By Fran Broderick
Lana Verschage has been appointed as the new Director of the Golisano College’s Women in Computing (WiC) program, effective January 2014.
Lana will lead WiC in its mission to expand and enhance the presence of women in the fields of computing. “The Golisano College Women in Computing program needs to develop a strong relationship with K-12 educators to inspire and motivate young women to pursue computing as a profession,” Verschage explained. “There’s also a need for this program to recruit students, alumni and professional women to get involved in supporting and mentoring the next generation of women in the computing industry.”
WiC was formed in 2008 and has continued to grow in recent years. Golisano College students have visited area schools to educate young women about rapidly-expanding opportunities in the field of computing, while on-campus the group has worked to prepare female students for success in the workplace, bringing in expert speakers and hosting events aimed at professional development. In addition, WiC has arranged for students to travel to conferences such as the Grace Hopper Regional Consortium.
Lana previously served as Senior Academic Advisor in the college’s software engineering (SE) department where she received accolades that include the 2011-2012 Golisano College Staff Excellence Award. “Lana has been the heart of the SE program since the beginning,” said SE department chair Jim Vallino. “She worked tirelessly and unselfishly to make sure that each student who has come through software engineering has been advised in a way that opened up all of the opportunities that were available for the student to move on to bigger and better career possibilities.” Indeed, many of the students Lana has advised as the department grew from a mere twelve students in 1997 to its current enrollment of more than four hundred, have gone on to achieve noteworthy successes, including 2001 graduate Alex Kipman who was named National Inventor of the Year in 2012 for his contributions to creating the Xbox Kinect.
Lana’s roots at RIT run deep, having earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University. “I’m proud to be part of the impact RIT has had on the [Rochester] community,” said Verschage. “I look forward to cultivating and sustaining a strong sense of community among women students, faculty, and staff.”
For more information about the program please visit: rit.edu/gccis/women-computing