CS4CT 2018 Summit Speakers
Leigh Ann DeLyser
Jake is the Executive Director of the Computer Science Teachers Association, the world’s leading association for K-12 computer science teachers. He is a former high school computer science teacher, department chair, and professional development provider with the Chicago Public Schools. As a teacher, he focused on increasing access to computing for underrepresented groups and more than doubled female enrollment in introductory computer science classes. Prior to joining CSTA he was Director of State Government Affairs for Code.org, where he worked with educators and policymakers to advocate for policies that expand access to high-quality computer science education with state departments of education and governor’s offices across the country. In his work at Code.org, he helped to build a nationwide network of more than 40 regional partners that worked with over 100 school districts in the U.S. to implement comprehensive computer science programs and provide professional learning for teachers.
Scott Burghoff is a Vice President with CGI, the 5th largest independent IT and business process services firm in the world, and a 2017 Top Workplace as designated by the Hartford Courant. Scott is responsible for CGI’s healthcare sector in the northeast and is based in Hartford. Scott’s prior work experience includes large IT companies such as Accenture and IBM. Scott graduated from Windsor High School and earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science in college. Scott is passionate about STEM and, in particular, the need to advance computer science education in the United States.
Bruce W. Carlson became the Connecticut Technology Council‘s CEO in July 2014. Prior to being at CTC, Bruce founded the IP Factory, Inc. a not for profit whose focus is creating companies from proven technologies using a closely managed commercialization process. He remains the Board Chair of the IP Factory. From 1998 to 2009, at the University of Connecticut, Bruce had the dual role of Chief of Staff of the UCONN Health Center and the Managing Director UConn’s Office of Technology Commercialization, its technology transfer program to encourage research and innovation in Connecticut through the commercialization of the university’s research. Previously, he was policy development director in the state Office of Policy and Management from 1984 to 1998, during which time he worked under four governors and three political parties, advising on economic development and environmental issues.
Nancy Davis retired as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the United Technologies Corporation in 2016. She was responsible for providing leadership to UTC’s information technology function, including global IT strategies, systems, infrastructure and supplier management. She previously served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Pratt & Whitney from 2003-2009 and Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Sikorsky from 2002-2003. Davis joined UTC’s Pratt & Whitney division in 1979 and held various positions in IT, including Director of Engineering and Manufacturing Systems, Infrastructure, Architecture & Security Operations and global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation. She led the initial outsourcing of Information Technology operations at Pratt & Whitney in 1999, which is now in place globally across UTC. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Trinity College and holds a Master of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Nancy serves on Trinity College’s Board of Trustees.
Leigh Ann DeLyser
Leigh Ann is a lifelong advocate of computer science education. At CSforALL, Leigh Ann oversees research efforts and advises and implements programs that align with the organization’s strategic goals. Leigh Ann is also a co-founder of the CSforALL Consortium, a national network of CS education content providers, school districts, education associations, and researchers devoted to the mission of CSforALL. Prior to joining CSforALL, Leigh Ann worked for 5 years expanding access to CS education for students in NYC, for 10 years as a HS CS teacher, served on the Board of Directors for CSTA, and earned her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in Computer Science and Cognitive Psychology, with a focus on CS education. Leigh Ann also co-authored the influential Running on Empty report, highlighting the lack of standards in CS education in the United States.
Estela López is Co-Chairperson of the Connecticut Board of Education. She was reappointed to the Board by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in February 2015, and was elected as Vice Chairperson of the Board in March 2017. In January 2015, Dr. López was appointed Interim Provost of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System, and served in that capacity through June 2016. Prior to that, she served as a senior associate with Excelencia in Education. She is the former vice chancellor of academic affairs of Connecticut State University, serving from 2002 to 2007. From 1997 to 2002, Dr. López served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern Illinois University. Dr. López has received numerous awards, including the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association 2008 Achievement Award and the 2006 Latina Citizen of the Year Award. She chairs the Board’s Accountability and Support Committee and served on the Ad Hoc Committee on Accountability. Dr. López earned a bachelor’s degree from Queens College, and both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Spanish literature from Columbia University.
Jim Mersfelder is the President of Le Pecq, Inc, a strategic software business consulting practice focused on business process improvement in the financial services, health care, intelligence community and the public sector.He is also a member of the Board of Mutualink. Jim has over 45 years of experience as an executive and entrepreneur in software technology, electronics, and financial services. He has a record of accomplishment as an industry leader in conceptualizing and developing multi-million-dollar businesses while controlling costs and creating strong management teams.
Ralph Morelli is recently retired as Professor of Computer Science at Trinity College, where he taught computer science for more than 30 years. He is one of the co-creators of the Mobile CS Principles course, which began in 2011-2012 as an introductory course at Trinity and has evolved into one of the College Board-endorsed courses for the new AP CS Principles curriculum. In addition to his interest in CS education Ralph has done research in various CS disciplines, including artificial intelligence and cryptography. He believes that one of the best reasons to study computer science is to equip oneself with the knowledge and tools to create open source software solutions that benefit society.
Brenda Darden Wilkerson
Brenda Wilkerson is the President and CEO of AnitaB.org. AnitaB.org programs inspire technical women, foster community and provide tools to help them develop their careers. AnitaB.org provides resources and programs that help industry, academia, and government recruit, retain, and advance technical women in computer science and engineering to meet the growing global need for technology workers and increase technological innovation. AnitaB.org works with industry partners to make the global technology workplace more welcoming to women. Brenda was previously Director of Computer Science and IT Education for Chicago Public Schools (CPS). At CPS, Brenda founded the original “Computer Science for All” initiative, building computer science classes into the curriculum for every student. That program has touched the lives of more than 1.5 million students in Chicago and New York City, and attracted the attention of the Obama administration, which modeled some of its work on the Chicago initiative.