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Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative: Making Connections and Creating Opportunities for Professional Growth

Jun 07, 2018, by Sara Aly
Tags: 2018 Internet2 Global Summit, Events, Frontpage News, Recent Posts

The Internet2 Inclusivity Award is a scholarship that was established in 2014 by the Internet2 community as part of a larger effort to improve diversity and inclusion in the information technology field within research and education. 


L-R: Manisha Kanodia, Gladys K. Andino, Howard Pfeffer, Magreth Mushi, Nosiku Sililo, Lisa Barry, Stephanie Collins, Ana Hunsinger.

Twice a year — once during Global Summit and once during the Technology Exchange — scholarships are awarded to underrepresented IT professionals working at Internet2 member organizations and attending their first Internet2 meeting.

It is a special goal of the Inclusivity Initiative that awardees use their experiences to establish relationships, build the knowledge capital of their institutions, and help diversify high technology —bringing greater opportunity to IT professionals in their home organizations and beyond. 

Interested in nominating someone from your campus for a future Internet2 meeting? Please visit the Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative page for more information.

The four scholarship recipients from this year's Global Summit meeting share their highlights below:

Gladys K. Andino, Ph.D.
Senior Scientific Applications Analyst
Purdue University

"I feel honored to have been chosen as one of the 2018 Internet2 Inclusivity Award recipients. Having the opportunity to attend this meeting has been a valuable learning experience and very rewarding in so many ways. I am also grateful for having had the opportunity to meet and talk to so many leaders from Internet2 community, as well with other professionals and students who were also in attendance. I really appreciate the time of every person I met and the personal experiences they shared with me. I felt so welcomed and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been part of this meeting.

I had the opportunity to attend the "Grouper in Action: Access Management Strategies for Higher Education and Research" tutorial as well a variety of technical sessions related to the solutions for research and education track. Each of these sessions have broadened and furthered my knowledge-and I am excited to share with my team at Purdue all that I have learned.

I am very grateful for the strong role models, both women and men, that I got to meet during this meeting and so thankful for the other 3 super smart and strong women I got to meet and become friends with: Lisa, Manisha, and Stephanie."

Lisa Barry 
Network Analyst 
East Carolina University

"Attending the 2018 Internet2 Global Summit was a wonderful experience. I felt deeply honored having been selected as a recipient of the Inclusivity Initiative Award. The conference covered a wide variety of topics related to the R&E community. As a Network Analyst I attended several security and advanced networking sessions as well as a few trust and identity sessions. These sessions were relevant, explaining complex challenges, many of which my university is facing, and how others are overcoming these obstacles. 

Not only was the conference full of informative sessions, it was also an excellent networking opportunity. I have met so many IT professionals from several different concentrations, many of which have offered their assistance should I ever need it. This conference was a wonderful way to gain an understanding of what other universities are doing to adapt to the evolving needs of their networks. The greatest compliment I can give is that this conference can serve all within the R&E community. There are those in attendance that have very sophisticated networks transferring large amounts of data, to intermediate networks looking for the next step, to those who are looking for a starting ground. With such diversity in attendance, the exchange of ideas and knowledge occurs naturally and easily."

Stephanie Collins 
IT Project Manager 
Virginia Tech

"First, I would like to extend my appreciation to the committee for reviewing and selecting my scholarship admission. I cannot express enough how rewarding the Internet2 Global Summit was. Although rewarding, it was also humbling. The discussions with many of the women in the technology community made me realize that I have been rather fortunate in my experiences.  Although, through these conversations I reflected on these experiences and gained insight into what may be perceived as unconscious biases and how they may be influencing decisions made by myself and others without cruel intentions. The most valuable experience was connecting with the other awardees and forming friendships.

Discussions with Linda, Marla, Jennifer, Wendy and my fellow awardees were the most enlightening. These discussions throughout the week contributed to me questioning my experiences throughout life, digging into what has made me who I am today, and thankful for those who have truly inspired, critiqued and praised me along my journey. They also motivated me to think more about how women are regarded in technology and beyond, through their own perspectives and others, including other women and men.  The culmination of these discussions sparks my curiosity of unconscious biases in relation to underrepresentation of women in technology, with respect to men and women. Again, thank you for the opportunity, it will be one I will never forget and continue to reflect upon."

Manisha Kanodia
Senior Applications and Database Developer 
University of California, San Diego

"The Internet2 2018 Global Summit was a one of a kind experience for me. The sessions and the human networking I got to experience at this conference were exhilarating. I had not heard about Internet2 before this, and the exposure that I received in the three days of the conference has unveiled many aspects of the research and education community. 
While the list of things that I learned at the summit is long, I would like to highlight the following as the most memorable:

  • The "New IT Managers' Program" workshop by Educause.
  • Screening of the movie Bias with an opportunity of meeting the director, Robin Hauser, was extremely thought provoking.
  • "IT Centralization, Shaping Culture & Research Credibility: Success is Possible" really resonated with me as we are going through IT centralization at our university.
  • Understanding of big data - hearing from experts about it really peaked my interest in this topic, specifically how big data concepts apply to the R&E community. 
  • "Male Allies and Advocates for Equity" presentation  -  it was interesting to see universities working on initiatives which help us understand the context of gender inequity in academia and what steps we can take to narrow the gender gap. 

I am also grateful to have personally connected with many accomplished people from both academia and industry. I got to interact with my fellow awardees and I feel very humbled to share the award with these other wonderful women. I really look forward to giving back and enabling others at my university to experience this conference. I also would like to be part of a workgroup to keep learning and be connected with Internet2. I am enthusiastic to bring the ideas from the conference back to my peers at UCSD and share the experience with our community! As a female professional, this opportunity has empowered me to become more engaged in ensuring that inclusivity is promoted not only in IT, but in all areas which will help us get past our biases."