Promoting gender equity in technology by empowering youth through accessible education, community, and mentorship.
Gender equality in the technology industry.
App Camp For Girls seeks to address the gender imbalance in technology professions by inspiring middle-school age girls with a broad introduction to the process of app development, from brainstorming and designing ideas to building and pitching their apps. We believe that the experience of creating an app that runs on a device in one week can spark the enthusiasm that will propel girls to pursue further tech education.
In addition, App Camp For Girls is a place for women in the tech community to come together, network, and provide mutual support in their endeavors to advance in the field of software development. We encourage and support our volunteers to continue their own education in programming and design.
The inaugural season of App Camp for Girls took place in Summer 2013 in Portland, Oregon. In 2018, we will hold sessions in Portland, Seattle, Chicago and Minneapolis. We've worked with 225 aspiring developers and over 70 mentor volunteers in over the last five summers! Check out Four Summers In One Minute to see them all.
App Camp For Girls is the brainchild of founder Jean MacDonald, former partner at Smile, a well-known company in the Mac and iOS developer community. Currently she devotes her energies to Micro.blog, an independent ad-free short-form blogging platform and social network. She got her start in the tech industry as freelance web designer and instructor, including teaching stints at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Geekcorps in Ghana, and the U.S. State Department in Armenia.
Jean is an alumna of Big Nerd Ranch, where she took the Beginning iOS Bootcamp intensive course to prepare for App Camp For Girls. Jean has been an active participant and supporter of the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, which is the source of her inspiration for App Camp.
Grey Osten, Co-founder, is responsible for creating the curriculum and codebase used at camp. By day, Grey works at Smile as an iOS Developer. Prior to that, Grey's journey as an iOS developer began in 2010 when close friend and founder of Fish Hook, Evan Delaney, took Grey under his wing. Grey's existing background in computer repair, customer service, and a bachelor's in fine art turned out to be the perfect foundation for learning to build iOS applications. As a self taught developer, Grey believes that teaching is just as important as doing. Grey usually spends downtime hiking with Wendall the Wonder Dog.
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Born and raised in central Ohio, Sarah is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University and a dedicated Buckeyes fan. Several decades ago she moved to Portland to enjoy the many bounties of the region especially any activity that gets her outside. She brings to App Camp for Girls nearly thirty years of experience in the non-profit and political field. Most recently she spent six years with Street Roots - an award winning newspaper sold by low income and homeless people in the Portland metro area. Her time there was during a period of expansion that included transitioning from biweekly to weekly publication of the newspaper. Sarah currently lives in North Portland with her two ambitious daughters (a sophomore at Jefferson High School and sixth grader at Ockley Green Middle School), two overly friendly dogs and a standoffish bearded dragon.
Sarah is excited to be part of the App Camp for Girls team. She loves connecting with people especially to scheme about collaborations
Board of Directors
Peggy MacDonald is a mobile apps product manager, currently at Home Depot. Prior to that, she worked at eBay, Critical Path, and Inspiration Software. She has worked in the tech industry for over 25 years, and was a founder at startups PrintPaks and Blue Lake Children's Publishing.
Pam Madaus is employed as the Business Manager of the Washington County Museum. Prior to joining the museum staff, Pam held several non-profit, government and industry management positions, including Executive Director, Reach Out and Read Kansas City and Manhattan Area Habitat for Humanity; Intra-Corporate International Monetary & Finance Process Manager, Agilent Technologies; Business Manager, Toll Brothers Luxury Home Builders; and Assistant Business Manager, Kansas State University Department of Facilities. She currently serves on the Boards of Directors of App Camp 4 Girls and the Friends of Lincoln High School. She has also served on the Boards of the West Sylvan Middle School Foundation, Manhattan Area Habitat for Humanity & Clear Creek Elementary PTA. Pam graduated from the University of Kansas, is married and has a daughter who is a sophomore at Lincoln High School.
Katharine’s passion is for leveraging technology to expand human connections and for advocating for a more inclusive and diverse environment in STEM. Starting with her undergraduate degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley, to her MBA from the University of Oxford, this passion has played a central role throughout her 20-year career. An innovator at heart, Katharine has focused on working with companies that value and support human connections, including Ancestry.com, AAA, and Ruby Receptionists, where she currently serves as Chief Product & Technology Officer.
Jen Patterson is a native Oregonian who grew up just steps from the Sandy River. When she isn't busy gardening and playing house, Jen is a mental health counselor who helps people healing from psychosis. Most important she is mom to two brilliant kids including one App Camp For Girls graduate!
Justin Miller is a tech startup veteran with twenty years in the industry as a software developer and system administrator, including fifteen years with Apple technologies. He volunteered at the inaugural App Camp in 2013 as a photographer alongside his wife Michelle Petruzzi, who went on to become App Camp’s founding operations director. Since Michelle’s death in 2016, Justin has been committed to helping App Camp as well as furthering advocacy efforts with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and other organizations. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, photography, travel, and working on and camping in his vintage VW van.
Angel has spent over a decade in the digital marketing space serving as a marketer, project manager, and consultant. She is currently a strategic consultant with Lytics.
In addition to working with several international B2C and B2B organizations, she's proud of being able to assist small businesses, agency partners, and non-profits with their digital marketing strategies, including Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest and Animal Aid.
Angel knows enough of [insert programming language here] to be dangerous and considers Cannon Beach her happy place.
app camp portland
Diana Zmuda (Camp Lead Developer) is an iOS developer at thoughtbot. After graduating with a degree in Math and Economics, she decided to take a hard right turn into the world of app development. Once she finished App Academy's inaugural session in San Francisco, she did an iOS apprenticeship and is now building mobile apps for startups at thoughtbot. She co-wrote a book, iOS on Rails, and is currently having a blast with the new hottest language, Swift.
