Rwanda on my mind

P1130621 I have been thinking during this twenty year anniversary and rememberance of the Rwandan Genocide of the remarkable emerging leaders I met during my recent visit as part of the TechWomen Rwanda delegation. Tomorrow, at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) California convention in Los Angeles, I am giving a breakfast talk on mentoring.  I will open my talk by describing the delegation’s visit to meet the inspiring Gashora Girls Academy (GGAST) in Rwanda – as way of illustrating how mentoring is about meeting people where they are.   I have been saving the Rwanda remembrance news stories served up by my Feedly reader, as a way seeing how the world understands these events and what came after. Here is what I have so far:

P1130096 Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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AAUW Mentoring Talk


The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is holding their California convention this weekend in Los Angeles. Tomorrow, I am giving a breakfast talk on mentoring.  I am a member of both the San Jose and California Online branches of AAUW and am looking forward to the big event!

Image copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson

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Happy Birthday John! Congratulations Paul!


Our family is celebrating John’s birthday and Paul’s progress towards graduation from Foothill College (and anticipated transfer to San Jose State University). Paul just received news of high grades on his second-to-last Foothill report card, and today started his final quarter there.

In honor of John’s birthday, Rev. David and Naomi Plocher (his parents) sent a card featuring what may be the first picture showing John with a model train.  At four years old, he was already fascinated by railroads. Below is a recent photo of John with his current N-scale layout in what used to be our garage.

P1180544 copy


Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson, and 1966 by Rev. David Plocher


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Discover Cal with Chancellor Dirks


I just attended Discover Cal, part of a traveling lecture series for family and friends of the University of California at Berkeley. Moderated by Guy Kawasaki, author/entrepreneur and Cal parent, tonight’s star was new Cal Chancellor Nicholas Dirks

…in a casual but stimulating conversation on Berkeley’s renewed commitment to its public mission through new initiatives that are built around his three interconnected priorities: How can we redefine the undergraduate experience so that students feel more connected to their studies, professors, and each other? How can Berkeley respond to an increasingly globalized world? How can our research innovations be brought to bear on the pressing needs and interests of society?

In addition to enjoying the official presentation about my alma mater, at the reception I was delighted to meet Margret Schmidt who is Vice President, Design & Engineering, Chief Design Officer at TiVo, and winner of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television. Margret is not only listed as one of the Notable Women in Computing but also was an Engineering-110 student at Cal! Engineering 110 “Venture Design, the Start Up Company” was offered through the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley for nearly 20 years. E-110 was conceived and lead by my father, the late Wade Dickinson, and his brother, my Uncle Wayne. I helped teach this class for twelve years. The course was designed to help creators of new technology to better understand the challenges of commercializing their ideas.  It was very exciting to talk with an E-110 student – especially one who has made such a remarkable success of herself!


Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Announcing the new website for Katy Dickinson Consulting:

Katy Dickinson Consulting creates measurably effective long-lasting infrastructure and processes in a professional and technical environment. Successful large programs have included global mentoring, innovation and product life cycle, and corporate intellectual property management systems.

I have been developing website content and choosing among my photos for the pages: Clients, Contact, Key Publications and Best Practices, and About Katy Dickinson. A side benefit of this work was discovering online a 2003 patent application I thought was never filed:

Dickinson, Katherine V.G., Jos Marlowe, James Gosling “Method and apparatus for automatically archiving and clearing intellectual property” US Patent Application 20030055848 (20 March 2003)

I also discovered that my 2000 ecommerce patent was cited by 43 later patents!

Gandel, Deborah E., Katherine V.G. Dickinson, et alia, “Method and apparatus for implementing electronic software distribution” US Patent 6,167,568 (26 December 2000).

Much appreciation for great support from my clever daughter Jessica Dickinson Goodman and from my husband John Plocher helping to create my company’s new website. Jessica designs websites professionally as the Digital Communications Specialist for Polaris Project. John is the Principal Storage Architect for EVault. I am blessed to have such experts in my own family.


Images Copyright 2012-2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Jill’s Morocco Photos


Jill Finlayson and I were both part of the TechWomen US State Department mentoring delegation to Morocco earlier this month.  She brought along a big Nikon camera and I had my hand-sized Panasonic Lumix DMC-Lx5.  As we walked together, sometimes I would be in position for the best photo and sometimes Jill was.  With permission, here are some of Jill’s images that I am glad she captured:

Rug sellers in Fez showing the carpet I soon bought

Fez rug merchant flirting with me

Fez from the roof

Ladies with smart phones on the road from Fez

TechWomen with Lamia Bounahmidi (CEO of startup venture Looly’s Couscous) at Dinarjat Restaurant in Rabat

Storks at Chellah in Rabat

Jill at Chellah in Rabat

Jackie at the Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat

Katy and Patricia in Rabat

Rouba at the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

TechWomen delegation at the home of Moroccan Minister Mrs. Hakima El Haité in Rabat

Cake at the TechWomen Morocco Delegation’s Closing Party

Images Copyright 2014 by Jill Finlayson

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Triple Time: CalTrain, BART, VTA to SFO


Because I travel a great deal, in December 2013 I applied to GOES (Global Online Enrollment System) for a card that will allow me to get through US airports faster.

What is Global Entry?
Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.

GOES is popular, so I had to wait until this week for my in-person interview at SFO (San Francisco International Airport). I decided to accompany my husband John on his morning commute to SFO for my interview. Driving from San Jose to SFO would have taken about two hours round trip and cost $22 in gas (40 miles x $0.55/mile) plus about $4 to park. By public transit, it cost $30 and took six hours round trip (not counting the time in SFO). My route was complex because there is no single public transit system and no direct route San Jose – SFO – San Jose:

  • San Jose Tamien to Millbrae by CalTrain ($8 day pass)
  • Millbrae to San Bruno by BART ($20 – minimum ticket available)
  • San Bruno to SFO by BART (same BART ticket)
  • SFO to San Bruno by BART (same BART ticket)
  • San Bruno to Millbrae by BART (same BART ticket)
  • Millbrae to San Jose Diridon by CalTrain (same CalTrain ticket)
  • San Jose Diridon to Convention Center ($2 VTA ticket)
  • Convention Center to San Jose Tamien (same VTA ticket)

I still can use the balance on my BART ticket and it does not expire – but I only ride BART about once every five years so I will have to carry it until then.

CalTrain does not seem to have a Mission statement but is developing a strategic plan this year that may include one.

Here is the BART Mission statement:

Provide safe, clean, reliable and customer-friendly regional public transit service that increases mobility and accessibility, strengthens community and economic prosperity and helps preserve the Bay Area’s environment.

Here it the VTA Mission Statement:

The mission of VTA is to provide the public with a safe and efficient countywide transportation system. The system should increase access and mobility, reduce congestion, improve the environment and support economic development, thereby enhancing quality of life.

I note that neither of these say anything about Convenience, Value, or Speedy Travel. So, my triple time traveling experience may be what they expect for their customers. I like riding trains and I enjoyed the lovely exhibit “Lace: A Sumptuous History 1600s-1900s” while at SFO so the day was not a total waste (but next time I will drive).  I hope that using GOES will save me the time I just spent…




3/24/2014: My GOES card just arrived in the mail – impressive turnaround time!

Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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