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We're excited to announce the finalists for the 2017 Women in Open Source Awards. In its third year, the Women in Open Source Award seeks to honor women who make important contributions to open source projects and communities or make innovative use of open source technology.
 
The finalists in the community category represent women who work or volunteer on open source projects. This year's finalists are:
 
- Amira Dhalla, leads programs focused on women and web literacy at Mozilla Foundation. She has been an open source contributor for more than five years. Amira started Mozilla Clubs, a program that collectively creates resources for educators and advocates around the world to teach key digital literacy skills in their communities. It has grown to 500 clubs in more than 100 cities globally, and last year Amira collaborated with UN Women to expand the program with the launch of more than 30 for-women-by-women local learning groups. 
 
- Jessie Frazelle, a software engineer at Google. As an open source contributor for four years, she has worked on Docker, Kubernetes, Golang, and runC. Jessie’s contributions to Docker include 1,478 comments and reviews to pull requests; 341 of her own pull requests; 884 comments to issues; and 114 issues created. She advocates for inclusivity in open source and organizes meetups for women through Women Who Go. At her first meetup, participants made contributions to large projects like Node.js that were accepted. She gives talks on topics such as container technology, getting started with Linux, contributing to software communities as part of your job, and the art of closing issues and pull requests. She also started a conference for open source maintainers called maintainerati.org.
 
- Avni Khatri, program manager for the knowledge and learning technologies group at Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital. An open source contributor for more than 16 years, Avni has worked across a variety of projects and communities, including Kids on Computers; OpenACS; and For A Living. She was a co-chair of the Open Source Track at Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2010 and co-chair of the conference’s Open Source Day in 2011 and 2012. She builds solutions exclusively using open source technologies like Git, Postgres, OpenACS, Django, HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3, OpenShift, CentOS, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. 
 
- Heather Kirksey, vice president of NFV at Linux Foundation. As an open source contributor for more than 10 years, she has worked with OPNFV and MongoDB. At OPNFV, Heather initiated collaboration with 10 upstream projects and organizations, engaged more than 280 developers, led the community through three platform releases, and grew the project to include 54 member organizations. She is a member of Light Reading’s Women in Comms, has established a no-tolerance policy for discrimination within the OPNFV community, and hosts the “OPNFV Women and Allies” event. 
 
- Karen Sandler, executive director at Software Freedom Conservancy. Karen has been an open source contributor for 11 years in several projects and communities, including Software Freedom Conservancy, GNOME and Outreachy. She works with companies out of GPL compliance to find non-litigious resolutions in accordance with the Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement. She maintains a comprehensive guide to copyleft at copyleft.org. Karen helped launch ContractPatch, an initiative to educate free software contributors about employment agreements. She expanded Outreachy, to include dozens of free software organizations, helped move the program to the Software Freedom Conservancy, and open it to people of color who are underrepresented in the U.S.
 
The finalists in the academic category represent women who are full-time students currently enrolled in a college or university. This year's finalists include:
 
- Safia Abdalla, a student at Northwestern University, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Safia has been an open source contributor for nearly three years, including work on nteract, Project Jupyter, pandas, and Node.
 
- Nabanita De, a student at University of Massachusetts, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in computer science. Nabanita has been contributing to open source for two years, including projects and communities like FiB; MIT Media Lab; Microsoft Student Partners; Windows Insiders; Mozilla Student Community; Stanford She++; Stanford Scholars Community; UMass CS Women; Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership; BITS Pilani Dubai; ACM Machine Learning Community; and IEEE. 
 
- Dawn Foster, a Ph.D. candidate at University of Greenwich, researching company collaboration within the Linux kernel community. As an open source contributor for 10 years she has worked on a variety of projects and communities, including Tizen, MeeGo, Puppet, and Metrics Grimoire.
 
- Jigyasa Grover, a student at Delhi Technological University (formerly known as Delhi College of Engineering), pursuing a bachelor’s of technology in computer engineering. An open source contributor for three years, she is heavily involved in projects and communities, including: Pharo; European Smalltalk Users Group (ESUG); FOSSASIA; JSONStreamer; Smalltalk Applications like MorphoPhysics; sQuick (Search Quick); Contact Manager; Desktop Games etc. Social Network Simulator - Hashkat (#k@); Women Who Code (WWCode); Google Developers Group (GDG); Google Women Techmakers (Google WTM); Women in Science & Engineering (WiSE); Linux Women in Open Source; Learn IT Girl!; Lean In; Lean In Women of Color; and Systers Indian Women in Computing (IWiC).
 
- Aastha Vijay, a student at Cummins College of Engineering for Women in Pune, India, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in electronics and telecommunication engineering. Aastha has been an open source contributor for two years in the Mozilla community.
 
Finalists were selected by a panel of Red Hat judges including: Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO; DeLisa Alexander, executive vice president and chief people officer; Tim Burke, vice president, software engineering; Denise Dumas, vice president, software engineering; Christopher Wright, vice president and chief technologist; Deborah Bryant, senior director, open source and standards; Jason Hibbets, community manager of opensource.com; Harish Pillay, senior community relations specialist; Stormy Peters, senior manager, community leads; Werner Gold, principal solution offering manager; Diane Mueller, director, community development; and Sarah Sharp, consultant at Otter Tech and 2015 Women in Open Source Community Award winner.
 
Voting for the winners is open and ends March 6, 2017. Voting is open to the public. Winners will be announced at Red Hat Summit 2017, taking place May 2-4 in Boston.
 
To read more about each finalist and cast your vote, visit redhat.com/about/women-in-open-source.

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