Gelfand Award-Celebration of Education - Carnegie Mellon University

The Mark Gelfand Service Award for Educational Outreach

2015 Gelfand Award Recipient

Jim DanielsCarol Frieze

Director, Women@SCS and SCS4ALL, School of Computer Science

Carol Frieze is director of Women@SCS, a professional faculty/student organization, hosted by Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science (SCS). Women@SCS works to promote, create and encourage women's leadership, social and professional opportunities. She is also director of SCS4ALL, a new student advisory council (also hosted by SCS) working to broaden interest and participation in computing by underrepresented groups. She has worked on diversity issues in SCS for the past 15 years. On a day-to-day, basis Frieze works closely with graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff to build social and professional development programs for the SCS community. Also, under her guidance both organizations work extensively on educational outreach to promote diversity in computing in Pittsburgh and beyond, through such programs as the Outreach Roadshow (since 2003), TechNights (since 2005), the OurCS workshop (since 2007) and Computational Thinking Activities at Sci-Tech (since 2010).

Frieze designed and teaches a course on the “Images of Computing” that examines the ways in which computing and computer science, are represented and perceived in U.S. popular culture and in other cultures and countries. One major component of the course involves students working in teams to build and implement outreach presentations with two primary aims: a) to challenge familiar (negative) computer science stereotypes and b) to broaden understanding of computer science among K-12 students and teachers.

Frieze gained her doctorate in the field of cultural studies in computer science from the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. Her thesis examined the role of culture and environment as determinants of women's participation in computer science. Her research interests, publications and public presentations focus on the culture of computing, broadening participation in computing fields, diversity issues, gender myths and stereotypes. She is the SCS faculty representative for AccessComputing (which works on increasing the participation of people with disabilities in computing fields), and for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). Frieze and co-author Jeria Quesenberry (associate teaching professor, Information Systems Program, CMU) have recently completed a book on women in computing at Carnegie Mellon. The book’s expected release date is early fall 2015.

Established in 2009, The Gelfand Award is given annually to a member of the university community who has combined sustained, effective community service with academic coursework and a deliberate process of student reflection to enhance the learning experience and teach social responsibility to students while improving some aspect of life in the community. Special consideration is given to individuals who focus on science, technology, engineering or mathematics.