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December 2019 President's Letter

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

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