October 30, 2023

LEAP Alliance Offers Webinar Series

The Diversifying LEAdership in the Professoriate (LEAP) Alliance is an NSF-funded Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance that aims to diversify future leadership in the computing professoriate at research universities, with a focus on underrepresented communities. The goal is to address the lack of diversity among faculty at research universities. The LEAP Alliance brings together four cohorts of universities, each with common strengths and a shared agenda to increase diversity in the computing professoriate. These cohorts cover undergraduate and graduate students and specifically target African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans/Indigenous Americans, and People with Disabilities. 

The LEAP Alliance’s comprehensive approach includes increasing the diversity of Ph.D. graduates, promoting academic career opportunities, and improving undergraduate student retention. The alliance consists of 29 universities.   

Undergraduate students interested in learning more about a graduate degree in computing are encouraged to register to attend upcoming information sessions and view the recordings of past sessions at The three-part series focused on graduate school is designed to provide valuable insights and guidance for aspiring graduate students.

Part 1: Why Go to Graduate School: Diverse Perspectives

In Part 1 of the series, which took place on October 11, attendees had the opportunity to hear from former LEAP Fellows who shared their experiences and discussed the advantages of pursuing a doctoral degree in computing. Panelists also provided strategies for successfully completing the doctoral program. 


  • Dr. Wing Lam, Assistant Professor, George Mason University (former LEAP Fellow)
  • Dr. Chinasa Okolo, Fellow, The Brookings Institution (former LEAP Fellow)

Part 2a and 2b: Why Go to Graduate School: Faculty Perspectives

During these sessions, participants had the opportunity to learn about the research areas at different institutions directly from faculty members. Attendees explored the diverse opportunities available in graduate school and gained insights into the specific research interests of various institutions. 

2a Universities:  Cornell University, Princeton, University of Washington

Date and time: Wednesday, October 25

2b Universities:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, University of Maryland

Date and time: Thursday, October 26

Part 3: Why Go to Graduate School: Graduate Application Review from LEAP Fellows

Lastly, in Part 3, attendees will gain valuable insights about effective graduate applications. Through the perspective of current doctoral students, you’ll learn what makes a strong application and mistakes to avoid.

Date and time: Wednesday, November 8, from 1pm – 2pm Pacific Time / 3pm – 4pm Central Time / 4pm – 5pm Eastern Time

Register now

Attending these sessions organized by the LEAP Alliance gave attendees a comprehensive understanding of the benefits of pursuing a graduate degree in computing. Guests gained invaluable insights from current and former LEAP Fellows, faculty members, and current doctoral students. 

For more information about the LEAP Alliance, please visit the website.