Six Women in IT Selected to Get Hands-on Experience Building, Managing Super-fast Network at SC17

Six Women in IT Selected to Get Hands-on Experience Building, Managing Super-fast Network at SC17
by Brian Ban

Six women who work in IT departments at research institutions around the United States have been chosen to participate in the “Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS)” program, helping to build and operate SCinet, the very high capacity SC conference network.

Now in its third year, WINS is a collaboration between the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER). Although small numbers of women have been members of SCinet since its earliest days, WINS was launched to increase the diversity of the SCinet volunteer staff and provide professional development opportunities to highly qualified women in the field of networking and computing.

Each year, volunteers from academia, government and industry work together to design and deliver SCinet. Planning of the network takes two years, culminating in a high-intensity, around-the-clock installation and operation in the days leading up to and during the conference. After the conference, the team then only needs one day to dismantle it.

“I’m looking forward to working with a new group and learning from them,” said Soledad Toledano, a member of the cyber security group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who was chosen to join SCinet’s security team. This will be her first time attending the SC conference. “I know a lot of networking theory and think this hands-on experience will be very helpful. I want to take advantage of everything I can learn there.”

The other SC17 WINS awardees are:

Renuka Arya, a networking researcher at the University of Chicago who will be on SCinet’s Routing/Network team.
Maria Kalyvaki, a high-performance computing domain specialist at South Dakota State University. She will be a member of the Communications team
Tania Jareen, a networking engineer at Purdue University, will be on the SCinet Routing team.
Kate Robinson is a senior network administrator at Western State College in Colorado who will join the Wide Area Network Transport team.
Dori Sajdak, a senior systems administrator at University at Buffalo’s Center for Computational Research, will be part of the DevOps team.
Toledano’s participation will be funded by DOE/ESnet; Arya, Kalvaki, Jareen and Robinson will be funded by the National Science Foundation; and Sajdak is being supported by the University of Buffalo.

“This year, we received a very strong pool of 33 candidates,” said review committee chair Wendy Huntoon of KINBER. “Selecting just six participants was a real challenge due to the high quality of the applications and considering variables such as geographic diversity of the candidates, the ability to match a candidate with the appropriate team and other factors.”

Other review committee members are Virginia Bedford, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center; Patty Giuntoli; ESnet; Florence Hudson, Internet2; Dave Jent, Indiana University; Dave Pokorney, Florida LambdaRail; and Linda Winkler, Argonne National Laboratory.

Read more about WINS at SC17 by clicking here.

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