Friday, November 16, 2018

The Communities I Am a Part Of

Just yesterday, I, along with the otherWomenNC scholars, had the opportunity to attend a luncheon at the North Carolina Executive Mansion where we connected with the broader WomenNC community of mentors, advisors, and advocates. Inside the North Carolina Executive Mansion, I was awestruck at the well-coordinated interior furniture, the monogrammed silverware, and the tradition woven into every aspect of the building. More important than the elegant staircase and delicious butternut squash soup, I felt the wonder of the WomenNC community of diverse individuals all in the fight for gender equality. I learned of the generations of WomenNC scholars before me as well as every individual's dedication, from years to decades long, to the cause. Additionally, from chatting with my fellow WomenNC scholars, I am driven by their thoughtfulness and courage in pursuing gender equality, across women in executive leadership positions to menstrual hygiene products in public universities. In this community of fellows, I am empowered to research and advocate for gender equality in my own area - Computer Science (CS) education.

More specifically, I am deeply engaged with CS education in Durham. As I continue to mentor middle school students with marginalized identities after school in mobile app development, I am interested in the access and pedagogy of in-school CS education, with a special focus on the representation of women and students of color. After speaking with local Durham CS teachers, I am aggregating and analyzing trends from conversations to provide a high-level overview of CS education within Durham. As a student in a local university, I am immensely cognizant and thoughtful of the complexities of the Durham community and my position of privilege within it. While speaking to Durham CS teachers, I have prepared an interview sheet of questions to insure that I ensure that I am valuing their time in proper ways, for they have one of the most interesting and important jobs in our society - self-empowering our future citizens and leaders.

Today, I am feeling an immense sense of gratitude for two communities - WomenNC and Durham. Both of these communities have such unique gifts and challenges that I hope to contribute to and leverage for positive change.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting....the importance of place. A major NC funder is focussing much of their giving on programs and projects that are location-specific. I am so glad that you are focussing on Durham--and while you are getting to know this place well, my sense is that your research will have much broader implications.--Maria Murray Riemann