Posts Tagged ‘Silicon Valley’

25 Technical Girls Win Awards

The National Center for Women & Information Technology today gave out 25 awards to San Francisco Bay Area girls for their technical achievements. This is the first year for the Bay Area Affiliate group to give out NCWIT Awards for Aspirations in Computing. Girls who were honored in today’s ceremony at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View are eligible to compete for national NCWIT awards. More about the award:

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing offers both a national and local “affiliate” competitions to generate support and visibility for women’s participation in communities nationwide.

Today, girls from high schools in San Francisco, Fairfield, Oakland, Pittsburg, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Mountain View, Cupertino, San Jose, Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville were recognized for their technical achievements.  With five, San Jose had the most winners for any city.

A group of 18 men and women from business, academic, and non-profit companies, schools, and institutions worked for the last six months to create today’s event. Sponsors were: The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, Apple, ETR Assoc., Girls Inc., Google, Intel, Microsoft, MOUSE Squad, NSBE Alumni, Palo Alto Unified School District, San Jose State University, SDForum Tech Women’s Program, Techbridge, The Computer History Museum, The Tech Museum, and UC Santa Cruz. I lead the Application Review Team. We plan to distribute these awards annually.

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Images Copyright 2010 by Katy Dickinson

Favorite Falafel

Long ago when I was in college, I had a summer job selling falafel. This does not make me an expert but gives me enough experience to have an opinion on this delicious Middle Eastern fast food. I either eat falafel just as I used to serve it – in a pita pocket with salad and tahini sauce – or as part of a sampler platter with Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and other lovely stuff. Some of my favorite places to eat falafel in the Silicon Valley:

Ziba Persian Cuisine (4628 Meridian Ave., San Jose)

Golden Falafel (883 Hamilton Ave., Menlo Park)

Dishdash Restaurant (190 South Murphy St., Sunnyvale)

Chelokababi Persian Cuisine (1236 Wolfe Rd., Sunnyvale)

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Images Copyright 2010 Katy Dickinson

2010 Women of Vision Awards

The Anita Borg Institute has once again announced its annual winners of the Women of Vision awards. The 2010 winners are:

For Innovation:
Kathleen McKeown, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University

For Social Impact:
Lila Ibrahim, General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group, Intel Corporation

For Leadership:
Kristina Johnson, Ph.D., Under Secretary for Energy at the Department of Energy

The 2010 Women of Vision Awards celebration dinner will be:

May 12, 2009- 6:00 – 9:30pm
Mission City Ballroom – adjacent to the Santa Clara Convention Center
5001 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Until this year, the award ceremony was held in downtown San Jose but parking is easier at the Mission City Ballroom in Santa Clara. Here is an excerpt from my article about these awards in the February 2010 Anita Borg Institute “Call for Action” email newsletter:

Why I’m Glad I Attended the Women of Vision Awards
by Katy Dickinson

The Anita Borg Institute’s Women of Vision Awards Banquet is a moving and thought-provoking annual event.

The WOV night itself is fun: meeting new women and getting to know others better. The long-term benefit for me comes from learning about the honorees and hearing their acceptance speeches. I go to the WOV for mental and spiritual refreshment. In some cases, I know the honored women personally but most are new to me. For months and even years after, I find myself thinking about what the Women of Vision have said. I sometimes go to YouTube and listen to the speeches again to refresh my memory.

I have referred dozens of young women to the 2008 WOV talk by Helen Greiner. Any girl geek who feels too alone in her love of technology will be encouraged by the amazing founder of iRobot saying that when she was young “not one person told me I should be an Engineer” and “we need diversity of perspectives … more women’s life experiences influencing our directions and designs”.

Here are some of my photos from the 2008 Women of Vision event:

Helen Greiner

Helen Greiner, Women of Vision Event San Jose 2008  photo: copyright 2008 Katy Dickinson

Susan Landau

Susan Landau Women of Vision Event San Jose 2008         photo: copyright 2008 Katy Dickinson

Program, Keychain, Badge
Program, Keychain, Badge Women of Vision Event San Jose 2008          photo: copyright 2008 Katy Dickinson

Images Copyright 2008 Katy Dickinson

Two Auctions

Every year, I attend two charity fund raising auctions: the Via Ball which benefits Via Services, and the SAMA Middle Eastern Feast and Auction, sponsored by St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Saratoga, benefiting medical relief programs in Haiti, the Holy Land, and Africa.

