Finalists Presenting Saturday At MCWT Website Competition

DETROIT — The Michigan Council of Women in Technology will conduct its ninth annual girls’ high school student website design competition Saturday, Dec. 6.

Finalists will present their webstie designs to a panel of IT executives from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Blue Care Network auditorium, 20500 Civic Center Drive in Southfield.

These judges will evaluate finalists on communication, clarity, functionality, graphic appeal, user-friendly navigation and innovation: Charlotte Decker, CIO and CTO of the UAW Benefits Trust; James Schmidt, vice president and COO of ANX; Linda Monteith, vice president at Comerica; Linda Mitchell, global automotive sales executive at Microsoft Corp.; Mark Parker, owner of DigiStudioz; Gloria Schneider, director of program delivery at Blue Care Network; and Rebecca J. Bray, vice president of sales and delivery at Epitec.

Finalists in the advanced division are Gabby Lopreiato and Megan Kovalcik, Lake Shore High School, St. Clair Shores; Emily Morningstar, Salem High School, Plymouth; Jackie Kwapisz and Brooke Glass, Lake Shore High School; Keyaria Walker, Lakeview High School, St. Clair Shores; Autumn Loudenslager and Amanda Vokits, Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center, Bay City Pinconning High School and Garber High School; Jessica Old and Caitlin Beirne, Lake Shore High School; Christina Li, Utica Center for Math, Science, and Technology; Cassidy Dunn, Lakeview High School; Gabrielle Bourgeois, Lake Shore High School; Likitha Nimmagadda and Rafia Haq, Lake Shore High School; Dasha Jones and Hailey Lynch, Lake Shore High School; and Maddisyn Zimmerman, Lake Shore High School.

Finalists from the beginner division will also be recognized and honored: Kara Roelofson, Lake Shore High School; Aditi Bhandari, Farmington High School; Leah VanLandingham, Huron High School, New Boston; Payton Beigler and Rachel Felder, Lake Shore High School; Khadiza Begum, Fitzgerald High School, Warren; Catherine Makohn, Lakeview High School; Lauren Malicsi and Lilly Kwapisz, Lake Shore High School; Manisha Solipuram, Walled Lake Central High School; Shreya Mullapudi, Farmington High School; Veronica Steinmetz and Kara Burns, Lake Shore High School; Halimah Hills, Great Lakes Cyber Academy, Okemos; Hailey Krause and Divine Mathes, Lake Shore High School; and Lauren Woodard, Lake Shore High School.

Students designed their websites with this year’s theme, “Repurposing: The ultimate in creativity and recycling,” competing for the top award. This year, 103 teams, comprised of 144 young women from 30 Michigan high schools, enrolled in the contest’s two divisions. Contestants could enter individually or with one other team member.

Prizes for past winners have included money toward their education, a summer internship at Comerica Bank and a day at Mercedes Benz Financial Services. This year, the tradition will continue.

The competition is one of the MCWT’s initiatives aimed at encouraging, advancing and retaining women in Michigan’s IT community.

The MCWT strives to inspire and grow women in technology fields, with an aspirational vision to make Michigan the No. 1 state for women in technology. The organization supports Michigan’s female IT workforce, students, corporate partners, schools and the overall community with networking, learning, mentoring, and technology experiences for professionals and students. The MCWT Foundation provides programs and funds supporting the education and orientation of young women throughout school and fostering women in various stages of their professional lives.

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