White House recognizes alumna among “Champions of Change”
July 31, 2013
Board of Alumni member Ruthe Farmer BA ’92 was among 11 individuals recently recognized by the White House as “Champions of Change for Tech Inclusion.”
The Champions of Change were honored for their extraordinary work in expanding technology opportunities for young learners—especially minorities, women, and girls, and others from communities historically underserved or underrepresented in tech fields. The event is part of the White House Tech Inclusion Initiative, launched after President Obama issued a call during his 2013 State of the Union address to better equip American graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy.
Since 2001, Farmer has focused her efforts on increasing the participation of girls in technology and engineering. She currently serves as director of strategic initiatives for the National Center for Women & Information Technology and spearheads the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing talent development initiative. This program is designed to increase women’s participation in technology careers by providing awards, encouragement, visibility, community, leadership opportunities, scholarships, and internships.
“My years at Lewis & Clark had a huge influence in shaping my career path and passion, and I can point to my Rhetoric of Women course with Professor Jean Ward as the launching pad of my interest in fighting for equity for women,” Farmer said. “How can we expect girls to aspire to greatness if we don’t share the stories of the women that came before them? This is especially true in technology—many of the founders of the computing discipline were women, as were most of the early programmers. Girls need to know this heritage.”