History

WICC was founded in March 2013 to bring together women in computing fields at Cornell, expand their opportunities and successes, provide a support network of women, and empower them to encourage younger women to consider computing fields. We hope to create a budding community for women and promote interaction on academic, social, and professional issues. By making women in computing fields visible, providing role models and dispelling stereotypes, WICC fosters a support network to empower women and encourage young girls to discover their love for computing.

Executive Board

Avani Bhargava
Computer Science '20

Co-President

As a lover of both technology and language, when I learned Visual Basic in eighth grade, I was happy to discover that many of my favorite parts about language and communication-- problem-solving, helping, and inventiveness-- were integral to CS, too. Throughout high school, I explored the subject further through online classes, and in 2014, co-founded Summer of CS, an annual free 1-2 week long workshop for middle school students. My vision to foster an empowering and inclusive environment in computing was born as I witnessed apprehensive beginners transform into enthusiastic coders through the workshops. As Co-President of WICC, I am determined to continue to expand this mission by guiding initiatives both to shape the existing computing community at Cornell and to empower women to become confident, successful members of the tech world- at Cornell and beyond. I'm excited to build off my experience as former Mentorship Co-Director, and can't wait for an impactful year with WICC!

Sofie Cornelis
Information Science, Computer Science Minor '19

Co-President

I took my first CS class junior year of high school when my school replaced AP Stats with AP Java. Being a huge math nerd, I was bumbed that they switched the class but after taking the Java I wanted to continue to explore computer science. Once I learned that Cornell had CS and IS, I was torn between the two but decided to major in Information Science because it allows me to get the technical skills of CS as well design thinking, product cycle, and much more.

Srishti Belwariar
Information Science, Systems, and Technology, Business Minor, '20

Co-Treasurer

My passion for computing stemmed from my early curiosity surrounding computer programming and technology. When I was a young kid, I would spend hours playing with my Gameboy and arcade style games and at times, for thrills, I would run the “ping” command in the shell window of my computer’s operating system just to feel like a hacker even though I never knew what it meant to be one. With time, I realized my early bewilderment was the root of my passion for computing, which was later joined by my interests in business, finance, and the arts. Before coming to Cornell, I felt I needed to solely focus on one field. However, after attending WICC’s many meetings, I realized that WICC is the platform that could guide me in combining my interests while contributing to the computing community by providing individuals of underrepresented groups the resources they need to seek opportunities in the vast field of computer science. WICC has shown that through networking and encouragement, knowledge and confidence can be gained and shared in an empowering cycle and I hope to carry on this process through with the organization and its initiatives.

Vinisha Mittal
Computer Science '18

Co-Treasurer

I spent most of high school pretty undecided about what to pursue in college. I had always liked art, but never seriously considered it as a career path because I didn't want to give up my interest in math and science. When I realized my passion for art stemed from the creativity and problem solving needed to bring my ideas to life, I knew that I would pursue engineering because it involved everything I loved about art and allowed me to futher my studies in science. Computer Science, in particular, allows me to put these passions to work to solve nearly any problem that we face today, in any field imaginable!

Shirley Kabir
Computer Science '20

Secretary

My love for computing has always been like coming home; it's been my comfort since before I could open a school locker. I started understanding this comfort when I got my first laptop and quickly discovered that I could make my own websites with the aid of Quackit; the Myspace of W3Schools. My fondness of typing in languages that narrowly resembles the English language has been immense since then. It has only grown with the more languages I've come to know, the less it looks like English, and the longer I take to solve a problem. I hope to be able to share that feeling with girls of all ages and leave them in awe of the world of Computer Science.

Amanda Chen
Information Science '19

Corporate Relations Co-Director

Computer science is awesome. I revel in how interdisciplinary it is and how I can combine it with my other interests of art, music, design, and language. What motivates me most to continue programming and work on projects is the ability CS affords me to make tangible social impact through code. I love being apart of WICC and supporting and getting to know other CS students in the community. I hope that through WICC, I can help make the CS community more welcoming and collaborative for everyone.

