Computer science students recognized for their volunteer service

Manoj Prasad and Ralph Crosby received the President's Volunteer Service Award directly from the desk of President Barrack Obama in a ceremony April 19 on campus.

Prasad and Crosby were selected by the Monte Cristo Center for Volunteer Development for their significant contributions to the Graduate Teaching Academy (GTA) fellowship program. Prasad volunteered more than 1000 hours in developing training seminars for graduate student fellowship certification. Crosby is co-director of GTA, contributing his time to the advancement and operation of the program.

Photo of Manoj Prasad Prasad became a GTA Fellow in Spring 2011 and continues to work with GTA as an assistant director of technology. In fall 2011 Prasad was awarded a Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) Teaching-as-Research (TAR) fellowship to perform research on the effectiveness of teaching ethnography in the computer-human interaction course. His research interests are sketch recognition, touch and haptic interfaces. He is a Ph.D. student of Dr. Tracy Hammond, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Dngineering and director of the Sketch Recognition Lab at Texas A&M. Prasad earned a Bachelor of Engineering in computer science from Birla Institute of Technology and Science in India in 2007.

Photo of Ralph CrosbyCrosby has been involved with the GTA since starting at Texas A&M in the fall of 2010. He is currently one of two GTA directors and has worked during the last year redesigning the program to make it more relevant and accessible to the graduate community. Crosby was also awarded a CIRTL TAR fellowship to investigate the impact of redesigning the Computer Science for Non-Majors course. Before returning to school he spent many years as a software architect and developer. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science at Texas A&M doing research in computational biology research with his adviser, Dr. Tiffani Williams, an associate professor. Crosby received his B.S. in computer science from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and an MBA in management from Fordham University in New York City.

The goal of the Monte Cristo Center for Volunteer Development, headquartered in College Station, Texas, is to assist students in becoming better volunteers and community leaders. To find out more about the organization and to register for the President's Volunteer Service Award, visit