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Dr. Lynn Ackler passing

It is with great sadness that I share the news of the recent passing of Dr. Lynn Ackler, SOU Professor Emeritus of Computer Science.  Dr. Ackler had many talents, but is especially known for his interest and expertise in cybersecurity. He played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Computer Science interdisciplinary tract for computer security and information assurance.  

Dr. Ackler joined SOU in 1998, and served the university for approximately 13 years. Throughout his tenure, he collaborated extensively with the departments of Criminology and Biology, as well as local law enforcement organizations such as the High Tech Crimes Task Force in Central Point and the Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Ashland. Dr. Acklerís commitment to nurturing students and guiding them towards successful careers in computer security is legendary. Moreover, his home served as a welcoming social gathering place for the department for over a decade. 

Dr. Lee Ayers, Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice shared a poignant memory of Lynn: "Dr. Lynn Ackler made extraordinary contributions to Southern Oregon University. He was an exceptional colleague and had a profound impact on countless students, serving as an enlightening mentor and shepherd. One of his notable achievements was his ability to plan and execute elaborate crime scenes, which brought together students from computer science through cybersecurity, criminal justice, and chemistry disciplines to collaborate on solving complex crimes. This innovative approach engaged students at a new level and fostered their passion for learning. Additionally, Dr. Ackler's celebrations were memorable! Lynn and his partner Ruth invited students to their home for potluck dinners featuring homegrown food and live music offered by SOU faculty, students, and friends. Beyond academia, he also brought his expertise to local and federal law enforcement, training and preparing individuals for certification. Many of the Valley's finest crimefighters owe their success to his guidance. Dr. Lynn Ackler's contributions have undoubtedly made the world a better place, and he will be remembered with gratitude for all he has given."

Priscilla Oppenheimer, Computer Science Adjunct Professor, reflected on Lynnís brilliance: "Lynn was the smartest person I ever knew. He was capable of using both his PhD in mathematics and his BA in philosophy to inspire students and faculty to think deeply about computer science, ethics, cybersecurity, community, and politics. His lectures were so good that students who weren't even in his class would attend. He mentored students who have gone onto careers at every major technology firm in the Rogue Valley and Silicon Valley."

Dr. Daniel DeFreez, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, shared personal recollections of his time with Lynn: "I had the privilege of knowing Lynn in several stages of my life. When I was a student at SOU he served as my advisor, and I owe a great deal to his mentorship and guidance. Many students thought of him as a friend, and we would all drive up to his house in the woods for the semi annual gatherings that Lee mentioned. Later, we shared an office. Lynn Ackler - computer security and forensics expert - would arrive on campus in a Prius covered in goat fur and hay, open his office door and just leave his keys there for the rest of the day. To the left on the wall was a poster that read "Without dogs, how would we get rid of that new car smell?" To the right, an alarmingly realistic replica of dynamite sticks, complete with cell phone detonator. Lynn remained a dear friend throughout the years. He was one of a kind, and he will be missed by many."

Information regarding a memorial service will be provided when it becomes available. 
 







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