Past Events

BTAA WIT Salary Negotiation Panel Discussion

March 15, 2023

UW-Madison hosted a Salary Negotiation Panel Discussion for Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) institutions.

Distinguished Lecture Series: Leadership in Technology with President Toomas Hendrik Ilves

September 28, 2022

Leadership in Technology with President Toomas Hendrik Ilves

WIT Speed Mentoring

May 11, 2022

Curious about mentoring but not sure what it's all about? Come to our event to learn more about speed mentoring, network with other members, and build your skills! After a short presentation, you'll be paired up with another person and take turns sharing knowledge/advice before rotating to a new mentor.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Academia

April 20, 2022: Presentation Recording | Slides

Founder and Chief Strategist Diya Khanna of Global IDEA discussed the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in academia. The talk touched on what DEI is and why it matters in universities. Diya spoke about how to find practical solutions to ongoing challenges and what we can do to create more diverse, equitable, inclusive environments.


Climate Change, Sustainability, and U (and you)

January 26, 2022: Presentation Recording

Heidi Roop, Assistant Professor of Climate Science and Shane Stennes, the University’s Director of Sustainability, discussed the impact of climate change and sustainability at a global and local level. Attendees gained a deeper understanding of climate change, the University’s response, and how they can take individual, meaningful action.

Climate Change and Technology Work

November 12, 2021

  • What effect does adding this framework to my application have on the environment?
  • What initiatives to reduce energy usage in the data center can I voice support for?
  • Can I design a website that is both accessible and sustainable?

The recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed some glimpses into the future that are alarming at best. The problems shown by the report may feel abstract from our work, or too enormous to tackle on an everyday basis. But as people who work with technology, we make choices that have effects we might not even be aware of. While energy consumption, for example, can feel limited to our personal laptops and monitors, how we code or design can have a big impact as well.

Amy Drayer (Libraries) and Kevin Deutsch (Data Center) presented on how you can help make a difference to the environment in your work.

Intentionally Building Diversity Into Your Teams and Organization

May 20, 2021Presentation Recording | Slides (pdf)

Right now, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are more important than ever. Last year served as a reflection point for many of us, especially those who work in the DEI space. It has altered the discourse of race and social justice in the workplace and has led to greater accountability for organizations, like the University of Minnesota, to discuss these issues. The focus has now been on action rather than words compared to the past. Organizations have evolved in positive ways and DEI is now being defined as a real movement rather than a moment in time.

With all that’s going on in our country, this is a crucial time to make a commitment to DEI. Prince Saah, a talent acquisition consultant with the University of Minnesota, will help facilitate discussions around building diversity in teams and organizations:

  • Engaging with teams to build support of DEI efforts (creating conditions for DEI)
  • What would you like to see stop, continue, or start when it comes to diversifying the workforce?
  • In order for progress to be made, we need to have accountability. What does accountability look like to you?

DEI work does not happen if it’s not prioritized, so we hope this open discussion will give you a chance to start the conversation at a community level if you haven’t already.

University of Minnesota 2021 Women in STEMM Summit

April 30, 2021

This second annual summit featured a keynote presentation by Raven Baxter, aka Raven the Science Maven, followed by an Advancing Gender Equity Strategizing session. The session included U of M-affiliated community members committed to addressing gender equity at the University in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine (STEMM).

Perseverance. Life Lessons of an Accidental Author

February 18, 2021

How can we get through the day and stay true to our values when the very institutions and systems we rely upon are being challenged? Shelly Boyum-Breen shared her healing journey from childhood through an inspiring story of perseverance, clarity, courage, compassion, and a moral compass.

Anti-Racism Workshop

December 17, 2020

In this session, we explored the differences between not racist and anti-racist. What does this mean for us personally? What would it mean for a team, department, and university to be anti-racist? Sharing and learning, unlearning, and relearning together. Video resources:

Facilitated by Kate Curley: As a white facilitator, I want to acknowledge that the burden for education on racism often falls on Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)--and there are countless resources by BIPOC people available to lift and support. In attempts to align with this value while also valuing the work of anti-racism education, 80% of the funds gained from this session will be donated to Voices for Racial Justice. I hold this space welcome to all and to acknowledge that the majority of the group is white and the importance of white accountability in anti-racism work.

