Five Lehigh undergraduate students, accompanied by faculty advisors from the computer science and engineering department, attended this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC 23) conference.

Olivia Roback ‘24, Hua Chen ‘24, Tammy Adegbaye ’25, Rory Stein ‘25, and Malika Buribayeva ‘26 made the trip to Orlando in late September with CSE professors Houria Oudghiri and Kallie Ziltz ’16 ’18G.

GHC is the flagship event hosted by, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting women in technical fields, as well as the organizations that employ them and the academic institutions training the next generation. The conference highlights the research and career interests of women in computing and brings recognition to the contributions of women to the tech world. With over 30,000 attendees and 400+ notable speakers including Janelle Monáe and Tunde Oyeneyin, it serves as a powerful platform for networking, learning, and celebrating the achievements of women in technology.

The multi-day gathering includes a career fair and expo, keynote speakers, meet and greets, panel discussions, and a hackathon. 

Buribayeva says she values the networking opportunities the conference provided.

“Instead of just submitting a resume, we actually got to talk to the recruiters,” she says. “We learned about what kind of projects these companies are working on and shared our own experiences. There are all kinds of opportunities, from research opportunities and university programs to internships and full-time jobs.”

Lehigh CS student/faculty at GHC
GHC attendees, from left, Professor Oudghiri, Tammy Adegbaye, Olivia Roback, Professor Ziltz, Hua Chen, Malika Buribayeva, and Rory Stein.

The GHC conference was founded in 1994 and has been held annually since 2006. Ziltz, who is a Lehigh alum, attended in 2013 as a rising sophomore.

“That experience was life-changing to me, and I truly believe that is the reason I stayed in academia and focused my own graduate research on equitable computer science education,” says Ziltz. “This year’s trip was a full-circle moment for me.”

While this group of students are all at different stages of their CS curriculum, she adds, “we have seen each of them progress from first learning to program to being exceptional students and future computer scientists.” She says she hopes the trip serves as a reminder that they belong in the field, even when it might be tough or uncomfortable. 

“Having our advisors and other Lehigh students there helped a lot, because we could prepare for networking opportunities and attend events together,” says Buribayeva. “The professors gave me a lot of positive advice that gave me confidence throughout the conference. Meeting like-minded students from other schools and sharing our experiences was also really valuable.”

—Alyssa Caroselli ’24 is a student writer for the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science