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Women at Google

Women in Computer Science and Engineering Strive for More Representation

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In the era of ‘girl power’, encouraging women to shatter glass ceilings and be their own bosses has become incredibly common. In some fields, such as engineering and computer science, there is a huge struggle to see women in visible roles. Women make up half of the total United States college educated workforce but only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce, according to statistics from the National Girls Collaborative Project. They also received half of the degrees awarded in the biological science in the past year, and only 19.3% in engineering, and even less than that in computer science at 17.9%.

That’s where the Women in Computer Science and Engineering Club, or WICSE, comes in. Their goal, according to their website, is to bring women together who share common interests and support women dedicated to careers in the engineering field. Hosting guest speakers, conferences, and workshops, the club hopes to get women more involved in STEM positions.

Assistant professor Emily Hand is new to the College of Engineering this semester and is the faculty advisor for the club. Hand teaches computer science and engineering, and her research interests include computer vision and machine learning, which is the automation of vision for machines and how they can learn like a human, respectively.

The need for this research is incredibly important as automation becomes prevalent in the workforce. The university is also working to accommodate more engineers, with the creation of Great Basin Hall, a dorm for STEM majors, and the recent groundbreaking of the new William N. Pennington Engineering Building, projected to be finished in the summer of 2020.

Frances Vinlove is the treasurer for WICSE and works as a chair for the Programming Committee, Engineering Leadership Council, and works with students in the MESA program.

“I joined the club because I was looking to meet other computer science engineering people and to be in a leadership role, which I enjoy and thrive in,” Vinlove said.

The club attended the Grace Hopper Celebration for the past two years. It is a massive conference celebrating women in computing. Hosted by AnitaB.Org, a digital community for women founded by computer scientist Anita Borg, the goal of the conference is to envision a “future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for which they build it.”

“We also hosted the Most Significant Bit in April,” Vinlove said, “For the past four years, we invite middle school and high school girls to the campus, supply free food and swag, and they get to learn about computer science engineering in a fun environment with different activities.” Wanisha Holmes is the Events Coordinator for the club, and says that anyone who is interested in supporting WICSE can simply just attend one of their meetings; there is no previous engineering experience or major requirement to be a part of it.

“Women in this field are very rare, and being able to connect and share experiences with other women and help encourage them is an amazing thing,” said Holmes. She says that one thing she enjoys most about engineering is that the topic is constantly changing, and evolving and there is always “something fun and exciting that needs to be solved.”

However, being a female in a male-dominated profession comes with some drawbacks. Holmes says that women can face the challenge of not being good enough or smart enough to be in the field.

“Work hard and believe in yourself, no one can tell you you’re not good enough. Strive to be the best in the world at what you do and you will be unstoppable, is what advice I would give,” Holmes said.

If that isn’t inspiring in today’s challenging world for women, then what is?


pumpkin patch

Reno’s Best Fall and Winter Activities

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With fall almost near a close and winter sneaking up on us soon, here’s some fall and winter activities to do this season! Take a break from studying to enjoy the best Reno and the surrounding areas have to offer. 

Fall Activities

Pumpkin Patch

A classic fall activity includes driving out to the pumpkin patch, picking the perfect pumpkin, and taking it home to decorate. In Reno, we’re lucky to have Ferrari Farms and Andelin Farms. Both farms also have corn mazes and zombie paintball. At Walmart, they sell pumpkin carving kits for $6 and includes everything you’ll need like carving utensils, scoops, and stencils.

Photo by Jillyan Jacobson


Apple Hill

The beauty of Reno’s location is how close we are to other cities. Apple Hill, located in Placerville, is only a brief two hour drive. The farm also has an apple orchard, a pumpkin patch, a winery, and several vineyard locations.

Wine Walk (21+)

November 17th take part in the Tipsy Turkey Wine Walk from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. For $20 you’ll have access to popular bars like Brewer’s Cabinet, Imperial, The Jungle, and Sierra Tap House. With your wristband you can sample wine at some of the following locations: Noble Pie, Faces NV, The Rack, the Stick, and so many more.

Black Friday

After a day of thanks and when you’re inner shopaholic emerges, enjoy the day getting deals on your favorite items. According to Yelp, some of the Best Black Friday deals in Reno are: The Summit Mall in South Reno, Kohl’s (any location), The Outlets at Legends in Sparks, Macy’s and Buckle located in Meadowood Mall.


Galena Creeks has amazing views of the valley and the forest. There’s hikes ranging from one mile to nine miles. Hunter creek is a 5.7 mile hike that leads you through desert and forest terrain with a beautiful waterfall at the end.

Winter Activities

Photo by Jana Sayson


UNR Basketball Games

The winter season wouldn’t be complete without attending a few basketball games. The schedule can be found on the University of Nevada Athletics website. The Reno Gazette Journal predicts it will be another good year with Eric Musselman renewing his position as coach for men’s basketball. The women’s basketball team is also expected to have a good season after recruiting six talented freshmen girls

Ice Skating

The Reno Aces ballpark transforms their front yard into an ice skating rink starting Tuesday November 20th 2018 until January 22nd 2019.

