CoC Professor Mary Jean Harrold accepts Presidential Award for Excellence on behalf of women in comp

April 27, 2006


Atlanta (May 13, 2004) - President George W. Bush awarded the Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) for "significant achievements in mentoring women across educational levels."

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John H. Marburger, III, presented CRA-W Co-Chair Dr. Mary Jean Harrold (Georgia Tech, College of Computing) and CRA-W representative Dr. Jan Cuny (University of Oregon, Computer Science Department) with the citation at a noon ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. CRA-W was one of just eight institutional winners of the annual award, given to those organizations identified as "exemplars" and leaders in the national effort to more fully develop the Nation's human resources in science, mathematics and engineering.

The award cites CRA-W's work providing "hands-on research experiences, mentoring, role models and information exchange to women pursuing careers in [the] field." CRA-W programs seek to increase the number of women involved in computer science and engineering, increase the degree of success they experience, and provide a forum for addressing problems that often fall disproportionately within women's domain.

In a message from the President read by Marburger at the ceremony, Bush noted that new technology was redefining the American workplace and that, "in order to stay on the leading edge we must insure the participation of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences."

"The programs recognized today will serve as role models [in that process]," the President's message said. "I'm incredibly pleased that the long-term work of CRA-W has received this recognition," Harrold said. "CRA-W's success is owed to a long progression of women in computing who gave – and give – of their time and effort to share their knowledge and experiences with the next generation. As the President noted, the country will be well-served by continuing to increase the participation of underrepresented groups."

"The problem is particularly acute in computing," Cuny said. "Five of the 10 fastest growing occupations in the next decade will be computer related, but women make up less than a third of the IT workforce and an even smaller percentage of the academic pipeline. This underrepresentation represents a loss of talent and creativity that we will need shaping the future role of technology in society."

In addition to the Presidential Citation, the award also includes $10,000 to be used by CRA-W to further its efforts. In addition to the eight institutional awards, the President also named nine individual awards for 2004.

Photo (left to right): Dr. Mary Jean Harrold, Georgia Tech (Co-Chair of CRA-W); Dr. Jan Cuny, University of Oregon (former Chair of CRA-W), Dr. John Marburger, Director OSTP, Dr. Maria Klawe, Dean of Engineering, Princeton University (co-founder of CRA-W and current President of the Association for Computing Machinery), Peter Freeman, National Science Foundation (NSF) assistant director of the Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE).

More information about the PAESMEM program can be found at:

The Computer Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) is an action oriented organization dedicated to increasing the number of women participating in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) research and education at all levels. The current CRA-W co-chairs are Mary Jean Harrold (Georgia Tech) and Carla Ellis (Duke University). For more information:

The Computing Research Association (CRA) is an association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies. For more information:

CRA-W Co-Chairs 2003-2006
Mary Jean Harrold, Georgia Institute of Technology
Carla Ellis, Duke University

Current Members:
Fran Allen, IBM Fellow Emerita
Nancy Amato, Texas A&M University
Carla Brodley, Purdue University
Sheila Castañeda, Clarke College
Lori A. Clarke, University of Massachusetts
Anne Condon, University of British Columbia
Jan Cuny, University of Oregon
Faith E. Fich, University of Toronto
Kathleen Fisher, AT&T Labs Research
Joan Francioni, Winona State University
Jessica Hodgins, Carnegie Mellon University
Mary Jane Irwin, Penn State University
Leah Jamieson, Purdue University
Susan Landau, Sun Microsystems Laboratories
Nancy G. Leveson, MIT
Renée J. Miller, University of Toronto
Joann Ordille, Avaya Labs
Lori Pollock, University of Delaware
Ann Redelfs, San Diego Supercomputer Center
Mary Lou Soffa, University of Pittsburgh
Telle Whitney, Institute for Women in Technology