Sit with Me Awareness Campaign

From October 15-24, the Sit with Me red chair is appearing at a variety of businesses and organizations in the Creative Corridor. Sitting in the red chair symbolizes taking a stand to support women in technology. The Red Chair is part a nationwide campaign to increase gender diversity in computing and IT led by NCWIT. You are invited to “take a stand” by sitting in the Red Chair

Many thanks to University of Iowa Women in Informatics and Computer Science, Innovation Expo, Iowa City CoLab, University of Iowa Research Park, Vault, Iowa Startup Accelerator and 1 Milliion Cups Iowa City/Cedar Rapids for providing venues for the chair!


Full gallery of photos (additions daily through October 24).


Girls Tech Career Day Speakers 2014

Many thanks to the wonderful local women who will be sharing their path to careers in technology with the girls on Girls Tech Career Day November 12, 2014. Fun to see both some familiar faces from last year’s program and a few new ones!

Kristine Arens

Kris_Arens-headshotKristine Arens is the President and owner of SiloTree Coaching and Consulting. As a professional coach and business consultant, Kristine works with companies to build cohesive teams. She also acts as a big idea architect, where she helps companies convert big ideas into actionable tasks and processes.

She has 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field and was a key player overseeing the implementation of high-profile, large-scale software solutions. She used success driven strategies, leadership skills, and team collaboration to become a leader in her organization. In 2011 she created her own coaching and consulting business. Today, Kristine is a trusted coach, speaker and business consultant who uses her “been-there-done-that” experience to connect to her clients.

Kristine grew up in rural Wisconsin, but has called Iowa home for 20 years. She is a LEGO League Coach and enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children.

Tricia Ball

Tricia_Ball-headshotTricia Ball originally started with a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Iowa, but then returned to receive her B.S. in Computer Science. She has now been working in technology for over 11 years. She started her career in user technical support at Pearson, and continued there as a software developer starting with Java, and then onto a Ruby on Rails team. She is now at the University of Iowa where she is a team lead, and also develops in PHP, Ruby on Rails, as well as JavaScript.

Leah Becker

Leah BeckerLeah is a UI Designer/Production Specialist at ConnectFive. She is experienced in designing print and web-based materials. Leah graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Art Studio – emphasis in Graphic Design and minors in Art History and Marketing. Before becoming part of the ConnectFive team, Leah worked as a freelance designer. Aside from her work, Leah enjoys painting, traveling, and spending time with family.

Anamika Chandel

anamikaAnamika Chandel came to Iowa after receiving a Bachelor of Interior Design from India and Masters in Design from Italy. Her motto is to never stop learning. She likes to read and teach her son about everything and is always working on the best ways to teach him.

Anamika wants to teach people who can’t afford to go to school. Her aim is to help people build computer skills so that they can apply for better jobs. She is also working on enhancing her own computer skills, learning to code and build websites.

Dawn Ealy

Dawn EalyDawn wears many hats for ConnectFive, including UX Documentation Lead, Project Manager and HR Liaison. She graduated from Central College with a BA in Computer Science and a minor in Business Management. Prior to joining ConnectFive, Dawn worked in systems analysis, project management and technical writing roles for companies in the pharmaceutical and educational assessment industries. In addition to her technical side, Dawn has also managed hospital volunteers, sold real estate and volunteered for many school, church and sports activities within the community.

Michal Eynon-Lynch

Michal-headshotMichal Eynon-Lynch is a former high school teacher turned EdTech Entrepreneur.  She co-founded ActiveGrade, a gradebook to provide more timely and specific feedback to students, in 2010 and sold it in 2013.  In 2014 the team rejoined to build Pear Deck, an interactive presentation and formative assessment tool that allows every student to participate right from their own computers or phones.  Michal is the COO and Chief Educator at Pear Deck focusing on everything from customer relationships, product design, and help documentation to hiring, pitching to investors, and sales.

Julie Gros-Louis

Julie Gros-LouisJulie completed her B. S. at the University of Michigan in Biological Anthropology-zoology. During her years as an undergraduate, she gained field experience as a research assistant studying dolphins in Australia, rhesus macaques in Puerto Rico, and capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica. After graduating, she worked as a full time research assistant for 3 years (in Costa Rica and Ann Arbor) before going on to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania where she earned her Ph.D. in Psychology. Her Ph.D. research focused on vocal communication in white-faced capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica. Julie went on to Indiana University for a post-doc in developmental psychology studying social mechanisms of communicative development in songbirds and human infants. Currently, Julie is an assistant professor of Psychology and member of The Delta Center at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on social influences on communicative development in prelinguistic infants.

Katelyn Lensch

Katelyn Lensch Katelyn Lensch is a UI designer and developer for ConnectFive. She discovered her love of technology and graphic design in High School while building websites for local companies and as a member of the Iowa State 4H Technology Team. She went to the University of Northern Iowa and graduated with B.A.’s in Graphic Design and Computer Science. She has worked as an interface designer and developer for several Iowa companies helping to create websites, mobile apps and software on touch screen devices.

Lynne Zeman

Lynne Zeman teaches chemistry and nutrition at Kirkwood Community College, and in the past has taught biology, beginning physics and math classes at both the community college and high school levels as well.   She has coached a few First LEGO League teams and put on a Family Science Night (hoping to do more of those this year)    She has masters degrees in biology and chemistry from University of Iowa.  She loves to read.

Organizing Committee

In addition to the presenters, the day would not be possible without our organizing committee. Many thanks to Kris Arens, Tricia Ball, Laura Christenson, Andrea Flemming, Jen Graham, Jennifer Kyle, Karen Michaeli, Rebecca Michaeli, Shuva Rahim, Liza Sarsfield, Daria Tan, Deb Walton and Juliet Wehr.

Meet the Women Founders in the Iowa Startup Accelerator

iowa startup acceleratorFour of the ten teams in the Iowa Startup Accelerator have female founders. That’s well above the national average, but there still room for improvement.

Come meet the women founders and hear about their experiences in the Accelerator as well as particular challenges they face as women in the 90-day intensive program.

Andrea Hansen, Co-founder of Venuefox
Beth McKeon, founder of Kids Calendar
Blake Rupe, CEO of Re-APP
Khristine McIntosh, Co-founder of ProduceRun

We Create Here article about the women and national statistics about women in accelerator programs.

Thursday, October 2, 7 p.m.
122 E Market St.
Iowa City, IA


Refreshments courtesy of the Iowa Startup Accelerator. Thank you!

October Meeting

A monthly time for area women in tech to learn, share, and network. New members always welcome! We’ll have committee reports on upcoming workshops, Girls Tech Career Day, and our February conference.

A women-only event.

Wednesday, October 8, 7 p.m.

University Capitol Center 2520B

Iowa City, IA


Workshop Your Portfolio Website

Women web designers, programmers, bloggers, and creatives who build and maintain a website to promote your services are invited to workshop your portfolio site. It’s easy to get so busy building sites for others that we neglect our own.

Come prepared to share your website, the parts you are proud of and the parts you want to work on. Laura Christenson will talk about writing for the web and we’ll also share responsive design tools and highlight portfolio sites that impress.

Saturday, October 18, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Iowa City CoLab

316 E. Court St.

Iowa City, IA