Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather
This photo, “Birds of a Feather” is copyright (c) 2003 Bhargavi Jannu and made available under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 license

“Birds of a feather flock together”

These sessions are informal discussion groups. They serve as excellent opportunities to find other individuals who have common interests and share ideas without the restrictions of a pre-planned agenda. BoFs are great for networking and forming partnerships among individuals. Arrive at the BoF discussion ready to participate as they often allow for much more audience interaction.


2016 Birds of a Feather Sessions

Getting into CS Undergraduate Programs

Presenter: Curtis Davidson, Director of Admission Operations, Christopher Newport University
Curtis Davidson has more than 30 years of experience in higher education and currently serves as Director of Admission Operations at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.    In his 14th year at CNU, he is responsible for data loads to student information systems, application processing and chairs the Admission Committee.   He also serves as athletic recruitment liaison and approves expenditures and supervises office operations.   Davidson, a native of Youngstown, OH, previously served as Director of Admission at alma mater, The University of Findlay, Findlay, OH.   During his 17 years at Findlay, Davidson also served as an assistant football coach, athletic administrator and advised several student organizations.   Prior to his tenure at Findlay, Davidson was an assistant football coach at Georgetown College, KY.   In his spare time he enjoys exercising, reading and is the public address announcer for CNU varsity football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Intentional Career Design in Technology and Engineering

Presenter: Kristin Sowden, Career & Academic Advisor, James Madison University
Kristin Sowden serves as Career and Academic Advisor at the University in the Office of Career and Academic Planning. She works with undeclared first-year students on their college transition as well as upperclassmen in their multifaceted career pursuits. In addition, Kristin collaborates with the College of Integrated Science and as their Career Services Liaison. Before coming to Virginia, Kristin attended the College of New Jersey, where she earned a degree in English and Secondary Education. She now holds her Masters in College Student Personnel Administration from JMU. Kristin also teaches a Career and Life Planning Class for freshmen students at the University. Her professional interests are in educational development, the transfer student experience, and learning communities.

NCWIT: What is it and why should I care?

Presenter: Marissa Halpert, Carmax
Marissa Halpert is a Software Developer at CarMax in Richmond, VA. Her technical interests include user experience, front end technologies, and computer science education. She is passionate about closing the gender gap within the IT industry. Marissa is a 2010 National Winner of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, and has partnered with NCWIT since winning the award to encourage more young women to apply for the award and pursue computing-related careers. Marissa graduated from James Madison University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Network Function Virtualization

Presenter: Wenhui Zhang, George Washington University

Coding Bootcamps

Presenter: Frances Coronel, Hampton University

Doing Grassroots Outreach Throughout the Pipeline (K-adults)

Presenter: Kim Wilkens, Tech-Girls founder