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Making a Difference in Computing and Information Technology

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  • 01/15/2021 7:50 AM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

    Arkansas Academy of Computing Newsletter

    Janurary 15, 2021

    Thanks to each and every one of you!  In 2020 we have once again granted scholarships to many deserving students.  Sadly, we could not conduct our annual meeting in person, but thankfully through automation we adapted.  Our virtual meeting this year was a resounding success. Many thanks to everyone who worked to line up speakers, practice and execute a wonderful annual meeting experience. 

    Eugene Jones

    Arkansas Academy of Computing YouTube

    If you find yourself wanting to know more about the history of computing in Arkansas, check out the AAoC history YouTube channel.


    Scholarship donations are appreciated at: 

    General Scholarship Fund


    Dues can be paid at:

    Dues Fund


    Arkansas Students of Distinction Award -- We Could Use Your Help

    In response to the Governor’s interest in promoting computer science, last year we took on the challenge of managing the Arkansas Students of Distinction Award.  This year, we would like to contribute even more.  Our 2021 goals:

    • ·       Help promote and develop interest in the award.
    • ·       Help raise corporate and individual donations to fund awards for student winners.
    Our vision at this point is to pay to send some or all of the winners to Tech Fest (~$100 each) in Little Rock, or NWA Tech Fest in Fayetteville, or perhaps the AAoC Banquet (~$75 each) this year.  This might be a great way to attract and recruit new talent for your business!

    If you are interested, please contact Carl (501-860-0141) or Eugene (501-231-8860).

    Arkansas Students of Distinction Award -- We Could Use Your Help

    In response to the Governor’s interest in promoting computer science, last year we took on the challenge of managing the Arkansas Students of Distinction Award.  This year, we would like to contribute even more.  Our 2021 goals:

    • ·       Help promote and develop interest in the award.
    • ·       Help raise corporate and individual donations to fund awards for student winners.
    Our vision at this point is to pay to send some or all of the winners to Tech Fest (~$100 each) in Little Rock, or NWA Tech Fest in Fayetteville, or perhaps the AAoC Banquet (~$75 each) this year.  This might be a great way to attract and recruit new talent for your business!

    If you are interested, please contact Carl (501-860-0141) or Eugene (501-231-8860).

    2020 Scholarship Recipient

    Hassan Khanaferi Pour

    At UCA, in addition to being a Residents Assistant, he also worked as a Research Assistant focusing on addressing data integrity problem in medical embedded systems at various abstraction levels (sensor-level, hardware design level, software level.) Hassan’s area of research also included exploring techniques to simulate the human’s tactile sensibility using microcontrollers like Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards. In the Fall of 2019, Hassan was selected to attend and give an oral presentation about his research at the INBRE conference in Fayetteville.  In Summer 2019, he was hired as a Software Engineering Intern at Delphi Technologies where he was working on setting up software tools to support Volvo Power Electronics programs in the automotive industry. After his success in the internship, he got an extended offer from Delphi Technologies in the Summer of 2020 to continue the assignment that he had established. He is currently responsible for developing a training program for using a software tool that was set up last year to train engineers in the company.  Hassan is looking forward to graduate in December of 2020 and to continue his contributions on the technological advancement to fulfill his passion.

    Arkansas Academy of Computing

    Scholarship Totals for 2020:

    Arkansas State University


    Arkansas Tech University


    Henderson State University


    *Ouachita Baptist University


    Southern Arkansas University


    UA Little Rock


    UA Monticello


    UA Pine Bluff




    UAF Walton College


    UCA Conway




    *At the request of a member, we gave one scholarship to a new school this year -- Ouachita Baptist University

    Join and Share with us on social media here

  • 10/12/2020 1:31 PM | Susan Norton (Administrator)

    Arkansas Academy of Computing Newsletter

    October 6, 2020

    Hello Academy Members!

    I hope this note finds you all well and safe and sound. 

