2015 Penny Crane Award Recipient – Bob Haring-Smith
Bob Haring-Smith joined SIGUCCS in 1988 when he took his first IT support job in higher education, but did not have an opportunity to attend a SIGUCCS conference until 2000. Since then, he has attended every fall conference to date and nearly every management symposium.
After serving as a session chair at that first conference, he volunteered to coordinate the email rooms for the 2001 and 2002 conferences (back in the old days when conference attendees were not routinely carrying powerful networked computers in their pockets or pocketbooks). In 2003, he first served as a reader for the fall conference program committee, a role he has taken at many conferences since then. Bob has presented at both the management symposium and the fall conference.
Bob was treasurer for the 2005 and 2006 fall conferences. Also in 2005, he was elected to the SIGUCCS Board, where he served nine years—three years each as treasurer, chair, and past chair. It was during Bob’s term as chair that the Board decided to combine the fall conference and management symposium into one event.
Bob began his career as a mathematician exploring connections between abstract algebra and theoretical computer science. He earned mathematics degrees from Swarthmore College (B.A.) and the University of Illinois at Urbana (M.S. and Ph.D.). Later, he completed a master’s degree in computer science at Brown University. Bob taught math and computer science at the College of the Holy Cross and American University in Cairo.
Bob has held a variety of computer support positions: Computing Coordinator for the chemistry and geology departments at Brown University, the Ford Foundation’s Regional Technology Advisor for Africa (providing project management, computer support, and consulting services to the Foundation’s field offices in Africa), Manager of User Services at Harvard Law School, Senior User Services Consultant at Willamette University, and a variety of positions over the course of ten years at West Virginia University, culminating in the role of Business Relationship Manager for Faculty. Bob retired from full-time work at WVU in June 2015 but continues to work on selected projects for the university.
Bob has lived on four continents. He and his wife Tori backpacked around the world after college and have traveled extensively since then—not always in such Spartan fashion. They’re looking forward to seeing more of the world in retirement.