Rensselaer Students Empowered by Conference Celebrating Women in Tech

Rensselaer Students Empowered by Conference Celebrating Women in Tech



By Katie Malatino

October 3, 2022

Fifteen Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students from the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Information Technology and Web Science attended the AnitaB.org Grace Hopper Celebration in Orlando, Florida in September 2022. The annual conference “brings the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront.”


“The Grace Hopper Celebration was a remarkable opportunity to connect with women from all over the tech industry,” said Megan Fife, who is dual majoring in mathematics and computer science. “I really enjoyed learning how others are using their computer science skills to shape our society for the better.”


The group from Rensselaer, comprised mostly of undergraduates, was selected for conference scholarships based on academic excellence and participation in extracurricular activities. An additional 12 participants attended the conference virtually.


“The students who attended Grace Hopper are leaders in organizations such as the RPI Women in Computer Science chapter (ACM-W), HackRPI, the Rensselaer Center for Open Source, and the computer science honor society, Upsilon Pi Epsilon,” said Meaghan M. Potter, senior student services administrator in the Department of Computer Science. “Several of these students are also programming mentors for challenging computer science courses and are involved in the important research of faculty.”


Conference participants benefitted from networking with female leaders in tech, opportunities to discover their unique passions in the expansive computer science world, and connecting with top-name employers for internship and full-time job opportunities. Rensselaer students have been participating for over five years.


“You can clearly see how much love and faith was put into the Grace Hopper Celebration,” said Sneha Ranjit, a computer science student. “The underlying message was, ‘We see you trying and we'll make sure you have this space to grow!’ There’s nothing more empowering and comforting than that!”


The conference tends to make a lasting impact on participants.


“Rensselaer students return from Grace Hopper with contagious enthusiasm to empower other women in tech, to create safe spaces for underrepresented minorities in the computing world, and with a renewed sense of empowerment and belonging in the computer science field,” said Potter.


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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit www.rpi.edu.