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Women in Technology

Join the University of Mississippi & SAP to hear from successful women working in technology: Thursday, March 31, 2016

Register for free today! Seating is limited.

#umwit2016 You're invited to join us for a free panel discussion and networking event featuring an amazing group of women who have achieved success in a range of technology careers. Meet special guest, Sally Doty, Senator in the Mississippi Legislature!

At this free event, you will:

Featured panelists include:

photo of Nena Ballas

Nena Ballas

Product Consulting Manager

Nena Ballas is a leader in the Women in Presales organization at Tableau, a member of the Tableau Foundation Community Grants Committee, and captains the MS150 Tableau Texas team. She is passionate about helping people access and explore the information they need to be successful. As a manager of product consulting teams at Tableau Software, she works with employees and her customers to do just that. She believes that data and information accessibility is necessary for individual and organizational success and strives to fill that need. Nena also participates in Girl Develop It and Women Who Code in Austin to continuously improve her skill set and build a great network of technical women.

Nena's background is diverse, but has always involved a technical training and communications aspect. Previously, she has helped clinicians collect and assess clinical trial data, worked with women's health practices to improve process management, and served marketing analytics teams in technical account management.

Nena's degree is in Political Science, with minors in Philosophy and Business from Texas A&M University. When she is not playing with data, she enjoys playing outside and indulging in the foodie scene.

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photo of Constance Bland

Constance Bland

Vice President of Academic Affairs
Mississippi Valley State University

A native of Friars Point, Mississippi, Dr. Bland began her career as an instructor of mathematics and computer science at Coahoma Junior College in Clarksdale, Mississippi. In 1991, she began her tenure at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU). Dr. Bland was appointed as chair of the Mathematics, Computer and Information Sciences (MCIS) department in 1999.

At MSVU, Dr. Bland has helped receive grants to enhance the quality of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education, and retention. Such grants include a graphing calculators grant, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Odyssey I, Odyssey II, and Odyssey III Scholarship grants, NSF CSEMS grant, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) GIS/Remote Sensing grant, and the NASA PACE grant. She is responsible for developing Valley's first Women in Science and Technology Conference (WIST) designed to encourage young girls in grades 7th through 12th to consider majoring in STEM disciplines. An accomplished researcher, Dr. Bland has also authored and co-authored several publications.

Dr. Bland holds an associate's degree in Mathematics from Coahoma Junior College, a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a master's degree in Computer Science, and a doctoral degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Mississippi.

She is married to Edgar Bland, Jr. The couple has two daughters, Amanda and Hilliary; one grandson, Taylan; and one granddaughter, Blake Elizabeth.

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photo of Sally Doty

Sally Doty

Mississippi Legislature

Senator Sally Doty was elected to the Mississippi Legislature in 2011 and has quickly become a respected member of Senate leadership. She serves as Chair of the Senate Elections Committee, Vice-Chair of Judiciary A, and as a vital member of other committees such as Finance, Public Health, Highways and Transportation, Economic Development and Public Property. She also serves as a legislative liaison to the State Retirement Board which oversees approximately 22 billion dollars in net assets.

Senator Doty focuses much of her time and attention on efforts to lower the teen pregnancy rate in Mississippi. She has a leadership role in the Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teen Pregnancy Prevention and has successfully advanced legislation to address unplanned pregnancy among older teens as well as improvements to sex education in the state. Senator Doty is frequently invited to speak on the topic to statewide and national groups and has appeared on an episode of the nationally syndicated television show "The Doctor's" to discuss prevention efforts in Mississippi.

Senator Doty is an attorney, and practiced law in her hometown of Brookhaven, Mississippi. She also served on the faculty of Mississippi College School of Law as the Director of Legal Writing. In 2013, she completed a summer program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Senator Doty is an honor graduate of Mississippi College School of Law and Mississippi University for Women. Senator Doty is the proud and busy mother of three teenagers; Ellen, Sarah, and Ben.

