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Indiana University elevates women in IT networking by leading the WINS program

Brenna Meade will become the program director of the Women in IT Networking at SC program as part of the program’s transition to IU leadership

News and events Nov 10, 2023

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program, dedicated to bridging the gender gap in information technology, is now under the leadership of Indiana University.

This transition, effective November 20, 2023, aims to maintain and expand the program’s success in promoting diversity in the fields of network engineering and high performance computing. Brenna Meade, senior network architect at International Networks at IU, will become WINS program director in 2024.

Dave Jent, IU associate vice president for networks, has long been a champion of WINS, both financially and philosophically. “WINS embodies IU’s commitment to a more inclusive IT community,” he said. “Together, we champion diversity and unity, forging a brighter future for network engineering and high performance computing.”

Brenna Meade, WINS program director Brenna Meade, WINS program director

Meade herself is a proud alumna of the WINS program.

“WINS changed my career and my life dramatically,” she said. “I’m honored to help other women experience the same career-altering opportunities that I did through WINS. I’m excited to bring more women into the field of networking.” 

WINS began at the 2015 International Conference for High Performance
Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis. It was a joint effort between the Energy Sciences Network, the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and SCinet. Its success led to a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation, with UCAR’s Marla Meehl and Wendy Huntoon from the American Indian Higher Education Consortium serving as original principal investigators.

“Leading the WINS program was a privilege, and I’m excited to witness its continued success under Indiana University’s stewardship. This transition is a testament to the program’s enduring impact in promoting gender diversity in IT,” said Meehl.

Each year, WINS sponsors up to seven early- to mid-career women from the U.S. research and education IT community for “hands-on” experience with SCinet, one of the fastest and most advanced computer networks in the world. When WINS started, fewer than 14% of SCinet volunteers were women. Now, that number has tripled, with several alumni moving on to SCinet management roles.

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