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VA-WHPC: Inspiring Diversity and Inclusion

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VA-WHPC: Inspiring Diversity and Inclusion

August 10, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Empowering and Expanding the Role of Women and Minorities in HPC

Watch the recording.

This quarter’s panel discussion will touch upon challenges of being a woman or minority in the field of HPC, how those challenges can be addressed, lessons learned, HPC early career perspectives, as well as means to improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  Attendees are invited to share their own experiences and engage with panelists during this interactive Q&A session.

Featured Panelists

  • Jackie Milhans – Associate Director, Research Computing Services, Northwestern University

Jackie is the Associate Director of Northwestern Research Computing Services. In this role, she is responsible for building relationships with and gathering research support requirements from deans, faculty, and University leadership. She leads the development of new services to address emerging technology and compliance requirements in the diverse breadth of research domains at Northwestern. She is responsible for the long-term strategic planning for research support and delivering a portfolio of computational, data science, data management, cloud, and visualization support services for faculty, student, and staff researchers.

Jackie serves on a number of committees and working groups, including recently serving as Co-Lead for the EDUCAUSE Research Computing and Data Community Group, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Northwestern IT Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Steering committee, and Co-Chair for the PEARC21 Program Committee.

She has a passion for learning and sharing methods to build and lead effective, engaged, and diverse teams through improved hiring and management practices, as well as ensuring an equitable and inclusive workplace. She has presented at various conferences over the past several years on topics including diversity, equity, and inclusion; management; and research computing and data. She completed her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and her BS in Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She completed her Postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory.


  • Lara Timm – HPC Engineer, Center for High Performance Computing, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

With a background in biomedical and electrical engineering, Lara is new to the field of HPC. She started her HPC journey in a graduate role at the Centre for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) in Cape Town, South Africa. She now holds the title HPC Engineer in the Advanced Computed Engineering Lab at the CHPC. Here, efforts are focused on pursuing research avenues in HPC as well as HCD activities, collaboration, and outreach. Lara is passionate about sharing her experiences, in HPC and otherwise, with a special interest in cloud technologies, infrastructure as code, HCD and outreach. Lara has a keen interest in the WHPC community – she was an early career presenter at the WHPC workshop at ISC22.

  • Rachel Spraker – Senior Director for Equity and Inclusive Excellence, Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, University of Virginia

Rachel (she/they) is the Senior Director for Equity and Inclusive Excellence with the Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Rachel serves UVA in the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well as the Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights. Rachel develops, implements, and evaluates policies, practices, and programs which seek to advance the representational diversity, inclusive capacity, and sense of belonging of the University’s workforce and learning community. Rachel has previously served on the executive board of the American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity and as an equity consultant for institutions of higher education.  Rachel holds a Master of Science in Sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University with work focused on landscapes of racial violence and is currently a part-time doctoral student at UVA in the School of Education and Human Development. 



Moderator: Eric Walter, William & Mary

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August 10, 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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Community Meeting


Virtual Event