Announcing the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship Winner: Elizabeth Shilling

When we first set out to find the WordPress Foundation’s Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship winner for this year, we had one specific type of person in mind: A woman who would move the WordPress community forward with hard work, dedication, and a sincere desire to see more female leaders and role models in the tech world. We’ve found that person in Elizabeth Shilling; a former biology teacher who is an aspiring business owner, plugin developer, and feminist leader.


 When Elizabeth found the WordPress community she quickly fell in love with it. She has a B.A in Psychology, but went back to school to study computer and data science, leading to an eventual career change – and an insatiable thirst for knowledge about all things web. She grew up playing video games on a Tandy TRS 80 model 1, which was her introduction to computers. Her late mother was an integrated software engineer with Boeing, and is her inspiration to pursue a better representation of women in math and sciences.

Having helped to start the Women Who WP meetup as a way to pay homage to her mother, she’s found herself as a champion for women in leadership. She’s mostly interested in how gender affects experience in the tech world, and wants to encourage everyone to lead – especially those who are hesitant to do so.

Elizabeth is a wonderful representation of someone that Kim would have loved to have met at WordCamp US. She’s dedicated to open source, and is happy to have found an inclusive and welcoming community with an edge of geekiness in WordPress. We’re proud and honored to have Elizabeth join us as the second winner of the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship.

The Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship was created in 2015 as a way to encourage more women to get involved in the WordPress project. You can find more information about last year’s awardee here. It is funded by the WordPress Foundation and administered by the WordPress Community team.

Check out the schedule!

In the past few weeks we’ve brought you our speaker announcements in part one, part two, part three, part four, and part five. And now it’s time to sew them all together into one action-packed and incredible schedule.

We’re really excited to bring you 52 amazing sessions, including morning Yoga and the ever-anticipated State of The Word with Matt Mullenweg.

Now’s the time to go ahead and start planning your days. There are a lot of fantastic talks given by some of the most dedicated folks from the WordPress community and beyond.

Don’t have your ticket, yet? You don’t want to miss this.

Friday, December 2nd

Time Independence – Room 121 Full-length Talks Liberty Bell – Room 120 Full-length Talks Kite & Key – Room 119 Lightning Talks
8:00 amRegistration
8:15 amYoga for Desk Jockeys Erica Varlese
9:00 amOpening Remarks
9:30 amManaging Your Iceberg Cory MillerDesign for humans not robots Tammie ListerVersion Control Your Life: Alternate Uses for Git Lisa Yoder
9:45 amHow to Talk Content: A Guide for Developers Lisa Melegari
10:30 amWordPress for Schools Cameron BarrettOpen Source Creativity Sara CannonA Dash Through a WordPress Release Mike Schroder
10:45 amCode Review: Keeping Things Secure, Clean, and Performant Ryan Markel
11:30 amAnswers by Pippin Pippin WilliamsonDiversity and the design team Marc ColemanFive Newsroom Tips for Better Website Content Andrea Zoellner
11:45 amLessons from the Classroom: How to Use WordPress at Your Planning Agency Winstina Hughes
12:15 pmLunch
1:15 pmFrom Community to the World. Instantly! Éverton RosárioTeaching the FBI to photoblog with WordPress Karl KevilusContributor Panel Michael Arestad, Gary Pendergast, Joe Dolson, Taco Verdonschot, Tina Kesova
2:15 pmHeroPress: The People Of WordPress Topher DeRosiaThe Back End Is Dead: A New Paradigm for Assessing Talent & Creating Great Applications Courtney WilburnFrom Shadows to Limelight: How women found their voice at WordCamp Montreal Kathryn Presner
2:30 pmFrom Chef to COO: Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire Christopher Hinds
3:15 pmWordPress is for Blogs: CMS Diversity in Museums Courtney OCallaghanYou Are Not Code Mika EpsteinLessons in New User Experience Mel Choyce
3:30 pmHow to Speak “Conversational Developer” Zach LeBar
4:15 pmFinding your voice by blogging Chris LemaCare and Feeding of Your Passion Josepha HadenLibraries <3 WordPress Lauren Comito
4:30 pmOnline Education Communities with WordPress Troy Dean
5:15 pmWhat’s New in TypeScript Doris ChenThe WP REST API guide for non-developers Petya RaykovskaInfluence is Not Only About Likes: How I used WordPress to change laws and (maybe) save lives. Elise Desaulniers
5:30 pmTales from the Closed Web: Working with WordPress Censorship in China John Gamboa

Saturday, December 3rd

Time Independence – Room 121 Full-length Talks Liberty Bell – Room 120 Full-length Talks Kite & Key – Room 119 Lightning Talks
8:00 amRegistration
8:15 amYoga for Desk Jockeys Erica Varlese
9:30 amInternationalizing The New York Times Scott TaylorWordPress & SEO in 2016 Joost de ValkBreaking social barriers and creating opportunities Sakin Shrestha
9:45 amLet’s Take This Offline: Making friends, and growing professional relationships IRL Shayda Torabi
10:30 amLet’s Encrypt! Wait. Why? How? Nancy ThankiThe Dark Side of Democratization Dennis HongBlogging – The Best Thing I’ve Done as a Developer Sal Ferrarello
10:45 amHow to embrace your WordPress mediocrity Tessa Needham Synnott
11:30 amSo you’ve released A WordPress product…. Now what? Ines van EssenBuddyPress as the Foundation for Training, Distance Learning and Support for Business and Government Lisa Sabin-WilsonWPDrama, The Four Agreements, and the WordPress Community John Eckman
11:45 amEvent Accessibility Kelly Dwan
12:15 pmLunch
1:45 pmWordPress Reflections Andrew NacinA view from Google: The latest in Search and mobile Maile OhyeColor Theory and the Fundamentals of Design Sonja Leix, Hugo Baeta, Beth Soderberg
2:45 pmComputational Design and Inclusion John MaedaDeaf-Friendly WordPress: Beyond Video Captioning and Sign Language Svetlana KouznetsovaPagebuilder Plugins: You’ve Come a Long Way Baby! Michele Mizejewski
3:00 pmHow to Overcome Your Fears and Start Sharing Your Knowledge Nicole Kohler
3:45 pmState of The Word Matt Mullenweg

Welcome to WordCamp US 2016

We’re happy to announce that WordCamp US 2016 is happening! Hosted again in Philadelphia, PA, WordCamp US is the premier North American WordCamp – it includes two days of programmed sessions on Friday and Saturday as well and a full day contributor event on Sunday.

WordCamp US will take place from December 2nd-4th, 2016 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. Subscribe using the form in the sidebar to stay up to date on the most recent news. You can also follow us on twitter!