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Meet our 2015 GHC Community Committee!

We have returning committee members and new members that are managing various community activities at GHC like note taking, blogging, lunchtime table topics, and more. The committee has been working for months to prepare for volunteers to step in and participate in a wide range of activities at GHC. Their management of these activities and volunteers are phenomenal. These members serve as volunteers providing their time and talent to engaging GHC community and beyond. All of these women are committed to ensure the community have a wonderful experience and contribute to the voice of the community. On behalf of AnitaB.org and our communities, we Thank GHC Community Committee for their incredible volunteer service.

Without further ado, please meet our GHC Community Committee!

Dr. Charna Parkey (co-chair) joined Textio in March just after seed funding was raised as a Senior Software Engineer with 10 years of experience in digital signal processing. Through the use of signals and subject matter experts she aims to change the way we interpret the world for the better.  She is now on a mission to change the way we hire by reducing biases in job listings to attract the most diverse set of candidates. 

She has been involved with the GHC Communities Committee for 6 years and other women in STEM activities for the past 15 years.  Charna holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida, two B.S. in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering, and she has authored or co authored 11 publications, holds 3 patents, won 2 best paper awards, and continues to contribute to her field. For fun she makes pottery, practices yoga and martial arts, and loves hiking, baking, and anything crafty or DIY. 


Valerie Anne Fenwick (co-chair) is a Manager in the Solaris Security Technologies group at Oracle Corporation with over two decades of experience in computer security. She helped to design and develop the cryptographic framework for the Oracle Solaris operating system, and previously worked as a developer on the SunScreen Firewall. She co-chairs the OASIS PKCS#11 (Open Standards Based Crypto API) technical committee.

Valerie has a B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University.  She is a co-author of the Solaris 10 Security Essentials book and writes a blog on bicycling, beer and security. In her spare time, she enjoys performing at community theaters, riding her bike, and skiing.




Gail Carmichael has been an advocate for women 
in computer science for more than seven years.
She co-founded Carleton University’s Women in Science and Engineering group, was a member of the now disbanded advisory board for AnitaB.org for Women and Technology, and is working on bringing Girl Develop It! back to Ottawa.  She is currently a part-time PhD students at Carleton University and a software developer at Shopify in Ottawa, Canada.





Vivian Andreeva is a 25 year old Software Engineer working on Universal Apps at Microsoft, located in Redmond. She previously worked as an intern at Research in Motion, Electronic Arts Mobile Division, and Carleton University’s Network Management & Artificial Intelligence Lab. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering from Carleton University in Ottawa Canada. She attended Grace Hopper for the first time in 2014.







Zaza Soriano is a full time Embedded Software Engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). There she solves hard problems, increases national security, and delves into biomedical engineering.
She holds a double Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. She is currently working towards her Masters in Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University Engineering for Professionals.

This will be her 6th year attending and volunteering at GHC, and first year on the Communities Committee. She is extremely active in STEM outreach and has been recognized multiple times for her STEM efforts at APL. When she is not working, studying, or volunteering, Zaza likes to hike, cook, and participate in the APL Drama Club.



Gehana Booth is a new member to the GHC Committee, but has been attending the Grace Hopper Celebration for a few years now. The conference is a continual inspiration for her and has pushed her to get involved with outreach initiatives to encourage and mentor young girls, particularly at the high school level, who are interested in computer science. She is currently working on her MCS with the Carleton Computer Security Lab in Ottawa, specializing in new approaches to network traffic analysis and security. She also works as a software developer on the merchant protection team at Shopify, an Ottawa-based e-commerce company setting out to make commerce better for everyone.

In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and dancing West Coast Swing. 


Tamara Y. Washington is a Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She completed her BS in Electrical Engineering from Tuskegee University and her MSEE (optics) from North Carolina A&T State University. She also holds an MBA (finance) from Wake Forest University. Tamara is passionate about learning object oriented languages as well as full-stack programming languages. She is energetic about S.T.E.M. education for women and a huge advocate/supporter of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

She is actively involved in efforts to search out and uncover all of the super smart and talented technology people and companies that the DC/MD/VA area has to offer as well as bring together those people and companies to technical community groups for education and collaboration. 


Ilke Demir is a PhD candidate in Computer Science department at Purdue University, and a research assistant in Computer Graphics and Visualization Lab. Her research interests lie in the fields of procedural modeling, 3D urban reconstruction, and interactive shape editing. She obtained her B.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Middle East Technical University, with an Electrics and Electronics Engineering minor. Currently she is an Intern at Pixar Animation Studios. 

In her spare time, she is a gamer, a dancer, a blogger, an explorer, and a dreamer! And always a strong advocate of the female to shift the balance. 



And last but certainly not least, Rose Robinson is Her Systers‘ Keeper and Sr. Manager with AnitaB.org. Rose manages all of AnitaB.org communities including Systers’ affinity communities and special interest groups. She’s been a long time Syster, AnitaB.org family member and GHC conference goer. Rose has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mathematics applied CS and has been working in the technical industry for more than 20+ years. She has extensive experience in software implementations, telco provisioning and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and is a advocate of open source technologies. She also manages all of AnitaB.org open source projects and Systers initiatives such as Systers Google Summer of Code program, Systers open source mentor program, Pass It On awards program and all community presence and activities and events at GHC.