Junior CISA major Abby Bounds Awarded for Outstanding Community Outreach by a Student

Abby Bounds, a junior Computer Information Systems and Analytics (CISA) major and the President of Girls Who Code, was presented with the Outstanding Community Outreach by a Student at the 2024 University of Central Arkansas Student Involvement Awards on Thursday, April 25.

This award is presented to a student who prioritizes volunteerism and service to UCA and the local community. It is given to a student who has made an impact within an organization by leading with courage and being a positive role model to others.

Talley, Bounds, and Shaw

Bounds is pictured here with the two faculty who recommended her for the award, COB Lecturer Susan Shaw and CNSM Lecturer Michelle Talley, both of whom advise the student group Girls Who Code.

“What truly sets Abby apart is her proactive approach to extracurricular involvement,” said Talley in her recommendation letter. “The success of the Girls Who Code club, earning the ‘New RSO of the Year’ award in 2023, is the result of Abby’s tireless energy and unwavering enthusiasm.”

Citing Bounds’ efforts as a student, RSO leader, and student worker, Shaw echoed Talley’s comments about Girls Who Code. She also reported about Bounds’ leadership at the annual IT Careers Camp for High School Students that Shaw organizes.

“She was an integral part of the camp, helping to plan, coordinate, teach classes, and serve as a mentor for the high school students,” said Shaw.

To name a few of her involvements and accomplishments, Abby Bounds served as:

  • Founder, Former Vice-President, and President of Girls Who Code, named UCA’s 2023 “New RSO of the Year”
  • Active member and officer of the Computer Science Club for 2 years
  • Active member of the Robotics club
  • Speaker at the Arkansas State FBLA Conference for High School Students
  • Computer Information Systems IT Career Camp mentor and instructor
  • Student worker for the Arkansas Coding Academy
  • Guest instructor in Camden, AR to teach Harmony Grove’s robotics class for a day
  • A helpful peer in classes

Speaking of the impact of her experiences, Bounds said, “Growing up, I had very little exposure to anything STEM-related. I never thought I could make it into a related field because I thought I did not have the power to learn the necessary skills. That’s why these opportunities are what I love most because I get to reach more rural areas and leave a personal impact that state-wide and nationwide programs aren’t always able to reach.”