USF @ Grace Hopper 2019!

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the largest of its kind in the world. It provides attendees with an unforgettable experience, filled with amazing opportunities and exceptional content focused on women in technology. Women from across the world come to network, learn, and discuss their experiences and share wisdom.

This year, the Department of Computer Science at the University of San Francisco sent 37 students, two faculty, and one staff to the conference in Orlando, FL. This was made possible through a generous gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the organization of craigslist founder Craig Newmark. Here are some of the students and faculty who attended:


We asked the students to discuss their experience at this year’s conference, and this is what they had to say:

What was your main motivation for attending Grace Hopper? 

My main motivation for attending Grace Hopper was to be a part of the amazing women in tech community. I wanted to learn how to empower not only myself but other women around me who share similar struggles. I set a goal to be more confident in my abilities and be able to put myself out there when meeting new people and feel like I belong. This is a big goal and is almost impossible to reach in one week, but I think Grace Hooper brought me much closer to achieving it. 

  • Cassidy Newberry, BSCS ‘21


Gain inspiration and confidence from other females in the industry. 

  • Nina Luo, MSCS ‘20


I have been learning about the Grace Hopper Conference from my seniors and friends, and following it on social media for the last couple of years. Being a woman in tech, I knew how much of an empowering, motivating and life-changing experience GHC could be for me. Before starting my journey as a technologist, I was always in search of such opportunities that can help me build my confidence, face my insecurities and develop my personality. Attending GHC was a dream come true for me. It was so much beyond my expectations. Being at GHC, surrounded by around 25,000 women technologists who are shaping the world was unforgettable, and the most inspiring and humbling experience I have had in my life. I was overwhelmed to see the technology advancements and innovations that women have achieved, at the same time inspire others to follow their path.

  • Divya Vijayan, MSCS Bridge ‘21

How was your experience at the Grace Hopper Conference? 

It was as amazing as it was last year. The scale of the conference was astounding, and I felt impressed by the amount of talent and intelligence in the room during the sessions and keynotes.

  • Eve Matson, BSCS ‘21


The environment of GHC is so different and positive. I really wanted to make contacts with other women that worked in machine learning and AI, and attending the talks and the DOE lab social events were great places to do that.  

  • Anna Jurgensen, MSCS Bridge ‘21


I consider attending GHC as a once in a lifetime opportunity to connect with the most amazing women in tech across the world. It really helped to build my confidence by networking with bright women technologists who work at Google, Facebook, Amazon and my peers who are from other universities, like Stanford, Princeton. I was fortunate enough to attend interviews for some big tech companies like LinkedIn and Splunk and meet with their technology leaders. From the incredible keynote addresses to informative and engaging talks, GHC was filled with rare opportunities that I have never dreamt of. I was able to connect with recruiters who presented me with new opportunities and gave me advice for advancing in my career.

  • Divya Vijayan, MSCS Bridge  ‘21

What speakers or sessions stood out to you? Why?

The big data applications in the industry session was impressive because I learned a lot about how to apply computer science knowledge in academia to real problems in the industry.

  • Na Lu, MSCS Bridge ‘21


The AI speakers and sessions stood out to me the most. There was a talk about AI creating its own fashion line and perfume. They even brought in the actual products that AI had designed. It was so cool to see something like that brought to life. It really showed me how AI and humans can work together, not against each other like most people think.

  • Cassidy Newberry, BSCS ‘21


The keynotes really impressed me. I was really encouraged by the fact that so many of the speakers were calling out areas where the tech industry needed to evolve rather than just accepting the status quo and giving us tips to navigate the biased industry. I also thought the machine learning and AI talks were also really good – they really tried to make the material accessible, which isn’t how I’ve typically seen these topics discussed outside of GHC.

  • Anna Jurgensen, MSCS Bridge ‘21

What was your biggest surprise from the Grace Hopper conference?

My biggest surprise at GHC was how many people from different countries travel all the way to the United States for this conference. I could not believe how many people I met from all over the world. That shows how special this conference is for women in tech; they are willing to travel so far to be a part of it.