Amber Zhen
Computer Science '19

Corporate Relations Co-Director

Like many others, it didn’t immediately occur to me that I wanted to study computer science. I always thought that chemistry was my calling, but sitting in my first chem class at Cornell, I knew that something was wrong. The passion and excitement wasn’t there, and I wasn’t completely sure my future self was going to be happy with this career. It was only after attending WICC events did I begin to seriously consider computer science. Despite my fears of never being as talented or accomplished as other programmers, WICC has given me the confidence to keep working hard until I achieve my goals. The members of WICC are crazy inspirational, and I know I would be lost at Cornell without them.

May Zhou
Computer Science '19

Corporate Relations Co-Director

I had a long and windy road before declaring my major in Computer Science. I didn't enroll in my first real Computer Science class until I got to college, and it wasn't even love at first sight. I was 100% set on being a Chemical Engineer, when Computer Science surprisingly snuck up on me. I spent the summer after my freshman year reflecting on what I wanted to do, and while working at a small tech startup, decided that I was enjoying this so much more than the miserable hours I put into my chemistry lab. The satisfaction I gain from when my code works, the amount of creativity that Computer Science allows me to explore, and the combination of math and problem solving have hooked me in for life. I spent my last semester as a Community Discussions Co-Director and loved getting in touch with the Cornell community and beginning the long journey to start and continue discussion that would make Cornell a more inclusive and fair community. This semester, as one of the Corporate Relations Directors, I hope that I can help the entire WICC community (including men, other majors, etc) grow professionally and gain fair and equal access to internships and opportunities. There's nothing more I want than to see that I have made an impact in helping my peers succeed.

Aasta Gandhi
Electrical and Computer Engineering '19

Vice President, Academic

As a freshman, a professor told me that electrical engineers build the plane computer scientists pilot. And at that time, I really believed that the two fields were distinct and CS was not my thing. After spending time learning and taking classes, I soon realized that I couldn't build without knowing how to fly and vice versa - I couldn't work on hardware without knowing how to program it. Being a part of WICC was one of the ways I integrated ECE and CS, and made room for myself in the CS community. WICC has taught me a lot of about collaboration, communication, integrating CS with other engineering and liberal arts fields, and appreciating and working to better a diverse community. I strongly believe that diversity fosters new perspectives and multi-faceted ideas in all areas, and as part of WICC's academic team, I hope to increase and encourage participation for anyone even remotely interested in tech.

Caitlin Stanton
Electrical and Computer Engineering '20

Faculty & Alumni Relations Co-Director

After participating in the Girls Who Code summer immersion program the summer before my junior year, I was hooked on coding. It was there that I was introduced to the world of websites and algorithms in a way that was infinitely more enjoyable than my Intro to CS class at school. Ever since then, I've made it a point to be as active in the CS community as possible, whether it's attending hackathons, teaching classes, or going to tech talks. That's led me to help found four hackathons (def hacks( ), PixieHacks, FwdCode, and ProgramHers), intern at AOL as a #BUILTBYGIRLS intern and IAC as a Software Engineering intern, and work on multiple side projects simultaneously. Outside of WICC, I am the founder and president of the Cornell colony for the Alpha Omega Epsilon engineering sorority and I'm majoring in Electrical/Computer Engineering. I'm dedicated to my passions of brunch, movies, and Netflix. As Faculty and Alumni Relations Director, I'm determined to help the CS community at Cornell learn as much as they can from those who are experts in their field and who were once in their shoes.

Ellen Chen
Computer Science '20

Faculty & Alumni Relations Co-Director

I decided I was going to major in CS on a whim during Cornell Days because I liked math, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and I was already spending a significant part of my day vegetating in front of my computer. Fortunately, I have grown to love CS for the dynamic yet rigid problem-solving skills it taught me and the endless breadth of fields that it intersects with. I came to WICC for the free pizza bagels and Insomnia cookies, but I stayed because of the wonderful group of people who helped me integrate myself in the CS major and explore vastly diverse opportunities in technology. WICC's Lunch Bunch program was one of my favorite freshman experiences because I got to learn more about careers in corporations, startups, and academia while meeting other creative and motivated Cornell students. Throughout my term at WICC, I hope to help provide every CS student the resources, advice, and support systems they needs to feel successful and fulfilled at Cornell.

