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Women's tech group to host fun, prize-filled events

Activities to include research practice talk, info session, tech scavenger hunt, and more

Women Empowering Success in Technology (WESiT), the student alliance of IU’s Center of Excellence for Women in Technology (CEWiT), will host several events this semester. As an IU student technology group, WESiT uses collaborative development and technology-related activities to help women of all skill levels and disciplines pursue opportunities in technology.

"It’s incredibly important for WESiT to emphasize that technology is not just computer science and programming," said Kaitlin Paugh, WESiT undergraduate co-chair and Informatics major (telecommunications cognate). A junior at IU Bloomington, Paugh is also pursuing a minor in creative writing. "Technology embraces everything that we participate in."
WESiT membership is open to all undergraduate and graduate students—male or female. All students, regardless of whether they are WESiT members, are invited to participate in the activities.
"It’s an incredibly powerful feeling to be in a room with a group of talented men and women who are working toward the same goal. We want to raise awareness that it is cool for women to work in technology! It’s such a vast, creative field, and we like to highlight that with our events and organization as a whole," Paugh added.
October events
Research practice talk
October 22, 5:30-7:30pm
During the practice talk students will have the opportunity to hear about current research involving IU women. They can also get experience presenting a paper of their own. The talk takes place at the School of Public Health in room 125.
Bosch informational session
October 24, 7-8:30pm
IU alumna Olesay Zakharkina will speak about the WESiT Professional Development program and give her insights into working at Bosch. The session session will feature Bosch’s product diversity and culture.
“Tech it out” scavenger hunt
October 25, Noon-3pm
Inspired by the hit reality show The Amazing Race, the scavenger hunt begins in the Informatics West Lobby. Student teams will traverse the Bloomington campus, following clues to technology-related landmarks, such as 3D printers, plenoptic cameras, and MRI machines. Each location features challenges for team members to earn points and win fun, tech-related prizes. The race concludes at the Informatics West Lobby, where winners will be announced and prizes awarded.
The scavenger hunt is funded, in part, by seed funding from Symantec, through the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Student Seed Fund.
Red Chair photo booth
October 28, 4pm
WESiT will host a photo booth at the IU Auditorium during the official CEWiT launch event. Students will have the opportunity to pose for a picture with the infamous red chair from the Sit With Me campaign. Members of NCWIT created the Sit With Me campaign, and WESiT is based on this campaign.

Additional events
Mentoring sessions and app-sharing parties are also on the slate for the coming year. The UITS workshop series, which started earlier this month, will continue throughout the year. Additional events include residence hall activities where students can meet tech-minded peers and learn about tech-related majors, and a research expo/poster fair to showcase women researchers and their current and past projects. There will also be professional development and skills workshops to help students prepare for technology recruiting and interviewing. 
To learn more about joining WESiT, email: