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Oct. 28, 2016
Stratton students play a game designed by a classmate

Alumni and board game enthusiasts Kaity Bequette (MS '14) and Tom Ackerman (MS '13) put the knowledge they gained from the iSchool's community- and design-centric courses into game design, first as game developers and later as volunteers for CUDO Plays. A board game design competition hosted by the Champaign-Urbana Design Organization (CUDO), CUDO Plays unites gamers, makers, and designers to turn game ideas into reality. For three years, CUDO Plays has guided teams to bring their board games from inception to production, resulting in the creation of 34 games.
"Kaity and I both got involved as competitors in Season 2 (2014-2015). Along with our engineer friend Zac and our artist friend Annie, we made a game called War Trains that won the Best Replay Value award for that year," said Ackerman.

Bequette is now co-chair of the CUDO Plays...

Oct. 26, 2016

User experience expert Andrea Gannon (MS ’15) spends most days using her skills to improve payroll processes. She is a senior associate product manager at Workday, a California-based human capital management company.

For one week this past spring, however, Gannon was immersed in a totally different environment thousands of miles from home. She and a handful of other women from around the world gathered for a one-week digital security workshop, where they learned from each other and shared their expertise with clandestine journalists.

Organized by the nonprofit group Internews, the workshop was designed to teach digital security skills to female journalists in the Arab region. Participants...

Oct. 11, 2016

The systems Scott Migaldi helps to create at T-Mobile facilitate human interaction and information sharing across the globe. To accomplish this he uses skills acquired at the iSchool—he conducts research into information-seeking behavior, evaluates user needs, and determines how information-sharing systems can meet those needs.

Where do you work and what is your role?
I currently work for T-Mobile USA, where I am a director and member of the technical staff for standards and strategy. My primary role is developing the vision, requirements, and technical standards for how people will use extremely high-speed wireless data systems. I also spend time talking and meeting with people who use current systems in order to better understand their needs, what they would like future systems to do, and what...

Sep. 27, 2016

Community services librarian Ziba Perez Zehdar (MS ’12) is going mobile with the Long Beach Public Library (LBPL), and we’re not talking about a digital app. She leads several community engagement projects at multiple branch libraries and outside the library.

Zehdar oversees the library’s makerspace, which includes a physical space at the Main Library called The Studio. One of her first tasks after joining the system in October 2015 was to take the makerspace mobile. She now manages mobile makerspace resources that can pop up at any one of the system’s twelve branches. She also oversees makerspace programming and a small staff of creatives and tech industry specialists who work with patrons at The Studio.

This fall, Zehdar is...

Sep. 19, 2016

Most academic librarians stepping into a position can model their work on that of their predecessors. But not Thomas Padilla (MS '14). On his appointment in April as the first humanities data curator at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Library (and the first in the entire University of California system), Padilla has had to draw on a number of different disciplines to shape his role of working with data throughout its life cycle, creating a support plan for digital humanities researchers, and providing research data consultation. Formerly the digital scholarship librarian at Michigan State University Libraries, Padilla is pioneering a new niche for academic...

Aug. 16, 2016

Tina Hubert (MS '88), director of the Six Mile Regional Library District located in Granite City, Illinois, is the 2016 recipient of the Illinois Library Association Librarian of the Year Award. The award recognizes a librarian's distinguished service and leadership in Illinois libraries. The award is sponsored by Sikich.

Hubert has worked in libraries for over twenty years. In 2010, she became director of the Six Mile Regional Library District (SMRLD). During her short tenure, she has managed a $4.1 million renovation, spearheaded a succession referendum campaign, and positioned the library as an integral part of the community’s revitalization plan.

Throughout her career, and regardless of her role, Hubert has strived to create services that strengthen the community. Currently, she serves on several county and city boards within her district, not only as a library advocate but also as a conduit for change and collaboration.

Hubert is no stranger to sharing...

Aug. 10, 2016

The company culture at Spotify is just one of the reasons knowledge manager Colleen McClowry loves working there. She encourages students to seek out job opportunities that align with their own personal interests, whether it be music or any other passion.

Where do you work and what is your role?
I work at Spotify as a knowledge manager for their analytics department. I'm helping to design, build, and manage a knowledge base that collects and organizes internal research papers, A/B test analyses, and other key insights and reports from across the business. I was previously in a similar role at Adobe.

What do you like best about your job?
The first thing that comes to mind is the culture. Spotify is a Swedish company that highly values open communication, diversity, consensus around company goals, and (of course!) fikas. These factors, along with the strong emphasis on work-life balance and the music-driven mission of the organization, align with my...