Commentary & Perspective, News

Convincing Your Department Chair to Fund Your Trip to the Grace Hopper Celebration

Summer is wrapping up to usher in classes. Before your days (and nights) are absorbed by course work you’ll want to make sure you’ve got everything in order to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration in Minneapolis October 2-5. We’ve put together a general template below to help you get started:

Dear (Insert Department Chair’s Name here),

The Grace Hopper Celebration is one of the largest gatherings of technical women in the world and will be held this year at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minnesota October 2-5.

The organizing committee, invited speakers, and sponsors include government and industry leaders from CA Technologies, Cisco, Dell, eBay, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, NetApp, SAP, Neustar, Thomson Reuters, and of course (check your institution’s representation  at the conference and insert its name here).  Academic institutions represented include Carnegie Mellon University INI, Dartmouth College Computer Science Department, Harvey Mudd College, New York University, University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Maryland Baltimore County, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, Virginia Tech, and many more. Women come together to learn about the latest technology, learn new skills to enhance and advance their education and career, and build their network.

Our request is for funding to send (X) students and (Y) faculty to the conference. The registration deadline is $310 for students. The conference has sold out the past few years and hotels book up quickly. (Insert any supporting fundraising from other sources, such as travel scholarships, student organization donations, plans to share rooms or share a drive, and presenters and topics, if any). Attached is an estimate of expenses.

A “Top Ten” list of institutions that send the most students is highlighted during the conference “Welcome”, so this is an opportunity for our institution to gain visibility on a national stage. Our goal is to return from the Grace Hopper Celebration with more knowledge about opportunities in computing, exploring career and research interests, in addition to motivation and inspiration. We hope to learn from student leaders of ACM-W chapters the benefits of starting or revitalizing a chapter, successful new activities we can share for outreach and retention, and to learn of opportunities for funding (e.g., NCWIT’s seed fund, NSF fellowships, CRA-W workshops) as well as professional development (e.g., academic and industry internships). Having a faculty person attend is vital to ensure that we get the most from the experience. Dr. (Z) can introduce us to her/his network as well as mentor us developing a newsletter article or panel to share the highlights of our experience with the potential of organizing a Regional Grace Hopper Conference that will draw more women to computing. Having a (Insert Your Institution’s Name here) presence at GHC is important because it demonstrates our institution’s commitment to diversity. It aligns with the(Insert Your Institution’s Name here) vision of (Insert relevant institutional vision/mission/ etc that addresses learning or areas of excellence).

At the conference, we will have unprecedented access to meeting women who have become CEOs, Professors, Directors, Managers, and Authors through talent, hard work, and passion. We want to get inspired and do the same at (insert your institution name here). At the conference, we will be immersed in how diversity effects innovation with this year’s conference theme, “Think Big, Drive Forward.” We will attend multiple panels, workshops, seminars, affinity group lunches, forums, poster sessions, while interacting with women from all areas of technological innovation. Upon returning to (Insert Institution Name Here), we will host an “Everything we learned at GHC” presentation for our department and write an informative article for the (Insert Department Newsletter Name Here) Newsletter for distribution to a larger audience.

One of the many forums at the conference is focused on (Select one or more Tracks/Sessions that are relevant to your field). Including:

·        (Session 1 Name Here)

·        (Session 2 Name Here)

·        (Session 3 Name Here)

It is difficult to list all of the resources that the conference has to offer. The Grace Hopper Celebration is an opportunity we should not miss. I appreciate your generous support in funding a group of students and faculty who can use the opportunity to build community and resources for (Your Institution Name Here).

Thank you!

Regards,

(Insert Student and Faculty Names Here)

<Attachment of Estimated Expenses, including registration, hotel, travel, and meals>