Dr. Cecil McDermott was born in Parkin, Arkansas, where he graduated from high school and then attended the University of Arkansas majoring in Mathematics. He went on to Purdue University for his master’s degree in Mathematics & Statistics and then to Auburn University for his Ph.D. in Mathematics Education. He also completed advanced study at the University of Virginia, through NSF, and Virginia Commonwealth University, through the Lilly Foundation.
Dr. Cecil McDermott established the computer science program at Hendrix University and then served as the head of IMPAC Learning Systems for its 20+ year life. IMPAC (Instructional Microprocessors in Arkansas Classrooms) was an early, and very successful, effort in instructional computing on a statewide level. IMPAC invested in software and earned royalties, lowering cost to the state. Although IMPAC dissolved in 2002, the board established an endowment that continues to provide grants for development and implementation of computer technologies necessary to maximize the use of computers in Arkansas public schools. Among the good works of the endowment is sponsorship of the Hot Springs Technology Conference for K-12 computing. Dr. McDermott advises the endowment and continues to work with WRF and ASTA on education programs involving technology. He has also advised government at a state and national level and has worked with national labs. As the representative for Hendrix to the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference for eleven years, Dr. McDermott authored major legislation, including the establishment of a women’s division.