Skip Ellis Early Career Award
2022 Award Nominations: Open October 2021
The Skip Ellis Early Career Award is in honor of Clarence “Skip” Ellis; he was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in computer science and the first African-American to be elected a Fellow of the ACM.
Skip Ellis aims to recognize early-career individuals underrepresented in computing research that best exemplify the pioneering spirit of Skip Ellis. The leadership and trailblazing of Prof. Ellis and his cohort established the foundation for future generations of pioneers in computing. Prof. Ellis and his generation valued both excellence in scholarship and cultivation of equal opportunity in service to the profession, the nation, and the lived experience of those underrepresented. Skip Ellis awardees are expected to be rising stars in their field of research and broadening participation in computing.
This annual award is given to a person who identifies as a member of a group underrepresented in computing (African-American, Latinx, Native American/First Peoples, and/or People with Disabilities), who has made significant research contributions in computer science and/or engineering and has also contributed to the profession, especially in outreach to underrepresented demographics. We invite your nominations for the Skip Ellis Early Career Award.
In order to be eligible for nomination, the nominee must be an individual who identifies as a member of an underrepresented group (African-American, Latinx, Native American/First Peoples, and/or People with Disabilities) in the computer science and engineering field, who has:
- made significant research contributions,
- had positive and significant impact on advancing women and diversity in the computing research community,
- is relatively early-career (at most 8 years post Ph.D. on or after January 1 of the year of award) faculty member or researcher in an industry or government lab, and
- is affiliated with an institution, industry lab, or government lab in the United States, its territories, or Canada.
If there are extenuating circumstances for applying beyond the timeframe listed in the eligibility requirements, please make sure you address this in the application. Extenuating Circumstances beyond an applicant’s control include, but are not limited to:
- Documented medical condition or serious illness
- Documented learning disability
- Death of a family member or friend
- Involuntary call to active military duty
- Maternity/family leave
In order to complete a Nomination, you will need to provide the following information:
- Nominator Name and Contact Info
- Nominee Name and Contact Info
- Nominee’s Educational History
- Nominee’s Biographical Sketch/CV
- Nomination Letter – Completed by the Nominator.
- 3 Supporting Letters – Nominator will provide the supporters’ emails when submitting the nomination. Supporters will receive an email with instructions to upload the letters through a secure portal (The supporting letters must be submitted by three other individuals who support the nomination other than the nominator).
This annual award is given to a woman in computer science and/or engineering who has made significant contributions in research, or her profession, and especially in outreach to women. This award recognizes work in areas of academia and industry/government research labs that has had a positive and significant impact on advancing women and diversity in the computing research community. The award is targeted at women that are relatively early in their careers. Nominations are due each year on February 15.
Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award is given in memory of Mary Jean Harrold’s and David Notkin’s outstanding research, graduate mentoring, and diversity contributions. The award recognizes faculty members from non-profit, U.S. institutions who combine outstanding research accomplishments with excellence in graduate mentoring, as well as those who advocate for recruiting, encouraging, and promoting women and minorities in computing fields.
This award program recognizes undergraduate students at North American universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research.
Find more scholarships and awards!
2021 - Sanmi Koyejo
Sanmi (Oluwasanmi) Koyejo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Koyejo’s research interests are in developing the principles and practice of trustworthy machine learning. Additionally, Koyejo focuses on applications to neuroscience and healthcare. Koyejo completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, advised by Joydeep Ghosh, and completed postdoctoral research at Stanford University. His postdoctoral research was primarily with Russell A. Poldrack and Pradeep Ravikumar. Koyejo has been the recipient of several awards, including a best paper award from the conference on uncertainty in artificial intelligence (UAI), a Sloan Fellowship, a Kavli Fellowship, an IJCAI early career spotlight, and a trainee award from the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM). Koyejo serves on the board of the Black in AI organization.
This year, recognition was warranted beyond the award winner and one additional nominee is receiving the Distinction of Honorable Mention. Shiri Azenkot of Cornell University is recognized by the Skip Ellis Early Career Award committee. Shiri Azenkot is an Associate Professor of Information Science at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, Cornell University, where she directs the Enhancing Ability Lab. She is also an affiliate faculty member in the Computer Science Department at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology. Her research interests are in accessibility and interaction on new platforms. In 2019, she co-founded XR Access, a community dedicated to making augmented and virtual reality accessible to people with disabilities. Shiri frequently publishes at top HCI and accessibility conferences, including CHI, ASSETS, UIST, and UbiComp. She is the recipient of the NSF CAREER and CRII awards, and multiple best paper awards and nominations. Currently, her research is funded by the NSF, AOL, Verizon, and Facebook. Before arriving at Cornell Tech, she was a Ph.D. student in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, where she was advised by Richard Ladner and Jacob Wobbrock.
