Roshani Lamichhane, a junior Computer Science student at Boise State University, recently returned from one of the world’s largest gatherings of women in computer science after earning a highly competitive scholarship to get here there. The 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration was held in Phoenix, AZ earlier this month and seven members of the Association of Computing Machinery – Women (ACM-W) Boise State chapter attended (read the recap of the entire group’s visit here). While funding was secured through ASBSU and the Department of Computer Science for travel to this conference, an extra spot was opened up when Roshani’s scholarship application was accepted.
It was last year that Roshani learned about the conference and scholarship opportunity, however, it was already past the scholarship application due date. She had been involved with the ACM-W Boise State student group, heard about the conference through fellow officers, and decided she’d try to get to it the next year. The fact that the conference was focused on women and well attended by women in the tech industry made it seem like a great opportunity because for her, there were struggles coming into the computer science field as a female. In the past, some had questioned her ability to break into this industry as a woman; this conference seemed like a great experience to help stay encouraged, motivated and build a network of women in this male dominated industry. So Roshani grabbed the opportunity and applied for the scholarship.
A few months ago, Roshani learned that despite there being a 76% increase in scholarship applicants this year with about 1:4 odds of getting the award, she had been selected as Grace Hopper Scholar. This recognition meant that all travel, accommodation and meal costs would be paid for by NSF and other Grace Hopper Celebration sponsors but also came with an invitation to a special networking luncheon. That luncheon was one of the highlights of her trip. Roshani was assigned a table to sit at along with other scholars and a couple women from Apple who shared a bit about how they got to where they were, how they manage a good work and life balance, and general industry advice. That networking and advice will come in handy as Roshani completes her degree and continues her work in the industry. Another highlight of her trip was the carrier fair. That was a great opportunity to meet people and also find about the opportunities in different companies, big or small. Some of the companies involved were Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, VMware, EA games, Disney, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Plantair etc.
For those interested in attending and applying for this scholarship next year, Roshani would definitely recommend that you do it! In fact, she suggests that you “need to apply”. Roshani attended the conference this year despite her foot injury after she was offered scholarship because she thought this kind of opportunity is something “one doesn’t want to miss”. What should you do to try to secure a scholarship like Roshani? Her recommendation would be to highlight your community and civic involvement. Roshani is very active with Boise State Student Diversity Center programs, Boise State student organizations like the Nepalese Student Association, International Student Association, and of course the ACM-W), as well as involved in the local community through a number of different extra-curricular and volunteer activities.
Additionally, Roshani is well recognized for her talents in CS. Awarded the Boise State Ada Lovelace, Keynetics and Expand.CS scholarships, Roshani has participated in the Bronco Appathon, been awarded an Idaho INBRE research fellowship and is currently interning for Impact Sales, Inc. It’s the combination of these efforts that likely put the spotlight on her and allowed for this well-deserved opportunity.
Learn more about ACM-W and how to join this awesome group on the ACM-W webpage, ACM-W Facebook group, or the Boise State CS department Student Clubs webpage and watch the Grace Hopper Celebration webpage for opportunities to attend this great conference next year.