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IST/CSTEP Celebrate Women's History Month

March 24, 2004
Schine 304 B & C
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Reception to follow in the Robert B. Menschel Photography Gallery

In celebration of the accomplishments of American women, the School of Information Studies and the Syracuse University Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) are hosting a presentation and panel discussion by special women who have made significant contributions to the shaping and enrichment of our Nation through the information field. George Bush stated, "This month, as we celebrate remarkable women in our Nation's past, I encourage all citizens to recognize the countless American women whose efforts continue to enhance the economic, social, and cultural life of our great Nation." Our inaugural speaker, Monique Boea, as well as our panelists, Vicki Dawson and Lena West, have been identified as women whose strengths and vitality have contributed to these efforts.

This event is supported by the School of Information Studies, CSTEP, Information Studies Graduate Organization (ISTGO), Graduate Support Organization (GSO), Black and Latino Information Studies Support (BLISTS), Women in Information Technology (WIT), the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc. (NANBPWC), Syracuse University Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), and the Africa Initiative Committee.

Inaugural Speaker:

Monique Boea
President and Founder of AAWIT

Monique Boea, founder and president of African-American Women in Technology (AAWIT)—an organization dedicated to the education, support, and advancement of black women in IT—has over six years of professional web design and programming experience. Early in her IT career, Boea had made a promise to herself that if she succeeded in IT, she would help other women do the same. That promise was the start of AAWIT, which features mentoring programs such as the Study Hall and Big Sister Network.

Through AAWIT, Boea has helped dozens of young women pursue their career goals. Winner of the 2002 National Women of Color Technology Award - Business Person of the Year, Boea is the energy behind AAWIT's vision to train, employ, and support African-American women in the IT field.

Prior to founding African American Women in Technology, Inc., Boea was with, a local, Internet company. While at, she developed and implemented the company's Intranet. From, Boea went on to Interland, Inc., an Atlanta-based web design/web hosting company, where she helped develop and maintain the company's web site and designed and implemented applications for clients such as Microsoft and Media One.

Boea is known to her colleagues as "Little Oprah." She is responsible for the overall operations of AAWIT; is the president of Shilo Web Design and Adonai Hosting; and is creating a streaming (online) radio network for women.

Ms. Boea is a member of the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), the Nonprofit Resource Center of Georgia, and the National Association of PhotoShop Professionals (NAPP).


Vicki Dawson

Vicki Dawson most recently worked as the director of programs for the New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA), managing the organization's workforce and member services programs. In April, Dawson will begin a new role as the executive director of workforce training at the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), where she will be part of a team developing, among other things, a customized training program for the City. Dawson has held policy and management positions in public and educational sectors including Cornell University Cooperative Extension and the New York New Media Association. She has also served as an adjunct professor at LaGuardia Community College and as a career development consultant for multimedia majors at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Dawson received her bachelor's in Journalism and Political Science from Howard University and her master's in Public Administration, Public Policy and Management from New York University.

NYSIA is the leading trade association for software, information technology, and web development companies in the New York City area. New York is a national leader in software development! NYSIA's mission is to promote and support the growth of our industry in this region. NYSIA runs an extensive educational event schedule, hosts the yearly New York Software Summit, sponsors a wide variety of economic development programs aimed at assisting member companies, and carries out legislative work on behalf of the software industry.

SBS is a vibrant, client-centered agency whose single focus is on the opportunities and challenges facing New York's small businesses and commercial districts. SBS provides a wide range of direct services dedicated to helping New York's small businesses grow and thrive, including offering classes and one-on-one counseling in business basics, financing and marketing. SBS also sponsors forty-six Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in all five boroughs to help promote and maintain clean, safe and business-friendly neighborhoods and works with Local Development Corporations, BIDs and other community groups to find places where direct public or private investment can positively impact the business climate by improving lighting, signage, street furniture and other amenities.

Lena L. West

Lena L. West is an entrepreneur known for leadership, technical expertise, and advocacy for worthy causes. She is the founder and CEO of xynoMedia Technology, a subsidiary of xynoMedia Worldwide. The New York-based firm helps businesses leverage technology to realize business goals. The company's services include strategic technology consulting, customized web development, educational presentations and workshops, and technology project management. West says, "Our mission is simple: to help our clients increase profits through the appropriate and effective application of technology."

As a certified technical expert, West learned about the intricate aspects of computers and networking while consulting for Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Pitney Bowes, Philips Magnavox, Hyperion Software, and MasterCard International. After cutting her "technical teeth," she opened xynoMedia in 1997.

West's expertise has been widely acknowledged. The Network Journal selected West as one of the "40 Under Forty" business successes for 2003. Black Enterprise Magazine focused its attention on West in its January 2002 cover story, "Weathering the Storm! Three African American Women Take on the High Tech World." In 2002, West toured with the multiple-city conference and expo, "Tavis Smiley Presents: Blacks in Technology." She was named one of "The 25 Women of Silicon Alley" by Alley Cat News and as a result of the award, was featured in an article in Alley Cat News, April 2000. West played a leading role as the only business owner and woman on the keynote panel at a local Chamber of Commerce's first annual e-Business Seminar. This led to a cover story in The Westchester County Business Journal, March 2000.

A firm believer in the adage, "To whom much is given, much is required," West is deeply committed to her pro bono work as well. She sits on the Board of Directors of several not-for-profit and for-profit companies.

In addition, West speaks and writes regularly about the merits and potential pitfalls of technology. Currently, West is conducting research for a book she's authoring about the role of women in technology. She is also a member of The Westchester Information Technology Consortium (WITC), Working Today, and the New York New Media Association (NYNMA).

West's mission is to focus on helping more women to make technology their future.

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