iSchool names program directors

Posted: February 17, 2017

The iSchool is pleased to announce the appointment of program directors for its master’s and doctoral degree programs. Assistant Professor Nicole A. Cooke is program director for the MS in library and information science (MS/LIS), and Assistant Professor Jana Diesner is program director for the PhD in library and information science. Cooke and Diesner join Professor Michael Twidale, program director for the MS degree in information management (MS/IM), in providing leadership for the iSchool’s highly regarded degree programs.

“Program directors play a critical role in the overall coordination of our academic programs, working with other faculty and staff in such areas as curriculum development, recruitment, academic advising, and career services. The iSchool is fortunate to have such talented faculty in these new positions, and I look forward to working with them to further enhance each of our degree programs,” said Linda Smith, associate dean for academic programs.

Cooke holds a PhD in communication, information, and library studies from Rutgers University. She is an expert in human information behavior, particularly in the online context; critical cultural information studies; and diversity and social justice in librarianship with an emphasis on LIS education and pedagogy. Cooke is the 2017 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award as well as 2016 recipient of the ALA Equality Award. She is the author of Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2016) and co-editor with Miriam E. Sweeney of Teaching for Justice: Implementing Social Justice in the LIS Classroom (Litwin Books/Library Juice Press, 2017).

Diesner holds a PhD from the Computation, Organizations and Society (COS) program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science. She is an expert in network science, natural language processing, machine learning, and human-centered data science. A 2015-16 faculty fellow in the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at Illinois, Diesner is a research fellow in the Dori J. Maynard Senior Research Fellows program, which is a collaboration of The Center for Investigative Reporting and The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Her research has been published in academic journals, including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology; Scientometrics; Big Data & Society; and Journal of Informetrics.

Twidale holds a PhD in computing from Lancaster University. He is an expert in computer-supported cooperative work, collaborative technologies in digital libraries and museums, user interface design and evaluation, information visualization, and museum informatics. He holds joint appointments at Illinois in the Department of Computer Science, Information Trust Institute, and Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership. Twidale is a frequent speaker at scholarly conferences, and his research has been published in books and academic journals, including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology and International Journal on Digital Libraries.

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