Grace Hopper Tribute Event Helps Local Students Hone Tech Careers

Sep 19th, 2018

The University at Albany will host its first Grace Hopper tribute event, State of Grace, in late September, to celebrate women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM).

Grace Hopper was a pioneering computer programmer and inventor who served in the United States Navy. Schools across the nation host Grace Hopper tribute events, however, UAlbany is the only local college currently offering this type of program.

Each year, about 18,000 tickets go on sale for the annual Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) and they’re all snatched up in just a few minutes after the registration period opens. Even for those students who can secure a seat at the event, travel and lodging costs can make it difficult for many to attend.

This is where Dr. Jennifer Goodall, Assistant Dean & Service Assistant Professor, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at UAlbany, saw an opportunity to get involved. 

She credits a colleague who organized a similar event at Mount Holyoke College for inspiring her to dream big and package five consecutive days of topics centered on women in STEAM, sponsored by the college. 

State of Grace will feature keynote presentations and panel discussions on topics including entrepreneurship, graduate school, and careers. Presenters include Susan Lundberg, Capital Tech Search, Cathy Parker, University at Albany Career & Professional Development and several other female professionals who work in technology. 

All of these presenters hope to share their experiences while offering pearls of wisdom about what it means to venture into the world of tech. Their collective understanding of the technology landscape in the Capital Region is extremely beneficial to anyone looking to break into this sector locally. 

While this event is a celebration of women in tech, Dr. Goodall sees male allyship as a key component of the program. “It's not just for women. Lack of gender diversity affects everyone, especially men, who need to be part of the solution,” she says. 

All UAlbany students and local women in tech are encouraged to attend. With so many tech careers available in today’s economy, anyone interested in this field can find their calling at a gathering like this one.

Even Dr. Goodall’s path into a technology career was unexpected – her background is in Greek and Latin. There will be more examples of women who followed non-linear journeys into tech during the grad school and career path panels at State of Grace.

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