Lavanya Kannan
Computer Science '18

Career Development Co-Director

My first CS class was APCS during my sophomore year of high school. I loved it, but I was still trying to choose between ChemE and CS. While choosing classes for my first semester, I suddenly decided to enrolled in CS classes rather than ChemE just to give it a try. I figured it shouldn't be too hard to switch majors during my freshman year. After my experience in these CS classes, I can't imagine pursuing any other major. It opened the doors to a whole new world and I realized how wide and relevant this field really is. I still had a lot of questions about the field in general and what I could do to get more experience, and I got many of these answered from friends in CS and my WICC mentors. It was extremely helpful having upperclassmen for this kind of support and I hope to give others this sort of community and support that I received.

Jerica Huang
ISST '18

Representatives Co-Director

From a very young age, I was captivated by anything related to computers or technology. But as I grew older and encountered new subjects, I easily became passionate about many of them: physics, art, mathematics, forensic science, law, and many more. Because all the subjects I loved were so diverse, I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up or a single passion that I wished to pursue. But recently, I realized that computer science is diverse and interdisciplinary enough to allow me to pursue everything I love to do. The way I see it, being a CS major is about communicating with machines via code to solve problems; and in the process, it enables ideas to evolve, to be shared, and be brought to life. I know that whether I study engineering, physical sciences, art, or even the humanities, there will definitely be an opportunity to apply my skills and interest in computer science.

Riddhima Narravula
Computer Science '20

Representatives Co-Director

Up until my junior year of high school, I didn’t even consider computer science as a major. But after writing my first program -- the “Hello World” program -- I realized that CS was perfect for me. The problem solving aspect of CS and its versatility in being able to apply in various different fields is something that I continue to be amazed by everyday. I joined WICC last year and it has allowed me to explore CS in so many ways and connect with other incredible women in an inclusive and welcoming way. As representatives co-director, I can not wait to contribute to this community and help students be exposed to the world of computing.

Maya Frai
Information Science '20

Vice President, Brand

Ever since I was first introduced to computer science, I had always loved how programming constantly surprised me. It surprises me when a line of code could instantly create something on my screen and it surprises me when it shows me that I could I do something I didn't know I was capable of doing. I hope to inspire others not only to learn how to code, but also how to channel one's inner creativity and build something that might be completely out of their expertise. I hope to make an impact by rebranding how most people see WICC. We're not just women in computer science, we're creatives and innovators working towards inspiring others to build products that change the world.

Paris Korman
Information Science '19

Publicity Co-Director

Computer Science never felt like an accessible subject to me in high school and I found very few women around me to be interested in pursuing it. After encouragement from family, I decided to try my first course during my first semester freshman year. I looked around and realized the discrepancy between how many women were learning to code with me versus the complete lack of any women involved at my high school. I loved the course and was blown away by the support of women in the class. I decided to pursue Information Science since I have always loved visual design and psychology. I had no idea WICC existed until one of my close friends brought me to an event. WICC has connected me to women who help me get through absolutely anything whether I am completely confused by CS classes or stressing about what I want to do with my life or even applying for internships. As publicity co-director, I hope to make our organization more accessible to women at Cornell and help them to see the community of women here to support everyone interested in computing.

Stephanie Mark
Information Science '20

Publicity Co-Director

I knew that computer science was a field I wanted more of when I programmed a unicorn to paint rainbows all over my computer screen my freshman year of high school. From then onward, so many people have supported my interests in tech, and I now want provide the same support for my classmates through WICC! Tech is the future, and I hope that through WICC, everyone can have a chance to build a better world.

Aimee Slupski
Information Science & Psychology '19

Design Director

In my senior year of high school I chose to take the course "Information Technology in a Global Society" as an elective. The course overviewed Adobe products, as well as introductory coding languages. Ultimately, this course inspired my love of working with clients to create unique products. Since then, I have been involved on Cornell's campus with marketing, public relations, and web development. As the Design Director, I am excited to work with all of the CIS community as well as their partners, to expand the visibility of events and organizations through design.

Janice Chan
Computer Science '19

Technical Co-Director

I've enjoyed solving puzzles since a very young age, and my love for problem-solving has translated into my pursuit of CS. What excites me most about CS is that it's a never-ending journey of growth and learning. Whenever I discover a new tool or figure out a new design to enhance my projects, I'm reminded how the possibilities of what I can create as a developer are endless, and am motivated to further push my limits as a computer scientist. At Cornell, I am surrounded by many encouraging peers who are similarly passionate about CS. Through WICC, I have found sincere mentors and friends, just from randomly reaching out to strangers and asking about some of their past experiences. I'm excited to become a leader in that support system as Technical Co-Director and hope to inspire more people to become interested in and pursue CS.

