La Salle News

La Salle University Alumna Joanne Bechta Dugan Presented with 2016 IT Leadership Award

December 12, 2016


La Salle University’s Computer Science Programs Advisory Board honored alumna Joanne Bechta Dugan, Ph.D., ’80, with the 2016 IT Leadership Award on Thursday, November 17, 2016. Now in its 13th year, the award is presented annually to recognize an outstanding individual who has made a positive impact on business, government, education, or society through the advancement of information technology. Dugan serves as professor and director of University of Virginia’s computer engineering program.

“Thank you for this opportunity to express my gratitude to La Salle and to its wonderful instructors,” Dugan said. “Although I graduated from La Salle many years ago, I still have fond memories of my professors and mentors, especially the late John O’Neill, Carl Mc Carty, Sam Wiley, and the incomparable Steve Longo. Several years ago, I was asked to describe my teaching philosophy. Reflecting on that query, I realized how much I had modeled my approach to teaching on my hero: Steve Longo. He never hesitated to jump in to create and teach a course on some cutting-edge topic. I didn’t appreciate at the time how hard—and scary—it can be to be just-a-bit ahead of the students in learning about a topic. But he did it, and that inspired me to do the same.”

“I remember Joanne as an excellent student, probably the best student in her class,” said Margaret McCoey, an assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, and the director of graduate programs in Computer Information Science and Information Technology Leadership at La Salle University. “I remember she always took challenging courses, including several in mathematics. Joanne was very popular with her classmates and become the CSC leader for her group. She has become a very accomplished engineer and a real model for current students.”

The University’s Computer Science Programs Advisory Board selects the recipient of the IT Leadership Award, which honors a member of the IT community who supports creativity and originality in information technology, demonstrates a commitment to traditional Lasallian values, and serves as an outstanding example to all students pursuing their goals in the field of IT.

Dugan received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from La Salle University in 1980 before continuing on to earn her doctorate in electrical engineering from Duke University in 1984. She has performed and directed research on the development and application of techniques for the analysis of computer systems designed to tolerate hardware and software faults. Dugan is an Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) Fellow. She was associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Reliability for 10 years, and also served as associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. She served on the National Research Council Committee on Application of Digital Instrumentation and Control Systems to Nuclear Power Plant Operations and Safety. She is also a member of Eta Kappa Nu and Phi Beta Kappa. Previously, she taught at Duke University and worked as a visiting scientist at the Research Triangle Institute.


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