News & Media

Press Releases

« Go Back
For Immediate Release 12.06.2019

Governor Hutchinson Announces New Computer Science and Cybersecurity Task Force

Proclaims Computer Science Education Week in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson signed Executive Order 19-17 today establishing the State Computer Science and Cybersecurity Task Force and proclaimed December 9 – December 15 Computer Science Education Week in Arkansas.

The task force will be composed of leaders in education, industry, and government. Members will assess the state’s computer science and cybersecurity education programs and make recommendations to continue and enhance the progress made in computer science education over the past five years.

“When we passed the Computer Science Initiative during my first month in office in 2015, Arkansas moved ahead of the pack nationally in computer science education,” Governor Hutchinson said. “But we can’t rest on that success. Technology moves quickly. If we are going to give our students the best computer science education possible, we must constantly assess our progress and implement the programs that will attract and inspire our students and educators.  When our goal is a first-rate computer science education for our students, our educational innovation will continue as a model for the rest of the nation.”

Members of the task force will provide guidance on improving and establishing updated large-scale goals and strategies; industry pathways and relevant certifications for major areas of computer science and computing; post-secondary alignment strategies and goals; work-based learning opportunities for students; teacher credentialing; correct placement and focus on data sciences and cybersecurity in curricula; potential funding usage and future needs; and outreach and development of educational materials. 

A progress report will be submitted to the Governor by June 30, 2020 and a final report will be submitted November 30, 2020. 

The Governor appointed the following members to serve on the task force: 

  • Allison Nicholas
    Metova, Inc.
    Director of Recruiting
  • Ann Clemmer
    Arkansas Department of Higher Education
    Senior Associate Director
  • Anna Beth Gorman
    Women’s Foundation of Arkansas
    Executive Director
  • Anthony Owen
    Arkansas Department of Education
    State Director of Computer Science
  • Britt Cagnina
    Software Engineer
  • Bryan Hill, PhD
    University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
    Dean of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Carl Frank
    Arkansas’s Computer Science Teachers Association
  • Dave Wengel
    iDatafy - Little Rock
    Founder and CEO
  • Dr. Allison Roberts
    Office of Governor Hutchinson
    Education Liaison
  • Dr. Angela Kremers
    Department of Career Education
  • Dr. Charisse Childers
    Department of Workforce Services
  • Dr. Hung-Chi Su
    Arkansas State University
    Chair, Department of Computer Science
    Associate Professor of Computer Science
  • Dr. Sarah Moore
    Arkansas State Board of Education
  • Dr. Stephen Addison
    University of Central Arkansas
    Professor and CNSM Dean
  • Errin Stanger
    Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
    Deputy Director
  • Gopala Krishnan
    DXC Technology
  • James Hendren, PhD
    Technology Startup Consultant
  • Jeston George
  • Joel Gordon
    Steam Rocket Engine LLC
    Independent Consultant
  • John Ciesla
    Greenwood School District
  • Karma Turner
    Lake Hamilton School District
    2018-19 Computer Science Educator of the Year
  • Lee Watson
    Arkansas Cyber Alliance
  • Michael Armstrong
    United Arkansas Credit Union
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Mike Rogers
    Senior Supervisor HACCP
  • Phillip Young
    Arch Ford Education Service Cooperative
  • Susan Norton
    Arkansas Academy of Computing
  • Tom Chilton
    Arkansas Economic Development Commission
    Director of Technology Development
  • William Yoder
    Arkansas Center for Data Sciences
    Executive Director
  • Yessica Jones
    Division of Information Systems
    Director and State CTO
  • Adam Holland
    eDiscovery and Forensic Services Senior Director II
  • Marc Sternberg
    Walton Family Foundation
    K-12 Education Program Director

View the Executive Order HERE and the proclamation HERE

CONTACT: Press Shop ( or 501.682.3642)

©2022 State of Arkansas. All Rights Reserved.