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2020 Clare Boothe Luce Scholar
In high school, one of Sydney Robinson’s teachers encouraged her to focus her creativity on digital creation. Today, as a GMercyU CIS Major with a concentration in Web Design & Multimedia, Sydney joins the ranks of a growing number of young women choosing to pursue a field once dominated by men.
Sydney was awarded the prestigious Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship in 2020, which was established to “encourage women to pursue graduate education and careers in teaching and research in disciplines having the lowest participation of women, namely physics, math, computer science, and chemistry.” The scholarship is the single largest private source of funding for women in science and engineering.
“It is important that we level the playing field for women in technology for many reasons. Not only does a degree in CIS provide women with the skills they need to compete in today’s job market, it also gives them with the tools necessary for the careers of the future,” said CIS Program Coordinator and Instructor Cindy Casey. “With advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, more women in the field will aid in addressing machine bias, because AI mirrors those preparing the datasets and training the models. Encouraging women in technology will have a positive impact on computing and give younger girls role models to look up to. “
Read more about Sydney’s experience as a GMercyU CIS major and scholarship recipient below.
To me, being a Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship recipient means being a role model for young women who think that CIS is something that they may want to pursue in the future.
It’s true that there is not as many women in CIS as men and by receiving this scholarship, I feel like I stand for the women who might not know or think to do something like this for their career. I believe that this field is not something just for men and that more women should pursue CIS as a career.
The CIS program is great because it feels like a family. From my first meeting with Professor Casey, I felt like she really took me under her wing so that I would be successful in the future. If I have any problems or questions, she is there not only for me but for each student in the program, which makes stressful times so much easier.
A lot of my project, “Mitigating Web Vulnerabilities: A Programmer’s Prospective", talked about the importance of designers and developers building precautions into their websites, specifically the coding, so that the possibility of being attacked is minimized. It happens so often, and if I have a little knowledge about how to prevent that from happening to web design projects I work on in the future, then I'm one step closer to becoming successful.
Short term, I want to finish my college years as excited about creating websites as I did when I was learning in high school for the first time. Long term, I want to work for a design firm that creates websites. It would also be nice to create websites on the side, too.