Dear Academy Members
Our 2012-2013 Arkansas Academy of Computing year is underway and there is already a lot of activity on which to report. Over the last two years under Dan Phillips’ leadership your Academy has grown to over 100 members and has begun to make a significant contribution to technical education in Arkansas.
As we have reported before, the Academy has focused on granting individual $500 scholarships to computer science and information systems students in Arkansas. With your generous donations, we have improved from granting 14 scholarships distributed to six colleges in 2011 to 30 scholarships spread over eight colleges in 2012. In that same time three member-supported company alumni endowments have been created that each contribute an annual $500 scholarship. This certainly is progress, and the positive student impact of these grants is rewarding for all of us.
We are beginning to see some of the state-wide benefit this Academy can provide because of the strength, influence and energy of its membership. In order to add more focus to our efforts, this year the Academy Executive Board decided to hold a planning session to work through our collective vision for the Academy and set some achievable goals for the next couple of years. That session was held last March and we were pleased with the results. A summary of the planning session and the action items it produced is on the website.
I am particularly excited about the use of a committee structure for next year and the resultant increased level of participation of Academy members in our important mission. The standing committees and chairpersons are listed in the planning session results. All of these committees have started their work for the year, but all of them also could use some help! Please look over the list and if there is an area where you believe you could contribute, please contact the committee chair and let them know. I know they would all appreciate your involvement.
Included in next year’s goals from the planning session is a plan to improve the level and content of communication from the Academy both to and among its membership. One of the results of what has already been a great start for communications is our website. We hope you visit this site often and that many of you contribute additional content.
The Academy Scholarship Committee has started planning for this year’s scholarship fund drive and I am sure you will hear from them in the fall. They set a goal of $20,000 for the year and with your help we can meet that target and possibly exceed it.
There is quite a bit of effort in Arkansas directed at the improvement of state-wide STEM education and Academy members are very involved in its leadership. In the long run this is an area where Academy members can make a lasting impact and we all encourage you to stay informed about the efforts to improve STEM education and volunteer to help wherever possible. You will hear more about opportunities to help over the next few months.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your President. I have so much respect for the members of the Arkansas Academy of Computing, their accomplishments, their potential to improve our state and their collective energy. I look forward to working with you,
Related article: Results of 2012 Strategic Planning Session