Doctoral candidates Emily Lawrence and Andrea Thomer have been awarded Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships by Beta Phi Mu, the International Library and Information Studies Honor Society. Up to six recipients are selected for this prestigious award each year, a national competition among doctoral students who are working on their dissertations. The amount awarded for each fellowship is $3,000.
Lawrence received a BA in comparative literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MLS from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to beginning the doctoral program at Illinois, Lawrence worked in reference and web services at the National Library of Medicine. Their primary research interests include political philosophy in LIS, readers and reading, and aesthetics (especially taste and recommendation). The title of their dissertation is "Reading for Democratic Citizenship: A New Model for Readers’ Advisory."
Thomer conducts research in the areas of digital curation, natural history museum informatics, information organization, and information system usability. She is particularly interested in the long-term usability of digital collections and their infrastructures. Prior to her graduate studies, Thomer was an excavator at the La Brea Tar Pits; she continues to draw on her experience in paleontology and museums in her work. She received her BA in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. On May 8, she successfully defended her dissertation, "Site-Based Data Curation: Bridging Data Collection Protocols and Curatorial Processes at Scientifically Significant Sites."