DETROIT — The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation awarded eight women in various stages of their academic or professional careers with laptop stipends and scholarships at a ceremony at the Birmingham Country Club. MCWT’s corporate and media sponsors who make the annual scholarship program possible and support events throughout the year also were thanked for their dedication.

This year’s scholarship winners are Bonnie Yu of Ann Arbor, Angela Chen of Farmington Hills, Nicole Lawrence of Battle Creek, Kecia Wadell of Sterling Heights and Jade McCord o Detroit.

Additionally, the following women received laptop and backpack grants: Benita Robinson of Detroit, Charnise Whetstone of Detroit and Elizabeth Wohlford of Midland.

Through the scholarship program, the MCWT Foundation helps women pursue educational goals and become leaders in Michigan’s technology industry. Now in its ninth year, the competition received 136 applications.   “Once again with the generosity of our corporate partners, more girls will have the opportunity to further their interest in IT,” said Charlotte Decker, vice president of MCWT program development and scholarships, and vice president and chief technology officer of The Auto Club Group.  “MCWT strives to make Michigan the No. 1 state for women in technology, and to do this, we must continue to nurture our next generation of technology leaders.”

Other MCWT Foundation programs include sponsorship of robotics teams, student technology interest groups, website design competitions, and weeklong summer technology camps — MCWT Camp Infinity at Lawrence Technological University on June 25 and GM Foundation Camp Infinity presented by MCWT and STG at University of Detroit-Mercy on July 16. Both summer camps enable fourth- through seventh-grade girls to design web pages, disassemble and rebuild computers, build and program robots, and learn about digital photography.    MCWT sponsors include: Accenture, ACRO Services, AT&T, Blue Care Network, B L Aircraft, BMC Software, Capgemini, CDW, Cisco, CMS, Cognizant, Comerica, Compuware, Covisint, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, The Epitec Group, Fast Switch Ltd., Ford Motor Co., Fujitsu, General Motors Co., General Motors Foundation, HCL America, HP, IBM, Information Builders, JDM Systems Consulting, Lawrence Technological University, Mercedes Benz Financial, Microsoft, Most Technology Partners, MRM Worldwide, OnStar, Oracle, Plante Moran, PWC, Quicken Loans,  Ricoh, Satyam, Serena Software, SIM Detroit, Stefanini TechTeam, STG, Suntel, Symantec, Tata Consultancy Services, Trizetto, TTS, T-Systems, Valassis, and VisionIT.   MCWT community partners include Airfoil Public Relations, the Great Lakes Innovation and Technology Report, MiTech News, the Internet Advisor Show, X-OLOGY, and Midwest Technology Leaders.    The Michigan Council of Women in Technology promotes opportunity for women and girls within Michigan’s technology community. The organization supports Michigan’s female IT workforce, students, corporate partners, schools and the overall community with networking, corporate IT leadership development, mentoring, technology experiences for professionals and students, and funding for technology-oriented education. Its nonprofit foundation is dedicated to correcting the growing trend of gender disparity in the IT field by providing programs that support the education and orientation of young women throughout school and fostering women in various stages of their professional lives.   Find more information at and connect via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and .  More details on the scholarship and the laptop winners is as follows:   Angela Chen: A 2011 graduate from North Farmington High School, Angela lives in Farmington Hills and currently attends the University of Michigan, Dearborn.  She is taking courses to complete a software engineering degree and carries a 3.83 GPA.   Kecia Wadell: Kecia lives and works in Sterling Heights. She has been a teacher for more than 18 years and currently teaches special education in an area public high school. Active in MCWT, Kecia assists with the organization’s new eLearning programming with surveying and evaluation. She is pursuing her PhD in instructional technology at Wayne State University.   Nicole Lawrence: Nicole is a recent graduate of Lakeview High School in Battle Creek who earned a 4.0 GPA and participated in more than 12 clubs and teams. She will be attending Michigan State University this fall to being her studies in computer science.   Jade McCord: A recent graduate of University High School in Ferndale, Jade lives in Detroit and has been a longtime member of the school’s MCWT GET IT club. Jade also participated in robotics, Innovative Vehicle Design teams and DECA. She also played basketball and was a mentor to 4th grade students. She will be attending Oakland University this fall to study computer engineering.   Benita Robinson: Benita lives in Detroit and is a junior at the University of Michigan’s Dearborn campus. She has chosen to major in computer and information science, and sociology.   Charnise Whetstone: Charnise is a new graduate of Crockett Technical High School in Detroit with a 3.5 GPA.  Charnise is a member of the National Honor Society and is a tutor at Trinity Community Development Center. She plans to attend college in Michigan to study graphic design and technology in the fall.   Bonnie Yu: Already a student at the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan, Bonnie plans to graduate in 2013 with her master’s degree in information science. Her coursework has included social network analysis, database application design, and recommender systems. She also volunteers her time to provide feedback and build exercise modules for the Khan Academy, an organization that creates educational videos and practice materials for learners worldwide.   Elizabeth Wohlford: Elizabeth is a recent graduate of Dow High School in Midland with a 4.1 GPA. She plans to pursue a degree in health technology at Michigan Technological University so that she can use technology in the medical field, possibly as a dentist someday.


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