Julia Yang
Computer Science '19

Technical Co-Director & Photographer

I was first introduced to CS through an introductory Java class during my sophomore year of high school. At the time, I found an interest in art (sketching, painting, you name it), but also loved math. I thought that there was no way for the two to be combined, they seemed to be at opposite ends of the whole 'career spectrum.' But I realized that it was possible through computer science, with technical code in conjunction with the endless possibilites of design. It was daunting to me though, because I felt like there were so many existing stereotypes. I was one out of three girls in a class of over 25 people, and always felt like I could never be good enough. But WICC has showed me not to be discouraged by this, but let this be the reason TO pursue the subject. The CS community and WICC are so welcoming to so many people of different races and backgrounds that you know you're not alone, and that there's always someone you can reach out to.

Jamie Wong
Operations Research and Information Engineering '19

Photographer

I grew up in the Silicon Valley and watched my parents code all day. As a child, I would show my friends how quickly I could smash random keys on the keyboard, just like my parents could. I didn't take particular interest in what seemed to me like the typing of colorful but incomprehensible jargon until my first CS class at Cornell. Completing every project meant experiencing the exhilaration of overcoming a ton of tiny logic puzzles. Since then, I have discovered the power of computing through implementing various web scraping tools, data analysis scripts, and UI's. I treat every blank text editor file as a canvas and constantly ask myself, "How can I write this to be as efficient and usable as possible". Thus, though I am not a CS major, I am able to reconcile my future as an engineer and my interests in design through my mentality and approach on every project. As WICC photographer, I tell stories that eliminate the stereotypes and barriers that prevent engineers and artists, men and women from understanding each other and working together.

Melody Spencer
Computer Science '18

Vice President, Outreach

In high school, I joined a programming club on a whim. I learned C++ and went to competitions with my friends. It was, by far, the most fun thing I'd ever done at school. By the end of junior year, I knew I wanted to major in CS some day. I took two CS classes at Worcester Polytech before graduating high school and coming to Cornell. I don't remember exactly when I became aware that women were underrepresented in CS. Perhaps it was the weird feeling I got at high school competitions, or the little comments I'd hear in college, or the articles I'd read online. As an avid gamer who grew up playing N64 with my brother and father, I constantly wonder how my upbringing has affected my interest in science and technology. By my freshman year, I was well aware of the gender disparities and looking to inspire young women like me. I taught for a Girls Who Code 8-week coding summer camp and currently teach for the LearnCS High School program with WiCC.

Jennifer Lin
Information Science '20

Outreach Co-Director

I was late to the game but better late than never. With an overwhelming amount of interests, I found myself constantly conflicted on having to commit to one. Then I came to Cornell and stumbled upon the solution: coding. It wasn't until I took a chance to explore and enrolled myself in CS courses that I became exposed to computing and learned about its versatility and power to create and bring ideas to life. Joining WICC last semester only solidified my decision to pursue Information Science after attending workshops, where I discovered the intersection between tech and design, and engaging with the encouraging and talented members of the WICC community. And I hope to carry on and bring this passion and spirit to help other young women pursue computer science.

Katie Gioioso
Computer Science '19

Outreach Co-Director

I took my first Computer Science class my first semester at Cornell and quickly grew to like it. It was systematic, logical, and organized. Everything had a reason and an explanation. It was perfect for me. My biggest fear going in to the Computer Science major was that I would be spending the rest of my life coding in some basement with no exposure to the outside world. That is not CS. CS is applicable to every aspect of the outside world. As a CS major you get to choose what you want to do with it, where you want to make an impact. As an outreach co-director for WiCC, I hope to help others realize this too.

Nina Ray
Computer Science '19

Outreach Co-Director

Before coming to Cornell, the most CS experience I had was making fun little websites for a gaming site - nothing to put me amongst the ranks of those who had been coding for years. Ever since joining WiCC, I have been introduced to a community of people who have given nothing but love and support to me, and I hope to return that tenfold. To be a woman of color in this field is a tricky thing, and I would have felt incredibly lost at Cornell if I had never joined WiCC. I have learned to love CS, even at its worst moments, because of this organization and it's mission to make it accessible to everyone, rather than to a select few. As an Outreach Co-Director, I take it on a personal level to spread this accessibility to girls who might otherwise have never been exposed to Computer Science, and therefore would have missed out on incredible opportunities.

