First Name

Rian

Last Name

W.

Bio

Rian started exploring technology at a young age when she received her first computer. She grew up using and learning about computers, playing video games, and experimenting with different technologies. Her first venture into programming was designing her mySpace social media profile page using HTML. She continued to explore her interest throughout high school by repairing cell phones and taking technology and programming classes. As a senior, Rian was a national runner-up and one of the first Mississippi affiliate winners for the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award. As a recipient of the award, she applied for and received an AspireIT grant to co-found Bulldog Bytes - a summer camp designed to reach out to young girls and women in Mississippi to expose them to technology where otherwise they might not get the opportunity. Together with her advisor, she helped establish a pipeline from elementary school to Mississippi State University to get more female participation in STEM in her state. Throughout her years in college, Rian co-authored multiple publications about her work with girls in STEM, represented MSU at conferences such as the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing and the annual NCWIT Summit, and was featured in Forbes magazine for her accomplishments. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Software Engineering in May 2018, Rian relocated to Charlotte, NC to begin her career and to continue to follow her passion to get more girls involved in STEM.