Five RI High School Women and IT Educator Receive National Award for Computing Achievements and Aspirations

Tech Collective NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing - 2014 
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Tech Collective, Roger Williams University, and the National Center for Women & Information Technology presented the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing.

As part of an effort to encourage more young women to choose careers in technology, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and its Rhode Island affiliates, Roger Williams University and Tech Collective, recognized five students and one IT educator with the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at the Roger Williams University Baypoint Inn and Conference Center, Portsmouth, RI.

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors young women at the high school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. The Awards are part of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program, a talent development initiative designed to increase female participation in technology by providing structured, long-term engagement and support from middle school through the workforce.

Aspirations awardees are selected for their outstanding capacity and interest in computing and technology, proven leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. In addition to student honorees, NCWIT recognizes educators who demonstrate passion and commitment in engaging their students in the technology fields. 

Student Award Recipients

-  Ellen Bamberg – Senior, LaSalle Academy
-  Antoinette Bongiorno – Senior, Smithfield High School
-  Hannah Deen – Senior, Rogers High School
-  Becky Souriyavong – Senior, Woonsocket High School
-  Nora Wallace – Junior, North Kingstown High School

Educator Award Recipient

-  Michael Carlino – Math Instructor, Rogers High School

“Tech Collective congratulates our NCWIT honorees,” said JoAnn Johnson, manager of youth and education programs for Tech Collective. “These five bright young students have demonstrated their IT passion and abilities. We are excited to recognize that achievement and look forward to their continued success both as students as well as future members of Rhode Island’s workforce. Congratulations also to Mr. Carlino, who is playing a critical role in engaging and educating our students.”

Welcoming remarks were offered by Andrea Castenada, chief of accelerating school performance at the Rhode Island Department of Education; and Adriana Dawson, director of employer outreach and engagement for Roger Williams University. Ruthe Farmer, chief strategy and growth officer for NCWIT, spoke to the mission of the Award for Aspirations in Computing program as well as the need for more female IT professionals.

“With tech jobs in Rhode Island growing at 3.5 times the rate of other jobs, it is vital to grow the talent pool locally,” said Farmer. “These impressive young women are proof positive that there is fantastic talent and potential among the young women of Rhode Island.”

This is the second year the Aspiration Awards have been presented in Rhode Island. Last year, awards were presented to one educator from Rogers High School and three students from Rogers High School, Chariho High School, and Times2 Academy.

"Working with the support of the Roger Williams University Office of Outreach and Engagement and Tech Collective, this event allows us to take two steps towards addressing the balance of women in tech fields,” said Dr. W. Brett McKenzie, Professor of CIS/WebDev at the RWU Gabelli School of Business. “First is to recognize and encourage young women with interest in the field. Second is to demonstrate to them that there is a support network in a field where they may not have many female peers. Bridging the generations by recognizing the talents of these young girls and ensuring there will be mentoring throughout a developing career is a unique mission of NCWIT that we are delighted to support."

For more information about the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award, visit


About NCWIT 
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 500 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT convenes change leaders and equips them with resources for taking action in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K–12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers. Find out more at

About RWU 
Roger Williams University, located in Bristol, R.I., is a leading independent, coeducational university with programs in the liberal arts and the professions, where students become community- and globally-minded citizens through project-based, experiential learning.

Offering 43 majors and a plethora of co-curricular activities as well as study abroad options, RWU is dedicated to the success of students, commitment to a set of core values, the pursuit of affordable excellence and to providing a relevant, world-class education above all else. In the last decade, the University has achieved unprecedented successes including recognition as one of the best colleges in the nation by Forbes, a College of Distinction by Student Horizons, Inc. and as both a best college in the Northeast and one of the nation’s greenest universities by The Princeton Review. Learn more at

About Tech Collective 
Tech Collective is Rhode Island’s Information Technology and Bioscience Industry Association. Uniting industry, government and academic stakeholders, our mission is to inspire, engage, educate and employ a high-skill, high-wage Knowledge Economy in Rhode Island. Since its transition from the Rhode Island Technology Council (RITEC) in 2004, Tech Collective has received more than $8M in federal, state and private grant funding to foster industry collaboration, awareness and development through events and initiatives including: the Tech10 awards, the Rhode Island Bioscience Awards, GRRL Tech, Women in Technology, Bio-Ed, and STEM-based education and training programs for K-16 students as well as incumbent and transitioning workers. Get connected to Tech Collective at, on Facebook (TechCollectiveRI), and on Twitter (@Tech_Collective)

Contact: Giselle Mahoney
Manager of Communications & Media Relations
Tech Collective



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