2016 ProjectCSGIRLS National Gala

The 2016 ProjectCSGIRLS National Gala will be held June 4th - 5th, 2016 in the DC metro area and featured leading guest speakers, hands-on workshops, tech talks, and a formal awards ceremony. The awards ceremony was held on June 5th at the Marriott Fairview Park. The workshops, tech talks, and panels were held on June 4th at George Mason University.

Gala Schedule

Saturday, June 4th - George Mason University Volgenau School of Engineering
9am – 9:30am: Breakfast and Registration
9:30am – 11am: Mapbox Workshop
11am - 12:30pm: Women in Tech Panel Featuring Female Engineers from the DC Metro Area
12:30pm – 1pm: Lunch
1pm – 1:30pm: Ice Cream Truck Social
1:30pm – 3pm: HTML/CSS Workshop
3pm – 4pm: She Rocks the World Workshop
4pm – 4:30pm: Tech Talks on Applied Computer Science Research Topics

Sunday, June 5th - Marriott Fairview Park Ballroom, Awards Event and Luncheon
12pm – 12:30pm: Check-in Time (please be on time!)
12:30pm – 1:30pm: Luncheon
1:30pm – 5pm: Keynote Presentations, Student Pitch Presentations, and Awards Presentation

Gala Hotel

The gala hotel is the Marriott Fairview Park. 

Address: 3111 Fairview Park Dr, Falls Church, VA 22042
Website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wasfp-falls-church-marriott-fairview-park/
Closest Airport: Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)


Keynote Speakers


Ruthe Farmer

Senior Policy Advisor for Tech Inclusion at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, Chief Growth and Strategy Officer at the National Center for Women and Information Technology

Ruthe Farmer has focused her efforts on diversity and inclusion in technology and engineering since 2001. She currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor for Tech Inclusion at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy focusing on President Obama’s call to action for Computer Science for All and other tech related initiatives. Over the course of her career, Ms. Farmer has successfully launched and scaled up multiple national programs including the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, TECHNOLOchicas campaign for Latinas, AspireIT outreach program, Intel Design & Discovery, Lego Robotics for Girl Scouts and more. She served as the 2012 Chair of Computer Science Education Week, was named a White House Champion of Change for Technology Inclusion in 2013, received the Anita Borg Institute Award for Social Impact in 2014, and the Education UK Alumni Award for Social Impact in 2015. She is a guest contributor for Techcrunch and the Shriver Report, and has been featured in Forbes and TechRepublic for her work. Ruthe holds a BA from Lewis & Clark College and an  MBA  in  Social  Entrepreneurship  from the University of Oxford Said Business School and is passionate about integrating innovative business strategies into social change efforts.


Dona Sarkar

Hololens Developer Platform & Engagement at Microsof, Founder of Fibonacci Sequins and Prima Dona style, Author

Dona Sarkar wishes she’d been born as a cat so she could have had 9 nine lives. Since that didn’t work out, she decided to live 9 lives in this one.  She spends her days making holograms at Microsoft as an engineering manager for the Microsoft Hololens team, celebrates diversity in STEM fields as a fashion blogger at Fibonacci Sequins and is launching her first fashion line called Prima Dona Style this fall. She has more than 12 years of experience in the tech industry and has been involved in building products and customer experiences that are used by more than a billion people, starting from Oracle databases to multiple versions of Windows, OneDrive and Windows Phone. She is also the published author of 6 novels and a non-fiction, including Scattered Ashes which was deemed "too controversial" by 15 publishing imprints! She lives in Seattle with her really patient husband and her muse, a very bossy tabby cat named Ash.


Corinna Lathan

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AnthroTronix

r. Corinna Lathan co-founded AnthroTronix in 1999 and is currently Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Lathan's diverse background includes extensive research, teaching, and consulting in the areas of human performance engineering, medical device design, and assistive technology. Previously, Dr. Lathan was an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The Catholic University of America (CUA) and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Her work has been featured in Forbes, Time, and the New Yorker magazines as well as led to such distinctions as Maryland's Top Innovator of the Year; MIT Technology Review Magazine Top 100 World Innovators,” and one of Fast Company Magazine’s “Most Creative People in Business.” She has also been named a Technology Pioneer and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is currently Chair of their Global Agenda Council for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

Dr. Lathan is actively involved in educational outreach programs that empower women and minorities in science and technology. She is the Founder of Keys to Empowering Youth for junior high school girls, a judge for the FIRST and VEX robotics program, an advisor to the KID Museum Makerspace, and a Board Member of the National Black Child Development Institute. Dr. Lathan is also on the Board of Engineering World Health, which supports the emergence of healthcare technology in the developing world.
Dr. Lathan received her B.A. in Biopsychology and Mathematics from Swarthmore College, and an S.M. in Aeronautics and Astronautics and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from MIT.