    Thank you so much for continuing to stay tuned in to the fellowship of our Academy by joining us this year for our first ever virtual Arkansas Academy of Computing Induction Happy Hour and virtual Business Meeting Ocotber 23-24, 2020. While we will miss giving hugs and shaking hands with everyone for hospitality and entertainment at the Country Club Friday night, we are anxious to see how many of you might re-join us since you won't have to travel! And this year, the events are absolutely free! 

    2020 marks our fourteenth class of honorees!  The Class of 2020 is comprised of eleven technology professionals whose work has distinguished them in their fields and in service to technology innovation and education in Arkansas.  Every year, the Academy is strengthened by the broad ranging experience and expertise of its new members.  This year this is doubly true, especially considering the circumstances that have led us, like so many others, to turn to more technology to celebrate them in a virtual setting.  Please join us to welcome them all Friday evening, October 23, beginning at 6 p.m.  Also, the following day, Saturday, October 24, at 9 a.m., we will have a very full morning with a robust program, "Technology Responding to Crisis," followed by our annual business meeting. 

    All details for both the Inductee Ceremony and the Saturday meeting are linked from the top of our web site at www.araoc.org.  We ask that you register for both the Friday and Saturday events because they will have separate Zoom links.  When you complete your registration, you will receive a confirmation email that contains a Zoom link that you can use to join the virtual party/meeting.   If you are unfamiliar with how to use the Zoom platform, please drop me an email at susancnorton1@gmail.com and I will be happy to walk you through the procedures. 

    Thank you for your participation.

    See you October 23-24 and stay safe!

    Susan Norton

    AAOC President

  • 04/24/2020 4:44 PM | Susan Norton (Administrator)

    Hello Academy Members!

    I hope this note finds you all well and able to stay safe and sound during these unprecedented times with the COVID-19 virus in our midst.  We are looking forward to the days of our state and nation’s recovery from this catastrophic pandemic event.

    Looking to that future, please save the date for October 23-24, 2020, for the Academy of Computing Fall Banquet and Business Meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas!  More details will come in the future months.

    The focus of this newsletter is three-fold:

    • Nomination of New Members
    • Membership Dues
    • Scholarship Drive

    Nomination of New Members:  Please help us grow our active membership by nominating individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of computing in Arkansas.  Nominees are selected based on their professional achievements, ties to Arkansas, and service to the community and making a difference in computing every day.  You can submit your nomination for new members here.  Please do so by the end of June, 2020.

    Membership Dues:  Please remember that we value your participation as active members in the Academy.  Our bylaws specify that active members are dues paying members who contribute annual dues of $200 to help fund Academy activities.  You can read all about those activities and pay your 2020 annual dues at this link.

    Scholarship Drive:  One of the most important impacts we can have as members of the Academy is to make a difference in the lives of students in our state’s institutions of higher learning who are working toward a degree in one of the many programs in computer science in our schools.  Our Scholarship Drive is open year-round, but we want to make a push at this time to ask you to contribute now so that we can realize our goals in support of students in Arkansas.  One major goal of the Academy is to keep the pipeline of talent coming back into the workforce to help our state move its economic engine forward through high tech jobs. The Academy provides supplemental scholarships across the state.  You can elect from the following 3 tiers of support:

    • AAOC Scholarship Advocate – A contribution of $250 pays for ½ of a scholarship!
    • AAOC Scholarship Sponsor – A contribution of $500 awards an entire scholarship and you may designate which program/school you would like to support!
    • AAOC Scholarship Champion – Awards over $500 and consecutive awards of over $500 will be honored with a special longevity award. 

    *All scholarship levels will be acknowledged at the Fall Banquet in our Banquet Program.

    Last year we were able to award 40 scholarships, yet we know if we all contribute to the program, we should be able to quadruple that amount!  Let’s go for the long game this year and really make a lasting impact for computing in Arkansas!

    Thank you for your participation.

    See you in October and stay safe!

