This issue celebrates outstanding members of SIGs and ACM. Amber Settle of SIGCSE highlights recent award winners from SIGCSE, and our newest correspondent, Barry Lunt of SIGITE sends an appreciation of SIG and ACM volunteers.

From our SIGCSE reporter and SIGCSE chair, Amber Settle.

As you read this, the 2019 SIGCSE Technical Symposium has likely concluded its activities in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. It's my hope that the celebration of the 50th Technical Symposium was a great time for all, and that you were able to be a part of it. Along with all the other activities in Minneapolis, two awards were presented that honored people who have made significant and long-term contributions to the computer science education community and SIGCSE specifically. Whether or not you were a part of the 50th celebration, I would like to take a moment to discuss the accomplishments of these deserving members of our community.

The 2019 SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education was presented to Mark Guzdial of the University of Michigan, USA. Mark has worked to transform wide-scale teaching practice through contextualized computing education, most notably with the Media Computation curriculum, advocated and supported policy changes supporting computing for all in many states in the U.S., published core research in computing education over decades, and helped to foster the next generation of computing educators through his mentorship. It is difficult to find someone in the SIGCSE community who has not read something written by Mark, including the thousands of regular readers of his long-standing blog on computing education. He has also contributed significantly as an organizer of two SIGCSE conferences and served on the SIGCSE Board. Mark has touched the computing education community and SIGCSE in many ways throughout the years, and our community is better for it.

The 2019 SIGCSE Award for Lifetime Service to the Computer Science Education Community was given to Gloria Childress Townsend of DePauw University, USA. Gloria has worked tirelessly on behalf of diversity and inclusion in computing. She was a co-founder and co-facilitator of the SIGCSE Committee on Expanding the Women-in-Computing Community, a committee that has led birds-of-a-feather sessions at the Technical Symposium annually since 2005. Gloria worked for decades with ACM-W serving on the Executive Board and as ACM-W chair. She conceived of the idea of small regional celebrations of women in computing and worked as a guide and leader for these celebrations as they spread from the United States across the globe. Her extensive service to the computing education community has helped it to reach people who might not have joined without her hard work.

I am also happy to report that SIGCSE members continue to be recognized by ACM for their contributions. ACM Advanced Grades of Membership recognize outstanding ACM members for technical, professional, and leadership contributions that advance the objectives of ACM. Continuing their hard work from last year, Susan Rodger, Michelle Craig, and Mark Weiss nominated deserving SIGCSE members for ACM Distinguished membership. ACM Distinguished Members should have achieved significant accomplishments or have made a significant impact on the computing field. Thanks to the efforts of Susan, Michelle, Mark, and others from the SIGCSE community, six SIGCSE members were named as ACM Distinguished Members in 2018. Christine Alvarado, Tim Bell, Andrew McGettrick, Lynn Andrea Stein, and Chris Stephenson were cited for Outstanding Educational Contributions to Computing, and Mats Daniels was cited for Outstanding Scientific Contributions to Computing. A full list of the 2018 ACM Distinguished Members can be found here [1].

I want to conclude by reminding you that 2019 is the first year of the new SIGCSE conference, the ACM Global Computing Education Conference (CompEd). CompEd will be held in Chengdu, China May 17–19, 2019. The program will include many of the things you enjoy at other SIGCSE conferences including papers, panels, birds-of-a-feather sessions, and posters. Working groups are a great way to get to know people from the SIGCSE community and will be held May 14–16, 2019 just prior to the conference. CompEd attendees will also have a chance to visit Chengdu, including the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base. My thanks to the steering committee (Brett Becker, Boots Cassel, Alison Clear, Susan Rodger, and Ming Zhang), the conference co-chairs (Ming Zhang and Bo Yang), and the program committee co-chairs (Steve Cooper and Andrew Luxton-Reilly) for all the hard work that they have done in getting the fourth SIGCSE conference up and running. I hope that you will be a part of the new conference and get to know one of the nicest cities in China.

From our SIGITE reporter and SIGITE Chair, Barry Lunt

For many years, I have been a member of multiple professional associations; I suspect many readers of this column have also had this experience and have benefited greatly from it. In the last 15 years, I have had many opportunities to be much more involved in these associations in volunteer positions, helping with conferences, publications, governance, and other matters. These experiences in these last 15 years have given me great opportunities to rub shoulders with many others also involved, some at the highest levels. While I have been very impressed and grateful for the work performed by the paid directors and staff of these associations—and it is remarkable—I have been even more impressed by the volunteers.

While I have been very impressed and grateful for the work performed by the paid directors and staff of these associations—and it is remarkable—I have been even more impressed by the volunteers.

The root meaning of the word amateur refers to one who does something only for the love of doing it—they are not paid. While today this term is often used disparagingly, I would like to take its root meaning and express my deep appreciation for the many unpaid volunteers who make the ACM, and its many SIGs, as strong as they are. I have witnessed how much work they put into everything they do in the ACM and its SIGs, and it is truly a work of love. And I see the benefits in the many products—conferences, publications, plans, seminars, etc.

There is another benefit that I believe goes even deeper, and I believe it is well captured by a compliment I once heard: "Just being around her made me want to be a better person." I have felt that many times as I have met with ACM and SIG volunteers, people who were helping effect significant programs and products without remuneration; my associations with them have all made me want to be a better person, to leave a legacy of good in the wake of my life.

So, I conclude with THANKS—thanks to each of them for making me want to be a better person, and to each of you ACM and SIG members who are pushing forward your disciplines through these many professional associations and the opportunities you provide. I have benefited greatly, and suspect that is true of most of our members.

For more information on these SIGs, see the following websites





1. ACM Distinguished Member Awards; Accessed 2018 Dec 21.


Ellen L. Walker
Professor of Computer Science
Hiram College
Hiram, OH 44234 USA
[email protected]

Amber Settle
Vincent de Paul Professor
School of Computing
College of Computing and Digital Media
DePaul University
Chicago, IL 60604 USA
[email protected]

Barry Lunt

Director, School of Technology
Professor, Information Technology & Cybersecurity
Ira A Fabian College of Engineering
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84402
[email protected]

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