Seven students from the College of Engineering and Computer Science attended the 2021 ACM Tapia Conference with help from a STARS Ignite grant awarded to electrical engineering and computer science Professor Farzana Rahman. The ACM Tapia Conference is designed to promote diversity, connect undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities. Before attending the ACM Tapia conference, the student cohort participated in monthly webinar series facilitated by STARS Ignite leadership to mentor students so they can bring the best out of attending diversity conferences, develop value for diversity and inclusiveness in Computing, and contribute to institutional broadening participation activities.
The students had opportunities for workshops and presentations by nationally recognized labs, academic leaders and industry leading companies. A career fair at the conference gave students a chance to meet with recruiters.
“I could have individual meetings with recruiters of different companies in the conference. During meeting with researchers and engineers, I could become more familiar with the culture and projects of companies,” said graduate student Reyhaneh Abdolazimi. “Tapia was also a great opportunity to connect with diverse students from different backgrounds who are looking for job or doing research in the related areas.”
“The early career workshops were very helpful and I was able to connect with some of the presenters to ask about their area of specialization,” said Jemma Mallia ‘23 In many of the career workshops they had a very energetic presenting style that motivated me. Some of the most helpful information included how to optimize my resume, effectively network, seek opportunities, and create opportunities.
“At the Tapia Conference, you can choose the people to speak with. If you choose a recruiter, you may know more about the recruiting process. If you choose a developer, you may know more about the company culture and techniques,” said graduate student Xin Chen.
“I feel as though attending the ACM Tapia conference allowed me to see the diverse paths ahead of me in computing,” said Michael Perry ’22. “I plan to give a talk at our school’s hack-a-thon about broadening participation in computing to hopefully spread the awareness among my community.”