Nightmare Before Christmas

One of classic Christmas movies,The Nightmare Before Christmas, will be playing in Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City from December 6th to December 16th. Tickets start at $20 and I would hop on them quick because it’s selling out fast!

Ugly Sweater Crawl (21+)

December 15th Walmart will run out of their ugly sweaters because the Ugly Sweater Crawl is taking place that night in Downtown Sparks in Victorian Square. From 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. there will be drink specials, an Ugly Sweater Contest, Shotski, and giveaways.

Santa Crawl (21+)

If you love the Christmas spirit, get your Santa getup on and participate in the Santa Crawl December 15th at 7:30 p.m. Buy a cup for $5.50 for exclusive Santa drink specials, no cover charges, photo ops and contests. There’s 36 locations and all the funds go to local schools, so give back this holiday season!


rolls of money

Money Tips for College Students

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With a cost of $207 per credit hour at UNR (that’s before you even tack on all the other student fees), and the cost of living rising in the Reno area it’s no secret that it’s intimidating, stressful, and discouraging when you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for the next semester of college. It’s hard enough to just focus on school alone, but when you have to work three jobs just to pay your rent it can be easy to lose motivation and to want to drop out.

Looking back at my financial situation in college I know that my mom helped me out with the cost of some of my tuition each year, but other than that I’ve also had to work my a** off, and I know there’s a lot of you out there who do, too. At one point I was working close to 40 hours a week in between the three jobs I had, was taking out the max amount of loans available, and was eating spaghetti noodles with just salt and olive oil because I didn’t want to spend my money on more food. Gross.

However, as a senior I’ve learned some tricks of the trade when it comes to budgeting and saving on a tiny paycheck. I hope some of these tips help you with your financial situation and ease the stress that paying for school can have on you.

  1. Do the money in an envelope method. At the beginning of the month go to an ATM and take out a certain amount of money you’ll allow yourself to spend in a certain category. When the money is out it’s out, and you have to wait until the next month to spend money in that category again. For example I’ll have $20 in an “alcohol” envelope. If I spend all $20 the first weekend, I don’t allow myself to spend any more on drinks for the rest of the month forcing me to budget. This is great for small expenses that you don’t think add up to a large sum of money but do. I’d recommend having an envelope for alcohol/going out, groceries, gas, and eating out at restaurants. It can be depressing at first when you can’t afford to buy that fancy cheese at the grocery store, but it causes you to really only buy essentials and pocket your savings. Hey, if you have extra money at the end of the month, reward yourself and splurge on a fancy coffee or something.
  2. Shop at the 99 Cent Store. A lot of my friends make fun of me for shopping here, but honestly it’s a god sent. The 99 Cent Store is not ghetto or full of nasty old food, it’s full of fresh produce that’s overstock from regular grocery stores which allows for the huge price markdown. I like to do most of my grocery shopping here because they carry most items with the exception of groceries that obviously cost more than 99 cents like ground beef, chicken, or bulk items. They have a wide selection of fresh produce, frozen meals, and canned goods. Best of all, a lot of the brands are similar to those that can be found at more expensive grocery stores. Some trips to the 99 Cent Store leave me walking away with enough healthy and filling groceries that’ll last me the whole week for $20. The closest 99 Cent Store is just across from Meadowood Mall on Virginia Street — I recommend checking it out.
  3. Use the Mint App. Mint is awesome. It tracks your spending on all accounts and divides purchases up by category like fast food, groceries, gas, coffee shops, shopping, business services, and more, so you can see exactly where your money goes. Mint also keeps track of when your bills are due, how much money you’re taking in each month versus spending, and sends you alerts when you’ve gone over budget. The great thing about this app is it’s also customizable. You can set specific budgets that work with you and fit your lifestyle as Mint tracks when you’re getting close to say going over your monthly restaurant budget. Mint also calculates your net worth which is nice when you’re trying to figure out how much money you have total between savings, checking, and credit accounts. It also provides you with your credit score and alerts you when your score goes up or down and the reason why, so you can either continue to improve your score or make adjustments. The best part about Mint, it’s free to download and free to use. A lot of budgeting apps require a subscription or payment up front. Mint is 100% free to use at any time.
  4. Apply for scholarships. This one you’ve got to be persistent with. During my freshman and sophomore years I was extremely discouraged about applying for scholarships because I’d fill out so many applications with little to no return. However, if you can hang on until your junior or senior year and apply for major specific scholarships, there’s a whole pool of money waiting for you that not everyone has access to. I filled out the university scholarship application every year. You know, the one on MyNevada that’s always due before February 1st. For years I got nothing, but the second I actually became a journalism major instead of “pre-journalism” I received five scholarships. This year I received so many scholarships from UNR I actually got paid to go to school this semester which was a huge weight off my shoulders. Don’t think just because you didn’t get anything remarkable in the scholarship department your freshman year that it’s going to be like that forever.
Situationship banner

So, You’ve Found Yourself in a “Situationship”

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The Situation in “Situationships”

Everyone has had that awkward timing between being single and being in a relationship. A “situationship” you might call it. While these bits of time may be beneficial to your possible upcoming relationship, you must be able to pick out when these situations have gone sour.