Julie Phan
Computer Science '20

Vice President, Community

My love affair with CS was a slow burn -- throughout my sophomore and junior year of HS, I’d been exposed to coding in ways here and there, but nothing clicked. Anything CS-related I’d tried my hand involved extremely explicit directions that didn’t allow for much self-direction or imagination. It was fun, but to me, I didn’t feel like I was doing anything substantial. It wasn’t until I joined Girls Who Code that I really fell in love with CS. I learned that CS is far from mindless output of code -- it’s problem solving at its core. It allows us to visualize a issue, determine potential solutions, and actualize that into a real product. As I further explored this field, I found my mindset towards everyday problems shifting -- rather than taking a “so be it” point of view, I started to instinctively brainstorm ways that said problems could be addressed. Since then, I’ve jumped at any opportunity I can get to build my own CS skills and help expose others to CS. WICC combines so many of my favorite things, most notably free food and female empowerment, and I love that through it, I can continue to help expand and improve the CS community.

Emma Clark
Computer Science '20

Social Events Co-Director

I grew up with an electrical engineering professor as a mother. Naturally, I was always surrounded by STEM. From helping her build LEGO robots to watching in awe as she used a circuit to put a spinning bunny on top of my hat for my kindergarten's crazy hat day, STEM was normal to me. It was especially normal for me to see a woman, my mother, be successful in STEM. She was always my role model, and I dreamed of pursuing a career like hers. It wasn't until high school that my perceptions changed and I began to lose confidence in STEM classes. I went to a male-dominated engineering high school where I often felt out of place or as if I were looked down upon. I loved my computer science classes, but all my classmates seemed to know the information before the teacher even taught it. I always felt behind and like I wasn't smart enough for computer science. It wasn't until I came to Cornell and met women just like me in WICC that I regained the confidence I once had in my childhood to pursue a career in computer science. I saw seniors that reminded me of myself succeeding in computer science at Cornell and I thought to myself, "if they can do it, I can too." Through my position in WICC, I hope to help more women regain the confidence they need to pursue computer science.

Saakshi Singhal
Computer Science, Business Minor '18

Social Events Co-Director

I remember the day I fell in love with CS. I was sitting in an intro programming class and we learned how to write a simple Hangman game in less than twenty lines of code. Needless to say I didn't learn any programming for the rest of the class because I was too busy playing the game. But from that day onwards, I realized how just powerful computer science could be. When I tried to convince some of my other female friends to take a programming class with me, a lot of them responded by saying "but we're going to be the only girls in the class" or "I'm not smart enough to program". It dawned on me that the lack of women in technical fields can be intimidating and prevent young girls from discovering the magic of computer science. When I came to college and noticed the same problem among incoming freshman, I decided it was time to do my part and help foster a community that allows women in STEM fields to connect with each other. Through WICC, I have made so many amazing, inspiring and well-rounded friends. As Social Co-Director, I hope to help other students make those lifelong connections as well.

Nandita Mohan
Computer Science '20

Community Discussions Co-Director

Growing up, I discovered a love for experimentation and innovation. I always thought I'd become a scientist, but still didn't know what exactly I wanted to study or do in my lifetime. I had interests in Technology, Biology, Astronomy, Politics, French....so many things! But it wasn't until I came to Cornell as a "Computer Science but I'm not too sure"-major that things fell into place. Coding, whether it was in a class, hackathon, or lab, gave me a sense of satisfaction and creativity - a way to impact any element of society at the touch of my fingertips. With crucial applications spanning nearly every field, I quickly came to realize that CS was the perfect combination of the experimentation and discovery that I always yearned for as a child. Ever since I joined WICC when I came to Cornell, I have been constantly inspired and refreshed by the WICC community and events. The fun and caring environment that WICC created for me spurred my enthusiasm and interest in CS, and I want to do everything I can to make others feel the same way as part of E-Board.

