CSC News

April 25, 2024

Rouskas Named 2023-24 CSC Person of Exceptional Performance (PEP)

The NC State Department of Computer Science is pleased to present the 2023-24 “Person of Exceptional Performance” (PEP) Award to Dr. George Rouskas, Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs.


The PEP Award, launched by the department in 2018, is intended to recognize faculty or staff who have exhibited truly outstanding performance, contributing significantly to the department’s success as role models for what it means to ‘think and do the extraordinary’. The recognition includes a custom acrylic plaque and a cash award. Rouskas becomes the department’s 7th winner of the PEP Award joining Donna Richards (2023), Dr. Thomas Price (2022), Dr. Lina Batestilli (2021), Leslie Rand-Pickett (2020), Dr. Sarah Heckman (2019) and Ken Tate (2018). 


Rouskas joined the department in 1994 after completing his PhD at Georgia Tech. Within a year, his upward trajectory and potential were on full display as he was awarded the department’s Outstanding New Teacher award. In 1997, he was awarded a prestigious NSF CAREER Award, which helped catapult his research efforts in the field of computer networking. He was inducted as a member of the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers in 2004, elected as an IEEE Fellow in 2012, and named an NC State Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor in 2018.


While he has won countless awards and accolades for his research and teaching efforts, he has also left an indelible mark on the history of the department since accepting the role of Director of Graduate Programs in 2014. Annual degrees conferred have doubled during that period from around 200 to around 400 per year. Applications to the computer science MS program make up about half of all the applications coming into the College of Engineering and are typically four times the number of the next highest engineering discipline. Rouskas was successful in getting approval for premium tuition for the MS program, resulting in a significant source of funding that has helped the program provide much needed services and support for students, such as the addition of a Graduate Career Services Suite (a one-of-a-kind facility on campus) and a graduate career services staff. He has also launched popular MS tracks in Data Science, Security and Software Engineering. 


Over the past year, Rouskas has demonstrated outstanding leadership in formulating a strategy to address an expanding financial burden felt by our grad students by finding sources to increase stipends and address rising fees. He has also successfully navigated the post-COVID period to scale the program and related services to meet explosive rebound growth this year.


Rouskas recently announced that he will be stepping down as the Director of Graduate Programs at the end of the 2023-24 academic year, returning to his love of teaching and research.


Department Head Dr. Gregg Rothermel said, “History will show that George not only led our graduate program during a pivotal period, it will show that he did so in a way that has positioned us for success far into the future. Time and time again, George’s insightful leadership has allowed us to navigate uncharted waters. He is absolutely a shining example of a ‘Person of Exceptional Performance’ and is most deserving of this recognition.”


For his outstanding leadership of the Computer Science Department’s Graduate Program, the department is honored to recognize George Rouskas as our 2023-24 Person of Exceptional Performance Award winner.



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