Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College – “Increasing the Number of Women in Tech”
Maria Klawe’s Biography
Maria Klawe began her tenure as Harvey Mudd College’s fifth president in 2006. A renowned computer scientist and scholar, President Klawe is the first woman to lead the College since its founding in 1955. Prior to joining HMC, she served as dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University. Klawe joined Princeton from the University of British Columbia where she served as dean of science from 1998 to 2002, vice president of student and academic services from 1995 to 1998 and head of the Department of Computer Science from 1988 to 1995. Prior to UBC, Klawe spent eight years with IBM Research in California, and two years at the University of Toronto. She received her PhD (1977) and BSc (1973) in mathematics from the University of Alberta.
Klawe has made significant research contributions in several areas of mathematics and computer science, including functional analysis, discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science, human-computer interaction, gender issues in information technology and interactive-multimedia for mathematics education. Her current research focuses on discrete mathematics.
Klawe is a renowned lecturer and has given talks at international conferences, national symposia, and colleges across the U.S. and Canada about diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines and industries, gender and gaming, and lessons from her own career in STEM industry and education. She has devoted particular attention in recent years to improving K-12 science and mathematics education.
Klawe is a board member of the nonprofit Math for America, chair of the board of the nonprofit EdReports.org, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a trustee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley and a member of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Selection Board.
Klawe is the recipient of the 2014 Women of Vision ABIE Award for Leadership and was ranked 17 on Fortune’s 2014 list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. In 2015 she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association of Computer Science and the Achievement Award from the American Association of University Women, and she was inducted into the US News STEM Solutions Leadership Hall of Fame. She was honored by the Computing Research Association’s 2016 Distinguished Service Award.
ONWiE Summit receives advice, inspiration from Maria Klawe
Bold dreams and first steps.
That’s what Maria Klawe – one of North America’s leading advocates for increasing the participation of women in the STEM fields – brought to the 2019 Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE) summit in Hamilton.
Offering a combination of energetic inspiration and practical advice, Klawe kicked off a two-day conference that brought together nearly 100 women from across the province and beyond.
A leading computer scientist, Klawe has served as president of California’s Harvey Mudd College since 2006, and helped the school reach gender parity among students in its computer science, engineering and physics departments.
Fifty per cent of the school’s computer science faculty are also female, and Klawe said the college is turning its attention to improving opportunities for other underrepresented groups.
Those achievements were the result of a number of small, replicable steps, she noted, using her keynote speech and workshop session to press the message that everyone can be a catalyst for change.
“I think the most important thing to understand about change that it often starts with something small,” she said. “The thing everyone can do is talk about why it is absolutely essential to have more women in tech.”
Changes at Harvey Mudd included remodelling the introductory computer science course, placing students together in sections based on previous coding experience, providing summer research opportunities for females, and taking groups of students to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference.
Bringing together women from academia and industry, the ONWiE summit focused on ways to attract more females to study and work in engineering and technology fields.
Klawe, clad in a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan, “Educating the next generation of passionate problem solvers,” said schools need to look at the design and delivery of courses to make them supportive and engaging to young women who want to make an impact on the world.
“Many women are more motivated to learn something because of what you can actually do in the world with it,” she said.
She applauded programs like ONWiE’s Go Eng Girl and Go Code Girl that are designed to spark interest in engineering and computer science among middle and high school students.
Klawe also centred out the efforts of McMaster and Kim Jones, ONWiE chair and McMaster professor of chemical engineering, for raising the visibility of the gender gap in technical fields.
“This summit has been an amazing experience, and I am so proud of what has been done at McMaster and at ONWiE,” she said.
Before a mixed audience at her keynote speech, Klawe urged men to help drive change by promoting the work of women and refusing to serve on all-male panels of experts.
“You need to know the leading women so you can promote them,” she said. “Lean forward and support others in leaning forward.”
A recipient of numerous prestigious awards for her leadership, Klawe was granted an honorary degree from McMaster in 2016.
Born in Toronto, she held faculty and leadership positions at the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia before serving as Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University from 2003 to 2006.
Hilary Bergsieker is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Waterloo, where she directs the Diversity and Intergroup Relations Lab. She joined the faculty at Waterloo after completing her bachelors degree in Psychology at Stanford and a Fulbright Enterprise Scholarship in Berlin, Germany, followed by her Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Policy at Princeton. Dr. Bergsieker has expertise in trust formation and maintenance in diverse groups, social network analysis, and bias reduction, and was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science in 2017. She is a Fellow of the Engendering Success in STEM research consortium, collaborating with industry partners to use science-based interventions to advance the inclusion and success of women in engineering. When not pursuing her passion for research, Hilary also loves to spend time with her husband and three little boys, hike, camp, ski, watch spy movies, craft, and travel.
