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Making a Difference in Computing and Information Technology

  • 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

  • 05/15/2015 12:43 PM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

    AAoC President’s Newsletter – May 2015

    Dear Arkansas Academy of Computing Members, 

    On behalf of the Executive Committee, I am pleased to provide our membership an update on the following:

    * Governor’s Task Force on Computer Science / Input Needed
    * Save the Date!  October 9th & 10th is our annual meeting in Little Rock
    * Call for Membership Nominees – Due June 15
    * UALR signs MOU with the Academy
    * Changes at U of A CSCE Department
    * The Academy Launches New Chapter for The University of Arkansas

    Governor’s Task Force on Computer Science / Input Needed

    In February, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law an act requiring all public High Schools in the state to offer a Computer Science class.  Along with this new law, the Governor formed a public/private Task Force to help execute on near-term priorities, as well as create a five year vision for how the state can leverage the Computer Science Initiative to have the greatest impact.

    Academy member James Hendren is the Task Force Chair and members include Gary Dowdy and Carl Frank.  Here’s proof the mission of the Academy as a statewide resource to make a difference in computing is working!

    Very important:  As your representative on the Task Force, I would greatly appreciate any input to maximize our contribution on this important initiative.

    Read more about the Law and Task Force:

    Act 1183 (Computer Science Law)

    Task Force Members Press Release

    Save the Date! 
    The Academy’s Annual Banquet and Business Meeting is set for October 9 and 10 in Little Rock

    Our annual banquet and business meeting has moved to the fall.  Please make note of our new meeting date and location.  On Friday, October 9 at 6:00 PM, we will have the Annual Banquet and New Member Induction at the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock.  On Saturday morning, October 10, we will have our Annual Business Meeting in the EIT College Building on the UALR campus.  A formal invitation and agenda will be mailed this summer.  Please save the date now.


    Call for Membership Nominees

    The nomination process for new membership into the Academy is now open. The nomination form is located on our website at http://araoc.org/members/nominate

    Please take some time to consider potential members in all corners of our state and help us to be more inclusive.

    Membership requirements are for persons who are:

    * born in or educated in Arkansas who have made a sustained and substantial contribution to computing, or

    * not born in or educated in Arkansas but who have made a sustained and substantial contribution to computing in Arkansas.

    The nomination process closes on June 15, 2015.  By the end of July, the Executive Committee will review nominees, rank and vote for the 2015 membership class.  Membership is normally limited to ten new members in a given year.  Membership decisions will be communicated via the sponsoring member.

    Rex Eads is our Membership Chair and can be reached at rex.eads@comcast.net.


    UALR signs MOU with the Academy

    On February 20, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) and the Academy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish and define a long-term relationship and division of responsibilities between UALR’s EIT Department and the Academy.  The intent of the MOU is for UALR to provide administrative and related support to the Academy, particularly around our annual event in Little Rock. 

    With the UALR EIT agreement and our strong relationship with the CSCE Department at the U of A, the Academy should have the support required to be a statewide resource.

    Please thank Don Hatfield and Collins Andrews for leading this effort.


    Changes at U of A CSCE Department

    In June, Dr. Susan Gauch steps down as Head of the Computer Science and Computer Engineering (CSCE) Department.  Susan joined the department in 2007.  Under her leadership, enrollment of CSCE students, undergraduate and graduate, has increased from 262 to 492 while maintaining about the same number of faculty.  That’s pretty impressive given the department’s budget constraints!

    Susan and her husband, John, are taking a yearlong sabbatical to teach in Barcelona, Spain.  In 2017, Susan will return to the U of A as a tenured professor in the CSCE Department. 

    In recognition of her support of the Academy, we presented Susan with a plaque.  You can see a picture Susan and her plaque at our website at www.araoc.org.  Thank you Susan and safe travels!

    Starting July 1, Dr. Xiaoqing “Frank” Liu will be the new Department Head of CSCE and will hold the Rodger S. Kline Leadership Chair.  Dr. Liu comes from the Missouri University of Science and Technology where he served as professor of computer science and associate chair for graduate studies and external affairs in the computer science department.   We look forward to working with Dr. Liu and hope you all will be able to meet him at our annual meeting.


