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    Girls in STEM

    About Girls in STEM

    We are excited to host a Girls in STEM day at the TCO14. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and it’s a very important part of learning. Topcoder is proud to promote STEM education and awareness as part of our overall efforts.

    Our Girls in STEM day is brought to you by:


    At this year’s Topcoder Open, we will be holding a “Girls in STEM” event, sponsored by Google on Wednesday, November 19 2014, which will include a panel showcasing the diversity of jobs in the tech industry. Immediately following the panel, we will host “Birds of a Feather” roundtables where students will have a chance to directly interact with the young, professional, relatable women panelists who have careers they may be interested in learning about. The goal is to show the student attendees that a computer science or related degree does not necessarily mean committing to a coding career, and encouraging them to also explore the full spectrum of possible career options such as project management, software testing, product management, usability engineering, etc.

    Birds of a Feather roundtables will include the following areas of technology:

    • Technical Project Management

    • Software Testing

    • Development (Web, Mobile, etc.)

    • Graphic Design & Usability

    • Data Science & Analytics

    • Product Management

    • Business Analysis

    • Change Enablement & Training

    The event is targeted at high school girls in the Bay area.

    Schedule of Events:
    09:00 am – 09:30 am:Students arrive
    09:30 am – 10:00 am:Students tour Competition Arena and visit sponsor booths
    09:30 amPanelist Meet and Greet at the main stage
    10:00 am – 10:05 am:Introduction
    10:05 am – 11:00 am:Panel
    11:00 am – 12:00 pm:Birds of a Feather (We will have representatives from each career field above for a more intimate conversation throughout the Competition Arena)
    12:00 pm – 01:30 pm:Lunch
    12:30 pm:Bingo Prize Drawing at the main stage
    01:00 pm – 03:00 pm:Algorithm finals, free time
    03:00 pm:Students Depart

    Panelists Bios

    The Moderator

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    Deepti Srivastava

    Technical Program Manager at Google

    Deepti Srivastava is a Technical Program Manager in the Storage Infrastructure at Google. Srivastava’s team provides the data store for many of Google’s products, such as Google+, Maps, and Cloud. Prior to that, she was at Oracle Corporation in the RAC Database development team, creating scalable cloud computing technologies. Srivastava is a passionate advocate of STEM education, especially for girls. She has served on several panels across the San Francisco Bay Area as an expert on women’s leadership and technology, and is an enthusiastic member of Women@Google. Srivastava enjoys dancing and has performed on stage as a member of a salsa troupe and a Bollywood dance troupe. She also enjoys snowboarding and all things fashion.

    The Panelists

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    Leah McGowen-Hare

    Master Technical Trainer at Salesforce

    Leah McGowen-Hare is currently an accomplished and dynamic Master Technical Trainer with industry leader, Salesforce. She has more than twenty years of experience in the technology field; mastering a variety of roles including Consultant, Developer, Manager and Technical Trainer. Her career reflects the evolution of computing technology. She has worked in mainframe, personal computing, client-server and cloud computing environments. The scope of her work has included systems integration, system implementations and conversions for leading companies in human resources, health care and financial services. Often a featured panelist, Leah has also been a Dreamforce top trainer since 2009; keeping a class of up to 300 engaged and converting attendees to “Salesforce faithfuls.”Leah holds a bachelors degree in computer science and a masters degree in technology education. She uses her knowledge and experience to demystify and make technology more accessible to youth, girls, and communities of color through organizations such as LIFE Course, Girls Who Code and BlackGirls Code. Leah fully embraces an active and healthy living. She was especially gratified by her ability bringing new capabilities to Haiti after the earthquake. Through her role at Salesforce she took part in a charitable effort that involved moving the government of Haiti onto the Saleforce platform to better enable the country to provide social services to the people of Haiti. Lastly, Leah is a dance instructor, PNBA Fitness Model (Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association) and a lifelong champion for fitness and nutrition.

