Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Recipients Announced for 2019 Internet2 Technology Exchange

December 9, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 9, 2019 – Internet2 announced five recipients of scholarships aimed at increasing the meaningful participation of women information technology professionals from the research and education community, during its annual technical meeting, the Internet2 Technology Exchange, taking place this week in New Orleans.

This year’s scholarship recipients are:

  • Bridget Bartell, University of Wisconsin-Madison, inclusivity scholarship recipient
  • Jacqueline Knight-Barber, OSHEAN, inclusivity scholarship recipient
  • Deshon Miguel, Tohono O’odham Community College, Network Startup Resource Center-Internet2 fellowship recipient
  • Shashwitha Puttaswamy, The George Washington University, inclusivity scholarship recipient
  • Joy Thompson, Diné College, Network Startup Resource Center-Internet2 fellowship recipient

The Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative also works closely with the NSF-funded Women in Networking at SC (WINS) program to provide opportunities for WINS participants to gain critical presentation and networking skills at Internet2 events. Four WINS participants will be presenting at the 2019 Technology Exchange on their experience in supporting SCinet, the SC Conference’s dedicated high-capacity network infrastructure:

  • Soledad Antelada Toledano, NERSC, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  • Angela Asmus, Colorado State University
  • Julie Locke, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Jessica Shaffer, Georgia Institute of Technology

Antelada Toledano, Asmus, Bartell, Knight-Barber, Locke, Miguel, Puttaswamy, Shaffer, and Thompson will be recognized on Tuesday, December 10 at 12:10 p.m. CT.

“Improving diversity and inclusion of networking and technical professionals in the research and education community has been a key driver for the Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative since its inception in 2014,” said Ana Hunsinger, vice president of community engagement at Internet2. “Each year we welcome an exceptional cohort of IT professionals from underrepresented groups to Internet2 meetings by providing scholarships that ensure their access to opportunities of professional development and mentorship. This commitment is also shared by the Network Startup Resource Center and in working together we remove financial barriers to help support network engineers and local operators that are making an impact on their institutions and communities. We are also grateful to our members Cisco Systems, Fortinet, and The George Washington University for supporting our scholarships at this year’s Technology Exchange.”

Since 2000, the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) and Internet2 have worked with universities, network service providers, and industry and government agencies in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean to provide support to research and education communities in countries underserved by the current research and education networking infrastructure.

“The NSRC is delighted to partner with Internet2 to sponsor two NSRC-Internet2 fellows to the 2019 Technology Exchange meeting. We are excited that this year we will sponsor two women leaders from Tribal Colleges and to leverage our relationships in the Tribal College and University (TCU) community and encourage participation of TCUs in the Internet2 community,” added Dale Smith, international networking coordinator at the NSRC. “We are honored that Joy Thompson from Diné College and Deshon Miguel from Tohono O’odham Community College will join us in New Orleans. We believe that this is an opportunity for everyone in the community to develop new relationships and partnerships.”

Both the scholarship and fellowship cover travel expenses, hotel accommodation, and conference registration for the 2019 Internet2 Technology Exchange. Funding for the two fellowships is provided by the NSRC and Internet2. Funding for the Internet2 Inclusivity Award recipients is made possible by Cisco SystemsFortinet, and Internet2. The George Washington University is providing financial travel support for Shashwitha Puttaswamy. Internet2 is also providing full financial support to one WINS participant and partial financial support to three WINS participants to attend the 2019 Technology Exchange.

A full list of the scholarship and fellowship recipients, along with their bios, appears below.

Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative Award recipients:

Bridget Bartell is a cybersecurity analyst working for the University of Wisconsin-Madison as part of the Office of Cybersecurity’s Operation Center (CSOC) and Incident Response team. She leads CSOC daily activities and intel gathering to triage and respond to security requests and anomalous activities across campus. She is also responsible for taking action on 3rd party shared Indicators of Compromise (IOC) which enable CSOC quicker response to new attacks and campaigns. She has helped develop a number of threat hunting plays and procedures which assist in more proactively identifying and remediating attacks on campus. In 2014, Bridget came to Madison, Wisc., to finish her bachelor of science degree in psychology. She worked as a student at the Division of Information Technology Help Desk on campus until 2017 when she graduated and soon after joined the cybersecurity team. Since joining, she has successfully completed two SANS courses and corresponding GIAC certifications (Security Essentials – GSEC and Critical Controls – GCCC) and is currently studying for her Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam.

Jacqueline Knight-Barber is a support engineer for OSHEAN, located in Rhode Island. OSHEAN is a highly diverse membership consisting of higher education, K-12 schools, libraries, hospitals, government agencies, and other non-profit organizations dedicated to providing innovative Internet-based technology solutions for its member institutions and the communities they serve. She is responsible for frontline member support and internal escalation processes. She works in depth with optical, IP, video, security and cloud technology. She coordinates with engineers internally and at the network operations center in Indiana to oversee the maintenance of the network and make sure everything is functioning properly. Jacqueline came to tech later than some, but she quickly realized a new passion and has not looked back. Other than her day-to-day work she has a desire to learn as much as she can and attends Women in Tech courses so she can be the best version of herself.