Terri is the Superintendent of Education responsible for the process of development and implementation of Halton District School Board’s new Innovation – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (I-STEM) Program at Aldershot High School. Terri will share insights of engaging stakeholders in the development process, the richness of working with an external Advisory Group (McMaster, Mohawk, Canada2067), and building on the learning from existing STEM programs across the province.
Frank Bouchard is currently Manager of Outreach for the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa, and has led the office since 2010. He is first in his role, having founded the department and has led several highly successful initiatives at the university such as the university’s Makerspace, Makermobile program and faculty private high school. He prides himself with ensuring that outreach programs help youth and educators foster their love for innovation in STEM fields. Frank Bouchard is also an award winning entrepreneur and inventor with his company Wipebook, which produces reusable whiteboard notebooks and flip charts. He and his team had the opportunity to pitch on Dragons Den where he was offered a deal from Arlene Dickinson for $300,000. Wipebook now sells its product in 68 countries around the world and retail channels such as Staples and Walmart across North America. Frank Bouchard was named one of Canada’s future Leaders of 2014 in Maclean’s magazine and was recognized as Ottawa’s 40 under 40 at the age of 27. He has also been awarded the Manning Innovation Award in 2017 for the development of the Wipebook.
Associate Director of Engineering Outreach at the University of Toronto, Dawn Britton is a leader in STEM education in Canada. Britton, who has worked at U of T for 15 years and in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering for 10 years, devotes herself to various outreach efforts, including the Da Vinci Engineering Enrichment Program (DEEP) Summer Academy, Jr. DEEP, Go Eng Girl and In-School Workshops. Encouraging diverse representation in the field of engineering, Britton dedicates herself to inclusive STEM programming, growing specialty programs such as Girls Jr. Deep – an all girls day camp focused on females in engineering – and ENGage – a collaboration between U of T’s Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. Managing the core K-12 STEM programming, Britton’s mission is to ensure that there are no barriers to young people thinking that they can be successful in engineering. In doing so, she ultimately seeks to get youth to think about engineering as a design process, preparing them for a world of complex social issues that requires the creativity fostered by STEM education.
For more than three decades, Valerie Davidson has been an exceptional citizen within the engineering community and a dedicated champion of diversity in the profession. During her career, Dr. Davidson developed groundbreaking, fundamentals-based, engineering models of complex food processing systems. The first PhD graduate of the University of Toronto’s Canadian Food Engineering Research Program, she went on to serve as a professor at the University of Guelph’s School of Engineering from 1988 to 2012. Since retiring, she has been a consultant to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. A passionate advocate for creating a more inclusive profession, Dr. Davidson served as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Ontario region Chair for Women in Science and Engineering from 2003 to 2011. Under her leadership, the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE) was launched, connecting all 16 engineering schools and faculties across Ontario.
Lukasz Golab is an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo and a Canada Research Chair in Data Analytics for Sustainability. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo (with Alumni Gold Medal) and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Toronto (with High Distinction). His research interests include data science for social good, large-scale data management, data mining, and data cleaning.
Cheryl Jensen joined Algonquin College in 2014 as the 8th College President, bringing with her more than 30 years of experience in the college system. Cheryl joined Algonquin from Mohawk College, where she held the position of Vice President, Academic, from 2009-2014. She first joined Mohawk as a Chemical Engineering Technology professor in 1983 and served as Dean, Executive Dean, and Vice President of Engineering Technology, Apprenticeship & Corporate Training.
Kim Jones is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University. She is also the Chair of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE), an organisation that coordinates the efforts of Ontario universities to recruit a more diverse engineering student population. Her research has focused on the body’s response to biomaterials that are implanted for drug delivery, tissue engineering and prostheses. More recently, she has focused her research and teaching on equity, diversity and inclusion in engineering.
Cassandra has been working on social justice and public engagement for 20 years on a diversity of campaigns and issues. Cassandra is the Interim Manager of Diversity and Outreach at Engineers Canada where she leads work on increasing the number of women in engineering, as well as improving Indigenous People’s access to the engineering profession in Canada. Previously, Cassandra worked as the Public Engagement Coordinator for the Ontario Council for International Cooperation, creating spaces for multi-stakeholder dialogue and creative collaboration through a variety of programming. Cassandra completed a Master of Arts in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory from Wilfrid Laurier University on transnational Muslim feminist mobilizations, and a Bachelor of Environment and Resource Studies (Honours) from the University of Waterloo. Her training and volunteer work in LGBTQ+ advocacy, environmental campaigns, and anti-oppression have continued to motivate and educate her ongoing work in diversity and inclusion.