Nataly Rodriguez
Computer Science '20

Community Discussions Co-Director

Coming to Cornell I had no idea what I wanted to study and on a whim I decided to take a CS class. As the semester went on I found myself looking forward to my CS classwork because I enjoyed how logical each process was and how organized all of our work had to be. Yet, I was hesitant to truly consider CS as a major because I knew that in this field I would be an anomaly. Luckily I found the encouragement and support I needed through the WICC community. WICC has taught me that CS is for anyone who wants to study CS. I love being a part of this community and now I want to help others understand that they belong here too.

Devki Trivedi
Computer Science, Business and Information Science Minor, '20

Mentorship Co-Director

I didn't know what computer science was until the summer after my junior year in high school when I decided to apply to a Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program in my area. During the program, I learned about computer science, gender disparity, and the incredibly supportive community of women in tech. In college, I wanted a similar supportive community and WICC provided me with just that. I decided to pursue computer science in college because I love problem solving and was excited for a challenge. Computer science by no means comes easily to me, but I love the rewarding feeling of finishing a difficult project. WICC has introduced me to countless people and opportunities and I love being a part of this empowering community. As Mentorship Co-Director, I'm excited to build and foster support networks among students and their peers.

Talia Turnham
Mathematics, Computer Science Minor '20

Mentorship Co-Director

Before I came to Cornell, I didn't know much about computer science. I've always loved math and problem-solving, and while I had many interests in high school, coding was not one of them since my school didn't offer many CS classes. As a prospective math major though, I decided to try a computer science class (CS 1110) my first semester at college and within days I was completely hooked. I love the challenge of writing a program, fixing the bugs, and (usually after many long but rewarding hours) making it run successfully. It's like solving a puzzle, super frustrating at times, but really gratifying in the end. I'm so glad that I discovered CS at Cornell, and as Mentorship Co-Director of WICC, I hope to encourage and promote other women at Cornell by providing them with support networks and fostering meaningful relationships within the CIS community at school and beyond.

Harini Kannan
Information Science, CS & Business minors '18

Advisor, Co-Presidents

It was almost by chance that I landed into Information Science and CS. In high school, I was not entirely sure what I wanted to do. I had a very mixed set of classes, definitely not all STEM so I never had this deeply rooted sense of commitment when it came to perhaps picking a STEM major in college. In senior year I decided to take AP Computer Science on a whim, knowing that it was not rigorously taught at my high school. However, I found myself becoming almost addicted to the mindset of a problem solver, from tiring analysis to utter frustration to ultimate satisfaction in the end. I didn't fall in love with computer science after compiling "Hello World!", though that's a nice anecdote. It took me an entire semester to realize that this may be something I want to pursue in college. As an information science major, I feel especially connected to idea of not being a programmer but being a problem solver and I love the scope Information Science provides in order to play that role. Through design, product strategy, and development I feel I can handle solving real problems in life through technology or at least design thinking. My ability to do this makes me happy that I chose the path that I did, and never once looked back.

Alice Zhou
Computer Science '19

Advisor, Career Development

I still remember the first time I saw a computer and the wonders I felt for the unlimited information at the grasp of my fingers on the internet. From then on, I’ve self-taught HTML/CSS to design a prettier MySpace page when I was ten, to working on a front-end security feature at Twitter HQ this past summer. I really enjoy a diverse array of interests, such as event planning, project management, and am interested in looking at tech in the social/human contexts. WICC is perfect for me in that, it is not only a club dedicated to women empowerment in the tech industry but also a club with board members of diverse interests thriving at the interdisciplinary boundaries of computing and the arts/music/business, etc. No one here fits into the common stereotype of “the CS major”.

Richa Deshpande
Computer Science '18

Advisor, Publicity

All through high school, I had no idea what to major in or what creer to pursue in my future. I did know however, that I was passionate about mathematics, technology, and helping others. I found myself going after an engineering degree and more specifically a Computer Science degree in order to bring all of these passions together. Still, I was anxious about Computer Science because of the toxic culture of the field. WICC helped me learn that these stereotypes are meant to be broken and joining this organization freshman year empowered me to follow through with the major. I love that WICC brings together male and female Computer Scince majors and I have loved contributing to WICC's mission through my past positions. I'm excited to be an advisor this year and see how WICC continues to grow. Just as Computer Science brings together so many skills, WICC brings together many unique people for a common purpose: to make Computer Science accessible to everyone.