Higher Education Notebook: WFU student to attend women's technologies' conference

WFU student to attend technology conference

Wake Forest University junior Smiti Kaul, a double major in computer science and mathematics, has received the Grace Hopper Conference scholarship and will be attending the world’s largest gathering of female technologists.

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing will be held Wednesday through Friday in Orlando, Fla. It brings together leaders representing industry, academia and government, including those from Apple, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other major tech companies, according to Wake Forest.

Conference attendance has jumped from 4,500 in 2013 to more than 18,000 in 2017 with attendees representing more than 85 countries across disciplines and careers.

This year’s keynote speaker is Melinda Gates, co-chairwoman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“I’m eager,” Kaul said, “to hear from and talk with women who are doing phenomenal, visible work that inspires not only students like me in technology-focused disciplines but that has important implications for our world at large.”

UNC honors first black female undergraduate

The UNC School of Media and Journalism honored journalist Karen Parker of Greensboro, who had a long career at the Winston-Salem Journal, and 20 other people as being “Noteworthy Firsts” at a scholarship reception last week at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill.

The Noteworthy Firsts initiative was founded by Chancellor Carol L. Folt in 2016 and has named grants and fellowships to honor courageous people who represent important “firsts” in the university’s history, according to UNC.

The university noted that Parker was the first black woman undergraduate enrolled at UNC — transferring from the Woman’s College in Greensboro in 1963 — and was the first undergraduate black woman to graduate from UNC, receiving her diploma in 1965. As a student, she studied journalism, was the editor of the journalism school’s newspaper, UNC Journalist, won a journalism scholarship her senior year, was the president of UNC Press Club and was accepted into the Order of the Valkyries, a women-only honorary society

In addition to her academic and extracurricular achievements, Parker was involved with the Congress of Racial Equality and participated in sit-in demonstrations, protests and marches in support of civil rights.

Parker chronicled her years as a student in a diary, including descriptions of her experiences during the civil rights movement, UNC said. She donated the diary to the Wilson Library’s Southern Historical Collection in 2006.

She retired after a successful career in journalism that included working at a variety notable newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times.

Smithsonian to display

Wake Forest research

Wake Forest University has participated in a yearlong process with the Atlantic Coast Conference, partner ACC universities, and the Smithsonian Institution to create the first “ACCelerate: ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival.”

Presented by Virginia Tech and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, the free festival is a three-day celebration of creative exploration and research at the nexus of science, engineering, arts and design, Wake Forest said.

Visitors to the festival will interact with leading innovators from ACC universities and engage with new interdisciplinary technologies that draw upon art, science and humanities to address global challenges.

The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 13-15 at the National Museum of American History.

The festival also gives the 15 universities in the ACC an opportunity to showcase their work to each other.

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