Gloria Childress Townsend


School of Informatics Career Achievement Award (2012)
B.A. 1968, M.S. 1987, Ph.D. 1979


Gloria Childress Townsend has dedicated her professional life to helping young people develop an appreciation and passion for computing and technology. She has spent the better part of 44 years as an educator in Indiana. Whether she was teaching in the public school system, which she did for seven years, or in various capacities at both Indiana University and DePauw University, which she's done since 1977, she has shaped the math and computer science views of countless young minds.

She received her BA in mathematics from IU in 1968, continued on to get her MS in math from Purdue in 1972, PhD in math education from IU in 1979, and finally her MS in computer science from IU in 1987. She did all this while teaching in the public school system in the Indianapolis area. In the late '70s she transitioned to teaching at the college level, first during the summers at IU and finally joining the faculty of DePauw in 1980. She served as the chair of the computer science department at DePauw for many years, and today continues to teach a wide variety of computer science courses – from introductory
CS to artificial intelligence to programming languages. She is highly engaged in on-campus activities, serving as coordinator of the Women in Science program at DePauw and leading the student chapter of the Association of Computing Machinary (ACM).

In addition to her active on-campus role, she works tirelessly to promote and advance the role of women in computing and technology. In 2004, she organized the first regional conference for women in computing, and she was instrumental, along with colleagues at the ACM, the Anita Borg Institute, and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), in the development of the "Wide Web of Women: www.2project," part of a $1.1M, three-year grant to support women in computing.