Helping girls discover computers
After graduating from UB and moving to Seattle, WA, Shannon A. C. Mutty, B.A. '95, was looking for activities that would blend her interests in kids and computers. Working with the Foundry, a nonprofit service organization of the Speakeasy, an Internet caf in Seattle; and Seattle Youth Volunteer Corps, Mutty successfully launched Girl.Net (www.thefoundry.org/~girlnet) "to give girls the tools they need to empower themselves in an increasingly technological world.
"We want to help girls realize that computers are not just for the stereotypical 'computer geek,'" Mutty said. "Rather, they are for everyoneÑgirls and boys alike." Girl.Net operates without funding, and has been the linchpin for Mutty's master's thesis in education at Antioch University Seattle.
"About two years ago, I began doing research on girls, computers and the Internet," said Mutty, who also teaches at Coho Elementary in the Seattle School District. "Girls are less likely to use computers and less likely to become excited about them in the classroom. The more I researched, the more I saw that there are four or five key interventions that help keep girls involved in the computer world. I wanted to help start an organization that implemented those interventions."
A native of Olean, NY, Mutty received her master's degree in education from Antioch University Seattle in December. She has since returned to a part-time position at the Speakeasy Network, reviewing sites for the firm's major clients, while continuing to teach at Coho Elementary.