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Gender Diversity Initiative Scholarship Winners Share their Global Summit Experiences

May 31, 2017, by Meredith Lovelace
Tags: 2017 Internet2 Global Summit, Events, Frontpage News, Gender Diversity Initiative

Promoting diversity in technology through scholarship awards – it's the mission created for the Gender Diversity Initiative (GDI) awards, but also a rallying cry for our members. Internet2 member campus CIOs have embraced the GDI program, created in 2014, by nominating bright stars at their schools to experience an Internet2 meeting, attend sessions and working groups, meet fellow technologists, participate in discussions and even, in the case of this spring’s Global Summit, have a private meet and greet with an acclaimed rock star in the world of science, astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, a leading voice for science, social responsibility and education.

The primary goal of the program is that awardees use their experiences to establish relationships, build the knowledge capital of their institutions within their local, regional and national technology environments, and help diversify technology—bringing greater opportunity to IT professionals in their home organizations and beyond. Visit the Internet2 Gender Diversity Award page for more information and to find out how to nominate someone from your campus for a future Internet2 meeting.

Four of the scholarship winners share their highlights of the Global Summit below. Are you a past GDI winner? We’d love to feature your testimonial in a future blog post – tweet us @Internet2 to connect.


Photo of Kerry Havens

Kerry Havens

Kerry Havens
Associate Director – IAM and EMS
University of Colorado Boulder

I am forever grateful for my experience at the 2017 Internet2 Global Summit. I got to reconnect with several people that I know and admire, connected with some powerful helpers in my field (Nick Roy and I are already putting together a Rocky Mountain IAM summit for this summer), and had the chance to meet some amazing figures - including Mae Jemison and Lucy Sanders that inspired me to search within myself to be a better role model with each decision I make. I also appreciate that I got to know some highly-capable female counter-parts in my field. I look forward to further collaborating with them!


Photo of Melony Linder with Mae Jemison and Bruce Maas

Melony Linder, Dr. Mae Jemison and Bruce Maas, CIO of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Meloney Linder
Associate Dean for Communication, Facilities and Technology
University of Wisconsin - Madison, Wisconsin School of Business

It was an honor to be selected as one of the 2017 Internet2 Gender Diversity Awardees. A special moment from the week of networking and learning was the meet and great with Dr. Mae Jemison. The opportunity to converse and learn from this brilliant woman was extraordinary. She is an amazing lady who reminded each us that that we have not been invited to the table, we earned our seat at the table.


Photo of Jieyu Gao and Claire Stirm

Claire Stirm and Jieyu Gao

Jieyu Gao
Emerging IT Leaders
Purdue University

I attended several impressive sessions, including the technical discussions and the gender diversity discussions. I still remember the talk from the speakers of NCWIT. They presented several facts showing that it is important to bring more women into the IT industry and to provide more support to them. These sessions also gave me some useful suggestions on how to be more proactive and be braver in my career. I was grateful to talk to Bruce Maas, the CIO of University of Wisconsin-Madison, who showed great concerns on encouraging more and more women to enter the IT industry and provided great support to us as well. I am so grateful that I could attend the Internet2 Global summit as a gender diversity winner. It was a very inspiring experience in my life.

Claire Stirm
Science Gateway Manager
Purdue University

My experience at the Global Summit was not only informative but inspirational. I attended several great talks about precision agriculture, Internet2's work with native tribes and discussions about where Internet2 plans to engage new networks. All of these sessions helped enhance my perspective of Internet2's community but understand developing viewpoints where I have no experience. I enjoyed meeting Internet2's decision makers and, especially Dr. Mae Jemison, who was very engaging. After having this opportunity, I can see a clearer future that intertwines my skillset and interests. I look forward to engaging with this community as my role in Purdue's Academic Research Computing develops.

Read Purdue's coverage of Jieyu Gao and Claire Stirm.