Director's Digressions

Sheryl Burgstahler

People have accused me of being preoccupied with choosing names for organizations and services. I was delighted when Dr. Stephen Hawking validated my concern with his timely words, "The importance in science of a good name should not be underestimated."

Choosing names has been a significant activity of DO-IT during the past year. Even thinking up the acronym DO-IT was not an easy feat. For several weeks, DO-IT staff and associates scribbled ideas on almost every available surface before settling on those two short syllables. We were looking for something that would be easy to read as an acronym and would reflect the spirit of the program when read as an acronym or when read in the expanded form. We wanted it catchy, but not too cute.

DO-IT is a program about people with disabilities (D=disabilities) pursuing academic programs and careers (O=opportunities), with significant use of network resources (I=internetworking) and computers (T=technology). The overall DO-IT name reflects the concept that our program takes action to empower participants to successfully pursue science, engineering and mathematics fields.

We continue to be challenged with name-selection. Our newsletter's name is still tentative and we welcome suggestions. However, we have settled on names for our file server and public electronic addresses. Our new DECstation 5000 Unix workstation is used to host DO-IT accounts and electronic activities. We named it hawking in honor of our friend and mentor, Dr. Stephen Hawking.

We also have set up several discussion, distribution and communication addresses. doitsem is a discussion list for people who are interested in the issues surrounding individuals with disabilities pursuing science, engineering and mathematics (sem). The DO-IT newsletter and other project information are distributed to this list as well. To give a message to the group, e-mail to doitnews is a list of individuals who do not want to be part of the full doitsem discussion, but would like to receive the newsletter and other publications of the project. To subscribe or cancel a subscription to doitsem or doitnews, send e-mail to