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Women in Open Source Award winners announced

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The winners of both the 2020 Women in Open Source Community and Academic Awards are currently involved in open-source projects that are directly or indirectly associated with COVID-19 related projects.

However, their activities in this field were not the reason for their success in the Red Hat-sponsored annual awards which attract nominations from around the world.

The winners, who each received a US$2 500 “stipend” for the suggested use of supporting open source projects or efforts, were announced during the Red Hat Summit 2020 Virtual Experience this week.

Megan Byrd-Sanicki, manager of research and operations at the Open Source Program Office at Google, won the 2020 Community Award for her “leadership in creating sustainable and thriving open source communities”. She is currently involved with Covid Act Now, a COVID-19 data modelling project.

The winner of the Women in Open Source Academic Award, Netha Hussain, is a medical doctor and Ph.D candidate in Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Gothenburg. She was rewarded for openly sharing her medical knowledge and increasing the number of topics relevant to women and contributions by women on Wikipedia. At present, she is focused on creating and curating articles about COVID-19 on Widipedia.

According to Red Hat, the award is aimed at recognising women’s contributions to open source projects and the open source community in diverse areas ranging from code and programming, quality assurance, open hardware and system administration to translation and internationalisation, community advocacy and management, intellectual property advocacy, legal reform, open source methodology, user experience and marketing.

A panel of 13 judges, including two previous winners, short-listed five finalists in each of the two categories before selecting the winners. The judging process took place over two rounds between February and March this year.

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