Join us at 3:00 pm CST for our open networking session!


STARS Celebration 2020 Conference Program


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Featured sessions are viewable via our livestream


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Friday, November 6, 2020

10:00am - 10:15am

Welcome to STARS Celebration

view opening session slides


Dr. Jamie Payton | Director, STARS Computing Corps, Temple University

Dr. Tiffany Barnes | Co-Director and Founder, STARS Computing Corps, North Carolina State University


10:15pm - 11:15am

Keynote: From Games to Medical Devices: The Problems We Choose to Solve Matter

Speaker: Dr. Evie Powell | Proprio Vision & Verge of Brilliance 

Session Description: In my brief career I’ve experienced many aspects of tech industry; starting in grad school as a research fellow; moving to Seattle to start a professional career at Microsoft; starting my own company Verge of Brilliance and paving my own way for 3 years; and most recently working on an immersive solution for intraoperative spinal fusion procedures at at a now successful start up named Proprio. I’m far from done, and I’ve had my share of failures and successes, but one thing I’ve learned is that if we work on the problems that motivate and excite us, they can grow bigger and more exciting than ever expected.

11:15am - 11:30am

Break + Networking

11:30am - 12:15pm (Simultaneous):

Look for the Helpers: Creating and Maintaining a Culture of Advocacy/Activism in Computing + Tech

Speaker: Dr. Nicki Washington | Duke University

Session Description: The issues that systemically marginalized groups face in the computing+tech workforce are often equivalent to what they experience as students (undergraduate and graduate). Yet, there still are no successful efforts that have solved the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues in either industry or K-16 computing education. Successful advocacy/activism in computing+tech must be intentional and institutionalized at all levels. This talk discusses how to create and maintain a culture where allyship/advocacy/activism is not only celebrated, encouraged, and nurtured, but also expected.


What's the Impact? How to Measure and Evaluate Your BPC Efforts

Speakers: Dr. Huifang Zuo | University of Chicago 

Dr. Audrey Rorrer | University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Dr. Joseph Allen | Mooresville Graded School District  

Session Description: Are you wondering if your efforts for diversity, equity, and inclusion are meeting your goals? This interactive workshop will provide an introduction to conducting quantitative research and evaluation for Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC). We'll provide an introduction to human subjects research and ethics, critical theory that underlies interventions for BPC, and designing research studies and evaluation plans. We'll also introduce the STARS BPC Research Toolkit, which includes guides for applying BPC research methodologies, a collection of BPC assessment instruments, and tools.


A Model for a Year-Round Enrichment Program to Broaden Participation in Computing
Speaker: Vida Winans | Illinois Institute of Technology 

Session Description: The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Computer Discovery Program (CDP) was first offered as a summer computer camp for middle school girls in the summer of 2010 with an NSF BPC grant. Over the past 10 years the camp has developed into a year-round program that teaches computer science and related technology, creates a social network for the participants, and creates an affinity amongst its participants for STEM. The program draws from the greater Chicago area and predominantly serves girls of color. Students are invited to continue to return year after year to participate in the program. Curriculum is developed and leveled to provide constant challenge to returning students. Anecdotes from high school students who have participated in the program since middle school will be shared.

12:15pm - 12:45pm - Break + Networking

12:45pm - 1:35pm

Panel: Navigating the Career Landscape with STARS Alumni

Moderator: Kinnis Gosha | Morehouse College 


Gyovanni Boston-Crompton | Bank of America 

Veronica Catete | North Carolina State University 

Katelyn Doran | Facebook Reality Labs

Samantha Finkelstein | Chase

Session Description: For this session, attendees will have the opportunity to engage with a panel comprising STARS alumni who have each celebrated their own triumphs in navigating the career landscape beyond their initial involvement with STARS. Having afforded various opportunities as faculty members, researchers, and industry leaders, our panelists come prepared to not only discuss the journey itself, but the unique role that their work with STARS has played in shaping their impact and efficacy through it all. Audience members will likewise have the opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with each of the panelists.

1:35pm - 1:45pm

Break + Networking


1:45pm - 2:30pm

From Start to Finish: Demystifying the Design & Implementation of Impactful BPC Initiatives


Dr. Jamie Payton | Temple University

Chelsea Zackey | Temple University

Tyler Powell | Temple University

Session Description: This session walks attendees through a systemic approach to the design and implementation of BPC initiatives. In this tutorial, we first provide a reusable framework that assists attendees with scaling the design of their BPC efforts within the context of their community, target audience, available resources, feasibility, accessibility, expected impact, and more. We follow up this discussion with demonstrations of interactive BPC activities they may consider piloting themselves, each of which uniquely scale to fit specific settings that attendees may identify with.


1:45pm - 2:30pm

You + CS for All: Partnerships and Practices to Advance K12 CS Education (Even in a Pandemic!)


Omar Ali | Northeast High School, School District of Philadelphia

Dr. Cheryl Seals | Auburn University

Mikaylah Gross | Eli Lilly

 Session Description: The goal for this panel is to share insights on what makes for effective partnerships between K12 teachers, university faculty, and college students, and identify ways that undergraduate and graduate students can get involved in the CS for All movement, either by working with K12 students and teachers in K12 schools or through informal learning opportunities. Panelists include K12 teachers, university faculty, non-profit leaders, and college students who have been a part of a partnership that offers CS learning opportunities in K12. Panelists will be invited to share their experiences in K12 CS education and tips for effective partnerships. By then end of this discussion, we expect our audience to leave equipped with an enhanced understanding of the best practices and available resources that are currently being employed in the sector of K-12 computing education, even in the face of a pandemic!


1:45pm - 2:30pm

Lightning Talks: Sharing Your Research & Outreach Outcomes

Session Chair: Ben Rittenhouse | Temple University

Co-Host: David Cherry

  • Student Engagement and Strategic Planning (a COVID School Year)
    • Kelly Newbrough, Alex Bustamante, Christina Fail, Leah Abounader, Hollyn Saliga, Isabella Escobar and Ebe Randeree
  • Middle School Robotics
    • Melissa Davis, Kimberly Sapp and Ebe Randeree
  • Summer Camps (A Three Year Journey)
    • Alyssa Goosby, Katterin Soto, Luke Weaver, Kate Manning, Julia McLane, Kimberly Sapp, Ebe Randeree and Faye Jones


                 Breakout rooms Q & A 


  • Leadership in Tech: Sharing Transferable Skills
    • Julia McLane, Cameron Chisolm, Isabella Escobar, Kate Manning, Devon Newton and Ebe Randeree
  • Women Wednesdays and WISE: Partnering to Create Change
    • Cameron Chisolm, Emily Logan, Leah Abounader, Hollyn Saliga and Ebe Randeree
  • Building a Sustainable STARS Chapter: The Role of Alumni
    • Kelly Newbrough and Ebe Randeree


2:40pm - 3:00pm

Closing + Awards Ceremony


Dr. Jamie Payton | Director, STARS Computing Corps, Temple University

Dr. Tiffany Barnes | Co-Director and Founder, STARS Computing Corps, North Carolina State University

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Optional Networking