Four women in IT receive first NYSERNet Diversity Awards to attend TNC

Three IT professionals from Rochester Institute of Technology and one from Binghamton University are the first recipients of NYSERNet’s Diversity Award, a program intended to encourage underrepresented women and men to advance in the information technology field by attending The NYSERNet Conference 2017.

Three women from RIT – Nicole Mirando, a senior EBA programmer/analyst; Caitlin Nairn, a senior user experience designer; and Michelle Poysa, a senior web programmer/analyst – and Sushma Madduri, a research support analyst at Binghamton University, will attend the Oct. 2 and 3 conference in Syracuse free of charge. The Diversity Awards cover the cost of the conference and $500 for travel and hotel.

“We’re proud to have these four remarkable women join us for The NYSERNet Conference this year,” said NYSERNet President and CEO Christopher M. Sedore. “By attending, they’ll not only hear from interesting speakers, but add their voices, ideas and perspectives to important conversations with their peers about IT, security and networking.”

The NYSERNet Conference is a two-day event for IT practitioners and decision-makers from educational and research institutions across New York state. This year, it features four simultaneous tracks and 25 speakers discussing network and security technology, professional development, and cutting-edge technical ideas and trends for the campus environment.

The annual conference is being held for the first time at the newly renovated historic Syracuse Marriott Downtown. More than 100 IT professionals from across New York state are expected to attend.

The NYSERNet Diversity Award recipients:

Sushma Madduri, Binghamton University – Madduri recently joined Information Technology Services at Binghamton University as a research support analyst. In her role, she helps research faculty navigate the various computational resources available on and off campus. She earned her Ph.D. at Binghamton and previously taught mechanical engineering, physics and sustainability engineering. “I believe that attending this conference is the first step to achieve some of my goals as a liaison,” she said. “I think this is a valuable opportunity for me to meet and network with researchers and collaborators and likeminded people in the profession.”

Nicole Mirando, RIT – Mirando is a senior EBA programmer/analyst at RIT, where her team provides direct support for the research department, which is beginning to use Big Data tools to solve problems. Her recent projects include implementing a new work-order system, making an applicant tracking system more mobile-friendly, and developing a new process for handling an inventory of fixed assets. “I’m constantly developing new programs and always need to be on top of the latest security risks and ways to mediate them,” she said. “I’m confident I will learn a lot at this conference and be able to bring it all back to share with my team.”

Caitlin Nairn, RIT – Nairn is a senior user experience designer in the Center for Sustainable Mobility at RIT, where she’s one of a few women working on a technical team. She develops web applications and is the scrum master responsible for redesigning a tuition payment and student financial account management system. “There is something uniquely rewarding about travelling to meet and hear from people outside of your organization,” said Nairn, who added that she finds hearing about new ideas, challenges and experiences directly from fellow professionals is valuable, particularly “in our relatively small industry.”

Michelle Poysa, RIT – Poysa is a senior web programmer/analyst at RIT, where she works for the Internet Technology and Services Enterprise Web Applications Department. She’s worked as a software developer for more than 15 years, and said she’s eager to learn about Agile Development and other industry trends. “My hope is that some of what I learn at the conference – from professional development tracks and interactions with attendees – would add valuable perspective and experience that I can pull from when talking with others in my department.”