Ting Shih

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ClickMedix

Ting is CEO and Founder of ClickMedix, an award-winning enterprise born out of MIT to enable health organizations to serve more patients at lower costs. She has implemented mobile health programs across more than 15 countries in North America, South America, Africa, and Asia to address chronic diseases and infectious diseases via ClickMedix’s connected health platform. The programs train and enable health workers, rural nurses, physicians, and patients themselves to use mobile devices to transmit symptoms data to obtain diagnosis and treatment advice. Ting was named Toyota Mothers of Invention in 2015 and Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards Laureate in 2012 for North America. She holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and MS in Systems Engineering from MIT, as an MIT Leaders for Global Operations Fellow and Public Service Fellow. In addition, she holds a BS in Computer Science and MS in Software Design and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.


Cynthia Mendoza

Deputy Director, Strategic Planning Group, CIO and IT Services Directorate National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

s. Cynthia J. Mendoza is the Deputy Director of the Strategic Planning Group (SPG) within the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Information Technology (IT) Services Directorate (T) of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The SPG was created through the merger of the CIO and T organizations to unify information technology strategies under a single consolidated organization. As the Deputy Director (DD) of the SPG, Ms. Mendoza, along with the SPG Director, oversees Enterprise Architecture and Data Standards, Governance and Policy, Privacy and Section 508 compliance, the Open IT Portfolio and Financial Management. Prior to her current assignment Ms. Mendoza served as the Director of the Architecture and Engineering Group in the Information Technology Directorate and as Chief Engineer for the Agency. In this role she was responsible for providing architecture and engineering IT solutions that aligned with the NGA Vision and the Intelligence Community (IC) IT Enterprise (ITE).

s. Mendoza holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in Engineering Management and Systems Engineering (EMSE) from The George Washington University, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in EMSE. She has received numerous awards including the "2007 Outstanding Women at NGA" Award, "2008 NGA Small Business Award", the "San Antonio Woman of the Year for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fundraising" for community volunteer involvement, and the "40 under 40 Rising Star" from the San Antonio Business Journal. She is an active fitness enthusiast, a Marine Corps Marathon finisher, and holds a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Cynthia lives in Manassas, VA, with her family. 



Caroline Pugh

Chief of Staff at NavHealth, Co-Founder of VirtualU

aroline Pugh is currently the Chief of Staff at NavHealth, a healthcare data analytics firm. Previously, she was the Co-Founder and COO of VirtualU, a tech startup that develops 3D scanning technology, used primarily by gym goers so that track how their bodies change as they work out and become stronger. Pugh was the former Global Director of Partnerships and the Washington, D.C., President of Kairos Society. She also used to work at the National Eye Institute, testing software that would predict whether people would become blind later in their lives. She is also a contributor on entrepreneurship for the Huffington Post. Pugh was recently named "15 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2015" by Entrepreneur magazine, and has been cited in Forbes, the Washington Post, Fox News, NBC, TechCrunch and Wall Street Journal for her work.



Shannon Turner

ounder of Hear Me Code

Shannon Turner is the founder of Hear Me Code, an organization offering free, beginner-friendly coding classes for over 1800 women in DC. More than just a class where women learn to build websites, Hear Me Code focuses on leadership development, peer mentoring, and turning students into teachers. In 2015, Shannon was named one of Washington’s Tech Titans by the Washingtonian. She currently serves on DC’s Open Government Advisory Board and hopes to empower DC residents to participate in local government.


Meg Layton

Director of Engineering, Cyber Security Services at Symantec

Meg Layton is Director of Engineering for the Cyber Security Services team at Symantec. While her educational background began in Communications and Political Science, her passion for technology developed strongly during the 90s while telecommunications were taking off. Prior to joining Symantec she worked at a cellular telecommunications company with offices throughout sub-Saharan Africa, which is where she became interested – no, passionate – about security. She has been at Symantec 15 years, honing skills in log management and forensics, incident response and defense-in-depth. She has security certifications and also teaches Computer Forensics at a college level while studying for her Doctorate.


Kajari Ghosh

Engineer at Mapbox

Kajari is an engineer at Mapbox working on Mapbox Studio. She’s a lead organizer of Women Who Code DC’s bi-weekly Algorithms Meetup. She enjoys diving into new technologies and contributing to open source projects. Before Mapbox, Kajari worked on creating interactive data visualizations to work with 3D maps at a small start-up, Create.io. She has an MS in Computer Science from Towson University and a BA in Economics from Grinnell College. In her free time she enjoys figure skating and being outside in the sun.