The College of Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is elated to announce that Dr. Letha Etzkorn is the new Computer Science Department Chair. We graciously thank Dr. Heggere Ranganath for the many years he served as Chair prior to his retirement.

Dr. Etzkorn is a UAH alumna, earning her Doctoral (1997) and Master's (1992) degrees in Computer Science. Prior to attending UAH, she received her Master's (1982) and Bachelor’s (1980) in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The CS Department at UAH has grown at an astounding rate since its inception, especially in the last decade. In Fall 2004, only 157 undergraduate students were enrolled full-time as a Computer Science major. Now, in the 2021-2022 academic year, nearly 750 undergraduates study in the department. While we are proud of the undergraduate program's growth, Dr. Etzkorn would "love to see a larger percentage of graduate students in the mix.” She plans to focus a lot on graduate recruiting in her first year as chair. 

In her time at UAH thus far, Dr. Etzkorn has developed, co-developed, and redeveloped courses and programs ranging from Digital Forensics and Cloud Computing to Robotics and Software Engineering. Even so, staying in pace with and ahead of the curve doesn’t just involve curriculum evolution and faculty prestige. Dr. Etzkorn recognizes that; she has a particular drive to increase and encourage diversity. 

[As] an undergraduate student at Georgia Tech, I was almost always the only woman in class, unless a friend of mine and I decided to take a class together.

Letha Etzkorn, PhD
UAH Computer Science Department Chair

Dr. Etzkorn will be the first female to chair the CS Department at UAH. While things have certainly changed since her college days, Dr. Etzkorn believes that more should be done to ensure that underrepresented students can see themselves in any academic discipline. “I’ve been breaking into new areas my entire professional career,” she says. Thankfully, programs nationwide have taken the initiative, she added, “so there are some known pathways to follow.” She is very optimistic about the future.

“We already have a great department with great programs,” Dr. Etzkorn wrote. “I am honored and excited,” she added. “I very much appreciate being given this opportunity.”