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With the growing demand for computer science courses in 2014, the department sought to change the way that it supported students in introductory courses. The department implemented the concept of learning assistants. Learning assistants are undergraduate students who, with the guidance of course instructors, provide academic support to their peers in lectures, labs, office hours, and recitations, providing more individualized support to students while strengthening their own understanding of the course material in the process. Within two years, the learning assistants became the linchpin of the department’s introductory courses.

In 2016, the department introduced the Learning Assistant Award, which recognizes an undergraduate learning assistant who has shown outstanding dedication to helping their fellow students understand and master challenging course material. The winner is selected from a pool of student nominations.

On May 12, 2019, the Department of Computer Science announced the naming of the LA Award for retiring long-time Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies Diane Pozefsky. From 2019 onward, the award will include a monetary prize paid for by Diane and Mark Pozefsky.


2021-2022: Jemin Park

2020-2021: Madison Huber and Jonah Soberano

2018-2019: Nicholas Rewkowski

2017-2018: Marcus Wallace

2016-2017: Jeffrey Young

2015-2016: Nathan Weatherly