Category Archives: Women In Computing

MCWT Hits $1M Mark In Scholarships For Women In Tech

DETROIT — Eleven technology-oriented women received scholarships at a Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation event on June 20 in Birmingham. The women are pursuing degrees that will prepare them for future careers in areas such as cyber security, machine learning, software engineering and bioinformatics.

Over the past 12 years, the nonprofit has awarded nearly $1,033,000 to fuel the educational pursuits of 135 of the state’s future technology talent. A strong network of partner companies who support a diverse IT industry in Michigan makes the program possible.

“If I can put aside financial concerns, I intend to focus on volunteering in student outreach programs to enable other girls in Michigan to take more interest in technology-related fields,” said Shazeen Biviji, who plans to study computer engineering at the University of Michigan. “By partaking in more MCWT activities, I can hone my skills as an engineer, make lasting connections with others, and encourage younger girls to develop an interest in coding.”

MCWT’s 2017 scholarship recipients include:

  • Friends of MCWT Foundation Scholarship: Allison Hurley and Ashley Risinger
  • MCWT Lifetime Achievement Scholarship: Saika Islam
  • MCWT Scholarship: Nouralhouda Baalwi, Eleanor Epskamp-Hunt, Renee Paniccia, Ayah Awadallah, Shazeen Biviji, Khansa Alhaidi and Dejamaree Davis

Breanna Howey, Alhaidi, Awadallah, and Davis received laptop scholarships.

“Computer science is a crucial building block of today’s world of technology,” said Islam, a future University of Michigan student who realized she wanted to study coding and computer science during the MCWT-sponsored Girls are IT! program. “I’m amazed by how a few simple lines of code can lead to the creation of some of the world’s most powerful machines. I want to be a part of this extraordinary process. I want to change the world through my keystrokes, as well.”

Scholarship donors this year included MCWT partners Continental, Consumers Energy, Credit Acceptance, Dell, Oracle and NiTS Solutions.

“Surpassing the $1 million mark in scholarships is a big milestone for MCWT,” said Carey Pachla, president of the Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation. “It’s an example of our mission in action – inspiring and growing women in technology – and the power of bringing together businesses and academic leaders to promote the pursuit of meaningful and rewarding technology careers. Diversity in IT will continue to strengthen Michigan’s economy.”

MCWT’s efforts to inspire and grow women in technology in Michigan are fueled in part by 90 partners who provide scholarships, event support and Foundation programming throughout the year. Diamond elite, diamond, emerald, platinum, gold and bronze partners include: Ford Motor Co., General Motors, FCA US LLC, Ally, AT&T, Cisco, Dow, Epitec Inc., Fujitsu, IBM, STG, Accenture, Credit Acceptance, Consumers Energy, Covisint, Executive Search Partners,  Fast Switch Ltd., Intel, NetApp, NiTS, Nutanix, TD Ameritrade, VMWare, Blue Care Network, Deloitte, Delphi, Dynatrace, KLA Laboratories, Lawrence Technological University, Meijer, Mercedes Benz Financial Services, Oracle, Quicken Loans, University of Detroit-Mercy, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Vertiv, Wayne Country Community College District, Wayne State University, Access, Acro, Amway, AppDynamics, CA, Chrysalis, Comerica, Commercial Progression, Dell, EMC, GTB, Harman, HP, HMG Strategy, Information Builders, Meta7, Microsoft, New Horizons, Okta, Ost, Plante Moran, Pega Systems, Ricoh, RSA, Secure 24, SIM, TEKsystems, Whirlpool, AMI Strategies, Career Builder, Cherwell, Cognizant, Continental, Davenport University, Gordon Food Service, Grand Circus, Henry Ford Health System, JDM, Lightower Fiber Networks, Netlink, OnStar, OpTech, Randstad, Red Level, Saginaw Valley State University, Softura, Spectrum Health, Thirdware, V2Soft, We Build Character, Web Savvy Marketing, and ZF TRW.

MCWT supporters also contribute to scholarships through Friends of MCWT.

The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation strives to inspire and grow women in technology fields, aspiring to make Michigan the No. 1 state for women in technology. The organization supports Michigan’s female IT workforce, students, corporate partners, schools and the overall community with programming, scholarships, networking, learning, mentoring, and technology experiences. Find more information at and connect via LinkedIn and Facebook.

MCWT, CIOs Convene to Discuss the ‘Internet of Life’

NOVI  – More than 800 technology professionals from Michigan met Wednesday at the Suburban Collection Showplace to hear Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Jim Hackett and other business leaders discuss how mobility and connectivity are shaping the future.

The executives explored the concept of “the Internet of Life,” where ubiquitous connectivity transforms lifestyles and Business models. The event centered on using technology and innovation to make people’s lives better.

The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation hosted the 5th annual Executive Connection Summit, sponsored by Ford, FCA US LLC, and General Motors.

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M2 TechCast Tackles Cyber Security, Angel Investing, Women In Tech, And More

SOUTHFIELD — Cyber security, women in technology, angel investing and a new opportunity to get your company’s news out via web video.

