ITRI to Recognize 23 High School Women for Computing Achievements

2017 Aspirations in Computing award recipients.
Photo by Ryan C. Versey

2017 Aspirations in Computing award recipients.

To encourage more young women to choose careers in technology, the National Center for Women & Information Technology and Information Technology Research Institute at the Sam M. Walton College of Business will recognize 23 high-school women from Arkansas for their accomplishments and aspirations in computing and technology. The eighth event of its kind, the Aspirations in Computing recognition program will be held on Tuesday, April 17, as part of the 2018 Women in Information Technology Conference hosted at the University of Arkansas.

"This program encourages young talented women to purse a career in the field of technology, a field that is greatly under represented by females and minorities," said Eric T. Bradford, managing director of the Information Technology Research Institute.

The Award for Aspirations in Computing is a program of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a coalition of over 650 universities, corporations and organizations dedicated to increasing the meaningful participation of women in computing. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing was created to acknowledge the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field, and generate visibility for women's participation in computing-related pursuits. Award-winners have been selected for their outstanding aptitude and interest in computing and desire to pursue computing-related studies of occupations.

The NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program is supported by lifetime sponsor Apple, and national sponsors AT&T, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Google, HP Enterprise, Intel, Qualcomm and Microsoft with additional support from Motorola Solutions Foundation, Northrop Grumman and Symantec.

Below are this year's recipients from Arkansas:

National Honorable Mentions & Arkansas Affiliate Winners

Yaritza Chavez - Springdale High School
Zoie Keys - Lake Hamilton High School
Anne Li - Central High School (Little Rock)

Arkansas Affiliate Winners

Mckenzie Bernardini - Conway High West
Meghan Bledsoe - Springdale High School
Julia Defoor - Sheridan High School
Bine Domnick - Springdale High School
Kenzie Glass - Arkansas School for Math Sciences and the Arts
Lissette Martinez - Springdale High School
Christine Muoghalu - Lake Hamilton High School
Haley O'Donnell - Riverview High School
Faith Pearrow - Bentonville High School
Dianne Perez - Bentonville West High School A
lekhya Pidugu - Central High School (Little Rock)
Samantha Quintero - Springdale High School
Teion Sanders - Springdale High School
Indu Sen - Springdale High School
Hetvi Shah - Little Rock Central High School
Makenzie Spurling - Mount Ida High School

Arkansas Affiliate Honorable Mentions

Anecya Poole - Conway High West
Gabriela Solis - Springdale High School
Maryfrances Umeora - Valley View High School
Sarah Vogel - Springdale High School 

Arkansas Affiliate Educator Awards

Kimberly Raup - Conway High West -- Winner
Susan Shaw - Mount Ida High School -- Honorable Mention

NCWIT's work leverages programs from organizations across the country, and connects efforts to increase women's participation in information technology along the entire pipeline, from K-12 and higher education through industry and academic careers. Find out more at

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Eric T. Bradford, managing director
Information Technology Research Institute


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