College of Computing News

Awards Celebration Highlights GT Computing Community Achievements

Each spring, the College recognizes the achievements of its students, faculty, and staff with an awards celebration. This year is no exception.

Nearly 200 students, faculty, and staff members gathered April 26 in the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center Atrium for the 27th Annual College of Computing Awards Celebration. Family and friends of the award winners also attended the event.

Dean of Computing Zvi Galil hosted the awards celebration and welcomed guests with an update on the College’s achievements and highlights from the past academic year.

“First, perhaps our best news of the year came just a few weeks ago: We rose to #8 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of graduate computer science programs. This is the second time we’ve gone up in the last three rankings and continues a remarkable, 30-year run for GT Computing,” Galil said.

[READ: Dean Galil's Complete Remarks]

The dean concluded his remarks by thanking all of those that made award nominations and recognizing the awards committee for all of their efforts.

“This awards ceremony would not be possible without the time and effort put in by all the nominators to recognize their fellow students, staff, and faculty and prepare the nomination packages.” 

“[On behalf of] the awards committee, I would like to applaud all the nominators for their dedication to growing the excellence in the College of Computing,” Galil said.

Following Galil’s remarks and lunch, School of Computer Science Chair Lance Fortnow took the podium for the undergraduate student award announcements. Amongst this year’s undergraduate winners is computer science major Lucas Christian. He is the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

[LIST: All 2018 College of Computing Award Winners]

School of Interactive Computing Chair Ayanna Howard followed Fortnow to present the graduate student awards. Howard presented several awards including College of Computing Dissertation Awards to:

  • Ben Cousins (Ph.D. 2017), now a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University
  • Jian Huang (Ph.D. 2017), now an assistant professor at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
  • Briana Morrison (Ph.D. 2017), now an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha
  • Luis-Miquel Munguia (Ph.D. 2017), now a software engineer at Google

Alan Katz, assistant dean for Finance and Administration, presented this year’s staff awards. One of the highlights was Human Resources Director Pam Ruffin’s award for the Outstanding Staff Community Leadership Award. Ruffin also won the inaugural Spirit of Georgia Tech Award earlier this month.

Executive Associate Dean Charles Isbell wrapped up the awards celebration by presenting the annual faculty awards. Among several key awards was the Outstanding Instructor Award. To make the presentation, Isbell welcomed Senior Lecturer Emeritus William “Bill” Leahy for whom the award was recently renamed.

Leahy, who retired from the College in December 2017, presented the award to his former colleague, Lecturer Melinda McDaniel. McDaniel is a full-time lecturer in the College’s Division of Computer Instruction.

An updated list of all of the 2018 College of Computing Awards Celebration winners is available and includes listings of winners from previous years.