All are on the agenda for the Monday, Nov. 7 edition of the M2 TechCast.

The show kicks off at 3 p.m. Eastern time at

The first guest will be Justin Coffee from the Troy IT provider Red Level, discussing what business can do to modernize and protect from cyber attack.

Next up is longtime Michigan technology executive Kathleen Norton Schock, who will give us a report on the recent Michigan Council of Women in Technology Signature Gala event, and interview Julie Christ, founder and CEO of Tech Smart Solutions.

Then, Melih Oztalay of Birmingham’s SmartFinds Internet Marketing will discuss the technology behind MITechNews.Com’s video news and ReelCast projects.

The show wraps up with David Weaver of Great Lakes Angels, and details on the three companies pitching at the angels’ next meeting Nov. 15.

The M2 TechCast airs live on the internet from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time each Monday at And you can listen to past episodes by clicking on

The M2 TechCast is hosted by Mike Brennan, founder and publisher of Michigan Technology News,, and Matt Roush, director of the university news bureau at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield. Both have covered high-tech in Michigan as journalists for more than 20 years.

The M2 TechCast is part of Podcast Detroit, a network of more than 50 locally produced podcasts on a wide variety of topics, anchored by IT in the D. the nation’s No. 1 tech podcast, which regularly draws more than 500,000 listeners a week. IT in the D airs live Monday nights from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern time.

Michigan Council of Women In Technology Foundation Expands to Grand Rapids

DETROIT  —  The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation has recently expanded, developing a West Michigan presence to further its mission to inspire and grow women in technology throughout the state. Four sponsors – Meijer, Open Systems Technologies, Gordon Food Services and Spectrum Health – have now joined the nonprofit from Michigan’s west side, to contribute to furthering the cause of diversification in the STEM field.

“To realize our vision of becoming the No. 1 state for women in technology, we need to expand our membership beyond our metro Detroit core,” said MCWT President Cindy Warner. “An enthusiastic, dedicated volunteer base mobilized to bring important professional development events and a selection of MCWT’s K-16 programming to the Grand Rapids region.”

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MCWT Seeks Nominations for Leading Women in IT

DETROIT – The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation is seeking nominations for its inaugural MCWT Woman of the Year in Technology award, to be presented at the organization’s Signature Gala Nov. 5 at Motor City Casino’s Sound Board theater.

The nonprofit organization will recognize a woman in Michigan leading or driving change for women in information technology careers or fields of study.

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Today’s M2 TechCast: Bracket Science, Patents, Angel Investing, Women In Apps

FERNDALE – On Monday March 14, The M2 TechCast’s guest hosts discuss the SmartBracket to help you dominate your NCAA Basketball Tournament office pool, how to perform an effective search for your patent rights, a record investment year for the BlueWater Angels, and the first meeting in April of the Women in Mobile-Wireless Tech Council.

The internet radio program is part of the Podcast Detroit network and airs on the internet live at 3 p.m. Eastern time Mondays at Archives of past shows are available on demand at

The show, co-hosted by Mike Brennan, editor of MITechNews.Com, and Matt Roush, news bureau director at Lawrence Technological University, opens with Neal Anderson of Supported Intelligence, who will discuss his SmartBracket, an app to predict winners in the NCAA basketball tournament. The app is intended to demonstrate the company’s “Rapid Recursive” technology for business managers, which was designed to make sequential decisions – where one choice affects the next.

From 3:15 to 3:30 p.m., the Young Basile Intellectual Property Update features Keith Schonberger, who will discuss effective patent searching as a first step for obtaining strong patent rights.

From 3:30 to 3:45 p.m., Ken Kousky, CEO of the MidMichigan Innovation Center and president of the BlueWater Angels Investment Network, will talk about the record $4.5 million in 2015 invested by the angel group that was used to support growth at four of Michigan’s promising start-up companies:  Advanced Battery Concepts, RetroSense Therapeutics, Gemphire Therapeutics, and

From 3:45 to 4 p.m., Janette Phillips, Chairperson of the MTAM Women in Mobile/Wireless Tech Advisory Council, will talk about an event on April 21 that will feature women working in app development, user experience-user interface, ethical hackingn and agile development.

MSU Senior Speaks To Google On Women In Computing

EAST LANSING — Rachael Acker of Midland, Mich., is a perfect example.

When Google wanted to explore how to ignite more interest in computer science among women students, they tapped a Michigan State University College of Engineering senior, partly because Acker has been actively involved in MSU’s IgniteCS program to introduce computer science to young minds, but also because she is among the many current students who started in computer science and changed her major.

“I love computer science, and I actively help take our Ignite CS program into Lansing schools,” she said. “But my passion is more the mechanical side. I still love computer science, I just love the mechanical stuff more.”

Acker will graduate in December with a degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in computer science. An internship at Whirlpool in Benton Harbor, Mich., last summer confirmed that her academic choices are a good fit for her — “Whirlpool was a blast,” she said.

She’ll spend this summer working at iRobot in Boston.

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