    Susan Norton

    AAOC President

  • 04/23/2020 5:09 PM | Susan Norton (Administrator)

    December 12, 2019

    Dear Academy Members:  So much has happened since my last update!   The year has flown by, our banquet and business meeting were a great success, the Academy has reached out and established new partnerships, and we have both joyful and sad news about some of our members to share in this newsletter. 

    2019 Banquet and Business Meeting - Induction of New Members 

    We had over 65 members and guests at our 2019 banquet at the Pleasant Valley Country Club where we enjoyed coming together over a celebratory meal and a special guest speaker, Rex Nelson, senior editor of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, who regaled us with stories of the historical significance of our state's culture.  As always, we honored new members for their established contributions to technology in the State of Arkansas.  Those inducted at the banquet were:

    • William “Cody” Decker
    • Jon Jacoby
    • Srinivas Kolluru
    • Matt Lanford
    • Daniel Moix
    • Abby Sims
    • Peter Ungar
    • Bill Yoder

    You can read all about them and see photographs of them as well as a slide show showcasing the 2019 events on the web site:  araoc.org

    Our business meeting the following Saturday was held at UALR.  We shared details about our scholarship distribution (we had 40 scholarships distributed this year to 10 schools!), a Treasurer's report, some strategic planning for the future, a trip down memory lane with Jon Jacoby and Bud Perry on the formation of Systematics, updates from various participating schools (UA CSCE and UALR EIT) and special program highlights from SAU on its Cybersecurity program, and UALR's COSMOS graduate students' Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies program.  

    Governor Hutchinson's Computer Science Student Recognition Program

    In most recent news, last Friday as part of Computer Science Education week, Governor Hutchinson announced that  the Governor's Computer Science Initiative will partner with AAOC to identify and recognize top Computer Science Juniors and Seniors in Arkansas.  Thanks to Carl Frank and Eugene Jones for participating in a conference call with Anthony Owen to discuss how we can help.  They asked that the AAOC administer the recognition program with support of Anthony's CSforAR team. We feel this is a great opportunity not only to perform outreach that falls right in our wheelhouse, recognize the state's best and brightest in our field, and also bring the AAOC and its work some very prominent recognition as well.  After all, AAOC members includes industry leaders from around Arkansas whose jobs are or have been judging talent and skills in computing and computer science! A perfect fit and great partnership moving forward. 

    Shannon and John Chamberlin honored as Philanthropists of the Year!

    AAOC member John Chamberlin and his wife Shannon were honored this year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as Philanthropists of the Year.  Congratulations to John and Shannon.  You can read the story in this copy of Inviting Arkansas.    Turns out, Shannon and John are the 2nd Academy of Computing couple to be honored.  John and Grace Steuri received honors for philanthropy in previous years as well.  

    AAOC Member and Pioneering Arkansas Scientist Mary Good Passed Away this Year

    We all mourn the loss of one of our own.  Mary Good embodied the mission and spirit of advancing technologies for our state and we are so proud to have had her among us.  Dr. Good passed away November 20, 2019, at age 88.  Her life was an incredible journey that she managed to share with so many people who witnessed both her mentorship and leadership in our field. 

    Dr. Good was founding dean at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Donaghey College of Engineering and former chairwoman of the Little Rock Technology Authority, among many other roles in Arkansas and across the country.  You can read more about Dr. Good here.

    Executive Committee to Pick Fall Date for 2020 Banquet and Induction Ceremony Soon!

    Finally, stay tuned for an announcement about the date for our Fall 2020 Banquet and Business meeting.  The Executive Committee should be setting the date at our next meeting on 12/12/19!

    Susan Norton, 

    President AAOC

  • 01/23/2019 4:14 PM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

    President’s Letter
    January, 2019

    The Academy of Computing had a very successful Induction Banquet at the
    Fayetteville Country Club on November 2, 2018 and Business Meeting at
    University of Arkansas on November 3 of 2018.

    Our 2017-2018 President John Chamberlin was our Emcee for the night and
    our distinguished guest speaker, Jeff Amerine, Founding Principal of Startup
    Junkie, gave us a great overview of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Arkansas,
    highlighting many successes across the state, many from among our very own
    membership! We inducted 9 new members representing a broad spectrum of
    experiences. You can read all about them on the web site.

