7 Emerging Women IT Professionals Awarded Inclusivity Scholarships for 2023 Internet2 Community Exchange

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Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative logo

We are excited to announce the seven recipients of the 2023 Community Exchange Internet2 Inclusivity (I2I) Scholarship. Through the immense support of the community, this is the highest number of scholarships we’ve been able to award at one event and allows us to continue to achieve one of the main goals of the initiative: to increase the meaningful participation of women information technology professionals in the research and education (R&E) community.

This is the inaugural Internet2 Community Exchange, being held in Atlanta, Ga., from May 8-11. The event will bring together emerging leaders and seasoned community members from U.S.-based to global organizations and institutions. The I2I scholarship will afford recipients opportunities to meet and learn from community attendees, including C-suite leadership, advanced technology managers and administrators, faculty, students, researchers, and academic leadership. They will be able to cultivate new relationships and engage in discussions that will help evolve, change, and grow the future of the R&E community.

The 2023 Community Exchange I2I Scholarship recipients are:

  • Amy Fouts, security analyst at Northern Arizona University;
  • Irene Lobos, senior network engineer at the University of California, Berkeley;
  • Yamini Lakshmi Narasimhan, business analyst intern at New York University;
  • Stephania Oates, unified communications manager in the network infrastructure unit at Fayetteville State University;
  • Stacie Pretty On Top, information technology operations manager at Salish Kootenai College;
  • Anna Liza Smith, network management system administrator at the University of California, San Diego; and
  • Sapana Paritosh Soni, HPC user services consultant at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

They will be recognized on Tuesday, May 9, at the I2I lunch session, “CIO Strategies for Overcoming Gender Bias Obstacles in IT Organizations and Guidance for Men Who Want to Help Remove Them.”

Read their bios to learn more about the I2I Scholarship recipients.

(From top left: Amy Fouts; Irene Lobos; Yamini Lakshmi Narasimhan; Stephania Oates)
(From bottom left: Stacie Pretty On Top; Anna Liza Smith; Sapana Paritosh Soni)

“Our organizational leaders must be exemplars and leaders who take responsibility for recognizing and changing their own conscious and unconscious gender biases,” said Steve Burrell, vice president for IT and chief information officer at Northern Arizona University, who is also the presenter for the I2I lunch session on Tuesday, May 9. “Organizational leaders must engage bias issues deeper in their organizations and create cultures that equally favor and celebrate gender diversity. In particular, leaders should find opportunities for women to demonstrate their potential and provide a safe environment for them to step forward and contribute. CIOs should also develop and recognize qualities beyond technical expertise that may be signs of future leadership potential in women.” 

We hope you will join us for this important discussion and share your insights related to this topic.

Continued Partnership for the Women of WINS

Mary Bull

The Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative continues to work closely with the NSF-funded Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program to provide opportunities for WINS awardees to attend Internet2 annual conferences and connect with the community.

WINS awardee Mary Bull is receiving support to participate in this year’s Community Exchange. Mary is a network technician at the College of William & Mary and was a 2021 WINS participant. She got her start in IT after working in museum education and public libraries. Her primary work interest is wireless, especially planning, design, and troubleshooting, but she also works with the switching infrastructure and cable plant on campus, as well as other areas of the college’s IT infrastructure.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

The I2I scholarships cover travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and event registration for the 2023 Community Exchange. Funding for this year’s I2I Scholarships is made possible by Instructure, Kion, the Minority Serving – Cyberinfrastructure Consortium (MS-CC), Northern Arizona University, Rincon, and the University of California, San Diego, and Internet2. 

Without the whole support of the community, these scholarships and opportunities would not be possible. We thank all of our community sponsors for their dedication and support for the career development of these women!