  • Cassidy Newberry, BSCS ‘21


How ready and willing people at the career fair were to talk to you and try to really help and give solid advice. I stopped by the Nike booth,   and the lady who talked with me was really helpful in discussing where she saw my resume fit in at Nike specifically, and it was a good discussion for me!  It was really eye-opening that people weren’t just taking resumes and shoo-ing you away.

  • Allison Wong, MSCS Bridge ‘20


The friendliness and genuine supportiveness of other attendees regardless of their level of experience.

  • Anna Jurgensen, MSCS Bridge ‘21

What was especially satisfying to you about the conference?

It was especially satisfying that the keynote speakers are so carefully chosen, passionate, and empowering. The conference did an amazing job inspiring people with the opening and closing of GHC. The keynote speakers all thoroughly impressed me and made me excited to be involved with such a great conference. It was empowering to hear all the accomplishments of the speakers, and was even more important to hear about their struggles. To know that these accomplished women had to fight through the struggles that we all face, and they still managed to do amazing things is the most empowering part of the conference for me. 

  • Cassidy Newberry, BSCS ‘21


I got an internship offer!! From the company I’ve been dreaming about working for since I was in middle school!

  • Eve Matson, BSCS ‘21


GHC was a gathering of 25,000 people from around the world. People could have easily ignored anyone and been there for themselves. But it was just the opposite that I saw everywhere at GHC. From the recruiters at the career fair to all my other fellow GHC attendees, everyone was supporting and celebrating each other, and motivating others to move forward. It could have been really tiring to capture the most from such a huge gathering. But the experience at GHC was really energizing and soulful and unforgettable. 

  • Divya Vijayan, MSCS Bridge ‘21


Childcare service gave me free time to attend many talks and the opportunity to learn about the new technologies. I really appreciate that. 

  • Rozita Teymourzadeh, MSCS ‘20




I really enjoyed the featured speakers The 19-year-old specifically was really inspiring. It was just great to see the amazing things women are accomplishing. 

  • Alexandria Davis, BSCS ‘21


Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience at Grace Hopper?

I just want to say how grateful I am to have been involved in the GHC conference. It is so great to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself but still feel like an individual important piece of that much bigger entity. I cannot thank those who made it possible for me to go enough. 

  • Cassidy Newberry, BSCS ‘21


I got a rare chance to volunteer for the ACM-W group and interact with so many people, talk about the benefits of ACM-W and encourage them to join. It was my first time volunteering in the US, and that too at such a huge platform. It was truly an amazing experience.

  • Divya Vijayan, MSCS Bridge ‘21


I truly appreciate Craig Newmark, Prof. Beste and Gian for providing such great support. It was an amazing experience.

  • Rozita Teymourzadeh, MSCS ‘20


Many of USF’s students networked and interviewed with the many companies at the Grace Hopper Celebration, including:


  • Activision
  • Airbnb
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Argonne labs
  • Audible
  • Bloomberg
  • Cisco
  • CME
  • DataDog
  • Department of Energy 
  • Docusign
  • Draft Kings
  • eBay
  • Everlaw
  • F5
  • Facebook
  • Facebook
  • Fermi Labs
  • Google
  • Groupon
  • IBM
  • LBNL
  • LinkedIn
  • NBC Universal
  • Oak Ridge)
  • Okta
  • PNNL
  • SAS
  • Slack
  • Splunk
  • Splunk
  • Spotify
  • Tableau
  • United Airlines
  • Verizon
  • Walmart

Women in Tech Graduate Scholarship Recipients

Through a generous gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the organization of craigslist founder Craig Newmark, five Computer Science graduate students have received a Women in Technology scholarship. This will help to provide the opportunity to excel in their academics and continue their active engagement on campus, ultimately enriching STEM education for everyone at the University of San Francisco.

We asked the recipients to share their thoughts on how the Newmark Scholarship has impacted their studies:


“Receiving this scholarship enables me to go into my last year at USF without worrying so much about finances. It’s not only an honor but also takes a huge burden off my shoulders in terms of splitting my time between work, academics and job-hunting. Overall it means I can focus more on getting through this year to graduation and finishing strong!”


