SCS Honors Faculty and Staff at Annual Founder’s Day Celebration

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The School of Computer Science honored outstanding faculty and staff members March 27 during the annual Founder’s Day ceremony in the Gates and Hillman centers’ Rashid Auditorium.

David Eckhardt, associate teaching professor of computer science, was the winner of the inaugural Joel and Ruth Spira Teaching Award, sponsored by Lutron Electronics Co. of Coopersburg, Pa., in honor of the company’s founders and the inventor of the electronic dimmer switch.

Illah Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics, was the winner of the inaugural Alan Perlis Award for Imagination in Computer Science.

James Herbsleb and Kathleen Carley, professors in the Institute for Software Research, along with former Ph.D. students Patrick Wagstrom and Marcelo Cataldo (now an adjunct professor), won the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence.

Michael Erdmann, professor of computer science and robotics, won the Herbert Simon Award for Teaching Excellence in Computer Science.

Mary Widom, program coordinator in the Computer Science Department (CSD), won the Citizenship Award. Martha Clarke, CSD admissions coordinator, and Sylvia Berry, manager of SCS business services, won awards for Sustained Excellence. Kate Schaich, program coordinator, Language Technologies Institute, was cited as Rookie of the Year. Jordan Harrison, SCS assistant director for Internet communications, won the Outstanding Teamwork Award. Rachel Burcin, global programs manager, Robotics Institute, won for Individual Dedication. Sharon Cavlovich, assistant to the director, Machine Learning Department, won the Outstanding Staff Award.

For more information about Founders Day, please visit:

Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 |