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30 September 2021

7 Moments from #Tapia2021 We Loved

To our CMD-IT and Tapia community of sponsors and supporters: we did it! 

Thanks to the support of so many, we were able to successfully host the 2021 CMD-IT/ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference. As always, it was such a joy to bring together undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities to celebrate the diversity that exists in computing.

Check out some of our memorable moments from this year’s conference:

Keynote speeches

One of the highlights each year is having a variety of engaging keynote conversations. To kick off the first full day of programming, CMD-IT CEO and Founder Valerie Taylor facilitated the “Executive Fireside Chat: Taking Advantage of the Computing Continuum” presentation with Susie Armstrong of Qualcomm and Daby Sow of IBM. Later that afternoon, attendees had the privilege of listening to Dr. John Harrington during his “Live Your Dreams! — Dr. John Harrington, (Retired) NASA, Chickasaw Nation” chat, which chronicled his journey to NASA and becoming the first Native American in space. Furthermore, Omar Florez of Twitter lead a lively discussion on “The Science of #Hashtags,” Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie opened our minds about accessibility and how to properly support our peers with disabilities, the University of Washington’s Cecilia Aragon spoke about her life and work as a Latina in math and computing, and the STARS Keynote, which helped attendees understand how to take what they’ve learned at the conference and apply it to their respective universities, taught us all a lot.

Making history

This year marked the 15th conference of the Tapia conference and the 20-year anniversary since the first conference in 2001.

University of North Texas wins the University Award

The fifth annual CMD-IT University Award for Retention of Minorities and Students with Disabilities in Computer Science was awarded to the University of North Texas for its impressive results from several retention programs.

Richard Tapia Award Winner Dr. Jamika Burge’s powerful acceptance speech

“Everything that you’ve experienced has gone into making you who you are,” said Dr. Burge as she concluded her speech. “Use those experiences to your advantage. Because when you do, you inspire and motivate others in ways you may never know.” Dr. Burge leads the Experiences Products and Platforms Design team at Capital One and is a dedicated advocate for diversity and inclusion in computing.

Hispanics in Computing Community

Coinciding with Hispanic Heritage Month, a month where we recognize the achievements and contributions of the Hispanic community who have inspired others to achieve success, the Hispanics in Computing community reunited once again for a Tapia presentation. This year’s focus was on exploring how to do virtual mentoring to help increase ties within the community.  

The chicken dance

Since the inaugural Tapia conference, we have ended the closing ceremony with the chicken dance. This year was no different.

2022 location announcement

The last two virtual conferences have been amazing, however, we’re looking forward to convening back in person in Washington, D.C. for the 2022 CMD-IT/ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, which will be taking place on Sept. 6-10.
If you’re interested in making your own Tapia memories, don’t miss the opportunity to get more details on the 2022 Tapia conference. Keep your eyes peeled to tapiaconference.org for more information.