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Making a Difference in Computing and Information Technology

March 2016 President’s Letter

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.



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