    At the annual meeting over breakfast the next day, John Chamberlin provided
    a financial report from the Academy and gave an update on scholarships and
    outreach activities, highlighting campus visits and various efforts of AAOC and
    other statewide organizations that focus on education and careers. John and
    other AAOC members helped connect the dots this past year through those
    efforts. We will need to continue to expand those relationships moving forward.

    Election of the Executive Committee Membership followed. 6 new members
    were elected to replace those whose terms had expired. The entire Executive
    Committee team is now comprised of the following:

    Susan Norton, President
    John Chamberlin, Past President
    David Douglas
    Kathy Loyd
    Rex Eads
    Andy Mayes
    Carl Frank
    Charlie McMurtry
    Karen Halbert
    Kym Patterson
    Eugene Jones

    Ex Officio Past Presidents
    Gary Dowdy
    Collins Andrews
    George Knight
    Dan Phillips

    With nearly 50 participants in attendance, we heard some very exciting
    presentations from the Arkansas Tech Scene as follows:

    Arkansas Center for Data Science by Bill Yoder
    UA Fayetteville Data Science Degree by Karl Shubert
    Blockchain Center of Excellence by David Douglas and Paul Cronan
    Developing a Startup’s Culture by Michael Paladino

    We also received reports from our partners: Dr. Frank Liu, Chair of the UA
    CSCE Department, Dr. Susan Bristow, UA ISYS Department, and Dr. Lawrence
    Whitman, UA Little Rock EIT Dean.

    Overall, it was a very well attended and informative weekend. We continue to
    grow and celebrate our new members and explore new initiatives,
    relationships, and partnerships with you and your networks.

    Our last effort in 2018 and continuing now into 2019 is our scholarship drive.
    We kicked off the drive just after the annual meeting and will keep it open until
    April 1. Last year, we gave $23,500 in 47 separate scholarships across the
    state. We have a lot of work to do to match that effort this year. So, please, if
    you have not yet sent in your contribution, please do so now and help us reach
    our new goal of $25,000!

    Our Executive Committee will meet monthly and I will do my best to provide
    updates to the entire membership through quarterly President’s letters.
    In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any ideas!

    Thank you for your continued help in “making a difference in computing and
    information technology” for our state through working with the Arkansas
    Academy of Computing!

    Susan Norton
    President, 2018-2020

  • 06/21/2018 4:11 PM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

    Scholarships 2017

    Wow! The 2017 Scholarship Drive raised over $15,500, thanks to your generosity. The perpetual endowments set up by members in the names of the companies that were important in their careers – currently, Systematics/AIS/FIS, Acxiom and Arkansas Systems/Euronet – contribute another $3,000 annually for scholarships. With an additional $3,000 from the Academy’s general funds, which are supported by dues, the total amount of scholarships available for Arkansas computer science programs in 2018 is $21,500, enough to provide 43 scholarships of $500.

    Although these scholarships are relatively small, they are important to the state’s computer science departments and the students that receive them. Most scholarships have many requirements set for eligibility. The AAoC scholarships are granted at the discretion of the departments, allowing them to be creative in helping students along their paths.

    As I have been visiting computer science departments, I have heard some of the stories. In one case, a student was forced to temporarily drop out of college because of family difficulties. They were too late to drop courses, so their grade point suffered and they could not retain a GPA based scholarship. When they returned, the department was able to provide the AAoC money and the student earned a 4.0 the next term and is eligible for other funding. Your scholarship donations are helping good things happen and assuring the future of Arkansas computing.

    The AAoC scholars have many other recognitions, for example one of the winning teams at the 2017 Jolt Hackathon had two of our scholars on it. In general these are among the best computer science students in the state. Gary Dowdy recently told me J.B. Hunt had signed one of them up for an internship after he met the student at our annual meeting. Gary is pretty astute to make this connection and other members at firms offering internships might take note!