    The Academy Launches New Chapter for The University of Arkansas

    On April 25, we officially launched The University of Arkansas Chapter of the Arkansas Academy of Computing.  The new chapter will focus on the past history, current activities, and future goals of the University of Arkansas’s CSCE department (Fayetteville only).  The chapter’s members will be drawn from our broader Academy membership – e.g. the chapter will be a subset of the Academy, not a separate entity.  In addition, the membership will consist mostly of CSCE graduates from the Fayetteville campus.

    The University of Arkansas Chapter of the Arkansas Academy of Computing inaugural class includes the following members:

    * Tracy Black
    * Charles Blackstock
    * Steve Brothers
    * Gary Dowdy
    * Kim Clower, Treasurer
    * Rex Eads, President
    * Lang Zimmerman
    * Dr. Robert Crisp (Academic Member)
    * Dr. Craig Thompson (Academic Member)
    * Rodger Kline (Honorary Member)
    * Charles Morgan (Honorary Member)

    The Chapter will meet annually during the Engineering Weekend at The U of A campus each spring.

    Thanks for making a difference in computing!



    Gary Dowdy
    Arkansas Academy of Computing

  • 03/03/2015 12:42 PM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

    Presidents Newsletter – March 2015

    Dear Arkansas Academy of Computing Members,

    On behalf of the Executive Committee, I am pleased to provide our membership an update on the following:

    * Save the Date! October 9th & 10th is our annual meeting in Little Rock

    * Call for Membership Nominees

    * Computer Science Summit to be held on October 8th

    * New CSCE Chapter

    * Dues and Scholarships


    Save the Date!
    The Academy’s Annual Banquet and Business Meeting is set for October 9 and 10 in Little Rock

    Our annual banquet and business meeting has moved to the fall. Please make note of our new meeting date and location. On Friday evening, October 9, we will have the Annual Banquet and New Member Induction at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock. On Saturday morning, October 10, we will have our Annual Business Meeting in the EIT College Building on the UALR campus. A formal invitation and agenda will be mailed this summer. Please save the date now.


    Call for Membership Nominees

    The nomination process for new membership into the Academy is now open. The nomination form is located on our website at http://araoc.org/members/nominate.

    Please take some time to consider potential members in all corners of our state and help us to be more inclusive.

    Membership requirements are for persons who are:

    * born in or educated in Arkansas who have made a sustained and substantial contribution to computing, or

    * not born in or educated in Arkansas but who have made a sustained and substantial contribution to computing in Arkansas.

    The nomination process closes on May 31, 2015. During the months of June and July, the Executive Committee will review nominees, rank and vote for the 2015 membership class. Membership is normally limited to ten new members in a given year. Membership decisions will be communicated via the sponsoring member.  Rex Eads is our Membership Chair this year.


    Computer Science Summit to be held on October 8th

    In our continuing effort to “Make a Difference in Computing and Information Technology” for the State of Arkansas, the Academy supported and participated in the 2014 Computer Science Summit for High School and Collegiate teachers in our state. We view the annual meeting as an opportunity to leverage the prestige of the Academy’s membership to advance computer science education through all levels of K-12.

    In 2015, the Annual Computer Science Summit has been set for October 8th to coincide with our Annual Banquet and Business Meeting. The STEM Coalition and members from the Academy’s Executive Committee have already begun planning for this year’s summit. One key component of the summit is to ensure schools make the most of the recent bill signed by Governor Hutchinson requiring all public High Schools to teach Computer Science. http://araoc.org/hutchinson-signs-measure-expanding-computer-science-classes.


    CSCE Chapter

    The Arkansas Academy of Computing is forming a University of Arkansas Computer Science and Computer Engineering (CSCE) chapter.  This chapter will be focused on the past history, current activities, and future goals of the University of Arkansas’s CSCE department (Fayetteville only).  The chapter’s members will be drawn from our broader AAoC membership – e.g. the chapter will be a subset of the Academy, not a separate entity.

    Most, but not all, members of the new chapter will be CSCE alumni.  We hope that this chapter will provide an environment in which CSCE alumni and friends can share memories, reach out to current CSCE students, and build strong ties to all the CSCE faculty and staff.

    The inaugural chapter meeting is set for April 24 and 25 in Fayetteville as part of Engineering Week.