Rebecca White is living proof of the life-changing potential of STEM youth outreach. As a diligent student who worked hard to get good grades, and enjoyed math and science, she had no idea how that could translate into a career. Like most kids, the careers she considered were those she was exposed to on a regular basis — teacher, doctor, nurse, dentist. Thanks to the success of Jurassic Park at the time, archaeologist was a leading contender for a while! However, starting in grade 3, Becky attended “Science Quest” engineering kids camp at Queen’s University in her hometown of Kingston. After spending time with engineering student counselors, exploring the campus and everything that the world of engineering had to offer, she fell in love and came back year after year. She attended Queen’s University and studied chemical engineering, then embarked on a 15 year career in manufacturing, presiding over the production of pharmaceuticals and food products. She held various roles including Production Co-ordinator, Production Manager, and Senior Continuous Improvement Specialist. Today, as the head of Engineers of Tomorrow, she reflects on her own engineering career and her own impact in helping people get the food and medicine they needed. She unlocks the potential of all STEM grads and engineers to become ambassadors for their own professions and industries, and to talk about their own ‘why’ with the skill, clarity, and heart that will inspire the next generation. Her own engineering outreach experience has come full circle — and she’s proud to show her own kids about the wonders of engineering to keep the cycle going!
Over the past 23 years, Janie Lumsden has had the privilege of teaching students in grades K through 12 in several Nova Scotia schools. She currently teaches Communication Technology, Citizenship and IB History at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School in Antigonish – Home of St.FX University and hometown for the Hamilton based band: “The Trews”. She has coveted her role as a Techsploration Teacher for 9 years. Techsploration highlights for Janie include participating in “Overboard” water survival demonstrations, and bucket truck safety demonstrations. The most memorable moments have been sharing these events with the students who have participated each year.
Dr. Qiao Sun is a professor of mechanical engineering. She is Senior Associate Dean (Diversity and Equity) at the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering. As a researcher, Dr. Sun specializes in the area of robotics, dynamical system modeling, control, and machinery fault diagnosis. She is a dedicated educator and mentor. Her graduate students have won local, national, and international awards. Her colleagues and undergraduate classes have selected her for numerous teaching excellence awards. In her role of associate dean, she leads the Schulich School of Engineering’s initiatives to advance diversity in engineering. The School was awarded the 2016 Knovo Award of Distinction for advancing diversity and equity. Its Discover Engineering recruitment program was one of the three finalists in 2017 for the Airbus GEDC Diversity Award. Its Cybermentor outreach program was awarded the WEPAN Women in Engineering Initiative Award in 2017. The School also won the University of Calgary’s inaugural Diversity Award in 2019. The Schulich School of Engineering is a champion for Engineers Canada’s 30 by 30 goal.
Emily Cyr, M.A., is a PhD candidate in quantitative social psychology at the University of Waterloo, studying social network structures, inter-group relations, stereotyping and gender. Her research combines social psychological theory and quantitative methods from statistics and sociology, focusing on how our personal (friends, romantic partners) and professional (coworkers, managers) relationships influence our behaviors and attitudes.
Diana Wang-Martin is a chemistry teacher, STEM Teacher Advisor and International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program Coordinator at Glenforest Secondary School in Mississauga. Diana is a strong proponent of STEM Education and “Four Cs” learning. She partners with educators from elementary to post-secondary levels and with community leaders to design and implement opportunities for students to build their Four Cs skills. Under her supervision and guidance, Glenforest STEM students organize and host STEM outreach events such as science, health, technology and coding symposiums, as well as large-scale Canada-Wide Youth STEM Conferences for secondary and middle school students. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence 2017 and 2018.
Lindsay Bolan is Manager, Strategic Recruitment & Enrollment with McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering. Lindsay has worked in student recruitment and admissions for 13 years at three different Canadian universities. Lindsay has published research covering topics on marketing in Ontario universities, as well as the student experience of those in integrated college-university programs. At McMaster, Lindsay has implemented data-driven strategic recruitment initiatives with specific goals to increase the number of female students in Engineering. From customized emails to print materials highlighting the diversity of our student body, Lindsay’s team works with a marketing lens to ensure that female students receive clear and compelling communication throughout the applicant cycle.
Mary Wells is an award-winning engineer, professor and administrator who has spent more than 20 years in academia. She is currently the Dean at the University of Guelph’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Prior to this, Mary was the Associate Dean of Outreach and a professor in mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo. She also chaired the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE) from 2013-2018. Mary’s outreach activities earned have earned her both the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Award for Science Promotion, and the prestigious Support of Women in the Engineering Profession Award from Engineers Canada. A past president of the Metallurgy and Materials Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Mary holds a B.Eng. from McGill University and a PhD from UBC.