    I hope you are encouraged to contribute to the scholarship funds this year. If you contribute $500 you can select the department to receive the funds, and, if you wish, we can let the scholar know in whose footsteps they are following. In 2017 members designated scholarships for CSCE and IS departments at UA Fayetteville, UA Little Rock, and UCA. Endowments funded scholarships honoring Don Hatfield at Arkansas Tech and a scholarship at Henderson State.

    Even better, if you are an employee or alumni of a company without an endowment named for it, you can help organize raising a new endowment. A minimum endowment of 12,500 will provide a $500 scholarship forever. And the endowment forms still another link between great companies and great students.

    In a later note, I will report other things I have learned from visiting our university partners, including ways we can help smooth the path for students to careers.

    Celebrating Arkansas Computing,


  • 02/02/2017 12:50 PM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

    Dear Academy Member,


    We had a fantastic Annual Meeting in Fayetteville Oct 28th and 29th and owe many thanks to the University of Arkansas CSCE Department for the planning and execution, and to outgoing AAoC President Gary Dowdy for his hard work, not only at this event but for the past 2 years.

    We inducted seven new members at the Banquet, all with impressive achievements and great service to the computing profession and the state:

    Jay Davidson, VP IT, J.B. Hunt
    Lance Hankins, Co-Founder and CTO, Motio
    Jim Kane, Founder Gemini Development, former CTO Acumen Brands
    Kathy White Lloyd, Exec. Director Women’s Business Leadership Center, ASU, former CIO Cardinal Health
    Mary Hunt, Global Practice Manager, FIS
    Greg Schaffer, Founder and CEO, First72 Cyber, former EVP FIS
    Rebecca Wilson, Account Executive, Microsoft

    Our keynote speaker, Karenann Terrell, Executive Vice President and CIO of Wal-Mart Stores, gave an eloquent speech challenging us to keep increasing the supply of professionals in computer science.  Two ways to do that are mentoring and supporting computer science education.  One quick action is to contribute to the AAoC scholarship fund by visiting www.araoc.org/donate!  On education, we heard an update on the Governor’s Computer Science Taskforce from its chairman, James Hendren. It is worth noting that the Taskforce had 4 members who are AAoC members.  The scholarship fund helps college students studying computer science, while the Taskforce focuses on K-12 computer science, as does the EAST Initiative. EAST CEO and AAoC member, Matt Dozier, told us about an exciting national honor – EAST was recognized by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation with its 2016 STEM Innovator Award http://bit.ly/eastsvef.

    Saturday the Academy and guests from the community met at the J.B. Hunt Center for breakfast and presentations.  From Vance Moore’s talk we learned about new technologies and challenges in health care IT.  Kathy White Lloyd update us on the Women’s Business Leadership Center at ASU, and Gary Dowdy, Collins Andrews, Jeff Stinson and LumoXchange CEO Maf Sonko reported on the success of the global business accelerators: FinTech at the Venture Center in Little Rock and Hubx run at the Innovation Hub in North Little Rock.  There is lots of potential for new companies and future AAoC members in those programs. After tours of campus labs, some of the AAoC members volunteered as mentors to research-based startups in the I-Fund program.  Altogether a good day advancing computing in Arkansas!


    John Chamberlin, President AAoC


  • 03/27/2016 12:49 PM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

    Dear Academy Member,

    In this update:

    • Save the date, 2016 Annual Banquet and Business Meeting
    • Membership dues
    • Call for membership nominations
    • Update on Computer Science Initiative
    • Open AAoC positions (we need a few volunteers)


    Save the Date

    The 2016 Academy Annual Banquet and Business Meeting is tentatively set for October 28 and 29.  This year the event will be held in Fayetteville.  We are working on the location for the banquet.  The business meeting will at the J.B. Hunt Building on the U of A campus.  If you know of potential keynote or business speakers, please send me an email or call (my information is below).  The format will continue as normal – banquet and member induction on Friday night and the business meeting on Saturday morning.