2020 - Tawanna Dillahunt & Michel A. Kinsy
Tawanna Dillahunt is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information (UMSI) and holds a courtesy appointment with the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. Working at the intersection of human-computer interaction; environmental, economic, and social sustainability; and equity, her research investigates and implements technologies to support the needs of marginalized people. She and her team have developed digital employment tools that address the needs of job seekers with limited digital literacy and education; assessed real-time ridesharing and online grocery delivery applications among lower-income and transportation-scarce groups, and proposed models for novice entrepreneurs to build their technical capacity.
Tawanna has received funding to support her research from the National Science Foundation, the Gates Foundation, UM Poverty Solutions, UM Ginsberg Center, and the UM Ford School. Her work appears in the most prestigious HCI conferences and journals and has won several best papers and honorable mentions. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Computer Science from the Oregon Health and Science University, and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University. She was also a software engineer at Intel Corporation for seven years.
Tawanna has demonstrated commitment to supporting underrepresented people and communities. She is a Digital Inclusion Policy fellow mentor for UM Poverty Solutions and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the University of Michigan Center for Academic Innovation. The nature of her research alone enables her to work with a diverse set of passionate students and community members who have been attracted to her research. She directs the Social Innovations Group and has mentored numerous, master’s, undergraduate, and high school students, and postdocs, over half who are women and underrepresented minorities. She actively participates in programs that benefit underrepresented groups and engages in community-based participatory research.
Michel A. Kinsy
Michel A. Kinsy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University (BU), where he directs the Adaptive and Secure Computing Systems (ASCS) Laboratory. He focuses his research on computer architecture, hardware-level security, and efficient hardware design and implementation of post-quantum cryptography systems. He has published over 60 research articles, many in top-tier conferences and journals, including the International Symposium on Computer Architecture, International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture, IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust, IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, and IEEE Transactions on Computers.
Michel is an MIT Presidential Fellow. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2013 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In his doctoral work, he introduced some of the first algorithms and innovative hardware techniques to emulate and control large-scale power systems at the microsecond resolution. The work inspired further research by the MIT spin-off Typhoon HIL, Inc. Before joining the BU faculty, Michel was an assistant professor in the Department of Computer and Information Systems at the University of Oregon, where he directed the Computer Architecture and Embedded Systems (CAES) Laboratory. From 2013 to 2014, he was a Member of the Technical Staff at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he led the Advanced Computer Architecture Concepts sub-group tasked with exploring future secure computing architectures in critical DoD systems.
Michel is a mentor who inculcates a culture of embracing diversity, intellectual honesty, excellence in research, social responsibility, and personal integrity among the mentees in his research laboratory – three of them are underrepresented doctoral students. His outreach efforts include creating the University of the Virgin Islands Summer Cybersecurity Program; organizing ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference workshops on open-source computer architecture design space exploration and post-quantum cryptosystem design; introducing a computer science module into the Oregon Young Scholars Program for preparing historically underserved students for college, and the University of Oregon African-American Rites of Passage Program.
This year, recognition was warranted beyond the award winners and an additional nominee is receiving the Distinction of Honorable Mention.
Cindy Rubio González of the University of California Davis is recognized by both the Anita Borg Early Career Award and the Skip Ellis Early Career Award committees for a joint Honorable Mention. Dr. Rubio is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Davis. Prior to that position, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2012. Dr. Rubio’s work spans the areas of Programming Languages, Software Engineering and High-Performance Computing, with a focus on program analysis for automated bug finding and program optimization. She is particularly interested in the reliability and performance of systems software and scientific applications. Dr. Rubio is a recipient of a DOE Early Career Award 2019, NSF CAREER award 2018, a Hellman Fellowship 2017, and a UC Davis CAMPOS Faculty Award 2014. Dr. Rubio earned her M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and her B.S. in Computer Engineering from Saltillo Institute of Technology (Mexico). She also holds a B.M. in Piano Performance from the Autonomous University of Coahuila (Mexico).
CRA-WP is proud to celebrate the growing representation in computing research by highlighting both Rubio González for her significant contributions and outreach in the field. It is encouraging to see the growth in the excellent computing researchers from diverse backgrounds committed to scholarly excellence and equal opportunity.