Internet2 Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships, Community Collaborations Expand Opportunities for Underrepresented IT Professionals

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Funding Opportunities Support DEI Efforts and Broaden Participation in Premier Technical Event for the Global Research and Education Community Next Week

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 28, 2022 – Internet2 today announced four recipients of the 2022 Internet2 Inclusivity (I2I) Scholarship, which is centered on increasing the meaningful participation of women information technology professionals in the research and education (R&E) community. 

Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative logo

The announcement comes a week before the organization’s annual technical event, the 2022 Internet2 Technology Exchange, taking place Dec. 5-9, in Denver, Colorado. The scholarship supports career development, professional networking, and mentorship opportunities by funding recipients’ participation in the event where more than 550 technologists, scientists, engineers, and more will convene to discuss R&E’s most pressing challenges and promising solutions. I2I Scholarship recipients gain knowledge of industry best practices and innovative applications that prepare them to make a positive impact at their institutions.

This year’s I2I Scholarship recipients are:

  • Emily Chahar, IT project manager at the University of Delaware;
  • Allison (Ally) Hepp, systems engineer at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County;
  • Steffanie Johnson, IT security risk analyst and team lead with the Office of Cybersecurity at the University of Wisconsin–Madison; and 
  • Nicole Klueber, systems integration engineer for the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University.

They will be recognized during a lunch session, “I2I: Creating a Mentorship Program,” at the Technology Exchange on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Read their bios to learn more about the 2022 I2I Scholarship recipients.

From left: Emily Chahar, Ally Hepp, Steffanie Johnson, and Nicole Klueber

“When the research and education community centers intentionally and unwaveringly on diversity, equity, and inclusion in everything we do, we all benefit,” said Ana Hunsinger, vice president of community engagement at Internet2. “Through this year’s I2I Scholarships, we welcome Emily, Ally, Steffanie, and Nicole to the Internet2 community. The experience will facilitate new connections and lasting professional relationships to support their career objectives long-term and will pave the way for their voices, perspectives, and talents to play an integral role in our collective future. A big thank you to Internet2 industry members Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, LastPass, and SaltyCloud for supporting these scholarships and joining in our community’s continued commitment to DEI.”

Since the Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative’s inception in 2014, 45 women have received I2I Scholarships to participate in an Internet2 annual event.

The I2I Scholarship program is just one of several opportunities converging to broaden the participation of underrepresented and underserved members of the R&E community in the U.S. and globally at the 2022 Technology Exchange. Additional participation is being funded in collaboration with the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC), the Minority Serving – Cyberinfrastructure Consortium (MS-CC), and the Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program.

Global Fellowship in Partnership with NSRC

Since 2000, the NSRC and Internet2 have worked with universities, network service providers, and industry and government agencies in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean to provide support to research and education communities in countries underserved by the current R&E networking infrastructure.

This year’s NSRC-Internet2 Fellowship recipients are:

Khoudia Gueye and Max Larson Henry
  • Khoudia Gueye, director of infrastructure and information systems at the Virtual University of Senegal; and
  • Max Larson Henry, founding member and chief executive officer of Transversal.

Gueye is a founder and president of SenChix, an association that aims to improve the lives of Senegalese women and girls by developing their expertise in computer science, software development, networking, and security. She is also a member of the Senegal Commission for the Protection of Personal Data, was named a Next Generation Leader by the Internet Society, and has participated as a fellow in international communities including the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), African Network Operators Group (AfNOG), Africa Top Level Domains Organization (AfTLD), and RIPE Network Coordination Centre (NNC).

Henry is a board member of the Haitian Association for the Development of Information and Communications Technologies, a non-profit that manages Haiti’s internet exchange point. He is also the vice president of the Internet Society Haiti Chapter, a founding member of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Exchange Point Association (LAC-IX), and an active participant in ICANN and Latin American and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC) communities.

Scholarships for MS-CC Participants

The MS-CC recently announced 8 recipients of a new scholarship to support MS-CC participants’ attendance at Internet2 events, including the Technology Exchange.

Minority Serving-Cyberinfrastructure Consortium logo for card

This year’s MS-CC scholarship recipients are:

  • Alecia Anderton-Georgie, assistant professor at Shaw University; 
  • Li Bingdong, chief information security officer at Tennessee State University;
  • Suryadip Chakraborty, associate professor at Johnson C. Smith University; 
  • Gardea Jaywhehgar, technology support analyst at North Carolina A&T State University; 
  • Xiaohong Li, vice president of information and institutional effectiveness at Taft College;
  • Courtney Nash, assistant director of infrastructure at North Carolina Central University;
  • Darian Quick, university events specialist at North Carolina A&T State University; and
  • Maurice Tyler, vice president for information technology and chief information officer at Bowie State University.

Internet2 and the MS-CC will hold a lunch and working meeting, “MS-CC Campus Perspectives on Community Building to Enable Cyberinfrastructure,” at the event on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Continued Support for the Women of WINS

Angie Asmus and Karen Lopez

The Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative also works closely with the NSF-funded WINS program to provide opportunities for WINS awardees to gain critical presentation and networking skills at Internet2 events.

Two WINS awardees are receiving support to participate in this year’s Technology Exchange:

  • Angie Asmus, manager of network and security operations at Colorado State University; and 
  • Karen Lopez, DevOps engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Asmus and Lopez will present on a panel, “Women in IT Networking at SC,” on Thursday, Dec. 8, alongside other past WINS participants Kate Robinson, network engineer at ESnet, and Brenna Meade, network systems engineer at Indiana University. The panelists will share their experiences building and operating SCinet – the cutting-edge, high-speed network built each year for the SC Conference. 

Asmus has also been named SCinet chair for SC24. She is the fourth woman selected for the role since SCinet’s inception in 1996.

Removing Financial Barriers to Broaden Participation

All the scholarships and the fellowship cover travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and event registration for the 2022 Technology Exchange. Funding for this year’s I2I Scholarships is made possible by Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, LastPass, and SaltyCloud. Funding is provided by the NSRC and Internet2 for the joint fellowships, by NSF Award # 2137123 for the MS-CC scholarships, and by the WINS program and Internet2 for the WINS participants.

Media Contact: 

Amber Rasche
Internet2 Communications