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April 2014


Dr Papp has announced the administrative structure of the consolidated KSU.  Details are at


Following in the footsteps of Dr Rossbacher and Dr Szafran, Dr Sam Conn, VP for Information Technology and CIO, has announced that he will leave SPSU to take up a position at Empire State College in the State University of New York.  Despite the relatively short time that Dr Conn has been at SPSU, his contribution has been tremendous both in terms of improving the campus IT infrastructure and in changing the organizational culture with University Information Technology Services.  On a personal note, Sam has also become a good friend.

I of course wish Dr Conn all the best for the future.  I for one will miss him.


LexisNexis Risk Solutions (, a leader in providing essential information to help customers across industry and government assess, predict, and manage risk, will sponsor the CSE graduation reception on May 9.  LexisNexis Risk Solutions is a $1.5 Billion organization with capabilities around data, analytics, and technology, including their open source platform HPCC Systems (  CSE hosts a reception for its graduating students and their family and friends the Friday before commencement to celebrate their success and to thank all who have supported them throughout their studies at SPSU.

I wanted to express my gratitude to Wanja Ngugi and Kit Trensch from the SPSU Advancement Office for making the introduction to LexisNexis and of course LexisNexis for providing the sponsorship.


On April 11, the Student Governance Association of SPSU hosted its annual student awards banquet.  I had the pleasure of presenting awards to the most outstanding students in CSE.  We awarded the following awards:

Outstanding Graduate Students:
   Computer Science: Brian T. Anderson
   Information Technology: Serena M, Simpson
   Software Engineering: Richard L. Rutledge

Outstanding Undergraduate Students:
   Computer Game Design and Development – Hunter Green
   Computer Science – David Spencer
   Information Technology – John Whitcomb
   Software Engineering – Koon Ng

Julian Joseph Award for Service to CSE: Jared Sanchez

All deserve our congratulations.


On April 23, CSE hosted its second Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honors Society Induction.  Upsilon Pi Epsilon (, the first and only international honor society for the computing and information disciplines, is endorsed by the IEEE and ACM and is comprised of outstanding undergraduate and graduate students in the computing and information disciplines. 
Membership in Upsilon Pi Epsilon is very selective.  From among more than 1,700 computing students at SPSU, a total of only 47 students will be inducted this year by the Lambda Chapter of Georgia.  Candidates for induction in UPE must attain a minimum grade point average of 3.3 in the major (3.6 for graduate students), have completed at least 15 semester hours in the major, be among the top 35% of those academically eligible, and meet other additional requirements.  We will be inducting 32 undergraduate students, drawn from all our majors, and 15 master’s students, again from all three master’s programs.

In addition, UPE inducted Chastity Faye Lowery, Class of 2002, as a distinguished Alumna, and Dr Becky Rutherfoord, Dr Bob Harbort, and Professor Pat Roth-Pierce as distinguished faculty.

The  SPSU chapter is active in promoting academic excellence.  Both of the chapter’s scholarship nominees for 2013 were selected and received national awards.  SPSU was one of only four schools worldwide with more than one scholarship recipient.

Congratulations are of course due to all inductees.  I also wanted to express my appreciation to Prof Jonathan Lartigue for organizing this event.


From April 10-13, the Association of IT Professionals (AITP, held its Collegiate Conference in Atlanta.  Dawn Tatum of the Department of IT, and Hank Edwards, a member of the CSE Dean’s Advisory Council, were the conference co-chairs.

The Collegiate Conference allows students to meet with potential employers but also allows them to compete in a number of competitions.  SPSU students performed extremely well in the various competitions.

Alex Durden placed second in the PC troubleshooting competition, with Russ Richstein earning an Honorable Mention.  Antonio Reyes, Supaporn (Nisse) Pankhao, Kornchai Anujhun, and Bhagya Raja Kondaraju won an Honorable Mention in Web Application Project. Pelter Luxbacher placed second the security competition with Honorable Mentions going to Russ Richstein and John Eidson.  Finally, working with students from other universities, Kendell Mendoza won an Honorable Mention in the Code 24 competition.
In addition, a number of students successfully completed some certification exams.  Thus, Lloyd Middlebrooks passed the Common CBCA, and ICCP ACP certification exams, Alex Durden the ICCP ACP, and John Eidson the Common CBCA.

Finally, a number of our students received internship and job offers.

I wanted to thank Dawn Tatum who worked so hard on the organization of the event, as well as Hank Edwards.  And, of course, I wanted to congratulate all students who represented SPSU so well at this national conference.


Computer Science student Britney N. (Bri) Mason has been accepted as a teaching assistant for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth ( this summer.  The Center for Talented Youth is a program that identifies talented youth in middle and high school and prepares them to “make significant future contributions to our world.”   CTY operates summer camps throughout the USA and in Hong Kong, in which students take intensive, advanced classes in topics including computer science, mathematics, cryptology, logic, writing, robotics, and others.  Bri will serve as a teaching assistant for CTY’s Fundamentals of Computer Science course offered in Saratoga Springs, New York.

This honor is yet another reflection of the quality of our programs and our students and congratulations are of course due to Bri.  


On April 29, Elizabeth Fokes, a graduating MSIT student, successfully defended her thesis entitled “Security Vulnerabilities in Social Networking Media”.  Focusing on Facebook and Twitter, Ms Fokes gave an overview of the various types of security threats that social media suffer from, and what can be done to minimize the threats.  The thesis advisers were Dr Lei Li, Dr Rich Halstead-Nussloch and Dr Chi Zhang.

Ms Fokes deserves our congratulations on her successful thesis defense.


CSE learned recently that Brandon McWiliams, who was an adjunct a few semesters ago, tragically died in a car accident on April 12. Our thoughts are with his wife, Amy, and their two daughters, Lindsay and Gracie.


Dr Chih-Chen Hung of the Department of Computer Science recently received the Distinguished Service Award from Special Interest Group on Applied Computing (SIGAPP) from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).  The award is given to SIGAPP members who have provided outstanding service to the Annual Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC). 

Dr Hung deserves our congratulations for this recognition of the important service he has given to SIGAPP.


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Han Reichgelt
Dean, School of Computing and Software Engineering