Washington and Daily Receive Outstanding Educator Award

Nicki Washington (left) and Shaundra Daily
Nicki Washington (left) and Shaundra Daily have launched multiple initiatives aiming at increasing inclusivity in computer science education. (Duke Marketing & Communications)

Duke faculty members Nicki Washington and Shaundra Daily have been recognized by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for their efforts to make the national computing education system more equitable and to combat the unjust impacts of computing on society with the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award.

Washington, who is the Cue Family Professor of the Practice of Computer Science and Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies, and Daily, the Cue Family Professor of the Practice in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science, have had a critical, wide-reaching impact through the creation of a novel course, a popular training program and a national alliance, among other efforts.

"For far too long, the voices of Black computer scientists — especially Black women — have been excluded from consideration as knowledge producers," Washington said. "I'm extremely proud of the impact made in a discipline that has not always recognized or valued this work."

Washington is credited with developing a first-of-its-kind Race, Gender, Class, & Computing course — aimed at computer science majors — which grounds the discipline of computing in history, sociology, and critical race and gender studies. A primary goal of the course is to ensure that undergraduate students develop a deep understanding of the roots of the inequities in computing, as well as computing's impact on different groups.

Building on interest in the course material, Washington joined with Daily and graduate student Cecilé Sadler in 2020 to launch the Cultural Competence in Computing (3C) Fellows program —in which faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers and Ph.D. students from across North America, Africa, Europe and Australia learn about identity, different forms of oppression, intersectionality, and how they manifest in academic computing environments and technologies.

In 2021, Washington and Daily grew the 3C Fellows program into the Alliance for Identity Inclusive Education in Computing (AiiCE), supported by a $10 million National Science Foundation INCLUDES grant. In just two years, AiiCE has reached 1,184 K-16 educators, 9,387 undergraduate students, and 104,784 K-12 students.

"For the past 25 years, I have been dedicated to enhancing inclusivity in the field of computing," Daily said. "It is a genuine honor to be recognized alongside my collaborator, Nicki, for the commitment and tireless efforts we have poured into this work."

The Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award is presented annually to an outstanding educator at a recognized educational baccalaureate institution who is advancing new teaching methodologies; affecting new curriculum development or expansion in computer science and engineering; or who is making a significant contribution to the educational mission of ACM. Those with 10 years or fewer teaching experience are given special consideration. A prize of $10,000 is supplied to each recipient by Pearson Education.

ACM is the world’s largest computing society, bringing together computing educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. It supports the professional growth of its over 100,000 members by providing opportunities for life‐long learning, career development, and professional networking.