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WINS Brings a Strong and Diverse Cohort to SC23


Seven new participants have been chosen to join the Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program for SC23 – the annual International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis – which will take place this year in Denver, CO.

Created in 2015, WINS seeks to address the gender gap within the information technology industry, particularly in network engineering. Each year WINS funds highly qualified women, selected through a competitive application process, to join the conference’s SCinet team. SCinet is a global multi-terabit network created each year for the SC Conference and built from the ground up to support the revolutionary participant demos that have become the hallmark of the high-tech conference.

WINS strives to have a diverse representation of organizations and applicant backgrounds in the cohort each year. WINS continues to receive highly competitive applications, and the program continues to show strong interest and support.

SC23 WINS Awardees

The WINS awardees are deeply immersed in a six- to nine-month engineering experience before SC and during the conference while SCinet is operating live. Awardees are integrated into one of over fifteen SCinet teams and are paired with a mentor to ensure a positive experience throughout the process.

Brittany Huff

Purdue University

Team: SCinet Network Security

Shannen McKenna

University of California, Davis

Team: SCinet Network Security

Hallie Mull

Bucknell University

Team: SCinet Routing

Suzanne Prentice

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Team: SCinet DevOps

Pauline Sawadogo

Clemson University

Team: SCinet Edge

Alysha Toya

Jemez Health and Human Services

Team: SCinet Edge

Ola Gamal


Team: SCinet WAN

“WINS helps to address the gender gap in information technology, especially in networking technology and high performance computing (HPC). Through WINS, the talented group of early to mid-career women engineers and technologists have a unique opportunity for direct access to cutting-edge network technology, working side-by-side with the SCinet volunteers, including the world’s leading network and software engineers from academia, government, and industry, to design and create SCinet. The women who participate in WINS are empowered to thrive and achieve success in their chosen career.”

Forough Ghahramani, EdD

Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Sponsored Programs, Edge New Jersey

From Awardee to Chair

When WINS was created in 2015, less than 14% of SCinet volunteers were women. Since then, that amount has tripled with a significant number of alumni ascending to SCinet management roles, such as Angie Asmus from Colorado State University.

As one of the original WINS awardees, Asmus was selected among peers to serve as the SC24 Chair of SCinet, the top position a volunteer can hold on the SCinet committee. “WINS was initially started to close the gender gap, but it has become so much more.  The opportunity WINS has given me and other women involved in SCinet has been pivotal in our careers.  It has provided hands-on networking experience, public-speaking practice, a trusted community, and leadership opportunities that have opened the doors for many of us to advance in our careers. Seeing WINS participants grow and develop into leaders in SCinet and their home institutions is exciting.  I would not have had the career advancement or the opportunity to lead the great SCinet organization without my experience in WINS.  I’m excited to lead all of the SCinet volunteers, especially the WINS participants and alumni at SC24.”

In addition to the SCinet experience, WINS provides ongoing support and career development opportunities for awardees before, during, and after the conference. This includes monthly calls for the community of WINS alumni participants, which now tops 45 women.

A Joint Effort

WINS is a joint effort between the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), and Indiana University. To date, financial support for the WINS program has come from a combination of funding, with the original core funding from the NSF (144064, 1640987, and 2129723) and additional funding from the joint partners as well as other contributors, including NREL, Internet2, Ciena, Meta, Juniper, KINBER, Pacific Northwest GigaPoP (PNWGP), Northern Tier Network Consortium (NTNC), The Quilt, and Purdue University. 

Members of the WINS management team include Marla Meehl and Scott Baily of UCAR, Kate Robinson and Jason Zurawski of ESnet, Brenna Meade from Indiana University, and Wendy Huntoon of AIHEC.

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