Introducing the Ensemble of CSE Ladies

Members will hold get-togethers, study sessions, talks, and workshops. They will also be piloting a new mentoring program.

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There is a new student group on campus that aims to bring together women in computer science.

ECSEL, the Ensemble of CSE Ladies, is a group to support graduate women students in CSE at the University of Michigan. The group’s goal is to foster a sense of community among graduate women, support members’ academic and career development, help incoming graduate students adapt and thrive in CSE, and generally enable a great graduate experience for their members.

ECSEL started with Ph.D. candidate Elaine Wah and CSE Prof. Valeria Bertacco. Wah realized that other institutions had a strong community for women graduate students and she wanted a similar community here at U-M. She then reached out to Prof. Valeria Bertacco to develop a plan of action to form the new student group.

Wah and Bertacco reached out to gEECS, which is an EECS student- run organization that is dedicated to the advancement of women in technology-related fields, to learn more about their group model. They then held a meeting with all CSE women graduate students to discuss whether to form a group, what opportunities to provide the community, and to elect the first set of officers.

They decided on the Ensemble of CSE Ladies, and the members will hold get-togethers, study sessions, talks, and workshops. They will also be piloting a new mentoring program where they pair current CSE graduate women with incoming female graduate students.

Their first event, which took place on Friday, May 29th, was a social gathering to mingle with current members, discuss future events, and introduce the officers.

The current officers for the academic school year are:

Lizzie Mamantov, Co-chair
Elaine Wah, Co-chair
Lynn Garrett, Website/Wiki and Social
Neha Agarwal, Corporate/External Relations
Shirley Chen, Corporate/External Relations
Shruti Padmanabha, Mailing List
Sanae Rosen, Website/Wiki

CSE is a sponsor of ECSEL, as well as a number of other groups and programs designed to expand opportunities for women in computing through outreach, education, and through connection to resources.

The group’s corporate relations officers will also work on building relationships with companies for potential future sponsorship opportunities and events.

ECSEL is looking forward to a number of upcoming events on their calendar, including a lunch with the deans of research and graduate education, and a welcome event for the new women graduate students in September 2015.

For more information, please visit the ECSEL website and contact Shruti Padmanabha to be added to their mailing list.