  • Allison Wong, MS in Computer Science Bridge, Spring ‘20

Continue reading “Women in Tech Graduate Scholarship Recipients”

2019 Undergraduate Newmark Women in Technology Scholarship Recipients

Through a generous gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, seven undergraduate students have received a Women in Technology scholarship, which helps to provide the opportunity to excel in their academics and continue their active engagement on campus. This enriches STEM education for everyone at the University of San Francisco.

The Newmark Scholarship recipients were asked to share their thoughts on the awards: Continue reading “2019 Undergraduate Newmark Women in Technology Scholarship Recipients”

Apply Now! Undergrad Newmark WiT Scholarships

The Department of Computer Science is now taking applications for the Fall 2019 Undergraduate Newmark Women in Tech Scholarships! These scholarships will cover at least $5,000 in tuition for Fall 2019.

Female undergraduate students in good academic standing majoring in Computer Science or Data Science with sophomore standing or above are eligible to apply.

We will primarily consider financial need, as well as scholarship, service, and diversity when selecting scholarship recipients. The application will ask for:

  • Name, email, student ID, overall GPA, and major GPA
  • Current financial aid information
  • Details about work outside of class

You will be asked to answer the following essays:

  • If awarded, how will receiving this scholarship contribute to your academic success at USF next year? Please keep your response under 300 words.
  • Please describe your scholarship and service, including concrete evidence where possible. This can include a mix of your GPA, individual class grades, class projects, side projects, research projects, internships, community service and volunteer work, and more. Please keep your response under 500 words.
  • How would receiving the undergraduate Newmark Women in Tech scholarship contribute to your career goals after you graduate? Please keep your response under 300 words.

You will also be asked for the contact information of two faculty advocates. Please be sure to reach out to these faculty members BEFORE submitting this application!

For full consideration, applications must be submitted by March 29, 2019. See for details.

Continue reading “Apply Now! Undergrad Newmark WiT Scholarships”

Craig Newmark Gives $230,000 to Support USF Women in Tech Initiative

The University of San Francisco’s (USF) Department of Computer Science is thrilled to announce a $230,000 gift from Craig Newmark, the founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, to help fuel the department’s Women in Tech initiative. This extraordinary gift is a continuation of Newmark’s longstanding commitment to supporting gender equality in technology. His goal is to help more women become interested in coding early on in their educational careers and to aid in the fostering of an inclusive environment for all women in tech. Continue reading “Craig Newmark Gives $230,000 to Support USF Women in Tech Initiative”

BSCS Alumni Profile: Marilyn Cruz ’18

BSCS AlumThe University of San Francisco’s Department of Computer Science is a diverse community that welcomes students from all over the world and from many different backgrounds, going on to do incredible things in the world. One such recent alumni is Marilyn Cruz (BSCS ‘18)  and she is making a impact at Snapchat. Continue reading “BSCS Alumni Profile: Marilyn Cruz ’18”

Craig Newmark Thank You Celebration

During the holidays, it is important to give thanks to those that help make USF Computer Science the wonderful place that it is. This year, we were able to send over 30 students to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, engage in a wide-range of research projects, and provide mentorship for many students thanks to the generosity of Craig Newmark. Continue reading “Craig Newmark Thank You Celebration”

Fall 2018 State of the Department

The USF Computer Science department is thriving with four new tenure-track faculty members, two new research labs, a new graduate “Bridge” program that readies graduates from other majors for a Master’s in CS, and graduate enrollments that have doubled since 2016 and undergraduate enrollments that have tripled since 2013. The department is the largest and most diverse it has ever been in terms of both faculty, students, and expertise.

New Faculty

The new faculty members include Beste Yuksel who just started her third year and works in Human- and Brain-Computer Interfaces, Matthew Malensek (2nd year) who works in Big Data, David Guy Brizan (2nd year in CS) who works in Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, and Vahab Pournaghshband (1st year) who works in Networks and Security. Hiring in CS is a huge challenge and we are thrilled to have added these terrific teachers and researchers to our department, and to have broadened our areas of expertise. Continue reading “Fall 2018 State of the Department”