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archivesA. Nico Habermann Award

CRA makes this award, usually annually, to a person who has made outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and/or successes of underrepresented groups in the computing research community. This award recognizes work in areas of government affairs, educational programs, professional societies, public awareness, and leadership that has a major impact on advancing these groups in the computing research community. Recognized contributions can be focused directly at the research level or at its immediate precursors, namely students at the undergraduate or graduate levels.

2006Mary Lou Soffa

2006 Habermann Award Awardee Owen R. Cheatham Professor and Chair of Computer Science at the University of Virginia

Mary Lou Soffa, the Owen R. Cheatham Professor and Chair of Computer Science at the University of Virginia, was the founder of CRA-W’s Affiliate Distributed Mentoring Program and co-founder (with Jan Cuny) of the CRA-W Graduate Student Cohort and the Cohort for Associate Professors. The Graduate Student Cohort program is now bringing 200 women together annually for a two-day workshop. Soffa has consistently been responsible for finding funding for these programs, recently obtaining significant funding from industrial sources, even as the programs have grown. She is also extremely active in individual mentoring.

She has graduated 21 PhD students and 54 MS students, and more than half of these are women. Eight are tenured or tenure-track faculty members. Soffa is active in minority enrollment issues as well. As Dean of Arts and Sciences at University of Pittsburgh she doubled the enrollment of minority students. Since 1992 she has been an active advisor to Florida A&M, a historically black university, where she substantially helped both the university administration and their ABET accreditation. In 1999, Soffa won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

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