YWiC 2016YWiC has come a long way since 2006! A program director, a program coordinator, a graduate assistant, and undergraduate research assistants make up the fabulous YWiC team! Each individual contributes great energy and ideas toward the overall goals of the program, so it’s worth mentioning a little bit about each person!

 img_20160326_143024 Marissa Carbajal – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Marissa is a Senior pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in 3D Animation and Visual effects at New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute. She joined the YWiC team in September 2015, after attending a YWiC summer camp in high school. She was a runner up in the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award 2014. She mentors for Supercomputing Challenge and Project NEO Robotics. She has an Associates in the Arts and three certificates – Creative Media Technology, Animation, and New Mexico Common Core. Her hobbies are reading books and helping students with interest in technology.

Nicole picture Nicole Price – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nicole is a senior at New Mexico State University and is pursuing a degree in Information Engineering Technology. She is also working towards a minor in Music and a minor in Mathematics. She has worked with YWiC since February 2015 and recently conducted lessons plans for SNAP! and EV3 Robotics at her first YWiC summer camp in 2015. Nicole attended the 2015 CAHSI Summit in Puerto Rico where she presented a poster on her research in Computer Science. She also received a scholarship to attend the ‘Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing’ conference in October. Her favorite activities include playing the flute, piano, guitar, ukulele, and singing. Mostly, Nicole enjoys learning new and interesting things about technology, math and music.

11/06/15: Conroy Honors Scholar freshman Angela Kearns. (Photo by Karrie Lucero) Angela Kearns – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Angela Kearns is a sophomore at New Mexico State University. She is currently working towards Bachelors of Science degrees in both Mathematics and Computer Science. Angela joined the YWiC team in August 2015. She is a Crimson Scholar and a recipient of the prestigious Conroy Merit Scholarship at NMSU. Between classes and her work with YWiC she stays pretty busy, but she also enjoys dancing, specifically ballet, in her free time.

Picture Sofi Sofia Bali – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sofia is a junior at New Mexico State University majoring in Biochemistry with minors in Computer Science, Math, and Music. She attended YWiC in the summer of 2013 and was a camp assistant the following year. Now working as an undergraduate research assistant she wants to inspire young women to pursue careers in C-STEM. This year she attended the Grace Hopper Conference as well as the Computing Alliance for Hispanic Serving Institutions Summit. Sofia is also part of the NMSU Cross Country and enjoys running and playing the bassoon in her free time.

  Hang Ngo – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Hang Ngo is currently a junior pursuing a degree in Computer Science at New Mexico State University. She joined Young Women in Computing (YWiC) since August 2016 and is working toward the teen tech workshop at Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science this Fall. As an undergraduate research assistant at Young Women in Computing, she would like to encourage more girls to get involved in the computing field. Hang enjoys watching movies and listening to music in her free time.

Sasha Smith – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sasha is currently a freshman at New Mexico State University studying Electrical Engineering. She is a Crimson Scholar as well as a recipient of the Honors Excel Scholarship. Having attended Young Women in Computing (YWiC) as a camper in the summers of 2014 and 2015, Sasha had the opportunity to be a camp assistant for the summer of 2016. Through these camps, she realized that she has a love for the learning environment. Teaching has taught her the most because it gives her the experience needed to verify her grasp on a concept. Sasha is currently working as a research assistant for YWiC and is extremely excited to have the opportunity to learn from others as well as share her own knowledge.

Analyssa Martinez – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Analyssa is a freshman at New Mexico State University, where she is double majoring in computer science and sociology. Analyssa has been involved in the YWiC program since the sixth grade, when the YWiC program held an after school club at her middle school. Ever since then, Analyssa has attended numerous summer camps, as well as weekend events and multiple competitions. It was through this program that she fell in love with computer science and outreach, and is what inspired her to pursue her degree at NMSU. Analyssa is a recipient of the Conroy Achievement Scholarship, and was an Aspirations in Computing National Runner-Up for three years in a row, as well as a local affiliate winner for all four years of high school. This past summer, Analyssa was able to teach a group of middle school girls through the Aspire IT program, and has found a passion in teaching computer science to girls much like herself at their age.

Program Coordinator


Pontelli Picture Dr. Enrico Pontelli – Program Director
Dr. Enrico Pontelli is the program director for Young Women in Computing, as well as the Associate Dean for Planning and Academic Resources in the College of Arts and Sciences at NMSU. He was the PI on the original NSF grant that established YWiC in 2006, along with several other members of the faculty and staff in NMSU Computer Science. Dr. Pontelli received a Laurea (Bachelors) in Computer Science University of Udine, a Masters Degree in Computer Science from University of Houston, and a PhD in Computer Science from New Mexico State University. Dr. Pontelli has been recognized as a Regent Professor at NMSU, one of the university’s highest honors bestowed on faculty members.
Past Superstar YWiC Staff:
Elena Davidson, currently designing iOS Apps with the Learning Games Lab at NMSU
nicole Nicole Ray, currently a Systems Analyst with the NASA White Sands Test Facility
Sam Picture Sam McGuinn, currently a Software Engineer with Cisco
Samira Picture Samira Pakravan, currently working on a Doctorate Degree
noor  Noor Muhyi, currently working on a Masters Degree

Esperanza Medina, currently a Software Engineer with Go Daddy
Susana Bali, currently an intern with El Paso Electric Co., and just completed a semester exchange in Spain
Tasha Nesiba, currently a Software Engineer with Google
Janie Chen, currently a Software Engineer with A9.Com
Jen Dana-Farley