We are pleased to announce that the 2021 AccessComputing Capacity Building Awards go to longtime friend of AccessComputing Rob Parke and AccessComputing partner Patricia Ordoñez for their work advancing the inclusion of disability and accessibility in the Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing.
Rob Parke is an associate professor of information technology practice in the Information Technology Program in the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. He has a strong interest in inclusive teaching practices and has been actively involved in addressing issues of inclusion and equity, both within USC and externally. He served as general chair of the 2021 CMD-IT/ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference which encourages and supports diversity within computing. Outside of academia, Rob has a lifelong love of technology from the technical to the creative, with professional experience in software development, information technology, web design, audio engineering, film and TV post-production, and digital media.
Patricia Ordóñez was the first Latina to graduate with a Ph.D. from the College of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the first female associate professor to earn tenure in the Computer Science Department at the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras (UPRRP). She is a former National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She is serving as general chair at the 2022 Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference as well as co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). She is the recipient of the Great Minds in STEM 2021 HENAAC Award in Education. She is passionate about creating a more inclusive culture in computing and STEM and about bridging the digital and data divide in global healthcare and education.