USA - 2016
A true visionary and teaching advocate who spirited ACMs lifelong commitment to computer science education, recognizing the need to introduce CS to young students taught by educators with the tools and training to inspire future generations to the wonders of computing.
ACM, teachers, and students worldwide are indebted to Chris Stephenson for her landmark work in creating an international organization dedicated to supporting teachers and pursuing excellence in CS education for K-12 students. As the architect and first executive director of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), Chris led the charge that changed the way CS education is appreciated at the K-12 level. Under her astute, decade-long leadership, CSTA grew to over 20,000 strong, culminating in projects and initiatives that deeply impacted K-12 education and educators around the world. Along the way, she motivated corporate sponsors and educational partners to join the cause. Teachers today have access to unprecedented opportunities for professional development thanks to the efforts of CSTA. Indeed, the guidelines in the ACM K-12 Computer Science Standards are now recognized as the de facto U.S. CS curriculum standard. Chris also made major contributions to awareness of and broad progress on K-12 CS education including through her co-authorship of the Running on Empty report and her participation as a founding member of the Computing in the Core organization. ACM salutes Chris Stephenson for her steadfast devotion to CS education.