LAS CRUCES – Hue McCoy began his foray into computer science in the 1960s. Although he used to have many high -paying job offers after graduation. In the mid-1970s McCoy began a career in the White Sands Missile Range and also taught part-time at New Mexico State University. He joined the full-time faculty of the computer science department at NMSU in 1990 and retired from NMSU twice, the first time in 2001. He then sat for a year and returned to NMSU and retired again in 2011.
In teaching computer science, McCoy has always felt connected to his students with employment opportunities. Over the years he has connected to hundreds of opportunities for jobs.
“I’m at work so they come up to me and say ‘I’m looking for a job now what’s available?’ I have a lot of students before who worked at White Sands, at Sandia National Labs, at Intel, ”McCoy said. I love being with them. ”
Michelle Watson was one of the few women to earn a computer science degree at NMSU in the early 1990s. “I took him (McCoy) for classes in my junior and senior years,” he said. “Strange classes to prepare anyone for the real world and what a computer scientist in the industry looks like.”
Nowadays, McCoy’s goal is to attract and retain top computer science professors at NMSU. The Department of Computer Science established the first Endowed Professorship named for McCoy and his late wife Pat, who provided seed funds to begin the 2019 endowment.
McCoy is passionate about computer science education and securing NMSU’s place as a leader in that field. McCoy’s wife Pat is also a longtime NMSU employee, spending 29 years as a counselor to NMSU students at the university’s counseling center, she retired in 2008. She is an expert on eating disorders and sexual violence on campus and presented his work to many nationalities. conferences. After they both retired, they wanted to do something for the university. They have contributed to other scholarships for NMSU students. Then they have an idea for the endowed professorship.
“I decided to try to do something bigger to help,” McCoy said. “I hope to give the department a way to attract teachers from other institutions.”
Many of McCoy’s former students supported the endowment. Mike Dowell, who grew up in Gallup, is one of them. Dowell worked for two small technical firms in Las Cruces that did computer programming and hardware and software testing but returned to NMSU to work on a contract with Sandia National Labs that developed user interfaces for some. in their physics models. While working at NMSU he taught several programming classes in computer science and business departments. He left NMSU after 10 years and has since worked as a government contractor at the White Sands Missile Range.
“Hue McCoy has been a huge influence on me and I know a lot more,” Dowell said. “I’ve always wanted a way to honor that with Hue and his wife Pat. I was so excited when I saw the endowment created and I’m excited to be able to contribute to it over the years.”
“It is not surprising that Hue McCoy’s former students supported this endowed professorship. He has been an inspirational computer scientist to most of our alumni, ”Pontelli said. “Hue is thinking about providing support to strengthen our computer science program and take it to the next level, to become a leader in the field. The professorship that McCoy has provided is part of the foundation for building that vision. those. ”
The first professor selected for the Hue and Pat McCoy Endowed Professorship was Huiping Cao, a professor of computer science at NMSU since 2010, whose research focuses on data mining, apply machine learning, data engineering, and application domains such as smart grids, high-performance computing, agricultural and environmental sciences.
“Huiping Cao is a very good choice for this endowed professorship,” said Enrico Pontelli, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “His research is valuable and our students who study with him are able to create the latest in science.”
Nearly 30 years after she graduated from NMSU, Watson remained in contact with McCoy, a professor who encouraged several women in NMSU’s computer science program in the past. She and her husband, also an alumnus of NMSU Computer Science, decided to donate to McCoy’s professorship.
“NMSU had a good computer science department when I was there,” Watson said. “I just fell into the field and it turned out well. They had good business relationships up to the point where I was recruited for internships and graduation. It was easy to get a job after graduating from NMSU with degree in computer science or electrical engineering.
After spending 10 years at Hewlett-Packard and a government contractor, Watson returned to NMSU several times to recruit new graduates. He currently works on mobile apps for a large healthcare company.
Watson points to universities across the country where there are many in -depth classes in different areas of computer science and even computer science colleges are available to students.
“It would be good to continue to expand the courses offered for the state of New Mexico and for the children attending NMSU,” Watson said. It’s a great school and I don’t want to see it fail to fulfill its potential. Providing funding for the salary of a professor who is very passionate about NMSU is important. ”
Visit this page if you are interested in donating to the Hue and Pat McCoy Endowed Professorship.
Minerva Baumann writes for New Mexico State University Marketing and Communications and can be reached at 575-646-7566, or by email at email@example.com.