NCWIT Recognizes Waukee Instructor and Students

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) has recognized Waukee CAPS Instructor Michelle Hill with the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Educator Award! This award is given to educators that have shown dedication to their students and encouraged young women’s aspirations in computing. Despite there being a record number of applicants this year, Hill won this award for the second year in a row. Nine Waukee students were also recognized, two of which at both the state and national levels!

“This is an incredible honor and a direct reflection of the enthusiasm and interest that has been growing in technology-related fields at Waukee for some time now. It is great to see so many students pursuing opportunities in the field by learning through classes, connecting through project work and thriving in college and careers after high school. My hope for students is that they have opportunities to explore their passions and develop the skills they need to have a competitive edge in the industry. I want them to find success through hard work and learning for many years to come,” Hill said.

Hill encouraged her female students to apply because she thought this award was a wonderful way to recognize young women in the technology industry and to facilitate networking opportunities. Applicants for the NCWIT Student Awards must submit a biography and resume of work, share about their involvement in technology and have an educator’s endorsement with a recommendation. Applicants for the NCWIT Educator Award go through a similar process and must receive student endorsement through recommendations. Hill’s work with Computer Science Department courses, Waukee CAPS and HyperStream club bolstered her application for the award.

Senior Sydney Ehlinger, who plans to major in Computer Science at Iowa State University, received the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Affiliate Award and was named an NCWIT Aspirations in Computing National Runner-Up. Ehlinger was one of 350 out of nearly 2500 young women across the country to be selected as a runner-up and only one of two in Iowa. She was inspired by Hill, who has “a passion for encouraging young women to explore opportunities within the Computer Science field.” Ehlinger is currently helping work on a brand new application at her IT internship at Prositions.

Ehlinger discovered her love for coding in Hill’s web design class during her junior year, where Hill noticed how fast Ehlinger took to the material and how much she enjoyed it. Ehlinger accepted Hill’s invitation to join HyperStream, Waukee High School’s technology club, where she connects with people who share her interests and can expand upon her programming knowledge. Hill recommended that Ehlinger take the CAPS Designing Communications Solutions strand, where Ehlinger helped design and build the brand new Waukee Activities website. “Mrs. Hill mentored me and helped me to gain professional skills I will need in my future career. She took me under her wing and provided me with guidance. I appreciate everything she has done for me and without her, I never would have discovered my passion and would not pursue a degree in Computer Science,” Ehlinger said.

There will be an award ceremony at Hilton Coliseum in Ames on April 24 at the Iowa affiliate event.

2015 Waukee Award Winners:

  • Emma Hester – National Runner-Up and Iowa State Affiliate Award Winner
  • Sydney Ehlinger – National Runner-Up and Iowa State Affiliate Award Winner
  • Alexia Stock – Iowa State Affiliate Award Winner
  • Anna Ruble – Iowa State Affiliate Award Winner
  • Anna Shapiro – Iowa State Affiliate Award Winner
  • Hannah Hoth – Iowa State Affiliate Award Winner
  • Malia Griffin – Iowa State Affiliate Award Winner
  • Vivian Le – Iowa State Affiliate Award Winner
  • Maddie Darveau – Iowa State Affiliate Runner-Up
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Waukee, Iowa 50263
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