Computer science presents memorial award

Megan Simon

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A new award was presented for the first time in honor of the late Thomas F. Higginbotham, a longtime computer science professor who passed away this year.
The inaugural Thomas F. Higginbotham Most Improved Computer Science Student Award was presented to Ryan Alford, a senior computer science major. The award was presented by Charles Tate, Director of IT at Lallie Kemp Medical Center. Among those present was Mrs. Kathleen Higginbotham, plus 70 students and guests.
Alford is a senior computer science major, studying information technology, and will be graduating in May. He is a software developer at the JBM Group, which is a company of computer consultants operated by Barbara M. Ruppert and Michael DiMaggio. They are primarily focused on services for law enforcement agencies. The company's belief is that providing high-quality, sound solutions for their clients create long-term continuing relationships with customers, giving them the competitive edge in the custom software business world as a result.
Alford was also a Resident Assistant for University Housing for two and a half years. He is a part of the ACM and .NET Computer Science groups and plans to continue membership after graduation.
"This award isn't given out often, and the fact it was awarded to me means the hard work and dedication I put into this degree feels like it has paid off," said Afford.
Along with receiving the award and title of most improved computer science student, Alford received $100 as well.
"The student is selected by the faculty who pick somebody who worked very hard throughout his or her degree progression and kept improving as they progressed," said Dr. Sebastian van Delden, associate professor of computer science.
Among the many rallying to commemorate Dr. Higginbotham was Dr. Louise Boston, professor of industrial technology, who led in the efforts to establish the award in honor of the late professor.
"Computer science is a very challenging degree path," said van Delden. "We hope this award will help to encourage future generations of computer science students to persevere and not give up on the pathway to their degree. We also hope that the award will help the memory of Thomas Higginbotham to live on in the department."


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Computer science presents memorial award