Limestone To Host WITS Conference March 15-16, 2018
Limestone College will host a pair of Women In Technology & Sciences (WITS) Conferences on Thursday, March 15, and Friday, March 16, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. each day.
The keynote speaker at each day’s luncheon will be Kim Jones from the United States Department of Defense, National Security Agency.
Nearly 200 sophomore and junior girls from area high schools are expected to attend the conferences. Participants will be mentored by Limestone's female faculty and students through a series of training workshops.
After managing several projects in the private sector for Department of Defense clients, the conference’s keynote speaker was given the opportunity to work directly for the National Security Agency where she manages projects developing cyber security and other mission-specific technologies.
Completing her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree from the University of North Dakota, Jones went to work as a software engineer for a large defense-contracting firm in Southern California, where she developed software for the Mark 48 Advanced Capability (ADCAP) torpedo, a heavyweight submarine-launched torpedo, variants of which are still in use by the United States Navy.
She also wrote software for a prototype mobile satellite ground station that would enable military personnel to engage in secure communications in sub-optimal conditions. Jones continued working in the defense industry designing and developing air defense systems that identify and track aircraft, as well as C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) systems. C4ISR systems connect computers, sensors, communication nodes, and visualization software to enable intelligence and military personnel to make rapid, informed decisions.
Jones earned a Master of Science in Technical Management degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute.
Registration will begin each day at 8:15 a.m. at Fullerton Auditorium. Various workshops will take place across campus throughout each morning, followed by lunch in the Stephenson Dining Hall Banquet Room.
Participants of the WITS Conference are eligible for Limestone's McMillan Scholarship Program, which is designed specifically for young women who have a high school grade point average of 3.0 or better. The scholarships are worth up to $8,000 annually.
“These are the best and brightest young women who have expressed an interest in science, math, technology, and health-related areas,” explained WITS Program Director Dr. Michelle Phillips-Meek, who is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Limestone. “The College is well-suited to offer a conference such as this because half of the faculty in science and health-related disciplines at Limestone are women with terminal degrees.”
The WITS Conference has received financial support from both Duke Energy and Broad River Electric Cooperative. In 2013, the Duke Energy Foundation provided $50,000 that was used to transform a Limestone science lab into one akin to those seen on the popular “CSI” television series as well as to provide additional high-tech equipment. Broad River Electric Cooperative’s gifts are made possible through its Operation Round Up. Via that program, the monthly balances of participating members’ accounts are rounded up to the nearest dollar. That extra change goes to a benevolent fund that assists organizations and goodwill missions in and around Broad River’s service area.
For more information about the WITS Conferences or the McMillan Scholarship Program, please contact the Limestone College Admissions Office at (864) 488-4615.