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Gloria Townsend

Professor of Computer Science

Gloria Childress Townsend, Professor of Computer Science, is determined that women will be fully represented in her department and her profession. In the past few years, she has begun carrying this determination, which was always evident in her teaching and mentoring of women students, into conference presentations, papers, and grant-writing.

Despite computing’s role in driving innovation and shaping modern life and its domination of the job market for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors, computer science stands out as the only major STEM field where women’s representation continues to decline. Trends in women’s numbers of computer and information science degrees show persistent and long-term decline, unlike any other STEM discipline. Professor Townsend serves as principal investigator for a National Science Foundation grant ( that focuses on reversing the decline of women in computing by creating regional communities sustained by conferences (e.g. and student organizations for women in computing (e.g.