Find your path to a tech career.

If you find solving puzzles, observing the natural world, building tools, or writing code rewarding, we invite you to apply to the 2020 Women In Tech Initiative.

¡Valle de Exploracion! Find your path to a tech career.
University of California, Merced
California Room
Merced, California
February 7 - February 9, 2020

This program is for undergraduate students from Central Valley community colleges and universities interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Hosted by CITRIS @ UC Merced, Merced College, and Google ExploreCSR, the Valle de Exploracion 3-day workshop prepares women and historically underrepresented groups in STEM for rewarding careers in technology. We are recruiting for a cohort of 32 students who will connect with each other and grow with graduate students, faculty, staff and leaders.

The benefits of this training and an education in STEM include increased:

  • Confidence in technical skills.
  • Networking and self-advocacy skills.
  • Capacity to lead and to contribute to a team project.
  • Awareness of potential research opportunities and careers and how to access them.
  • Students will gain an understanding of computing research, prepare their portfolio with the guidance of faculty, participate in computing discipline workshops, and interact with speakers, faculty, and peers about their journey to becoming researchers and tech innovators.

    Application information

    Application deadline is November 30, 2019

    About The Program

    If you are traveling from outside of Merced, your hotel room is covered by the program. All meals are covered. Every participant will receive training and materials.


    Read about Valle de Exploracion: Find your Path to a Tech Career in the UC Merced Newsroom.


    Day 1 - Friday
    10:30 AM Arrival and Registration
    Location: California Room
    11:00 AM Welcome Introduction
    Women In Tech - Ann Kovalchick
    12:00 PM CITRIS and EECS Frontiers in Technology (FIT) Speaker
    Julie Baker, Co-Founder of Ursa Space Systems
    Lunch provided
    1:30 PM Ice Breaker
    2:00 PM Goals of the Workshop
    Growth Mindset Introduction and Gallery Walk
    Fireside chat: How to Grow as a Scientist and How I Got to Where I Am
    4:00 PM Career Chat
    Visualizing success
    5:00 PM Q&A with graduate students
    7:00 PM Check into Hotel and Networking Dinner
    Day 2 - Saturday
    8:00 AM Breakfast
    9:00 AM Welcome, Reflect, and Review
    Where Are the Women of Tech discussion
    9:30 AM Panel I: Visualizing success in tech and research
    Career Path Talks
    11:15 AM Research Portfolio
    Kathy Kanemoto
    12:15 PM Networking Lunch
    Erin Hestir
    1:15 PM NIM coding activity
    2:15 PM Panel II: Visualizing Success in Tech and Industry
    3:30 PM How Do I Find a Good Place to Work
    4:00 PM Career Readiness Skills for STEM Careers
    5:00 PM Elevator Pitch
    6:00 PM Networking Reception and Dinner
    Location: Merced Golf and Country Club
    Day 3 - Sunday
    8:00 AM Breakfast
    Check out of Hotel
    9:00 AM Reflection: Mentoring Networking
    9:30 AM Leadership and Emotional Intelligence
    Erin Hestir
    10:30 AM Team Building with Drones
    Kathy Kanemoto
    12:00 PM Peer Networking Lunch
    12:45 PM Building a website, Kathy Kanemoto
    Research Portfolio Review, All Mentors
    2:15 PM Continuing Resources with CITRIS
    Leigh Bernacchi
    2:45 PM Final Raffle, Survey
    3:00 PM Closing - Have a safe travel!


    Frontiers in Technology Speaker

    Important Dates

    Accepting applicants through Nov. 30, 2019
    Notification of applicants Mid-December, 2019
    Event Workshop Friday, February 7, 12pm – Sunday, February 9, 3pm

    Questions? Leigh Bernacchi,

    About The Hosts

    Google's mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

    CITRIS is committed to transformational experiences for students and training the next generation of leaders in computer science research. We specialize in ag-food-tech, sustainable infrastructures, people and robots, and women in technology.

    Merced College will provide transformative and empowering educational experiences to meet student and community needs.