Exploring and Expanding Our Understandings of Women and Gender (with Justin Toliver)

October 22, 2020

When most of us hear the word “woman,” a specific image and idea comes to mind. Even before we entered the world, gender was assigned to us in a very specific and often restricting way. In this session and as a community, we will explore, interrogate, and expand our understanding of gender including how we conceptualize what it means to be “woman,” “man,” or neither! Justin (pronouns: they/them/theirs) will utilize a human centered approach to guide participants in cultivating a culture of organizational inclusion for people of all genders, while centering the needs of people with marginalized gendered experiences.

Resource: Brené Brown on Empathy

Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) “Leadership in a Culture of Constant Change” Virtual Conference

February 7, 2020

Disruption is a constant presence in our lives and can stem from forces in our professional and personal worlds. Join a group of women leaders in educational technology as they discuss the ways that disruption has created opportunities for reflection, learning, growth, and humor in their lives and careers.

Exhibit Tour: A Woman's Place: Women and Work

January 8 and 14, 2020 | The Elmer L. Andersen Library

Visit the contentious battle ground of women in the workforce and discover the laborers, pioneers, troublemakers, and reformers documented across the Archives and Special Collections and discover what “women’s work” truly embodies.

Exhibit Details

A Woman's Place: Women and Work
A Woman's Place: Women and Work Exhibit Poster

WIT Coffee Hour: Speed Mentoring

November 6, 2019

A special edition of our casual networking event. Coffee hour alternates monthly, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

group of women speed mentoring
D'Amico & Son's at McNamara Alumni Center

WIT & You: Finding Your Place in Technology

August 6, 2019

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WIT speaker headshots
Guest Speakers: Becky Roemen, Peg Mickelson, Eve Poeschl, Jennifer Erickson, Claire Williams

This event was sponsored by the Campus Climate Micro Grant and LATIS.

Powered by WIT: Stories of the Archives

June 13, 2019

WIT colleagues shared their research from the University Archives on the history of women's contributions to information technology and STEM at the University of Minnesota.

Stories from the Archives

This event was sponsored by the Campus Climate Micro-Grant and LATIS.

Lead From Where You Are

February 8, 2019

  • Keynote, Maureen Biggers, Director of Indiana University's Center of Excellence for Women in Technology discussed inclusive work practices and unconscious bias. 
  • Keynote, Ana Hunsinger, Vice President Community Engagement, at Internet2 discussed championing women in IT.
  • Career panel speakers included: Diane Dagefoerde (Ohio State), Kaylah Norris (Rutgers) and our own Laura Farvour (University of Minnesota)!

Our thanks to all who attended “Lead From Where You Are,” the first annual Big Ten Academic Alliance Women in IT Virtual Conference! Presentation slides and documents are available for you to view.

The conference speakers were inspirational, gave practical advice, and engendered a sense of community among women working in technology and our allies. 

Attendance was awesome! More than 330 people attended online and more than 265 attended 28 individual watch parties.


Join the BTAA Women in Technology LinkedIn group to grow your network and share your professional experiences with others.

This event was sponsored by the Big Ten Academic Alliance Women in IT peer group with local support from University of Minnesota Women in Technology (WIT) and IT Leadership.

Powered by WIT: A History of Women in IT@UMN

November 29, 2018

► View Event Recording

Join us for a tour through the history of women in IT@UMN. We’ll have a panel discussion and facilitated conversation about the historical context of the evolution of women’s roles in the IT landscape, including key historical events, personal reflections, and changes on the horizon. 

Immediately afterwards, join us for a networking opportunity and reception in the Upson Room, where we’ll also have a pop-up exhibit detailing some of the history of women in IT. Special thanks to the University of Minnesota Archives for their co-sponsorship of this exhibit, as well as their guidance in its creation.

Male Allies Panel

January 25, 2017

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four male allies on a panel
Moderated panel discussion focusing on gender diversity in technology.