    By now you should have received an invoice for the 2016 Academy dues.  Please pay upon receipt or click the link below to pay online.  Your dues pay for a portion of our annual banquet, funds a portion of our yearly scholarships and is used to support important computer science efforts in our state such as the annual Computer Science Teachers Conference.

    Pay your dues now: http://araoc.org/members/membership/


    Call for Membership

    It is that time of year again.  We need your help in identifying and nominating candidates for the Arkansas Academy of Computing.  Nominees typically have 20+ years of industry experience and are known by her/his peer group as to having made a significant impact in the computing industry.  Candidates need to have graduated an Arkansas institution of higher education or have had a majority of their computing professional career in Arkansas.

    Nominations are due May 31.

    To nominate an individual, please visit http://araoc.org/nominate or email us at contact@araoc.org.


    Computer Science Initiative

    As an Academy member you probably know Arkansas was the first state in the country to require all public High Schools to offer a computer science (CS) class.  Governor Hutchinson, at the request of the Computer Science Task Force, took CS to another level late last year by announcing computer science standards for grades K-8 beginning in 2017.  Soon, we will have CS embedded at every level of K thru 12 in our state.

    With the new law, we are already seeing tremendous progress.  In our first year (2015-2016), nearly 4,000 students are enrolled in computer science classes; 550 students are taking more than one course.  Within one academic year, Arkansas’s public schools saw an enrollment increase of 260% for computer science classes.  And, the initiative helped drive a 609% increase in African American female students enrolled in coding classes.  That’s progress!

    Are you interested in teaching a computer science class?  Until recently, teaching a computer science or related course in K-12 as a professional was almost impossible.  To do so required you to have a teaching certificate or have the presence of a teacher with a teaching certificate in the room while you teach.  Most professionals I know in the industry do not have a teaching license and are probably not all that interested in going back to school to meet state requirements.  Thanks to the Computer Science Task Force and the Department of Education, there is now a pathway to teach for professionals.  If you are interested or know somebody that might be a great CS teacher our schools could use your help.  Here’s the information about the pathway to licensure: http://www.arkansased.gov/public/userfiles/HR_and_Educator_Effectiveness/APPEL/APPEL_Computer_Science_Options_Brochure_022316.pdf


    Arkansas Academy of Computing

    2015/2016 Executive Committee – Open Committee Positions

    We need your help.  The Academy is looking to fill a few open committee positions (see below).  The duration for each position is two years.

    Executive Committee:

    Tracy Black

    Kim Clower

    Gary Dowdy, President

    John Haley

    Scott Hambuchen

    Charlie McMurty

    Allison Nicholas

    Susan Norton

    Bob Crisp, Secretary/Treasurer

    John Chamberlin, President-Elect

    Open – Membership Chair (helps find/nominate new members)

    Open – Program Chair (helps plan Academy banquet/business meeting)

    Open – Scholarship Chair (helps raise money for scholarships)


    ex officio former Presidents

    Collins Andrews, History

    Don Hatfield

    George Knight

    Dan Phillips


    U of A

    Frank Liu, CSCE Department Head

    Susan Huskey, Department Assistant



    Larry Whitman, EIT Dean

    Cathy Shank, Dean Assistant


    As always it is my pleasure to serve as your president of the Academy. Thoughts/Feedback appreciated.



  • 12/31/2015 12:47 PM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

    President’s Letter – December 31, 2015

    Dear Academy Member,

    In this update, I would like to share the successes we have had this year as an organization making a difference in computing for the State of Arkansas.


    If you have not already made your contribution to our general scholarship fund or to your public college/university in the state this year, please do so today. Your contributions are a vital part of our mission and tax deductible. To contribute, please visit www.araoc.org/donate.