    Dues and Scholarships

    Thanks to your scholarship contributions in 2013, the Academy awarded fifty (50!) $500 scholarships to Computer Science students at the following schools this past fall: University of Arkansas Monticello, University of Central Arkansas, Arkansas Tech University, Southern Arkansas University (Magnolia), University of Arkansas (Walton College of Business & Computer Science Computer Engineering), University of Arkansas Little Rock, Arkansas State University, Arkansas Tech University, Henderson State University and University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. Nice work!

    You can view profiles of most of the scholarship recipients on our website at http://araoc.org/2014-2015-scholarship-recipients.

    Our 2014 scholarship fundraiser ended a couple of months ago and achieved its target of $25,000. Allocation of these funds will begin with the start of the school year in August. Thanks goes to Tracy Black for leading this successful effort!

    From a dues perspective, we have collected $8500 covering the 2015 calendar year. Your dues helps fund our annual banquet, website, scholarships and STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) support/advocacy.

    The below people have paid their dues for this year. If your name is missing, you can still pay via our website at http://araoc.org/members/membership/.

    Dues paid for 2015:

    Mr. Jerry B. Adams
    Mr. and Mrs. Collins Andrews
    Ms. Cynthia J. Ashcraft
    Dr. Billy L. Ashmore
    Mrs. Tracy Black
    Mr. Jerome Blackburn
    Mr. Steven Brothers
    Mr. William K. Bruton
    Mr. George K. Burnett
    Mr. John G. Chamberlin
    Ms. Kim Clower
    Mr. and Mrs. Gary Dowdy
    Mr. Matt Dozier
    Mr. and Mrs. Rex Eads
    Mr. Carl V. Frank
    Mrs. Jennifer B. Glasgow
    Mr. John Haley
    Mr. and Mrs. Scott Hambuchen
    Mr. David W. Hardt
    Mr. Robert T. Harriell, Jr.
    Mr. and Mrs. Donald B. Hatfield
    Mr. Eugene Jones
    Mr. and Mrs. Drew P. Kelso
    Mr. Rodger S. Kline
    Mr. and Mrs. George Knight
    Mr. and Mrs. Joe M. McDoniel
    Mr. Randall D. Mott
    Mr. Gary A. Norcross
    Ms. Susan Norton
    Dr. Paula K. Norwood
    Ms. Kay Palmer
    Mr. and Mrs. Daniel F. Phillips
    Mr. Ron Robison
    Mr. Randy Salley
    Mr. Walter V. Smiley
    Mr. John Steuri
    Mrs. Alese J. Stroud
    Mr. John R. Talburt
    Dr. and Mrs. Craig W. Thompson
    Mr. Thomas B. Walker, Jr.
    Ms. Peggy Wilcox
    Mr. and Mrs. James T. Womble
    Mr. Kevin R. Zaffaroni

    If you have any questions about the dues or anything else in this newsletter, please feel free to contact me at 614.404.4358 or gdowdy@yahoo.com.



    Gary Dowdy
    Arkansas Academy of Computing

  • 10/28/2014 12:40 PM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

    Dear Academy Members –

    With the help of our Executive Committee, the Arkansas Academy of Computing has a number of important initiatives underway – all of which are aimed at making a difference in computing and information technology within our state. A couple of these efforts impact our Annual Meeting so please read below. In this update:

    Making a Difference (Annual Banquet Moves to the Fall)
    Computer Science Leadership Summit
    AAoC Launches CSCE Chapter
    Scholarship/Fundraiser Update
    Annual Dues
    Mid-America Science Museum
    History Project

    Making a Difference (Annual Banquet Moves to the Fall)

    As you may recall, our core mission is to (a) recognize individuals for their computing contributions to the State of Arkansas by the requirements set forth in our bylaws and (b) utilize the Academy’s membership to influence and advocate computing education and jobs within our state. The later part of this mission has received a great deal of attention by a number of Academy members the last few months and might be better stated as, “how can we leverage the prestige and influence of our membership to make a difference in computer science education and jobs in Arkansas?” This dialog has yielded two decisions –

    1) The Academy’s Annual Meeting will move from the spring to the fall beginning next year. Therefore our next Induction and Banquet Meeting will be in the fall of 2015. In addition, based on a survey of this membership earlier in the year, a significant majority of you asked to have our annual meeting in central Arkansas on a permanent or rotating basis to better serve our statewide interests. As such we are currently working on a venue in the September/October timeframe in the Little Rock area.

