Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in Information Technology (CMD-IT) is honoring Manuel Pérez Quiñones, associate dean for the College of Computing and Informatics, with the 2017 Richard Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversity in Computing.

This award is bestowed annually to an individual who demonstrates significant leadership, commitment and contributions to diversifying computing.

“I am very honored to receive this award,” said Pérez Quiñones. “I have spent a great deal of my professional career developing programs to diversify the field of computer science. Being recognized by the CMD-IT for those efforts is very humbling.”

Valerie Taylor, CMD-IT executive director, stated, “Manuel Pérez Quiñones has a long history of leadership with diversity and inclusion in computer science. He has created and led impactful programs for African-Americans, Latinos, LGBTQ, Native Americans and women students in his role as an academic leader. Most recently, he created a Corporate Mentoring Program at UNC Charlotte for women freshmen students, matching them with female corporate representatives. He continues to co-manage the Hispanics in Computing listserv that he founded, which has over 400 members. Manuel's work on increasing diversity in computer science has a profound impact on thousands of students, academics and industry professionals.”

Pérez Quiñones will receive the award at the 2017 Association for Computing Machinery Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference to take place in September in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tapia, the award’s namesake, is a professor at Rice University and is a nationally recognized leader in diversity; he has delivered numerous invited addresses at U.S. and international mathematics conferences, served on university diversity committees and provided leadership across the country.

Two professional conferences have been named in his honor, recognizing his contributions to diversity: the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference and the Blackwell-Tapia Conference. Founders of the latter event described Tapia as a seminal figure who inspired a generation of African-American, Native American and Latino/Latina students to pursue careers in mathematics.