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Governor Hutchinson Announces New Computer Science and Cybersecurity Task Force

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson signed Executive Order 19-17 today establishing the State Computer Science and Cybersecurity Task Force and proclaimed December 9 – December 15 Computer Science Education Week in Arkansas.

The task force will be composed of leaders in education, industry, and government. Members will assess 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,” Governor 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

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