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Women in STEM - Rosario Robinson

When Rosario “Rose” Robinson was a young girl, she loved to tinker and fix things. Her mother wanted her to go into nursing, but her father, a naval officer, encouraged her to go into computers because he said, “things are going to change.” Little did any of them know that someday, Rose would end up being a major catalyst and innovator in that exact changing landscape.

Rose shifted her educational focus to mathematics and science, with an emphasis on computer science. She received her undergraduate degree from Savannah State University and her graduate work was completed at Georgia State University. From there, she went into large-scale enterprise software development, where she was typically the only woman, and always the only black woman. That experience and her learning to navigate the corporate systems opened pathways for her to eventually start the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT).

CMD-IT focuses its efforts on supporting African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and people with disabilities, as these are 4 groups who are historically underrepresented in Computer Science, IT, and Technology.

They host training events, annual conferences, and job fairs, connecting people with skills and opportunities for networking and interviewing. Breaking down barriers to employment from both the job seeker and the employer’s perspectives.

Rose has also become super engaged with the open source community and sees it as a way to level the playing field for all people and make tech accessible in ways that it has not been before.

If you’d like to find out more about Rose, check out this interview with her on the "Living Corporate - Disability and STEM while Black" Podcast.

And you can also watch this panel discussion with Rose on “Belonging for Minorities and People with Disabilities.”

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