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ESnet Staff Share Award for SC Conference Diversity Efforts

ESnet's Kate Petersen Mace, Jason Zurawski and Lauren Rotman were recognized for their contributions to the WINS program.

Kate Mace, Lauren Rotman and Jason Zurawski of ESnet, along with Wendy Huntoon of KINBER and Marla Meehl of UCAR, are co-recipients of the CENIC 2017 Innovations in Networking Award for Experimental Applications. The award recognizes their work to expand the diversity of the SCinet volunteer staff and provide professional development opportunities to highly qualified women in the field of networking.

Rotman leads ESnet’s Science Engagement Team, of which Mace and Zurawki are members. Huntoon is president and CEO of the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) and Meehl is network manager for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Colorado.

The five were recognized for their role in developing the WINS Program, or Women in IT Networking at SC, which brings a group of women technology professionals to the SC conference in November for hands-on experience in building and maintaining SCinet, the high capacity network infrastructure that supports the conference.

“This program has exemplified networking in many senses of the word – building a communications infrastructure by creating a strong diverse team and working together,” said ESnet Director Inder Monga. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with Marla and Wendy to help make networking at the SC conference more inclusive.”

Seven women attended SC16 under the auspices of WINS, which was launched in 2015 to expand the diversity of the SCinet volunteer staff and provide professional development opportunities to highly qualified women in the field of networking. The 2016 WINS Program is part of a three-year program funded through a National Science Foundation grant and through direct funding from Department of Energy’s ESnet.

“The collaboration you have created, between the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, and the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research, is a powerful one,” CENIC President and CEO Louis Fox wrote to the recipients. “By funding women IT professionals to participate in SCinet and attend the Supercomputing Conference you are helping to foster gender diversity in our field, a critical need.”

The WINS team will receive the award on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, during the annual CENIC conference in La Jolla, Calif. CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, operates the California Research & Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity network designed to meet the needs of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers, and other vital public-serving institutions in California. ESnet partners with CENIC on the Pacific Research Platform and in a joint cybersecurity initiative.