Lack of gender diversity in technology hurts men as well as women. This event will create a space for honest dialogue where we not only hear from men about their experiences, but give the audience actionable insights into what they can do to support the women in their lives and workplaces and to create more successful businesses and homes. We’ll discuss tough things like society's pressures on masculinity, retention of women in technology from male leaders’ perspectives, fatherhood, privilege – all with the goal of opening the door to ongoing cross-gender lines of collaboration and deeper understanding.


Richard Matson-Daley - UMN (OIT)

  • Richard Matson-Daley has spent the better part of a decade helping non-profit organizations engage activists, mobilize volunteers and energize donors through technology. Since 2014, he has been working at the University of Minnesota as an IT Liaison, where he helps faculty and staff connect to the technology resources they need to accomplish their work of changing lives and addressing the grand challenges of our world through teaching, research, and outreach.


Steve Anderson - Senior Director, Integrated Media and Creative Resources, University of Minnesota Foundation

  • Steve Anderson is the Senior Director of Integrated Media and Creative Resources at the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF). Steve and his teammates are responsible for creating and maintaining digital properties for a diverse set of audiences, ranging from the University’s development community to crowdfunding donors to corporate benefactors. With close colleagues that include front-end programmers, UX specialists, content strategists, designers, multimedia producers, and content marketing experts, UMF’s Integrated Media and Creative Resources team operates as a full-service digital agency serving internal clients with a fundraising and stewardship focus. Since taking on a technology role in 2013, Steve has overseen the launch of six new websites, most of which are on the University’s enterprise CMS. Needless to say, he has managed to make friends with Drupal.

Kemal Badur - Senior Director, Infrastructure & Production, OIT

  • As senior director for infrastructure and production, Kemal provides strategic direction for the University's infrastructure, including networking, server and storage administration, datacenter operations, and databases. Kemal has held various roles at the University of Minnesota since 1998, including teaching, research, IT infrastructure and technology enhanced learning. Prior to his career at the University, he worked as an analyst and researcher at several financial institutions in Turkey. He holds a Master of Arts in economics from the University of Minnesota.

Brett Barney - Associate Professor, Biosystems and Bioproducts Engineering, CFANS/CSE

  • Brett Barney is an Associate Professor in the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Department, and is also a member of the Biotechnology Institute at the University of Minnesota. Brett’s laboratory studies routes to the biosynthetic production of high-value products and biofuels by bacteria and algae and the production of biofertilizers, which could be substituted for conventional fertilizers produced by industrial processes.

    Brett began his undergraduate studies at Utah State University in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where he also participated in undergraduate research on bioremediation studies to clean up hazardous waste sites associated with the Superfund program, in collaboration with the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. He spent six years working in industry for a medical device manufacturer producing solutions and hollow membrane fibers associated with hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis as a Chemist, R & D Chemist, and finally a laboratory supervisor. He pursued his PhD studies at Arizona State University, studying metalloproteins. Brett spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow funded by the USDA before serving three additional years as a research assistant professor at Utah State University. He has been at the University of Minnesota for seven years, and has three children; two of whom are currently students at the University of Minnesota.

Diego Ramallo - Senior Business Process Consultant, Medtronic

  • Diego Ramallo is a Senior Business Process Consultant at Medtronic where he leads the ICE (Improvement Center of Excellence) team within Customer Care.

    Born and raised in Spain, Diego made the Twin Cities his home in 1994. He started his IT career as a Business Analyst at Carlson Companies. In the 20+ years that followed, Diego has held roles of increasing responsibility in both technical and leadership roles spanning the entire development life-cycle. In that time he has held positions as a software developer, systems analyst, project leader, Oracle database administrator, project and program manager and leading (forming) the Identity and Access Management team at Medtronic where his group extended the single sign-on platform ten-fold and implemented federation. Since 2011, Diego has been embedded in the business, first in Customer Experience and currently in Supply Chain.

    Diego holds a Bachelor’s in Information Science from Complutense University in Madrid and a Master’s in Software Engineering from the University of Minnesota Center for Development of Technological Leadership (CDTL). During his career, Diego has been a member of a number of industry organizations including TCOUG, IOUG, itSMF/USA and Microsoft’s Interoperability Customer Executive Council.

    Diego lives downtown Minneapolis with his wife Sharon and black lab Luna.