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photo of Regina Kunkle

Regina Kunkle

National Vice President & Local Government and Higher Education

Regina Kunkle is responsible for the State & Local/Higher Education (SLED) of SAP, part of the US Public Sector Area. The goal of the SLED organization is to expand SAP's presence in this important vertical with a dedicated and highly focused Sales and Engineering team. Regina joined SAP in July 2015. Regina is dedicated to helping governments transform to quickly respond to changing regulations and citizen needs, streamline and simplify processes, and share vital information across agencies for enhanced decision making and performance.

One of Regina's passions and key initiatives is working to keep young women and girls interested in science, technology, education and math (STEM). She has championed many events at universities throughout the US where women students gather to hear professional women speak enthusiastically, candidly, and personally about the wide range of careers in technology and related fields. Additionally, Regina also championed the NYC Steps Program, educating women of domestic violence on technology skills, so they may improve their situation through technology. Regina was named a finalist for the 2013 Stevie Awards Women in Business in the "Women Helping Women" category.  Regina has worked in top leadership roles with NetApp & Sun Microsystems. She has also practiced law at Bryan Cave in Washington, D.C., focusing on software licensing issues.

Regina holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland College Park, an MBA in Management from Loyola College, and a Law Degree (JD) from George Washington University.

Follow Regina & SAP on Twitter @ReginaKunkle and @SAPPublicSector

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photo of Carolyn Parent

Carolyn Parent

CEO and President

Carolyn Parent is a leader in building digital and mobile communication data solution organizations. She has over 20 years' experience as a successful entrepreneur, sales leader and team builder for small, mid-cap, and Fortune 500 private and public companies. As CEO and President of LiveSafe, Carolyn is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of the company while aligning resources to rapidly expand into the enterprise, university, and college markets. LiveSafe is the leading mobile safety communications platform, covering 1 million lives each and every day, and is used in over 100 universities and colleges across the country.

Before joining LiveSafe in 2015, Carolyn co-founded Gravy, a leading data analytics and marketing segmentation provider serving the mobile location services industry. Prior to Gravy, Carolyn served as executive vice president and general manager for Deltek, a $300M enterprise software and information services company.

Carolyn is active in the Washington, D.C., technology community. She is a member of The Leadership Foundry of Women in Technology, which prepares women to serve on corporate boards in the D.C. area. She serves on the boards of ZippSlip, ProEventa, Recruitmates, and Loudoun Therapeutic Riding. She is an advisor to Jason Learning, a nonprofit partner of the National Geographic Society for inspiring and motivating students to study and pursue STEM careers. Carolyn also serves as an advisory board member for ComScore. Carolyn was recently selected to Mobile Marketer's Mobile Women to Watch List for 2016, an elite group of women shaping the world of mobile communications worldwide.

Carolyn is a graduate of Villanova University.

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photo of Kamal Vijayakumar

Kamal Vijayakumar

Senior Developer in Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) Engineering - Employee Central
SAP SuccessFactors

Kamal is a Senior Developer with SAP Successfactors, since 2006. Prior to this, she worked as a Systems Analyst at the University of Mississippi for 4 years. She works with several teams: Design and Frontline Apps, Sales On Demand (SoD), and Human Capital Management (HCM) as SAP Successfactors.

Some of her accomplishments at SAP Successfactors include developing a robust HCM Cloud solution based on SAPUI5, building consumer and sports applications based on SAP HANA, designing, and developing a number of key applications targeted at the users of SAP's Sales On Demand and HCM solutions. Kamal has worked extensively with customers in providing timely support during implementation and maintenance phases. She is proficient in various technologies and tools such as ABAP Objects, WebDynpro ABAP, BSP, Adobe forms, Smartforms etc.

Kamal has a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) in Electronics & Communication from Mahatma Gandhi University in India and a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of MS in Oxford, MS.

Kamal currently lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, two children, and a puppy. Her favorite pastimes are baking and painting.

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photo of Elizabeth Walden

Elizabeth Walden

Student—M.S. in Cybersecurity, Fall 2016-2017
Marymount University

Elizabeth Walden is a Master of Science (M.S.) student at Marymount University majoring in Cybersecurity. Elizabeth is employed as a Help Desk and Network Operations Technician for the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kansas. Some of her duties include providing technical support service for staff utilizing personal computers; properly maintaining computing equipment, installing and upgrading hardware and software; providing instructions to end users using various computer software packages; collaborating with systems' administrators to resolve both system and end user networking issues.

