Victoria Chen '21 and Abigail Gugsa '24 (pictured left to right above) have each been named a 2021 Connecticut Winner of the Aspirations in Computing Award from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) CT state affiliate.
The citation states: You are being recognized for your computing-related aspirations and for your demonstrated outstanding aptitude and interest in STEM – especially information technology and computing. Your solid leadership ability; exceptional academic history; and forward-thinking ability distinguish you as a remarkable young woman.
Victoria Chen was thrilled. “It definitely was a great feeling to have been recognized for this award. I'm really passionate about computer science and it's interdisciplinary applications. I have put a lot of effort into promoting women in STEM, so it was a huge honor to be recognized for my work and efforts.” Victoria also cited the support she received from Roger Wistar, director of computer science, and her advisor, Tom Drake, instructor in history.
Abigail Gugsa was equally enthusiastic. “I am deeply honored to have been selected as an NCWIT Aspirations winner. My passion for programming began in elementary school with Scratch and evolved into other programming languages which I used throughout my middle school years and on my school’s VEX robotics team. These experiences led to my appreciation and love for computer science. I love learning different programming languages and can't wait to continue my computer science journey at Hotchkiss.”
In an all-School email communication, Roger Wistar hailed the accomplishments of each student. “Victoria has had a distinguished career in computer science at Hotchkiss, and in just a few weeks she will begin her fourth semester of computer science courses, including both our advanced second-year courses,” he said. In the same message, he highlighted Abigail’s accomplishment. “I want to give extra recognition to Abigail for being the first prep at Hotchkiss recognized by NCWIT,” he said.
On the NCWIT website, the organization defines itself as “a non-profit community that convenes, equips, and unites change leader organizations to increase the influential and meaningful participation of girls and women — at the intersections of race/ethnicity, class, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, and other historically marginalized identities — in the field of computing, particularly in terms of innovation and development.” The website includes a section dedicated to the Aspirations in Computing award.
Congratulations to Victoria and Abigail!