CRA is pleased to announce the winners of its 2008 service awards, which will be presented at the CRA Conference at Snowbird in July.
The CRA Board of Directors has selected W. Richards (Rick) Adrion, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, to receive the 2008 Distinguished Service Award.
Adrion was recognized for his sustained record of effective and significant service contributions spanning more than two decades. He has played a key role in building, nurturing and shaping today’s computer science community. Among these contributions are leadership in the development of the Internet; leadership in setting strategic directions at the National Science Foundation; leadership in developing a stronger political voice for computer science in national politics; leadership in strengthening the software engineering community; leadership in strengthening, modernizing and invigorating computing and information technology programs in Massachusetts public higher education; and overall service to the computer science community. Rick Adrion was general chair of the first ACM/CRB Conference on Strategic Directions in Computing. He also played a leadership role in the formation of CRA and was an active board member for many years, serving on the Executive Committee and Government Affairs Committee.
Rick Adrion is Professor of Computer Science at UMass Amherst, Co-Director of RIPPLES, Co-Director of the Commonwealth Information Technology Initiative (CITI), and Director of CRICCS. He served as Division Director for Experimental and Integrated Activities in the NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) from January 2000 through August 2002 and as a part-time Senior Advisor in CISE until September 2003.
The CRA board selected Richard E. Ladner, Boeing Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, to receive the 2008 Habermann Award. Professor Ladner is recognized for his lifelong, strong and persistent advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities in the computing community.
Ladner’s contributions have taken three forms: mentoring of students, research both with and for persons with disabilities, and national advocacy. He is known for his dedicated, one-on-one mentoring of students (both with and without disabilities). Over the past 15 summers, he has worked with 38 severely disabled high school students on week-long summer projects in computing. Ladner has also mentored undergraduates and graduate students with disabilities, often working with them on assistive technology research. His assistive technology efforts have resulted in networking (remote login, email) for Seattle’s deaf-blind community, large-print user interfaces for Unix machines, video compression algorithms that are tailored to American Sign Language and simple enough to implement in real-time on a cell phone, and new image processing and enhancement algorithms to convert graphical images–diagrams in math and science textbooks–into tactile images.
Richard Ladner currently co-leads the NSF-sponsored AccessComputing Alliance, a national effort to increase the number of students with disabilities majoring in computing. As part of their effort, the Alliance hosts workshops and summer camps around the country, and Ladner has run many of these, including a three-day Vertical Mentoring Workshop for the Blind in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and a nine-week summer camp for deaf students. Ladner has also been tireless in his advocacy at the national level: he has spoken to many groups, including department chairs at the CRA Conference at Snowbird, and worked with organizations and departments (through AccessComputing’s communities of practice) to make it easier for students with disabilities to fully participate.