Faculty and Staff Honored at Annual ICS Awards Celebration

June 29, 2022

On June 7, 2022, the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) resumed its annual ICS Awards Celebration luncheon, paused during the pandemic, as faculty and staff spent an afternoon reconnecting and socializing. Dean Marios Papaefthymiou welcomed new staff, announced the recipient of the Jim McKenzie Staff Leadership Award, presented the Dean’s Faculty Awards, and recognized a variety of faculty members for recent honors and accomplishments.

The 2022 Jim McKenzie Staff Leadership Award
The late ICS Assistant Dean Jim McKenzie believed that building a better workplace requires, first and foremost, investing in your people. During his career, he was a champion for staff, striving to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness. Launched in 2017, the McKenzie Award honors an outstanding ICS staff member who leads and inspires others, influencing without authority and often putting the interests of others ahead of their own.

Dean Marios acknowledged that the committee received many compelling nominations. “We’re fortunate to have so many dedicated and exceptional staff among us,” he said, before asking the audience for a drumroll and introducing the 2022 recipient: Director of Communications Matt Miller.

“Matt goes out of his way to help anyone and everyone in the building, from staff to faculty to students,” said Dean Marios. “He goes above and beyond each and every day, meeting the many demands thrown his way while always supporting his staff.”

The Dean’s Faculty Awards
Dean Marios also recognized various faculty members, presenting awards for innovative research, exceptional teaching, exemplary student mentorship, and dedicated service. Each award comes with a $500 discretionary account.

Chancellor’s Professor of Statistics Annie Qu received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research. She has made numerous significant contributions to the development of core statistical methodology, including areas of semiparametric inference, longitudinal and correlated data analysis, network data analysis, and statistical machine learning. Her impacts on the profession have been outstanding throughout her career, and she has been a major force in bringing statistical thinking to the foundations of data science.

Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Statistics Stephan Mandt received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mid-Career Research for his work in machine learning. His pioneering research builds on foundational concepts from information theory and Bayesian statistics, and includes applications in computer vision, video compression, text analysis, time-series prediction, and climate modeling. He has received approximately $5 million in grant funding as a PI or co-PI in the past four years, with $3 million exclusively dedicated to his own research group.

Informatics Professor Constance Steinkuehler received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Steinkuehler’s research in computer game studies focuses on games for education and social impact. She approaches her instruction with a deep understanding of pedagogy and, in particular, takes a “sociocultural perspective on cognition and learning.” She emphasizes ideas and concepts over rote learning, treating artifacts such as texts and popular video games as a means to communicate and have students reflect upon deeper meaning.

Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science Michael Franz received the Dean’s Award for Graduate Student Education and Mentoring. Franz has an outstanding record in mentoring, promoting his mentees through co-authoring and supporting diversity in his research group. He has also advised a large number of master’s students and undergraduates, as well as supervised visiting students and postdoctoral scholars. Franz also maintains excellence in his classroom teaching, his research and service.

Associate Professor of Statistics Veronica Berrocal received the Dean’s Award for Service for her outstanding service record, impressive not only for its breadth and its depth, but also for its duration and sustained impact. Besides the statistical community, she is a stellar citizen of the Department of Statistics and the School of ICS, serving on the Academic Senate committee and as an Equity Advisor for ICS.

A list of past Dean’s Award winners appears online.

Recognizing Faculty Accomplishments
Dean Marios also honored the following faculty members for their 2020-21 academic accomplishments:

  • Sandy Irani: Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching
  • Sameer Singh: Distinguished Early-Career Faculty Award for Research
  • Stacy Branham: Digital Accessibility Innovator
  • Roderic Crooks: Inclusive Excellence Teaching
  • Jennifer Wong-Ma: Dean’s Honoree for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
  • Alfred Chen: NSF Career Award
  • Veronica Berrocal and Babak Shahbaba: ASA Fellows
  • Rina Dechter, Paul Dourish, Annie Qu and Padhraic Smyth: AAAS Fellows
  • Jessica Utts: Samuel S. Wilks Memorial Award
  • Hal Stern: ASA Founders Award
  • Paul Dourish: CSCW Lasting Impact Award
  • Gillian Hayes: ASSETS paper Impact Award
  • David Eppstein, Sang-Woo Jun and Michael Franz: Best Paper Awards

Congratulations to the ICS faculty and staff for their hard work, dedication and service!

Shani Murray