This article is published in the April 2022 issue.

2022 A. Nico Habermann Award Recipient: Andrea Danyluk

The Computing Research Association has selected Andrea Danyluk as the recipient of the 2022 CRA A. Nico Habermann Award, in recognition of her successful and impactful efforts to build inclusive and diverse communities in computing.

In making this award, CRA recognizes that Danyluk was a leader in broadening participation in computing at the national level. Whether working with a single student, participating in a panel, or leading a national effort, she was always invested in the collaboration, organized in her work, and principled in her approach.

In 2008, she joined the Board of the CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W), achieving a lasting impact by establishing new funding opportunities and mentoring programs at the national level. From 2008-2016, she led the Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) program, which provides undergraduates with research experiences at their home institutions to increase their likelihood of continuing to graduate school. Danyluk helped create and establish funding for CRA-WP’s Research Scholars program which brought ~80 undergraduates to the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing each year from 2016 to 2019. She served as co-Chair of the CRA-W Committee from 2019-2021. During this time, she helped the committee navigate through a major evolution to become the CRA Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP), focused on improving participation in computing research from all underrepresented populations, not exclusively focused on supporting women. She also helped manage CRA-WP through the COVID-19 global pandemic that forced key programs to move from physical to virtual meetings. Through trying times, Danyluk calmly navigated the group forward, making time and space for people to voice their opinions and concerns.

Danyluk was instrumental in helping students discover computing research and creating pathways to computing graduate school for many populations. Danyluk played a key role in establishing the Align MS in CS program at Northeastern which gives undergraduate students from other disciplines a pathway to pursue a MS in Computer Science. Align has been extremely impactful in increasing participation from underrepresented communities in computing. After identifying a gap for industry women interested in research, Danyluk worked to establish a pathway for industry professionals interested in a research-focused career change. She served as a co-PI on the NSF EAGER grant to create and fund CRA-WP Returning Scholars program at the GHC conference where many industry professionals gather.

Danyluk was an amazing champion for research at primarily undergraduate institutions and encouraging underrepresented students at these institutions across the United States to consider research careers. Through her numerous efforts, she helped introduce thousands of undergraduate students to computing research. She was essential in making not only Williams, but many computing programs welcoming environments for students and faculty.

Danyluk’s research was dedicated to machine learning, with an emphasis on applications. In 2019, she was recognized as an ACM Distinguished Member for her contributions in computer science education, and in 2021 she was awarded the Williams College Nelson Bushnell Prize, for excellence in teaching and writing.

Sadly, Danyluk passed away shortly after the award selection was made. The CRA community is deeply saddened by the loss of an amazing mentor, friend and champion for diversity. She will be sorely missed. The President of Williams College published an in memoriam announcement.

About the Award and Selection Committee
This award honors the late A. Nico Habermann, who headed NSF’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate and was deeply committed to increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in computing research. With this award, CRA recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and/or successes of underrepresented populations in the computing research community. This award acknowledges work in areas of government affairs, educational programs, professional societies, public awareness, and leadership that has a major impact on advancing these populations in the computing research community.

CRA Awards Selection Committee:
Diana Franklin (University of Chicago)
Kim Hazelwood (Meta—Facebook AI Research)
Timothy Pinkston (University of Southern California), Chair