Elena Nadolinski of Fairfax, Va., and a freshman at Virginia Tech studying computer science, is one of six young women invited recently to the White House as a winner in the National Council for Women in Information Technology Award for Aspirations in Computing.
This award recognizes young women at the high school level for their computing aspirations and achievements. Nadolinski was attending W. T. Woodson High School when she learned of this honor, but the trip to the White House did not occur until December of 2011.
In high school, Nadolinski was the vice president of Woodson's Computer Science Club, and president of its Robotics Club, serving both groups for three years. While she was president of the latter group, her team placed second internationally in the Botball Robotics Tournament. Another project she undertook, writing a software program in Java, a computer science language, won her recognition from the Central Intelligence Agency and from George Mason University.
Since she enrolled at Virginia Tech she has joined the Association for Women in Computing. She will work as a co-operative education student in the summer and fall of 2012 with Science Applications International Corporation, an international research and development company at its northern Virginia location.
Nadolinski's visit to the White House coincided with President Barack Obama's recognition of individuals working to recruit and retain women in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics fields and the celebration of Computer Science Education Week.
"We are extremely pleased Elena elected to study computer science at Virginia Tech's College of Engineering. In the past few years we have emphasized the recruitment of high school women into our curriculum. Elena is an example of a great candidate. Hopefully, as organizers of a new District of Columbia regional National Council for Women in Information Technology Aspirations Program, with colleagues at the University of Virginia and at George Mason University, we will attract even more women like her," said Barbara Ryder, J. Byron Maupin Professor of Engineering at Virginia Tech and the computer science department head.
Virginia Tech's Department of Computer Science is a founding member of the National Center for Women and Information Technology Pacesetters program, aimed at increasing the number of women in computing.