Via is most famous for the year-round Camp Costanoan, a residential, outdoor education, recreation and learning center for children and adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities and special needs. Via was established in 1945 as the Crippled Children’s Society of Santa Clara County. This year was the 15th Annual Via Ball: a grand event held at Villa Ragusa in Campbell. People with big hearts and Silicon Valley celebrities with big wallets dress up fancy to bid at the auction, have executive chefs and master sommeliers compete for their attention, and dance after dinner. Top auction bids go to Felicia Horowitz’s annual hand-made mosaic quilt, which this year was an amazing 7,000+ piece tribute to Van Gogh’s sunflowers and by itself raised over $10,000. At this year’s Via Ball, my husband John and I bought forty pounds of dried figs (split with another family who were also bidding), our table’s flower centerpiece, and some gift certificates. I get many of my ideas for how to improve the SAMA auction from going to the Via Ball.

SAMA has been holding its annual dinner for 11 years but SAMA’s auction fundraiser is only three years old. Our SAMA committee is entirely made up of volunteers and the event is held in the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School hall. SAMA uses the same auction management software as does the Via Ball – see my 2008 review of Auction! for details. SAMA’s 2010 Middle Eastern Feast was prepared by Nina Amireh, Lucy Asfour, and Andrew Bate plus an energetic crew of volunteers from St. Andrew’s youth group. Entertainment was provided by Gregangelo and Velocity Arts and Entertainment, a whirling dervish.

Each year, the most popular SAMA auction items are in the food and wine category, with the Willow Glen Caboose Brunch and Nina’s “Middle Eastern Dinner for 8” getting top bids in 2010. The Robert Lewis oil painting “New Vineyard, Old Manor” raised the most money of any single auction item. Our family bought a silver dish, a set of Bart Ehrman’s New Testament Lectures on CD, plus an inlaid mosaic frame and chessboard made by Izzat Ashkar of Syria. The entire SAMA auction raised just a few thousand dollars more than Felicia Horowitz’s quilt. SAMA supports programs such as The Four Homes of Mercy, a refuge for the severely disabled based in Jerusalem.

Via Ball

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SAMA Auction and Middle Eastern Feast

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Images Copyright 2010 by Katy Dickinson and John Plocher

2-1-1 Online Database

It has been almost two years since we posted about the 2-1-1 services.

The free 2-1-1 services connect you to various information including support groups, drug treatment, elderly needs, homework help along with how to volunteer or provide assists during a crisis. The service is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Mandarin, and 140 other languages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The call is confidential.

Now, along with dialing 2-1-1 you may access the information online through their website’s online database. You may search the database or drilldown within topics.

The United Way reports that from September 1 to November 30, 2008, calls to the 2-1-1 Santa Clara County information and referral service seeking food increased by 58 percent over the same period last year. Requests for housing jumped 22 percent.

Information available online or by dialing 2-1-1 include:

Clothing, Food, Personal Goods and Services
Disaster Planning, Response and Recovery
Drug and Alcohol Treatment
Education and Training
Employment Services and Financial Assistance
Family, Individual and Community Services
Health, Fitness and Environmental Services
Housing, Shelter and Transportation
Legal, Immigration and Criminal Services
Mental Health and Counseling Services
Self Help Groups and Services
Senior and Disability Services

To access the 2-1-1 database along with more information about the service and United Way’s involvement, check here.

If 2-1-1 is unavailable via your service provider: 866.896.3587

TTY dial: 866.390.6845

The 2-1-1 services are available throughout the Bay Area.

The Hub

hub.metblogs

If Metblogs is a city, hub.metblogs is the playground. We kept hearing from people that one of their favorite parts of Metblogs was meeting and interacting with readers and writers from other parts of the world, as well as getting requests for more ways that readers could be involved besides just posting comments. We thought about this for a while and decided that with a network like this, a giant community area where folks from all over the world could hang out, post photos and videos, talk with each other, form groups, play games, send messages, and do about a million other things was probably a pretty fun idea. The Hub is that.

If you have any tech ideas or suggestions join this group and speak up. See you on hub.metblogs!

San Jose Group

The Simpsons in San Jose

D’oh! Actually, Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons will be in town at the Le Petit Trianon this September.

He will be in conversation with Lakshmi Pratury discussing the inspiration behind the series and the impact that the Simpsons has made on pop culture. A Q&A session and book signing is scheduled to follow the discussion.

More information here.

Le Petit Trianon
72 N. Fifth Street, San Jose

Friday, September 12
6:30 pm Check-In; 7:00 pm Program

Admission:
$25 General (purchased by September 4th)
$45 General (purchased after September 4th)
Check website for other pricing

Introducing The Hub

hub.metblogs

If Metblogs is a city, hub.metblogs is the playground. We kept hearing from people that one of their favorite parts of Metblogs was meeting and interacting with readers and writers from other parts of the world, as well as getting requests for more ways that readers could be involved besides just posting comments. We thought about this for a while and decided that with a network like this, a giant community area where folks from all over the world could hang out, post photos and videos, talk with each other, form groups, play games, send messages, and do about a million other things was probably a pretty fun idea. The Hub is that.

If you have any tech ideas or suggestions join this group and speak up. See you on hub.metblogs!

San Jose Group

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