In my last blog I talked about Dr. Yuqing Gao, our Women of
Vision winner for Innovation.
Our 2009 Women of Vision winner for Social Impact is Dr. Jan
Cuny. Jan is a program director at the
National Science Foudnation (NSF) and has created a new and very successful
program at NSF’s CISE directorate called Broadening Participation.
I’ve known Jan for many years, I met her when she was a
faculty member at the University
of Oregon. Over the last many years, she became involved
in the Computer Research Association programs (CRA-W) for increasing the number
of female students and faculty. She
also served as the Grace Hopper conference program chair in 2004, and the
general chair for the 2006 conference.
But her passion for inclusion of all people took a new and
influential turn when she joined NSF.
Under her leadership, Jan has created venues for under-represented
groups to gain experience with using and creating technology, ensuring that
they will be qualified for positions in our technology-driven world. These groups include Women, African
Americans, Hispanci, and other underrepresented groups. The NSF BPC program supports 10 major
Alliances – broad coalitions targeting the academic
pipeline from K-12 to early faculty ranks, and operating on a national or
regional scale and 40+ demonstration
projects focused on scaling and replicating successful efforts.
What makes Jan’s contribution unique is her commitment to
creating a community among these alliances and projects ensuring shared understanding
among the project leaders and further collaboration between universities.
Her commitment to inclusion for all people, is why Jan well
deserves this honor.