    2) In addition, we would like to attach our traditional induction and banquet meeting with an event to promote computer science education (K-12) and jobs across our state. Our slice of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) has several groups working to advance computer science and we believe the Academy is in an excellent position to help this cause.

    Hopefully we will be able to lock down the timing and location for our Fall event in the next month or so and will send out a “save the date” to the membership. As we have done in the past, we will do our best to add a golf outing and possibly some other activities.

    Thanks in advance for your understanding of these changes and if you have any questions or concerns please call me or send me an email.


    Computer Science Leadership Summit 

    The Arkansas Computer Science Education Leadership Summit will take place on November 19, 2014, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm at the University of Central Arkansas in the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center. The conference is designed for teachers, organizations and businesses within the state interested in improving computer science and information technology education.

    Your Academy is a sponsor of this event and several of our members will be leading and participating in sessions throughout the day.

    Click here to register for the event.

    According to code.org (code.org/promote/ar), Arkansas has

    • 1,998 open computing jobs (growing at 3.6X the state average),
    • 525 computer science graduates,
    • 19 high schools that teach computer science,
    • One of 25 states that does not count Computer Science as a math or science credit, and
    • Lacks sufficient computer science teacher pathways

    This summit is designed to foster collaboration among K-12 schools and with our colleges and universities. In addition, the goal is to work jointly on state policy positions to advance computing science education.


    AAoC Launches CSCE Chapter

    Created in 2006, the Arkansas Academy of Computing began within the University of Arkansas Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department in Fayetteville. Since its formation, our organization quickly expanded its charter to be a statewide resource. This change created the only Academy within the Engineering Department at Fayetteville with a focus beyond that of the school. To help fill this void, I am pleased to announce the Computer Science and Computer Engineering (CSCE) Chapter of the Arkansas Academy of Computing. The CSCE Chapter is a subset of our Academy membership whose goal is to support the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department.

    Our new CSCE Chapter will engage with the other Academies during the spring Engineering Weekend as well as provide support and insight to the CSCE Department Head (Dr. Susan Gauch) throughout the year.

    Currently, we have seven graduates of the CSCE program in Fayetteville among our existing Academy membership. These seven, Dr. Gauch and Dr. Craig Thompson will become the founding members of the new chapter. If you are interested in supporting the CSCE Department in addition to the Academy, please send Dr. Gauch (sgauch@uark.edu) a note. We welcome the help!


    Scholarship/Fundraising Update

    Our fall scholarship/fundraiser is in full gear. To date, we have raised just over $16,000 toward our goal of $25,000. If you have already made your donation, thank you! If you have not, please donate now at araoc.org/scholarships/scholarship-donations.

    Your donations are tax deductible and if you contribute $500 or more you may designate the funds to a school of choice within our state. The above website will guide you through the process.

    Many thanks to Tracy Black for leading the Scholarship Committee! Please help her by donating today!!!


    Annual Dues

    While I am hitting you up for money, we need your annual dues as well. The $200 academy fee is among the lowest of all the Academies and funds a portion of our annual banquet, several scholarships and general operating costs. We are all volunteers here so your dues will go a long way! You can pay at araoc.org/members/membership.


    Mid-America Science Museum

    If you visited the Hot Springs area in the last 35 years, you probably made a stop at the Mid-America Science Museum. And, if you went more than once during that time frame you probably noticed many of the exhibits, albeit pretty cool, were almost the same as your first visit. Well, that’s all changing… Thanks to a $7.8 million capital grant from the Donald W. Reynolds foundation, the Mid-America Science Museum is undergoing a major renovation – keeping some of its best exhibits and adding a lot of new exhibits. The construction is scheduled for completion in the spring with a grand re-opening slated for March 2015. You can learn more about the museum at midamericamuseum.org.


    History Project

    The Arkansas Academy of Computing has initiated a History Project to preserve many of the stories and artifacts of the founding of the computing business in Arkansas. Most of the true computing industry pioneers in Arkansas had no idea they would make a career and significant contributions in this new field and their stories are fascinating, informative, and inspirational.

