Video Captures Memorable Day for Scholarship Winners

Catch ITWomen’s brand new video!  The 2016 winners of ITWomen’s annual scholarships gathered this summer to be interviewed on camera at Citrix headquarters about their goals, accomplishments and what they love about technology. ITWomen member Madisen Farley directed and led the video project.This first video highlights behind-the-scenes of the memborable day of the shoot. Watch for the release of the individual video interviews this fall!

These interviews are a legacy of inspiration for younger girls who may not have considered pursuing a career in IT or engineering. And for the students, their interviews will be a great addition to their portfolios for future opportunities.


Madisen Farley (forefront) prepares to interview Tonishee Smith, one of ITWomen’s 2016 Scholarship recipients. Tonishee is pursuing Computational Media at Georgia Institute of Technology. Madisen is a Service Experience Design Researcher at Citrix pursuing an Interactive Arts and Business degree at Columbia College Chicago. Her video production is part of ITWomen’s initiative to build its video library highlighting the outstanding women contributing to the organization. Photo by Mark Burch

Scholarship Winners

The scholarship winners are graduates of high schools throughout South Florida. This event enables the students to get to know each other before heading off to college. They were able to compare experiences of being among the minority of females in their high schools’ technology tracks. Since the girls were invited to bring a parent, many of their mothers also had a chance to meet. Once in college, ITWomen will pair the girls with female mentors who are tech professionals with at least five years experience. In addition, the girls will also be part of ITWomen’s scholarship alumni network.

The 2016 scholarship winners are:

  • Maria Mejia
  • Desiree O’Conner
  • Noel Picinich
  • Tonishee Smith
  • Melissa Tropeano
  • Janet Weinthal
  • Michele Wu

Professionals Share Technology Career Paths

Welcoming the 2016 girls on behalf of ITWomen was Scholarship Ambassador Catherine Skelly. Raj Rawal, global CIO who serves on ITWomen’s Advisory Board and ITWomen board member Christine Zambrano, along with Citrix professionals, also attended the weekend shoot. They spoke with girls about their college and future career plans.

About the Scholarship Videos

The videos are part of an ITWomen initiative to build a media library highlighting outstanding women, programs and resources contributing to the organization’s mission. ITWomen programs work to narrow the gender gap in technology across generations.

ITWomen member Madisen Farley initiated the scholarship video project in 2015 with a production team of Citrix volunteers. Madisen is a Service Experience Design Researcher at Citrix pursuing an Interactive Arts and Business degree at Columbia College Chicago.

Most of the interviews were conducted in a one-day shoot. Professional videographers, film editors, makeup artists, and photographers graciously donated their skills. In addition, Madisen also arranged food donations from local merchants for the breakfast served to start the day, including homemade waffles. The shoot wrapped this summer.

Thank You to the Volunteer Production Team!

The volunteer production team included

  • Victor Garcia: Film and Edit
  • Mark Burch: Film
  • Miguel Martinez: Production Assistant
  • Nina Anderson: Makeup
  • Merlene Vanarsdale: Food and Food prep
  • Amber Gapinski: Food and Food prep

How to Support Technology Scholarships for Girls

Since its founding in 2002, ITWomen has raised more than a half million dollars with community support to help deserving girls pursue technology and engineering degrees. Applicants undergo a rigorous screening process to compete for the ITWomen four-year renewable scholarships.

ITWomen’s annual Celebrity CIO Poker Tournament helps raise most of the scholarship funds. The 2016 gala on November 17 at the Broward Convention Center will make it possible for ITWomen to award scholarships the following June.

— Christine Zambrano 
ITWomen VP Digital Content