEM workforce and especially so in computing – the fastest growing and least diverse STEM field.  We will examine macro demographic and economic trends and micro phenomena of human psychology and sociology that contribute to the current deficit of diverse STEM talent.  We will also discuss interventions – like mentoring – that can help to change the face of the U.S. STEM workforce.  Ultimately, our vision is that increased access to STEM education and careers will provide all citizens with the opportunity to contribute to innovation and experience prosperity.

9:00 – 9:25 am     REST APIs in a nutshell

  • Ruby ElKharboutly, Quinnipiac University

REST APIs are webs services that can be remotely invoked using HTTP requests. REST APIS allow developers to share datasets and use data over the internet. They are powerful
constructs for new programmers and application developer since they provide ready existing data that is structured and ready for use. In this section you will learn how to use ready existing REST APIS and how to implement one using Express and Node.js.

Setup: Laptops and installation of Node.js is required.

Ruby ElKharobutly is an Assistant Prof. of Software Engineering at Quinnipiac University. For the past ten years, she has taught introductory and advanced courses in both public and private institutions. She is currently teaching multiple courses covering a range of topics including Android development, database development and server side programming.


  1.  “Web Services Architecture”. World Wide Web Consortium. 11 February 2004. 3.1.3 Relationship
    to the World Wide Web and REST Architectures. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  2.  RESTful APIS tutorial

9:30 – 9:55 am     Utilizing Browser Development Tools

  • Laura Gurney, Husson University

Everyone can use the Web, but did you know you can modify it? Learn how to temporarily change websites you visit using browser developer tools. Don’t like the background color, you
can change it! Want to remove the annoying image? You can do that too! Use browser development tools to find out how different aspects of the page were written, adjust the color theme, and experiment with page changes. Learn tips and tricks to examine how webpages work, modify your surfing experience, and temporarily change almost any webpage!

Using browser development tools can assist with your web usage experience, developing website of your own, and learning how others may have created a particular element on the webpage.

Bring your laptop to follow along.

10:00 – 10:50 am     Why Graduate School in a computing discipline is for you.

  • Soha Hassoun, Ph.D. Department of Computer Science at Tufts University
  • Mary Fernández, Ph.D. President of MentorNet
  • Stacy Doore, Ph.D candidate, School Of Computing and Information Science, University of
  • Nada Attar, Post-doc at Harvard University.

Is Graduate School in a Computing discipline for you?
The decision to apply to a graduate program can be stressful. This panel of graduate students and
faculty will present various perspectives on the benefits and challenges of pursuing an advanced
degree in computer and information science. Topics include the differences, pros and cons of Master’s and Ph.D programs and the options you will have when you finish. Strategies for success and tips for funding your degree will be shared.

This session is sponsored by CRA-W (Computing Research Association – Women).

11:00 – 11:50 am   Women and Leadership in STEM

  • Betty Woodman, University of Maine Orono

The mark of successful leadership is a productive, vibrant workplace culture that optimizes the capacities of all team members.  This discussion touches on productive versus unproductive power dynamics that can either strengthen or weaken workplace relations, as well as techniques to address and overcome distractions while promoting growth and accomplishment. The talk brings together leadership research with workplace experiences to address why this topic is particularly important for women in STEM careers.


1:00 ~ 2:00 pm     Flash Talks

  • Nontraditional pathways to a career in computing.  Jennifer King
  • Web Design: An Approachable Computer Science, Laura Gurney
  • A Brief History of Social Computing, Kshanti Greene
  • My Path to Cybersecurity, Nicole Kerns