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    Ashley Mennel

    Consultant in the Cloud Marketing Practice at Appirio

    Ashley is a Strategy Consultant in the Cloud Marketing Practice at Appirio. Ashley’s technology career was born out of her passion for data analysis & problem solving, her clear communication skills, and her ambition to continuously innovate and improve the current state. She excels in bridging the gap between non-technical functional owners and development teams. Prior to joining Appirio, Ashley spent several years in product development at the Indianapolis based tech startup, Angie’s List. Ashley is passionate about getting girls involved in STEM. She has served on panels and spoken at a number of technology events focused around supporting girls of all ages as they explore careers in technology. Ashley also enjoys mentoring young women who are looking to join the technology workforce through resume writing workshops and conducting mock interviews. Ashley enjoys being active outdoors and traveling; some of her most memorable trips include visits to Ancient Pompeii, Italy and Moab, Utah.

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    Grace Nordin

    Technical Program Manager at Google

    Grace Nordin is a Technical Program Manager in Technical Infrastructure at Google. She was previously in a similar role at Facebook. She has worked on different aspects of hardware, software and network deployments of data centers.Prior to becoming a Technical Program Manager, Grace was a technical lead and engineer working on solving large distributed systems problems on different hardware projects at Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Intel. Grace also co-founded ObjectiveFS, a cloud filesystems startup.

    Grace is passionate about science and technology education. She also enjoys solving puzzles and playing German strategy board games.

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    Jefreena Packianathan

    Associate Workday Integrations Consultant at Appirio

    My name is Jefreena Packianathan and I am an Associate Workday Integrations Consultant at Appirio. By day, I’m a consultant, but by night, I’m a student. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in Human-Centered Computing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and will be graduating this December. I also completed my undergraduate studies there, earning a bachelor’s degree in Human-Centered Computing as well as a minor in Computer Science and a Web Development Certificate.For those unfamiliar with the field, Human-Centered Computing is a mix between the technical sciences, and the social sciences. Simply put, it is the study of how humans interact with technology. Not only did I take classes to gain core programming and technical skills, but I also took classes that explored social, cultural, ethical, and gender issues that deal with technology. I didn’t just learn about how technology works, or how to create it. I learned about how humans learn from technology so that I could gain a better understanding of how to improve new products or software based on user needs. For example, my senior research studies focused on blind users and their experience on social networking websites. Throughout my studies and career, I have focused on the design, implementation, and evaluation of interactive information technology systems that are both usable and accessible. Most of my experience has been with websites and simple user interfaces, but I have also worked as a web and software developer in several fields, and have even stepped into mobile development.

    Some fun facts about me: I was born and brought up in Zimbabwe and moved here just before high school. I even spoke the local African language Shona fluently, but as the years have passed, I’m slowly forgetting it. I can still imitate a pretty thick accent though! Apart from school and work, I am a dancer. An Indian classical dancer to be precise. I have studied the art of Bharatanatyam since the age of 4 and completed my debut solo recital, or “Arangetram” in 2011. In college, I was a member of the hip hip team and even competed at the East Coast Championships.

    Male Advocate Panelist

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    Glenn Weinstein

    CIO at Appirio

    Glenn Weinstein is responsible for driving the technology vision for Appirio and building out the world-class systems and processes necessary to support Appirio’s rapid growth—all without owning a single server. As an Appirio co-founder, Glenn played a critical role in establishing the company’s consulting services practice, and was responsible for establishing The Appirio Way delivery methodology, as well as the Centers of Excellence (CoE) program.Prior to Appirio, Glenn ran large consulting and technical support functions at enterprise software companies, most recently as vice president for worldwide technical support and services at Borland Software Corporation, and previously as vice president for global customer support for webMethods. Glenn’s other past roles include technical consulting and project management positions at Artesia Technologies and Lockheed Martin, where he was a certified object oriented analysis & design (OOAD) course instructor.

    Glenn’s professional career began with 8 years of service as a naval flight officer in the U.S. Navy, qualifying as a mission commander in the P–3C Orion anti–submarine and surveillance aircraft. Glenn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the U.S. Naval Academy, and a Master of Science degree in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.