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.