Michelle Panulla (Portland camp organizer) has worked almost twenty years in Information Technology, focusing the last nine on WordPress development. She is currently building systems for regular WordPress updating and security. Michelle served as a Project Team Manager for App Camp for Girls for three years before becoming Portland’s Co-Organizer in 2017. She holds a degree in Music Education, and enjoys singing in a rock band, volunteering with youth and animals, and indulging in too much coffee on a regular basis.
APP CAMP SEATTLE
Lesley Baker (Seattle lead developer) is an iOS developer who currently splits time between building apps and watching (chasing) her two young children. After graduating with a degree in computer science from the University of Washington, she spent the next 10+ years working at companies ranging from start-up to established. She made the switch from web development to iOS development in 2014 after completing a certificate program with the UW. She currently works for her own company building apps for kids. She loves teaching at App Camp for Girls and sharing how delightful it can be to code.
Liz Marley, Seattle organizer 2014 & 2015 and Portland 2013 volunteer, started her career as a software tester. She is currently a product manager at The Omni Group, crafting productivity software for Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Virginia Roberts is the MC for App Camp Seattle. She's an online dating coach turned Program Manager at Microsoft, and she loves geeking out about everything from line height to hashtags to batch scripts. She learns a little more about making apps each year with App Camp, and can't wait to someday ship her own indie app to help people take more flattering selfies!
Tricia Cervenan is a co-organizer for App Camp Seattle. She’s a product manager at L4 Digital and part-time instructor at General Assembly. Tricia has shipped over 15 digital products and is most proud of the teams she’s help to build while doing so. When she’s not building software or working with those new to the industry, Tricia finds joy in long distance cycling, world travel and a good cup of coffee.
app camp Chicago
Jessi lives at the intersection of education, innovation, and technology: an early adopter, as a classroom teacher, she built her own classroom website before the age of LMSs and as a online learning leader, she’s helped institutions bring digital and distance learning to life.
She’s taught high school English and college courses, developed higher ed curriculum used by 19 campuses, built competency-based graduate programs, and created robust professional development for educators. Jessi pulls this all together to make Uncharted Learning the leader in authentic learning experiences and teacher professional development. She also has developed programs that empower teachers with the proper supports, tools, and skills to grow in their profession.
Married to David Chartier, a tech distiller and friend of the development world, she spends her free time scheming ways to improve the education space, offering professional development to teachers of all walks of life, and communing with innovators across many fields.
Laura Savino is an iOS developer with a penchant for languages, travel, and education. She's worked on all sorts of client apps through mobile agencies, and most recently built apps to transform students' learning at Khan Academy. In between conference speaking and training, she codes independently in Seattle.
Erica Roberts has over 14 years of teaching experience at both the Middle School and High School levels. She teaches Computer Science and is the Building Technology Facilitator at the Wolcott School and is a AP Computer Science Principles presenter for the National Math and Science Initiative. Prior to coming to Wolcott, she was responsible for developing and implementing the technology curriculum for the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School in Chicago and taught for the Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development. Prior to becoming an educator, she had over 20 years experience as a project manager, systems consultant, systems auditor and mainframe applications programmer for several different Fortune 500 companies. She is Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM) certification from the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), received a Bachelors Degree from the College of Arts and Sciences at New York University, a Masters Degree in Secondary Education. In her spare time, she tinkers with computer hardware and software, runs and is an avid reader.
Jen Kelley is an iOS developer and obsessive knitter. She has a degree in meteorology and learned to code after realizing that knitting and coding share a lot of things in common (ask her!). She currently is an iOS developer at Reverb where she blends her passion for drumming and code.
Susannah looks forward to being a project team manager in Chicago this summer. She has worked with Macs and Apple portable devices for decades and is an unapologetic Apple fan girl. Her most recent experience is in Apple and iOS app marketing, and she is learning to develop her own apps in Swift. She’s proud to be the product manager of Geo Touch, by Clever Dragons Learning Apps, and to represent Apparent Software’s ImageFramer digital framing app. She’s also the proud parent of a software business development manager, a computer engineering graduate student, wife to a physicist/technology team lead and pet parent to a tiny poodle who really doesn’t care about computers at all.
Angela Dyrda is a software developer at Grid Connect responsible for building and maintaining Rails and iOS applications. With a passion for learning, and sharing that knowledge with others, Angela joined App Camp For Girls in Chicago as a project team lead in 2017. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and building iOS apps.
Shelly went through Mobile Makers Academy boot camp and was the only female in her cohort. By day, she’s either developing apps, taking care of Tech Support or spending time with her cat, Leo. By night, she transports freight train crews around the Chicago area or codes some more.
Cathy Wojcik is a Business Teacher at Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park, IL. She is called the "Mother of Technology" within the building. Ms. Woj learned Swift three years ago during an intensive summer bootcamp and fell in love with coding. The idea of taking a crazy language and turning it into something that actually works is so cool to her. She looks forward to working with students to help instill the passion for coding and a possible career choice.
APP CAMP MINNEAPOLIS
Sarah Olson is a Senior Software Engineer at Atlassian, working on the iOS team for Trello. She has more than nineteen years of development experience in a variety of technologies, including Java, WordPress, iOS and Android development. As Director of Women Who Code Twin Cities, she leads a variety of initiatives and events related to improving diversity in tech. She’s also the Lead Developer and Co-Organizer of the Minneapolis camp.