Meet CEWiT’s Special Interest Groups

By Ellen Glover

Saturday, October 7, 2017

CEWiT's mission is to inspire, encourage, and educate IU women to develop and use tech skills as a means to empowerment and enhanced career success.

One way we work toward that goal is through the CEWiT’s seven Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The SIGs provide individualized micro communities for students of multiple experience levels but one common concentration. In these SIGs, students, as well as affiliated faculty, staff and alumnae, participate in work-shops, competitions and other events in order to network and improve their tech skills.

You can get to know more about each of our SIGs right here:

3D Printing:
This is one of CEWiT’s newest groups. For those who don’t know, 3D printing involves designing an object on the computer and then laying down successive layers of material to produce a three-dimensional form of that object using a special printer. This SIG provides workshops for any students, faculty or staff who wish to learn more about 3D printing – the design process, how to use the modeling software and how to actually bring a design to life using the printer.

The group’s two interns are Joey Huang and Brook Foulk and their staff champion is Michelle Bartley-Taylor, who is also CEWiT’s Assistant Director for Student Engagement.

Black Women in Technology (B-WiT):
These women are dedicated to fostering the academic and career advancement of Black women and other minorities here on IU’s campus by working to increase the number of women of color in STEM. Through various community outreach programs as well as mentorship and professional networking opportunities, B-WiT works to empower and support women of color who are interested in STEM.

This month the group will be hosting one of their community outreach programs and a breast cancer walk. They will also volunteer at a local homeless shelter in November.

The group’s interns are Precious Price, Jordan Benard, Tia Donaldson and Kristen Hurns. Their faculty champion is Kerrie Wilkins-Yel. The B-WiT SIG can be reached via email.

Game Design:
The Women in Game Design SIG was established to provide women and allies interested in game design and related areas in tech. Through various workshops hosted throughout the year, this organization teaches production software, coding and art design for digital games. The group also hosts various events at which guest speakers share their experiences in the game design industry. Events aren’t all work, though; this SIG also often comes together to just play games and socialize.

This semester will be a full one for the women in game design. This month, the SIG will host a C++ Programming intro workshop, a roundtable on mental health and games and even a Halloween gaming event in Franklin Hall. Then, in November, the group is planning on skyping with Mary Kenney, an IU alumna who now works for prominent gaming development company, Telltale Games. Finally, the women will host an end of semester game and pizza night in December.

The Women in Game Design SIG has a big team working for them. Its interns include JJessica Tompkins, Jocelyn Eads, Arianna Eiler and Mercedes Brewster. Their faculty champion is Will Emigh, a game design professor at the Media School.

Graduate Women in Technology (G-WiT):
This group was made by and for graduate women with an interest in technology. Like CEWiT, members work to promote their peers in STEM and provide resources and a community for them. However, they work exclusively within the graduate community and provide opportunities for graduate students to promote their research and advance their skills within the industry.

G-WiT hosts events like social gatherings, workshops and symposiums where both graduate students and professionals can present their work. On October 18, November 15 and December 6, the group will host CEWiT Coffee and Conversation sessions, meetings that are meant to be relaxing respites for members includes a topic of discussion with a guest speaker, of course, coffee. Also, in November, G-Wit will host its own Symposium where members can formally present their work, get feedback and network.

The group’s lead intern is Kim Baker and the staff champion is Michelle Bartley-Taylor.

Women Who Code (WWC):
Coding is the backbone of a lot of technology that we use today. This SIG is dedicated to empowering its members and other women to develop an interest in this important skill. The group hopes to create an environment that fosters creativity and teamwork among its members by learning new coding skills, sharing new ideas and having fun along the way.

With the help of its members, the group hosts a number of workshops that focus on everything from database languages to mobile application development, that are open to all who are interested. WWC also provides a more relaxed discussion setting with their Coffee and Code meetups at which they will discuss subjects like self-driving cars and smart homes. Finally, the group will also work to strengthen its membership through networking opportunities like their hackathons and at the official CEWiT Summit at the end of the year.

The WWC team is made up of interns Elissa Booras, Cho Wei and faculty champion Jie Li. Email the Women Who Code SIG at sigwwc@indiana.edu.

Social Media:
This group is working to stay on top of one of the most revolutionary areas in tech, communications and business: social media. This SIG is dedicated to exploring the industry and developing its members’ and the public’s social media skills both professionally and personally through guest speakers, specialized workshops, and private consultations.

Anyone is free to reach out to members and request a seminar on whatever social media topic or skill they wish to learn more about.

The Social Media SIG’s team includes Sheen Zheng, , and staff champion .

Web Design:
The women in this organization are all dedicated to learning and perfecting their skills as web developers. With the help of partnerships with advisors, professional designers and other IU organizations, members and other interested students can learn to design their own webpages.

Once a month, the Web Design SIG hosts Donuts & Design sessions, meetups that focus on specific areas of web design so participants gain more experience and confidence in their skills. Also, this month, the group will host a portfolio roundtable at the CEWiT house for those interested in receiving tips from experts and potential employers on how to better their professional portfolios.

Interns Abigail Billing, Carolyn Ryan and Meghana Pamidi are on the Web Design SIG team and their staff champion is Kate Robinson