Rebranded Women in Tech has big plans

The East Carolina University chapter of Women in Computer Science rebranded itself as Women in Tech starting this semester.

Lilah El-Halabi, the co-president of the organization, said not enough female computer science majors were on campus to support having a group that wanted to do more to support the community and women in technical fields.

Lilah El-Halabi, center, co-president of Women in Tech, conducts a meeting with Shelby Brown, left, vice president, and Ameila Hernandez, treasurer. Formerly called Women in Computer Science, the organization rebranded itself to include people from a variety of technical fields. (Photo by Ken Buday)

“We had an executive board meeting and we sat down and talked about how many more women on campus are in technical fields and want to expand their perspectives and their knowledge on more things in regard to tech, so we opened it up,” said El-Halabi. “We already had some people in non-computer science majors within our organization, so it was just bound for that change in opening it all up.”

El-Halabi said the rebranded group can pull in students from Management Information Systems (MIS) in the College of Business as well as those in science, technology, engineering and math fields. She said members aren’t required to have a major in a technology field but can be those who are just interested in technology.

“You just need to be someone who is willing to learn and to support women who are going through the field,” she said. “It’s open to more than just women. It’s open to all genders, anyone who is willing to support the cause of women in tech.”

El-Halabi, a sophomore computer science major with a minor in business administration, said the organization sends teams to hackathon events, including one coming up at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and plans a coding workshop with members of the Boys and Girls Club.

The group also puts on workshops for students to include personal development such as public speaking and interview etiquette, professional workshops on using LinkedIn and writing resumes, and technical workshops on subjects such as computer software and web development.

“Hopefully with the name change we have more people who can do MIS and more engineering-based workshops where they can teach us and we can have a broader perspective of tech,” El-Halabi said.

She said the group was among a number of student organizations within the College of Engineering and Technology that is supporting the Society of Women Engineers STEM Fundraising Gala set for March 20. Tickets are $20 for students, $35 for staff and faculty, and $40 for others and are on sale from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays in the atrium of the Science and Technology Building. Proceeds go to support STEM education in Pitt County.

“It’s going to be super big,” El-Halabi said.

Women in Tech has meetings every other Monday at 5 p.m. in room 1012 of the Bate Building. The next meeting is Feb. 10. The group has an Instagram (ECU.WIT) and Twitter (@ECUWIT) and can be found through ECU Engage (

“Hopefully more of the campus becomes aware of the organization and they’ll know what we have going on,” El-Halabi said. “We’ve done a lot of cool things, but it’s stayed within the college, so hopefully we can broaden out to all of ECU and get people interested in STEM and technology, and partner with other organizations that advocate for women. We have so many people asking us about our rebrand who are excited to see what new things happen.”

Other officers in the organization include Keyuana Coaxum, Shelby Brown, Amelia Hernandez and Tiffany Nguyen.