    The Academy’s intention with this project is to record the stories of these pioneers for posterity, where possible in their own words. We believe these stories may be valuable for research as well as passing on the knowledge of what really happened to future generations. The evolution of the computing industry is one of the most important business stories of the 20th century, and these early participants formed the Arkansas story into one of successful businesses, changes in education and lifestyle that impact all of our lives today.

    The Academy is proud of the accomplishments of these Arkansas leaders and intends to make sure they are not only recognized, but their experiences and accomplishments are not forgotten!

    The Pryor Center for Oral and Visual History at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has agreed to archive all of these recordings and other computing artifacts we accumulate in perpetuity. In the interim, and as a service to our members and other interested parties, the videos are available on YouTube via our website at araoc.org/history.

    Many thanks to Collins Andrews and John Chamberlin for their ongoing efforts on this important project!


    It is with continued pride to represent our organization.



    Gary Dowdy
    Arkansas Academy of Computing

  • 04/18/2014 12:34 PM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

    Dear Academy Members –

    The Annual Banquet and Business Meeting this year was, once again, exceptional. During the banquet we inducted seven people into the Academy. French Hill, CEO Delta Trust and Bank, gave a great presentation on the economy of Arkansas juxtaposed to our historical strengths and new opportunities as a more diverse state.

    The Business Meeting the following day included interesting and quite educational talks by Phil Mui, Chief Product & Technology Officer of Acxiom, Dr. Tingxin Yan, Asst. Professor CSCE in the College of Engineering at the U of A, and Randy Mott, Senior Vice President, Global Information Technology & Chief Information Officer of General Motors Company. In addition, Jerry Adams led a discussion on the University/Business research gap in our state with an impressive group of panelists – Dr. John English, Dean of the College of Engineering at U of A, Dr. Ranil Wickramasinghe, MAST Center, NSF/U of A Research Center and Dr. Cynthia Sides, Ignite Program at the Fulbright College, U of A.

    Dr. Craig Thompson’s Capstone Class presented their projects via their Capstone Posters just before our formal business meeting. If you had a chance to view these posters or talk with the students, I am sure you would have been amazed as to their intelligence and the fact that many of the projects could lead to viable business. It really was impressive. Thanks Craig!

    A very special thanks goes to Collins Andrews for leading the two-day event, as well as the CSCE staff for making it all come together (Susan Huskey, Cindy Pickney, George Holmes, Jamie Stafford and Jason Crawley). Nice job!

    Action Items:

    1. In March, several members of the Executive Committee and invited guests held a planning session as to the future of the Academy. You can read a summary of the discussion, key take-aways and the supporting information at http://araoc.org/2014-planning-session/. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!


    1. During our planning session, we discussed the possibility of having our annual banquet and business meeting in central Arkansas. Please take this brief survey to help us gauge membership interest. Take the Survey Now.

    Please read:

    • Check out the photos from the 2014 Annual Banquet and Business Meeting by visiting http://araoc.org/2014-new-members/


    • Please congratulate our new members: Jerry Blackburn, Carl Frank, Eric Heil, Paula King Norwood and Alese Johnston Stroud. You can view their bios at http://araoc.org/tag/2014-inductee/. If you need an email address or phone, please contact Sue Huskey at srh@uark.edu

    Below is a complete listing of our 2014 inductees and the 2014-2015 Executive Committee.



    Gary Dowdy
    Arkansas Academy of Computing


    2014 Arkansas Academy of Computing Inductees:

    Danielle Bunton Berry *
    Jerry Blackburn
    Carl Frank
    Eric Heil
    Winford “Joe” Miller *
    Paula King Norwood
    Gary Speas
    Alese Johnston Stroud

    * Posthumous Award


    2014-2015 Arkansas Academy of Computing Executive Committee:

    Tracy Black
    John Chamberlin
    Kim Clower
    Gary Dowdy, President
    John Haley
    Scott Hambuchen
    Charlie McMurty
    Allison Nicholas
    Susan Norton

    Ex-officio Former Presidents

    Collins Andrews
    Don Hatfield
    George Knight
    Dan Phillips

    U of A, CSCE Staff

    Suan Gauch
    Susan Huskey
    Craig Thompson, Secretary/Treasurer

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