Internet2 is Excited to Announce 5 Inclusivity Scholarship Recipients for the 2024 Community Exchange

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By Taleitha McGuinnis - Program Manager, Affiliates & Federal Affiliates

Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative logo

It is our pleasure to once again announce the Internet2 Inclusivity (I2I) Scholarship recipients for the 2024 Community Exchange, held March 4-7 in Chicago, Il. The initiative continues to grow the meaningful participation of women information technology professionals in the research and education community. 

Not only will the five recipients have opportunities to meet and learn from community attendees, they will also be able to cultivate new relationships, engage in thought-provoking discussions, learn about emerging technologies and important cloud services and solutions, and explore the impact of advanced networking in research and education.

The 2024 Community Exchange I2I Scholarship recipients are:

  • Sonal Jha, graduate researcher and HPC consultant at Virginia Tech
  • Tina Oware, information security and risk compliance analyst at the Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Kristen Weimar, administrative manager at the Ohio Academic Resources Network
  • Ivy Wells, systems administrator manager at the University of Montana
  • Torin White, lead data scientist at the University of Illinois Chicago

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

2024 Internet2 Inclusivity Scholarship winners
From top left: Torin White, Tina Oware, Sonal Jha
From bottom left: Kristen Weimar, Ivy Wells

Diversity and Inclusion Strategy to Be Discussed at 2024 Community Exchange

The I2I Scholarship recipients will be recognized Tuesday, March 5, at the I2I lunch session, “Facing the Edge of Inclusion: Combating Anti-DEI Rhetoric and Developing New Strategies for Inclusive Leaders.” This session will focus on the recent rise of anti-DEI proposals, policies, and legislation across the U.S. 

There is still a strong need and importance to advocate for equity in STEM, but how can institutions and organizations be successful in their advocacy for inclusion when it may eventually become illegal to have certain DEI initiatives? Dr. Sarah Blithe, research scientist with the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), will discuss these challenges and share strategies to promote inclusivity and how to do effective equity work amid uncertainty.

We also welcome attendees to join Dr. Blithe at the NCWIT Tech Inclusion Journey™ (TIJ) workshop on Monday, March 4, from 8 a.m. to noon. 

Computing is one of the most powerful and influential fields shaping society today, yet it suffers from continued underrepresentation of women and people from marginalized groups. NCWIT has developed the TIJ, a decision-support software platform designed to enable organizations to implement systemic and sustainable approaches to creating inclusive computing cultures. 

The workshop will introduce the TIJ and include important background information about DEI efforts. Participants will move through the three basic elements of the TIJ, including the map, the GPS, and the route. Participants will further create a strategic action plan to identify and equip change leaders at every level.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

The I2I scholarships cover travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and event registration for the 2024 Community Exchange. Funding for this year’s I2I Scholarships is made possible by industry sponsor Cisco, Juniper, Internet2 community member Northern Tier Network Consortium (NTNC), and Internet2. We are grateful for the continued support and generosity of the community to provide these important opportunities.