RELEASE: MSU and NCWIT recognize 28 high school women for computing aspirations

March 8, 2017

Canton, Miss. – As part of an effort to encourage more young women to choose careers in technology, the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) and the Computer Science and Engineering Department at Mississippi State University (MSU) recognized 28 high school women for their accomplishments and aspirations in computing and technology at the Aspirations in Computing event held in Canton on February 25.  The young women are recipients of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, which recognizes high school women for computing-related achievements and interests.

“With technology jobs projected to grow faster than all other job sectors in the next decade, it’s imperative that we nurture the computing aspirations of women, who will make up half the professional workforce,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-founder of NCWIT.  “This award allows us recognize and encourage talent that might otherwise be overlooked.”

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing was created to encourage the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field, and generate visibility for women’s participation in technology fields. Awardees are acknowledged for their outstanding aptitude and interest in technology and computing, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education.

The 28 young women selected for the 2017 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing in Mississippi are from 17 communities across the state:

National Honorable Mention/Mississippi Regional Winners

COLUMBUS –  Kathryn Soule, New Hope High School

MADISON –  Zoe Bush, Madison Central High School


Mississippi Regional Winners

BILOXI – Savannah Templeton, Gulfport High School

CLINTON – Charmaine Beluso, Clinton High School

COLUMBUS – Annalisa Robertson and Cheyanne Allred, both from New Hope High School; Mary Lee, Mississippi School for Math and Science

LONG BEACH – Gabrielle Howe and Caleigh Traylor, both from Long Beach High School

LUCEDALE – Caitlin Verburg, Greene County High School

MADISON – Emily Robinson and Rimika Banerjee, both from Madison Central High School

MIZE – MaKayla Luper, Mize Attendance Center

STARKVILLE – Angella Osinde, Mississippi School for Math and Science; Anna White, Starkville High School


Mississippi Regional Honorable Mentions

BRANDON – Tejaswi Gollapudi, Northwest Rankin High School

DUNDEE – Kayla Smith, Rosa Fort High School

GULFPORT – Robyn Cuthbert, Long Beach High School; Hannah Gorrell, Harrison Central High School

LONG BEACH – Ashlyn Byrd, Kaylee Martin and Trinity Huidobro, all from Long Beach High School

LUMBERTON – Allison Stanford, Harrison Central High School

OCEAN SPRINGS – Meghan Nguyen, Ocean Springs High School

OLIVE BRANCH – Taylor Brasel, Center Hill High School

ROBINSONVILLE – Amberiel Richardson, Rosa Fort High School

SAUCIER – Heather Breece and Makayla Henderson, both from Harrison Central High School


NCWIT is the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a non-profit coalition of over 450 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits working to improve U.S. innovation, competitiveness, and workforce sustainability by increasing women’s participation in IT. NCWIT’s work spans K-12 and higher education through industry and academic careers. Find out more at

The Aspirations in Computing Award program in Mississippi is part of the Mississippi Alliance for Women in Computing. For more information, visit or contact Sarah Lee at