    In 2015, the Academy granted 44 scholarships to students in computer science or related programs. Here’s the allocation:

    * U of A, Computer Science Computer Engineering (12)
    * U of A, Walton College of Business (10)
    * U of A, Little Rock (8)
    * U of Central Arkansas (5)
    * Arkansas Tech (3)
    * Arkansas State (2)
    * U of A, Monticello (1)
    * U of A, Pine Bluff (1)
    * SAU Tech (1)
    * Henderson State (1)

    Thanks for your contribution and to our endowments (FIS/Alltel/Systematics, Acxiom & Arkansas Systems) for making a positive impact on the students. You can see some of the recipient profiles on our website at www.araoc.org/2015-2016-scholarship-recipients/.


    Arkansas becomes first state with Computer Science requirement

    In February of this year, the Arkansas Legislature passed and the Governor signed Act 187 requiring each public high school and charter public high school in the state to offer a computer science class. The effort, led by Governor Asa Hutchison, places Arkansas as a national leader in computer science education.

    Check out the article in Wired magazine: http://www.wired.com/2015/03/arkansas-computer-science/.

    As part of the new law, the Arkansas Academy of Computing was explicitly named as a member of a new task force to make short- and long-term recommendations to the Governor on topics such as computer science standards and frameworks, technology and training needs and other aspects to ensure success of the initiative. The task force currently has 14 members – five members from State functions, six members representing business and three representing teachers. The Academy has four members on this task force! Dr. James Hendren is the task force chair. Carl Frank represents the Computer Science Teachers Association. Dr. John James, former CEO of Acumen Brands, is a member at-large. And, Gary Dowdy represents your Academy.


    Computer Science Task Force Recommendations

    After six months of work by the task force and its sub-committees, Dr. Hendren presented to Governor Hutchinson the first set of recommendations in November. The six recommendations: 1) the need to appropriate and continue communication and awareness programs about computer science education and the benefits; 2) the need for a comprehensive K-16 (not just High School) focus; 3) define and measure success criteria; 4) increase the quantity and quality of CS teachers; 5) identity resources critical to success of the initiative; and 6) engage Arkansas-based industries to provide guidance and support for their workforce needs.

    Acting almost immediately on the task force recommendations, Governor Hutchinson announced on December 4 the Computer Science Initiative would expand to include grades K-8. This was an early and well supported discussion by the task force as we need to reach kids well before high school about STEM pathways. The Governor, the Department of Education and the task force recognizes the teacher training and teaching approach is quite different at the lower grades such as K-5 than that of high school and college. However, a holistic approach to K-16 creates continuity to ensure all students at all levels have access to computer science and STEM related education to gain better jobs and help build the workforce of the future for our state.

    Here’s the news coverage of the K-8 announcement: http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/hutchinson-initiative-expand-computer-science-education-grades-k-8.

    As part of Act 187, the task force remains in effect until the end of 2016. As such we will continue to review, revise and make recommendations to help shape computer science education in the State of Arkansas. With all the attention on the Computer Science Initiative, I am confident we will be sharing more news and progress very soon.

    To put the progress into prospective thus far – for this school year, we have more than 4,000 students enrolled in a Computer Science course compared to a few hundred in the prior school year. I believe we are on our way to making a difference in computing!


    Annual Banquet, Induction and Business Meeting

    If you were unable to attend our first Annual Banquet and Business Meeting in Central Arkansas, we missed you and you missed a great event! This was our 10th Banquet and Business Meeting.

    The Banquet and Induction occurred at Pleasant Valley County Club in Little Rock on October 9th with our Business Meeting on the UALR campus October 10th. We inducted eleven new members! As has been the case since the founding of our Academy, you will find the below inductees highly worthy of the honor and we welcome them to our organization.

    2015 Inductees:

    Johnny Burgess
    Michael Elmore
    John James
    Louise Miller
    Lynn Moore
    Kym Patterson
    Joseph Roblee
    Gary Speas
    Todd Stewart
    Michelle Talley
    Jeannie Winston

    You can view photos of the events at: www.araoc.org/2015meeting/.

    Nominations for the 2016 class will begin in the spring. Until such time, please send any candidates to contact@araoc.org.


