Five GSLIS master's students participated in the University of Illinois’s 2013 Summer Pre-doctoral Institute (SPI). SPI is a campus-wide orientation program that accepts incoming graduate students from U.S. populations that are underrepresented in campus graduate programs. During the eight-week program, students enroll in an independent study, participate in a series of research-based seminars, and work with faculty members from their programs of study.
SPI participants had an opportunity to present their research at the Illinois Summer Research Symposium on July 25 and 26 at the iHotel and Conference Center.
Alonso Avila presented his paper, "Hip-hop, Islam, and Social Awareness," in which he argues that artist Yasiin Bey, also known as Mos Def, is inspired by his Islamic faith to create socially conscious hip-hop music that bring awareness to the injustices experienced by marginalized communities. His advisor during the summer program was Linda C. Smith, professor and associate dean for academic programs.
Raquel Flores-Clemons discussed her research in a presentation titled, "Hip-Hop Archives: Disruptor of the 'Norm,'" in which she examined the role of archives in constructing historical memory and in propagating and mitigating marginalized norms. Her work specifically addressed the importance of archives that document and historicize hip-hop as an influential social movement and how these archives disrupt marginalization created by unprogressive archival practices. Flores-Clemons was advised by GSLIS affiliated faculty member Safiya Noble and was selected as the summer’s Outstanding SPI Participant.
Jhani Miller delivered a presentation based on her paper titled, "What are the Social Implications of Low Pay on Diversity at Library and Information Science Spaces in America?" Her presentation focused on the costs and benefits, as well as systemic factors, that discourage underrepresented individuals from pursuing careers in library and information science. She also explored ways that current leaders in LIS in can continue to support the sustainability of multiculturalism within the field. Miller was advised by Senior Research Scientist Martin Wolske.
Katherine Rojas presented her poster titled, "Information and Cognition: The Case for Video Games in Libraries." Her research focused on the influence of video games on cognitive learning and the related justifications of the presence of video games in library collections and programs. Rojas also collaborated with three fellow graduate students to prepare and deliver a panel presentation titled, "Machines, Minds, and Matter in the Information Age: How Conceptualizing Information in Video Games, Educational Disparities, and Quantum Physics Leads to New Openings in Collaborative Research." Rojas was advised by Rae-Anne Montague, assistant dean for student affairs and assistant professor.
Katrina Spencer presented "Compromises in the Translation of Children's Literature: A Case-Study of Roald Dahl's Matilda in Translation." Her research addressed the difficulties of translating children’s books from English to other languages, considering the challenges of adapting onomatopoeias, puns, idioms, and other nuances of language and culture. Spencer’s advisor throughout the program was Associate Professor Christine Jenkins.