The CofC Computer Science Chair is recognized for lifetime service

for Renee McCauleyand chair professor Department of Computer SciencePassion for computer science education extends far beyond the classroom. This is one of the reasons why it is so Professional and Volunteer Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), The leading organization for computer science professionals around the world.

McCauley has made a significant contribution to the ACM’s Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Interest Group, an international community of thousands of educators, and will be honored for her service at the ACM’s 54th Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education in March 2023, formally 2023 SIGCSE Award for Lifetime Service to the Computer Science Education Community. The award is given to an individual who has a long history of volunteer service to the computer science education community.

McCauley has been a member of the ACM SIGCSE for over 30 years in the computing profession. For her, attending SIGCSE conferences is like going to the Sundance Film Festival — complete with glimpses of the stars!

“I remember seeing a textbook author across the room talking about teaching techniques — for me, he was a celebrity,” says McCauley, who notes that SIGCSE is a great place to find mentors. “All people at SIGCSE are accessible, which is not what you would expect at an expert conference. It is a very collegial organization and a very welcoming and collaborative group.”

Renee McCauley

Renee McCauley, Chair of the Department of Computer Science

McCauley’s positive experience at SIGCSE has led to him volunteering for various organizational positions over the years. In addition to co-chairing the annual conferences, she was elected to membership SIGCSE Board for 12 years – Serves for three years as Senior Board Member, Treasurer, Chair and Direct Past Chair. Under her leadership, the SIGCSE organization has grown in many ways – from membership to conference sizes to an international presence – and has delivered Programs for teachers at the K-12 level as well as professional workshops for new faculty and department members.

McCauley also held leadership positions at its parent organization, ACM, for six years. She has co-edited a research journal specializing in computing education for seven years and has led or contributed to several international computing curricula committees. I also co-created ACM Invasions Journal, and has served on numerous panels and committees in other national and international organizations, including the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and Computer Society, the National Science Foundation and the Computing Research Association Committee on the Status of Women.

These are just a few examples of McCauley’s professional imprint on the international computer science community. She credits the college for giving her freedom, opportunity, and support when needed.

“I am grateful to the college for giving me the opportunity to balance research grants and research papers with community service to the international community,” says McCauley. “You have made my career so rewarding so far.”

Susan Rodger, Professor of Practice in the Department of Computer Science at Duke University, nominated McCauley for his Lifetime Service Award, stating, “McAuley has led SIGCSE and the computer science education community in new directions and programs with great benefits for all.”

“I still enjoy volunteering professionally, and have maintained an active research program with funding from the National Science Foundation and many international collaborators,” says McCauley, the first female faculty member to chair the college’s computer science department. I review papers and grant proposals, and sit on professional committees. Currently, as chair of the computer science department, I’m more focused on the local level, particularly on how to help faculty succeed, including guiding new faculty toward a position and promotion or senior training. It is important to help guide faculty to ensure their long-term success, as this reflects greatly on the quality of the students and professionals we produce – the next generation of computer scientists – and the impact on society at large.”

“Winning the SIGCSE Lifetime Service Award is a wonderful honor, and Dr McCauley clearly deserves the distinction,” Sebastian Van Diedendean College of Science, Mathematics and Engineering In the university.“Not only is she a world-renowned expert and researcher, but she is an outstanding department chair who brings out the best in her colleagues, students, and staff. I am so fortunate to work with her and benefit from her mentorship and friendship.”

On March 17, 2023, McCauley will formally receive a Lifetime Service Award and speak at ACM’s 54th Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, which will be held in Toronto, Canada. You will talk about how she first got involved with SIGCSE; about how I became more involved year after year; And finally, about all the great people she and she met. She hopes to encourage her young colleagues to start engaging and contributing in a similar way for years to come.

Now McCauley is the convention celebrities hope to see.

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