UWF degree and year of graduation:
BS System Science, ’89
MS Software Engineering, ’92
EdD, Computer Science, ’00
Why did you choose UWF and your major?
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1971, I found that I was more employable as a drummer playing in road bands. I discovered Pensacola and later UWF when I played a job in Pensacola. In the 1980s, with the advent of the personal computer (PC), it was evident that the computer field would present a lot of opportunities. After my experience with psychology, I really wanted to get into a field with good employment opportunities. I saw UWF’s computer-related curricula, took a few courses and almost immediately knew I had found my next career after music.
As you look back at your days as a UWF student, describe your best memory.
My best memory is of Ken Ford’s “Data Structures” class and his great sense of humor, coupled with his extraordinary teaching ability. I was also recognized with the 1989-1990 “Outstanding Student in the Division of Computer Science” award. And, I loved being able to do the computer programming for the NUCES Project (the first one for which the IHMC was established) and getting to do my doctoral dissertation with Alberto Canas.
What do you do professionally and how has your education impacted your career?
I am an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at UWF. I am here 100 percent as a consequence of the educational experiences I received at UWF.
What scientific or technological changes have you witnessed during your time at UWF?
The Internet, e-mail, online classes, wireless and pervasive computing, computer-based learning management systems, computer-based teleconferencing technology for instruction, an explosion in accessible research literature and a revolution in how we search it and many others.
What advice would you give students today who were looking at studying one of the disciplines in the School of Science and Engineering?
Jump in, the water’s fine! It is hard work, but it is absolutely engrossing, you will never lack for a challenge, and you will be prepared to do much more interesting work than nearly anyone else gets to do. You will also be well-paid for such work.
Share one thing about yourself that would give others insight into your interests, hobbies, etc.
I enjoy exercise, computer programming, the idea of educating people, donating blood, movies, working around my house, yard and woods, writing songs and recording them to a digital multi-track recorder. I play guitar, keyboard bass, ham-fisted keyboard chords, hunt-and-peck keyboard leads, drums and I sing.