    Arkansas Academy of Computing
    2015/2016 Executive Committee

    The Academy is led by volunteers. Here are your Executive Committee members for the next year. The start/end dates represent executive committee status. Please thank your fellow members for their service to our organization.

    Tracy Black, Scholarship
    Kim Clower
    Gary Dowdy, President
    John Haley
    Scott Hambuchen
    Charlie McMurty
    Allison Nicholas
    Susan Norton
    Bob Crisp, Secretary/Treasurer
    John Chamberlin, President-Elect

    ex officio former Presidents
    Collins Andrews, History
    Don Hatfield
    George Knight
    Dan Phillips

    U of A
    Frank Liu, CSCE Dept Head
    Susan Huskey, Dept Asst

    Larry Whitman, EIT Dean
    Cathy Shank, Dean Asst

    Non-Executive Officers
    Rex Eads, Membership

    As always it is my pleasure to serve as your president of the Academy. Thoughts/Feedback appreciated.

    Happy New Year!


  • 09/13/2015 12:45 PM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

    President’s Letter – September 2015

    Dear Academy Member,

    We have four important updates in this newsletter, a couple with action required if you plan to attend the events:

    1) Annual Dinner, New Member Induction and Business Meeting

    2) Academy member, Dona Bailey, will speak at the Venture Center for the series Code-IT

    3) U of A CSCE receives almost $1M to train Computer Science teachers

    4) Techtober



    On behalf of the Executive Committee, I am excited to announce the registration for our Annual Dinner, New Member Induction and Business Meeting on October 9 and 10.

    Register now for the Dinner and New Member Induction: Friday, October 9


    Register now for the Business Meeting: Saturday, October 10


    Friday, October 9

    Pleasant Valley Country Club (Business Attire)

    1 Pleasant Valley Drive, Little Rock, AR

    Members, New Inductees, Spouses/Significant Others

    6:00 – 7:00 Cocktails
    7:00 – 8:00 Dinner and Distinguished Guest Speaker (Governor Asa Hutchinson invited)

    8:00 – 8:30 New Member Introductions

    Saturday, October 10

    UALR EIT Building (Business Casual)

    2801 S. University Ave, Little Rock, AR
    Members Only 

    7:45 – 8:30 Coffee/Breakfast

    8:30 – 9:00 AAoC Update

    9:00 – 9:10 Dr. Frank Liu, Dept Head U of A CSCE

    9:10 – 9:20 Dr. Lawrence Whitman, Dean UALR EIT

    9:20 – 9:30 Break

    Members and Invited Guests
    9:30 – 10:20 Walter and Vance Smiley (Smiley Technologies)

    10:20 – 10:30 Break
    10:30 – 11:30 Entrepreneur Panel Discussion
    11:30 – 12:00 Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira – Data Visualization
    12:00 Closing

    12:30 Optional Data Visualization Tour

    A formal invitation will go out in the mail soon.

    Please register now for the event (dinner and business meeting) by clicking these links.  Note: You must register for both events.

    Register now for the Dinner and New Member Induction: Friday, October 9


    Register now for the Business Meeting: Saturday, October 10




    Academy member, Dona Bailey, will speak at the Venture Center for the series Code-IT.  Dona is known as pioneer in programming computer games.  In 1981, she helped create the video game Centipede.

    Please register using the below link for the Venture Center series Code-IT on Tuesday, September 22, 6:00pm to 7:00pm




    Professor Dale Thompson at the Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department in the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville lead an effort on an almost $1 million NSF grant entitled Training Arkansas Computing Teachers (TACT).  This grant will be used to train approximately 50 high school teachers to teach computer science in Arkansas high schools.  The news release, link below, has an excellent comment from Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.




    John Chamberlin has been leading an effort to recognize all the computer science and related STEM activities occurring in the state, most of which have key events in October.  John has aptly named this Techtober.  Please check out all the great work occurring in Arkansas!


    If you have any questions about our Annual Meeting, please email me or call (501) 463-6311.


    Gary Dowdy

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