Darwin student wins Google scholarship 

CDU graduate Elizabeth Shenton is one of only two students Australia-wide to win a $5000 Google IT scholarship

Charles Darwin University School of Information Technology graduate Elizabeth Shenton is one of only two students Australia-wide to win a $5000 Google IT scholarship.

The scholarship is designed to encourage more women to further their careers in information technology.

Ms Shenton’s Google scholarship comes after being awarded the University Medal in May this year, another outstanding achievement for a School of IT graduate.

Google, in an attempt to encourage more Australian females to study IT at university, has awarded a total of $24,000 in scholarships to students around the country.

Dubbed the Google 2006 Australia Anita Borg scholarship, it is named after the late Dr Anita Borg, who pioneered the entry of women into computing and technology fields.

After receiving 60 applications from 21 universities, Google decided to award two $5000 scholarships and 14 scholarships worth $1000.

‘We are thrilled to award these scholarships to some of the brightest young women studying in technical fields today,’ said Lars Rasmussen, head of engineering at Google Australia.

To be eligible the women needed to be studying IT-related subjects at undergraduate or post-graduate level.

The field of 16 finalists was invited last week to Google’s Sydney headquarters for a networking retreat in which the winners were decided.

It is the first time the scholarships have been offered in Australia, but the scheme has been running in the US for the past three years.

Ms Shenton, the mother of three children, said she would use the scholarship to help her complete her Bachelor of Information Technology honours degree.

‘I was also informed that part of the scholarship was a trip to Orlando in Florida next year for a women in computers’ conference,’ she said.

She became interested in information technology while working as a surveyor at a mine near Batchelor.

Professor John Haynes, Head of the School of Information Technology at CDU, said everyone was delighted with her win in this prestigious scholarship.

'She is a very bright and dedicated student and I think her win clearly shows that the School of Information Technology has a great deal to offer local (and international) IT students. Ironically the other part of her scholarship that takes her to Orlando Florida, was where I came from, at the University of Central Florida.'