Elizabeth was awarded the opportunity to work as a Client Service intern with FNC Inc., of Oxford, MS, and a Research Analyst intern with TRADOC G27 at Fort Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kansas. One of her most prized projects included working with researchers from the TRADOC G27 Modeling and Simulation Directorate (M&SD) housed at Fort Leavenworth where she received the opportunity to analyze several natural-language processing (NLP) tools from the Cognitive Computation Group (CCG) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently working on an additional project with TRADOC G27 where she will focus on identifying courses of action for implementing an unclassified virtual network for a distributed organization.

Elizabeth has proficient technical skills in JQuery, CSS, HTML, Adobe Premiere Pro, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Outlook, and MS Publisher. She has experience with Python, JavaScript, SQL, Selenium IDE automated testing, scripting, and database management.

Elizabeth holds a B.S. in Information Technology/Minor in Business. She has exceptional leadership experience and has received numerous scholarly awards and achievements.

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photo of Kat Walsh

Kat Walsh

Regional Manager of the DataCenter Architecture Team – SLED East

Kat Walsh currently manages Cisco System's public sector Datacenter team in the eastern US. She is presently responsible for a team of product specialists that span 26 states and sell datacenter solutions to state governments, local governments, universities and educational systems.​

Prior to joining Cisco in 2009, Kat held multiple management, sales, and technical positions at EMC and IBM. She graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2000 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, and began her IT career interning for IBM in Asia. ​

With over 16 years of superior performance in sales, marketing, channel partnerships, and multiple vertical market specializations, Ms. Walsh has built a broad-based knowledge in the technology industry. She believes Ole Miss gave her the foundation and confidence to be successful, and often reminds her Ivy League counterparts to never underestimate the power of a smart, southern woman.​

Kat is a native Floridian and when she isn't travelling for work, she can be found on the tennis court or at the beach near her home in Boca Raton, Florida.​

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photo of Cynthia Joyce

Cynthia Joyce - Moderator

Editor of the anthology, "Please Forward: How blogging reconnected New Orleans after Katrina" (UNO Press, 2015).

Cynthia Joyce has been a writer, editor, and web producer for more than 20 years and has contributed to The Washington Post, Newsday,, Entertainment Weekly, and, where she was a senior producer from 2007-2011;, where she worked briefly as a producer post-Katrina; and Salon, where she was arts and entertainment editor from 1995-2000. She is the editor of the anthology, "Please Forward: How blogging reconnected New Orleans after Katrina" (UNO Press, 2015), which Kirkus Reviews called "Powerful...a book that preserves testimony that might have disappeared amid the news cycles and web overflow."

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Steering Committee

  • Meg Barnes: Instructor and Director of Undergraduate Career Preparation - Management, University of Mississippi
  • Bethany Cooper: Corporate Recruitment and Talent Management Coordinator, FNC Inc.
  • Lauren Erikson: Regulated Industries Marketing Manager, State & Local Government, and Higher Education SAP Public Services, Inc.
  • Kathy Gates: CIO, University of Mississippi
  • Tiffany Gregory: Interim Director of Institutional Research, Effectiveness and Planning, University of Mississippi
  • Cynthia Joyce: Assistant Professor of Journalism, University of Mississippi
  • Regina Kunkle: National Vice President & Local Government and Higher Education, SAP
  • Ellen Shelton: Director of Pre-college Programs: Outreach & Continuing Education, University of Mississippi
  • Margaret Walden: Associate Director of Application Development and Integration: Application Development & Integration, University of Mississippi
  • Deetra Wiley: Applications Analyst I, University of Mississippi
  • Dawn Wilkins: Chair and Professor of Computer and Information Science, University of Mississippi

Seating is limited! Register today for free You are registered to meet and network with these female technology leaders and others.

Stay in touch with this event on Twitter using #umwit2016.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Best regards,
The University of Mississippi & SAP

Women in Technology

Date: Thursday, March 31, 2016

Time: 2:45–5:00 p.m.

The Inn at Ole Miss
Gertrude C. Ford Ballroom
120 Alumni Drive
University, MS 38677

Seating: Limited to first 250 registrants

Register today

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