UNC Charlotte Professor Manuel Pérez Quiñones elected to Computing Research Association Board of Directors

Manuel Pérez Quiñones, Professor in the Department of Software and Information Systems in the College of Computing and Informatics, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association, one of the nation’s most influential computing research and policy nonprofit organizations.

An advocate for broadening participation in computing, Pérez Quiñones is excited to share his unique perspective as a Latino and Puerto Rican leader in academia and his decades of experience in human-computer interaction and computer science education research toward the goal of creating a stronger, more equitable computing industry.

“As a member of an underrepresented group in computing, I feel like I’m entering a room  where few people like me have entered before,” Pérez Quiñones said. “Not in a million years would I have imagined this. It feels very special, because historically I have not seen people like me in those positions.”

Based in Washington, D.C., CRA is composed of over 250 North American organizations active in computing research; academic departments of computing; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia; and affiliated professional societies. The organization works closely with the National Science Foundation and supports a number of initiatives to expand computer science research funding as well as mentoring and outreach programs.

Along with his fellow newly elected and re-elected board members, Pérez Quiñones will serve a three-year term beginning July 1.

Pérez Quiñones joined the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2015. He just completed a rotation as Program Officer at the National Science Foundation in the Education and Workforce Cluster part of the Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering Directorate. He previously served on the faculty of Virginia Tech University, the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaquez, and was a visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and Northeastern University. He worked as a computer scientist at the federal Naval Research Lab in Washington D.C. while earning his D.Sc. in computer science from The George Washington University, after completing his B.A. and M.S. at Ball State University.

“We are all tremendously proud of our friend and colleague Dr. Pérez Quiñones for being elected to the Board of Directors of the leading national computing research organization,” said Bojan Cukic, Dean of the College of Computing and Informatics. “Manuel represents the best of CCI and our University. His tireless efforts towards equitable participation of women and underrepresented minorities in computing and thoughtful mentorship have influenced many, not only at UNC Charlotte but across the world of computing.”

Pérez Quiñones has received a number of industry honors and awards, including being named an Association for Computing Machinery Distinguished Member for Outstanding Educational Contributions to Computing in 2019; the CRA Nico A. Haberman Award in 2018; and the Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversifying Computing in 2017 among others. In addition to his CRA board election, he was also recently appointed to a second term as a member of the National Academies Standing Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

An active member of CRA, Pérez Quiñones has recently served on multiple high-level CRA search and steering committees, and was formerly chair of a committee that together with CRA-W eventually became the Computing Research Association’s Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research. In his new role, he is looking forward to continuing his years of collaboration with CRA on efforts to broaden industry participation across all underrepresented groups.

“I’m excited to join this group of distinguished scientists, researchers, and educators and provide my contribution to make computing more inclusive,” Pérez Quiñones said.