Shashwitha Puttaswamy is a research scientist, cyberinfrastructure, at The George Washington University. In her current role she works closely with GW Nanofabrication and Imaging Center scientists to understand their workflow design issue which includes complex data intensive research. Her contributions to the research is to identify new opportunities to leverage large data transfer and to provide end-to-end high throughput connectivity in an existing infrastructure. She is also the primary lead on sensor data collection which involves working with different IoT sensors to develop data collection strategies to help the DC government and researcher analyse pressure, temperature, and gasses in the environment. Prior to joining GWU in 2019, she was a network research engineer at California Institute of Technology, supporting and maintaining their production “Tier2” computing and storage facility in support of the Large Hadron Collider physics program. Puttaswamy was part of the team that awarded CENIC’s 2019 Innovations in Networking Award for Experimental Applications for setting a new record for data transfer rates that will enable researchers to tackle massive datasets faster and satisfy unprecedented scientific needs. She holds a bachelor of science degree in electronics and communication engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University, and a master of science degree in electrical engineering with a specialization in computer networks from San Diego State University.

NSRC-Internet2 Fellowship recipients:

Deshon Miguel is currently serving as the interim information technology manager at Tohono O’odham Community College on the Tohono O’odham Reservation. She supervises the IT staff, manages and coordinates all IT-related matters including network, data, wireless, telephone, security, and computer hardware and software to ensure the effective operation of all information technology systems are being utilized by the college to the fullest potential. She is an integral part of consulting with various outside parties that help with the overall success and forward progress of the college. She has six years of progressive experience in information technology, starting with an internship and part-time position as a computer assistant where she was essential in developing a network to run at a functioning and highly efficient capacity. She attended I.T.T Technical Institute in Tucson, Arizona, to obtain her associate of applied science degree in network systems administration.

Joy Thompson is the IT director at Diné College in the heart of the Navajo Nation in northwest Arizona in Tsaile. It is here where one of the first Native American Colleges was started and has flourished for over 50 years. It stands in the shadow of the beautiful Chuska Mountains. Thompson is originally from Acoma, New Mexico, but has spent most of her life on the Navajo Nation reservation where she married and raised four children. She is a member of the Acoma and Navajo Tribes. After graduating from Rockland Institute with a degree in computer information systems, her career building period began with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, working in multiple roles as both a technical expert and manager, building the Information Technology Division from the ground up. Accomplishments included the implementation of SAP ERP for the utility, one of the first US SAP Utilities implementations in 2000. After 33 years of service, she ended her tenure as CIO and turned to starting her business, Spectrum Solutions LLC. Her experience in several IT roles and responsibilities give her a 360° view and understanding of business and IT management. She came to work at Diné College as director of information technology in October 2017, new to the higher education sector, yet experienced in holistic management of IT operations and projects where she has been able to lead a group of dedicated teams, eager to bring the best of technology to students.

Featured diversity and inclusion sessions at the 2019 Internet2 Technology Exchange include:

  • Helping Build a 4+ Terabit/Second Network in One Week – four Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) alumni join this panel discussion to share technical details on the unique areas of the network they have helped to build since their first experience with SCinet at the SC Conference.
  • Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative: Challenges Faced and Lessons Learned from Community Women Tech Leaders – panel discussion focused on the experiences of female tech leaders within their respective organizations, including the creation of their own diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and mentorship programs, leading a diverse technical team, and what they have found works well for them.
  • You’re Good Enough, You’re Smart Enough, and Gosh Darnit, We Like You – a diverse community can be more efficient at identifying and solving issues, but there are many types of diversity. Gender, race, socioeconomic status, veteran, LGBTQIA+, those with disabilities, WE SEE YOU and we’d love to have more of you, but we’re not sure we’re doing a good enough job with that. This open discussion is intended to help guide conversations around how we can be more welcoming, remove roadblocks you’ve experienced, and learn how we can all be better allies.

Internet2 will host its annual technical meeting, the Technology Exchange, for the research and education community from December 9-12 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, convening technologists, architects, scientists, researchers, engineers, operators, and students from around the U.S. and the globe. The meeting is co-hosted by Internet2 members Louisiana Optical Network Infrastructure (LONI)Louisiana State University, and the University of New Orleans.

About The Network Startup Resource Center (nsrc.org)

The Network Startup Resource Center, which is based at the University of Oregon, was established in 1992 to provide technical assistance to organizations setting up computer networks in new areas to connect scientists engaged in collaborative research and education. For the past 25 years, the NSRC has helped develop Internet infrastructure and network operations communities in Africa, Asia/Pacific, Latin America/Caribbean, and the Middle East. The NSRC is partially funded by the International Research Network Connections (IRNC) program of the U.S. National Science Foundation and Google, with additional contributions from dozens of public and private organizations. For more information, visit https://nsrc.org/

About Internet2

Internet2 is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 321 U.S. universities, 60 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 100,000 community anchor institutions, over 1,000 InCommon participants, and 56 leading corporations working with our community, and 70 national research and education network partners that represent more than 100 countries.


Source: Sara Aly, Internet2 

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