This year for Ada Lovelace Day I want to honor my colleague and friend, Suzanne Fox Buchele, PhD. Suzanne claims me as a mentor. In many ways it is the other way around. She says (and I honestly didn’t remember) she met me when I was a professor at St. Edward’s University in Austin Texas and she was a PhD student in graphics at the University of Texas. She had come to St. Ed’s as part of a “Shadow a Prof Day” in cooperation with UT where she followed me around that day. She also claims that that experience was part of the reason she chose to teach at a small liberal arts college. She serves as a role model for me and for many through the way she has led her life and shaped her career.
The rest of our relationship I remember clearly. I came to Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, in 1999 where she had been on the faculty for a year (and was on the committee that hired me there). Suzanne has been a model young prof. She works with students doing undergraduate research. She has led the most important committees at the college through hard decision making. She has led the student computer club and organized multiple excursions for those students. She has cheerfully added new areas of expertise in order to teach a broader selection of courses, most recently in computer security.
Several years ago, she successfully applied for and won a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship to Ashesi University in Ghana. There she was pressed into staying an additional year as a Fulbright Scholar serving as both a professor and acting dean. She also managed to complete a more gender neutral version of the classic book, Flatland.
Suzanne became an integral part of the ACM SIGCSE community by both presenting papers and by serving on its Symposium Program Committee.
All the while, she and her husband Steve, were rearing three children and hosting the occasional exchange student.
I consider Suzanne the consummate Computer Science Educator.
But there is more to the story. This is her last semester at Southwestern University. She and her husband have joined the Mission Society and will be moving to Ghana for at least the next five years. Suzanne will be joining the faculty of Ashesi University outside Accra, Ghana as well as serving as its associate provost. Steve will be work with Campus ministry and church planting.
While I wish her well in her new endeavor, I will miss her. She represents the best example of how being in Computer Science can change the world for better.