🔑 Keynote Speakers
Dr. Robbin Chapman
Associate Provost and Academic Director of Diversity & Inclusion, and Lecturer of Education
Robbin is a champion for diversity and inclusion with a background in engineering and computer science. Currently, Robbin is the Associate Provost and Academic Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Wellesley College. As one of the founders of the Partnerships for Diversity & Inclusion initiative at Wellesley, Robbin works to advance equity efforts across campus. She has done extensive writing and research on the use of digital tools for learning, technologies for learning in public spaces, equity issues as they relate to learning technologies and technology-driven pedagogy, and the intersection of community, cognition, and computation. Robbin earned her S.M and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. In 2016, MIT established the Dr. Robbin Chapman Excellence Through Adversity Award, an award presented annually to a senior at MIT from an underrepresented group who has demonstrated excellence and leadership. You can learn more about Robbin and read her full bio here.
Founder of Code4Rights and the Algorithmic Justice League, Ph.D at MIT Media Lab
Joy is a technologist, agent for social change, researcher, and entrepreneur. Joy leads the Algorithmic Justice League, an organization that aims to fight bias in machine learning. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D at the MIT Media Lab, where she’s a graduate researcher with the Civic Media group. She is a Rhodes Scholar and a Fulbright Fellow, and has given talks at TEDx, the White House, and the Vatican. As a Rhodes Scholar, she piloted the first Rhodes Scholar Service Year to launch Code4Rights, an education initiative that supports youth in creating meaningful technology for their communities in partnership with local organizations. As an entrepreneur, Joy has co-founded Techturized Inc, a hair-care technology company that caters to women's personalized hair care needs and serves a multicultural customer base. You can find Joy’s thoughts on Twitter at @jovialjoy and learn more about her on her website.
🔥 Fireside Speakers
Principal Program Manager at Microsoft
🗓 Saturday Nov. 11th 2:00-3:00pm @ Lulu Cow Chair Room
Mikayla’s passion is for making tools that empower others to create. Currently, she is a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft, working on Xamarin and Visual Studio for Mac. Prior to her current role, she was part of a start-up from its inception through its acquisition by Microsoft and also worked as a software engineer for Xamarin. In 2016, Mikayla announced that she is trans. Outside of work, Mikayla is interested in creative technologies, sci-fi and fantasy literature, photography, and making jewelry. You can find Mikayla’s thoughts on Twitter at @mjhutchinson and learn more about her here.
Christine Keung ‘14
Former Chief of Staff to the General Counsel at Dropbox
🗓 Saturday Nov. 11th 7:00-8:00pm @ Lulu Cow Chair Room
Christine is a Wellesley class of ’14 alum with a wealth of technical and nontechnical experiences across government, nonprofit, technology, financial services, and academia/research. Most recently, she was the Chief of Staff to the General Counsel at Dropbox for two years. As former director of the Boston branch of Rosieapp, an online shopping startup, Christine led a cross-functional team of over 30 members to build strategic partnership and oversaw the product’s launch. Christine is also extremely passionate about global affairs—she was a Fellow with the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute and has conducted research on rural waste management in Shaanxi Province, China as a Fulbright Fellow. In 2014, Christine was named a “25 Under 25: Rising Stars in US-China Relations” by China Hands Magazine. Fun fact: Although it wasn’t called “WHACK” at the time, Christine organized the inaugural Wellesley College hackathon in 2014!
Lead Product Marketer at Venmo
🗓 Friday Nov. 10th 10:00-11:00pm @ Lulu Cow Chair Room
Esther is currently Venmo’s Lead Product Marketer, working on the launching the Venmo debit card (currently in beta). After graduating from Wellesley in ’09 with a degree in Economics, she earned her MBA at Wharton and worked as a Business Analyst at McKinsey. When Esther joined Venmo in 2013, it was a small startup of about 30 full time employees, and few people had heard of Venmo. Today, Venmo processes over a billion dollars each month. Esther feels very lucky to have worked on a product that went viral, but she and her team have experienced —at the company level and at a personal level. At her fireside chat at WHACK, Esther will share what it's like to make tough decisions in a fast paced environment, and how to thrive as a woman in tech.
Lisa van Gelder
VP of Engineering at Meetup.com
🗓 Saturday Nov. 11th 4:00-5:00pm @ Lulu Cow Chair Room
Last year, Lisa van Gelder was interviewing for a new executive job in NYC at the same time as two (white, male) friends. Because they had a similar amount of experience and similar interests, they ended up interviewing at the same companies at the same time, and Lisa found herself in an unintentional A/B test. When they compared notes, she found that she had a radically different interview experience than her friends. Lisa discusses what she learned from her accidental A/B tests, how the term “unqualified” is often used to reject marginalised groups in tech, and what we can do about it, as interviewees looking for a new job and as allies. Lisa lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is VP of Engineering at Meetup, a website that connects over 32 million people in 182 countries with others around them who share similar interests. Lisa has working in software for over 17 years now, since she started building websites in 1999 and found backend problems were way more fun. She is a board member of Write/Speak/Code, a non profit whose mission is to level up women and nonbinary software developers through blogging, public speaking and open source software.