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[Published originally in the September 2002 edition of Computing Research News, Vol. 14/No. 4, p. 1.]
CRA Welcomes New Executive Director
CRA is pleased to extend a warm welcome to Andy Bernat, who became its new Executive Director on August 1. Bernat succeeds William Aspray, who has accepted an academic position at Indiana University.
CRA board chair, James Foley, describes Andy as "the perfect fit for CRA: he has experience with research, with CS departmental issues, with government research agencies, with fund-raising, with Congress and Congressional testimony, and in working with a board. The CRA board of directors looks forward to working with Andy and the entire computing research community to continue moving CRA forward."
Bernat brings to the job a wide range of experience and accomplishments. He was a founding member of the Computer Science Department at the University of Texas El Paso, and as chair built the department into one of the country's strongest computer science departments at a minority-serving institution. He headed the National Science Foundation-funded Model Institutions for Excellence program, which created dramatic improvements in student retention and achievement across the UTEP campus. He has co-chaired the Coalition to Diversify Computing, an organization sponsored by ACM, CRA, and the IEEE Computer Society to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities in the computing profession. For his many contributions in advancing underrepresented groups in the computing field, CRA awarded Bernat the A. Nico Habermann Award in 1997.
Pursuing his strong interest in academic reform and development for the computing field, Bernat recently completed his second year as a program officer in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation while on leave from UTEP. He was responsible for the computer science undergraduate education programs at NSF and also directed the Scholarship for Service Program in information assurance and security, which is a component of the federal CyberCorps program. He has been active for many years as an author, lecturer, reviewer, and panelist for government and professional organizations including the U.S. Army, NASA, NSF, and the Computer Science Accreditation Board. He has organized a series of workshops between U.S. and Mexican computer science researchers. Bernat received a B.S. in physics from Harvey Mudd College in 1970 and a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin in 1976.
William Aspray, the outgoing executive director of CRA, said of Bernat: "I am delighted with Andy's selection as my successor. He has the energy, enthusiasm, contacts, drive, analytical skills, and experience to work with the CRA board to carry the organization to a new level of accomplishment and to make the good works of CRA much more widely known."
Reflecting on his new job, Bernat commented: "What a truly great opportunity--to join the people and organization working to enhance and promote the computing research field, the basis for our modern society and economy. And what a great time to join--Bill Aspray has taken the association to a new level of status and achievement, giving us a springboard to further success."
In comments made at CRA's Conference at Snowbird 2002, Bernat indicated his goals for CRA are to provide better support for, and achieve better recognition from, its various communities.
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