Big Sis/Little Sis targets women interested (not always the same as declared) in Computer Science seeking a forum to learn, communicate, and grow through the department. Though we're supported by the Computer Science Department, we're seeking women from all class levels, declared and undeclared, who find CS interesting and want to explore further.
The program has both a social and educational mission. Being a minority in any culture can present challenges. While we can all overcome the communication issues, weird comments, or just the feeling of being the only girl in the class, it's great to be able to talk to people who've been through it. We can advise each other with a perspective "from the trenches" in a way difficult to get from formal faculty advising relationships. We've all been there, and we're still there. By talking to each other, we can only learn.
The Big Sis/Little Sis program consists of a series of recommended but optional activities such as social events and workshops on topics including effective communication, academic choices, and technical enrichment. We also want to have fun. ;-)
Because the program is new, we're especially open to the needs and ideas of participants, so keep talking. :) There's a chance to shape and change the program.
We'll match mentors with one or more mentees. We're about organizing activities and bringing groups together. While the mentor and mentee groups are the smallest "unit" in the program, mentors are responsible for organizing get-togethers for their own group, but are also encouraged to get multiple groups together for activities. There will also be program wide activities -- while we want everyone to have a group that they're comfortable with, we also can learn together as a larger family.
Time commitment for program involvement is flexible -- we know that CS classes have no shortage of intense spots -- but at the same time, we expect a genuine investment and commitment from each participant to learn about others, and themselves, and to be honest about their experiences so we can all learn from each other. Participants may expect about two hours a week of involvement at minimum, though some weeks may be quieter and others more involved. We welcome anyone interested in a safe, open group of intelligent women learning about themselves in the tech culture. We are part of the culture, and if the future is rooted in technology, then we have a right and responsibility to be part of it.
Questions? Comments? Chocolate to give away?