To fully understand what it is like in this position, you have to hear all the viewpoints.

Karlie Trumbull, a Bay Area native, gave the lowdown on her experiences and how she picked out the “situationships” that went south.

Trumbull had been in two major “situationships,” but has since stayed single due to the lack of energy that was being returned in both. “One left me emotionally, mentally, and physically destroyed,” Trumbull said, “I was untrusting of everyone after him.” While Trumbull commented that she was happy being free, she still “misses innocent interactions that mean so much more than the sexual ones.”

Joshua Rush, a junior at Los Medanos College, has moved on from “situationships” and finally settled down in a real relationship. Rush and his girlfriend made their title official seven months ago. They started off as coworkers who became friends who became more.

Being in a relationship isn’t always like the movies. The petty arguments that spring from someone being in a bad mood is a downside to look forward to, according to Rush. But in the end, this couple knows they will work it out as long as they talk it out before falling asleep.

Michael Shaw and Melissa Vidal are two freshmen at the University of Nevada, Reno that are currently in a situationship with each other. Shaw describes their situation essentially as a relationship without the title.

Vidal explains that at the moment the two are just stuck because they feel it isn’t the right timing for either to be in a relationship. While they know their picture isn’t perfect, they both believe this “situationship” is benign to them.

“By having a situationship you’re able to have that one person you really love to be around while not having to exert the normal energy that you would in a normal relationship,” Shaw said.

“It’s beneficial for us because we are both on the same page but it’s rare when you can both agree with everything,” Vidal said. While the two have only been in this “situationship” for about a month, both have strong views on the pros and cons about it.

The pair agree that it’s desirable to have the flexibility of being single while also still have the emotional and physical support you would expect in a relationship.

While this may make the pair seem carefree, there is still strain because of the imbalance in emotion and physicality.

“You don’t get to have that normal relationship with all of the cliche traits like the formal dates, family functions, or simply just small gestures,” Shaw said. Vidal said that is what causes her the most distress is the fact that they’re still able to be with anyone they want due to the free nature of their situation.

As they move forward with what they have, the two predict how this may affect their romantic lives. “Moving forward I could only see the romantic elements improve because there really isn’t too much stress or questionable variables,” Shaw said.

Vidal commented more specifically on their “situationship.” “Basically, we aren’t going to be able to stay like this forever. Sooner or later we’ll have to either move forward or move on,” she said.

While Shaw and Vidal work hard to make their situation as unproblematic as possible, this is not always the case. So what should you do if you find yourself in a “situationship” gone south?

“Confront them on why you aren’t official and if they give even the slightest excuse: run!” Trumbull said. “If you have the option, take it slow get to know them then see if there’s a relationship there and if there isn’t you still have a friend,” Rush said.

Shaw suggests not to stay in something that doesn’t make you happy because in the long run, it’s not worth it. “It’s not worth the stress, it’s barely worth the stress now. Drop the bum,” Vidal declared. Romance is confusing, whether you’re in a relationship, single, or still figuring it out. The best advice is to do what feels best for you, mentally and physically.

LGBTQ Symbol

Our Center LGBTQ History Month

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Our Center, a local nonprofit that provides resources to the LGBTQ community, hosted several events for LGBTQ History Month in October. The four events featured panels and discussions on topics ranging from the HIV and AIDS to National Coming Out Day.

Sherrie Scaffidi, an Our Center volunteer, explained that the events provide education on LGBTQ issues for people of all ages. Scaffidi believes this is vital due to the limited resources in Northern Nevada for LGBTQ youth in particular. “I appreciate the education for the LGBTQ community and their allies,” said Scaffidi, “It’s very important.”

The events discussed the topics of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, National Coming Out Day, the history of LGBTQ politics in Nevada featuring representatives from the ACLU, and Trans History.

Scaffidi said that while every event attracted attendees, the panel on National Coming Out Day was the most popular. “Probably 25 to 30 people were at the National Coming Out Day panel,” said Scaffidi. The event featured a moderator and several panelists who answered questions and discussed their own coming out stories, according to Scaffidi.

Scaffidi said that the National Coming Out Day panel helps people to have a deeper understanding of the difficulties involved in coming out. “The coming out stories seem to impact so many people when they realize the difficulties that people go through when they’re coming out, and how strong you have to be to come out as LGBTQ,” said Scaffidi.

Scaffidi also explained the extreme psychological toll staying in the closet can have on some LGBTQ people. Scaffidi said, “A lot of people say, ‘Oh you guys are heroes,’ and ‘Oh you guys are really strong.’ What people don’t realize is at some point, if you’re in that community, you have to come out, or it can kill you.”

Scaffidi believes that increasing LGBTQ community education can create more allies, and a greater sense of safety for LGBTQ people to come out. “People would understand what it’s like and maybe give someone the power to come out,” said Scaffidi.

According to Scaffidi, Our Center hopes to host LGBTQ History Month events next year as well. Going forward, Our Center hopes to attract new volunteers and attendees. “We’re trying to get some new volunteers, get some new blood, some new thinking,” said Scaffidi, “Looking forward, we’re going to be way better than we are now.”