Gov. Hutchinson establishes computer science and cybersecurity task force

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,008 views 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed an executive order Friday (Dec. 6) establishing the State Computer Science and Cybersecurity Task Force. The task force will be composed of leaders in education, industry, and government, he said.

Members will be tasked with assessing the state’s computer science and cybersecurity education programs and make recommendations to continue and enhance the progress made in computer science education over the past five years.

“When we passed the Computer Science Initiative during my first month in office in 2015, Arkansas moved ahead of the pack nationally in computer science education,” Hutchinson said. “But we can’t rest on that success. Technology moves quickly. If we are going to give our students the best computer science education possible, we must constantly assess our progress and implement the programs that will attract and inspire our students and educators.  When our goal is a first-rate computer science education for our students, our educational innovation will continue as a model for the rest of the nation.”

Members of the task force will provide guidance on improving and establishing updated large-scale goals and strategies; industry pathways and relevant certifications for major areas of computer science and computing; post-secondary alignment strategies and goals; work-based learning opportunities for students; teacher credentialing; correct placement and focus on data sciences and cybersecurity in curricula; potential funding usage and future needs; and outreach and development of educational materials.

A progress report will be submitted to the Governor by June 30, 2020 and a final report will be submitted November 30, 2020.

The governor appointed the following members to serve on the task force:

Allison Nicholas
Metova, Inc.
Director of Recruiting

Ann Clemmer
Arkansas Department of Higher Education
Senior Associate Director

Anna Beth Gorman
Women’s Foundation of Arkansas
Executive Director

Anthony Owen
Arkansas Department of Education
State Director of Computer Science

Britt Cagnina
Software Engineer

Bryan Hill, PhD
University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
Dean of Engineering and Computer Science

Carl Frank
Arkansas’s Computer Science Teachers Association

Dave Wengel
iDatafy – Little Rock
Founder and CEO

Dr. Allison Roberts
Office of Governor Hutchinson
Education Liaison

Dr. Angela Kremers
Department of Career Education

Dr. Charisse Childers
Department of Workforce Services

Dr. Hung-Chi Su
Arkansas State University
Chair, Department of Computer Science
Associate Professor of Computer Science

Dr. Sarah Moore
Arkansas State Board of Education

Dr. Stephen Addison
University of Central Arkansas
Professor and CNSM Dean

Errin Stanger
Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
Deputy Director

Gopala Krishnan
DXC Technology

James Hendren, PhD
Technology Startup Consultant

Jeston George

Joel Gordon
Steam Rocket Engine LLC
Independent Consultant

John Ciesla
Greenwood School District

Karma Turner
Lake Hamilton School District
2018-19 Computer Science Educator of the Year

Lee Watson
Arkansas Cyber Alliance

Michael Armstrong
United Arkansas Credit Union
Chief Executive Officer

Mike Rogers
Senior Supervisor HACCP

Phillip Young
Arch Ford Education Service Cooperative

Susan Norton
Arkansas Academy of Computing

Tom Chilton
Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Director of Technology Development

William Yoder
Arkansas Center for Data Sciences
Executive Director

Yessica Jones
Division of Information Systems
Director and State CTO

Adam Holland
eDiscovery and Forensic Services Senior Director II

Marc Sternberg
Walton Family Foundation
K-12 Education Program Director