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BSU Computer Science Expert Advances Public Policy

September 26, 2014

Quincy Brown Works to Expand Students' Access to Technology, Science Careers

MEDIA CONTACT: Damita Chambers, dchambers@bowiestate.edu, 301-832-2628

(BOWIE, Md.) -- Dr. Quincy Brown has led a computer camp for girls at Bowie State University for four straight summers, but she wanted to do more to help young women enter science fields.

For the next year, Dr. Brown will work alongside policymakers to create career pathways for women and minorities as a Science and Technology (S&T) Policy Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

“I wanted to better understand how policy and funding really affects the STEM (science, technology, mathematics, and engineering) pipeline and the computer science pipeline,” said Brown. “Influencing policy that really affects our students’ education: that’s what I’m most interested in.”

The BSU computer science professor is taking leave from the university to work for a year at the National Science Foundation‘s Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate, supporting programs to open opportunities for everyone to participate in a technology-driven society. She hopes to learn how to present data from her own research to policymakers to inform their decisions on factors affecting whether women and minorities have opportunities for science careers.

The AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship allows scientists from various STEM disciplines to contribute to the policymaking process by working with decision-makers as they consider policies that impact individuals and communities. For more than 40 years, the organization has sponsored more than 2,800 fellows in federal government agencies.

Girls Who Will Camp

Dr. Brown said that leading the “Girls Who Will” camp for local middle and high school students gave her a deeper appreciation for the challenges facing young people in choosing to pursue science careers. The two-week camp introduces girls to mobile app development, robotics and gaming through fun, hands-on learning activities. She became interested in learning more about how to make similar career exploration programs more accessible and ways to provide solid academic preparation for students to enter science programs in college.

“I am really hoping to get a broader picture of computer science education,” she said. She ultimately plans to share information about national trends in teaching and internship programs with the faculty and students at Bowie State.

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