Helios Alumnae Attend Women in Tech Celebration

Alexandra Nazareno and Divya Mahendra represent ASU Engineering at the Grace Hopper Women in Computing Celebration, October 14-16 in Houston.

Two Helios Scholars at TGen alumnae will be attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Celebration, October 14-16 in Houston.

Alexandra Nazareno, a senior computer science major at Arizona State University, and Divya Mahendra, a graduate student and 2015 Helios alum, received scholarships to attend on behalf of ASU Engineering.

"It's exciting to see women from all over the country who are interested in computer science and succeeding in a male-dominated industry," said Alexandra, a 2014 and 2015 Helios Scholar who continues to work in bioinformatics and analysis for Dr. Murtaza Muhammed's lab.

With more than 8,000 expected attendees from 60-plus countries, GHC is the world's largest technical conference for women in computing with speakers ranging from Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, to Megan Smith, the United States chief technology officer.

Alexandra and Divya will participate in professional development activities as well as sessions geared toward their personal interests.

"The conference has everything from big data to security," Alexandra explained. "Women in STEM is something I have always been interested in, so I'm excited to attend."

Alexandra became interested in information technology when she took her first computer science class as a senior at Xavier College Prep, where her computer science teacher Catherine Wyman encouraged the young women to enter the field. Her Helios internships opened her eyes to the many career possibilities for women in STEM.

"When I became a computer science major, I wanted to see how my major could be applied to the health sciences," Alexandra said. "More data is coming through and needs to be analyzed. I have an interest in both biology and technology and TGen combines it."


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