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Nov. 10, 2016

Four iSchool alumni have been selected by the American Library Association (ALA) to participate in its 2017 class of Emerging Leaders.

Minhao Jiang (MS '15), Casey McCoy (MS '14), Lucas McKeever (MS '13), and Heather Thompson (MS '13) are included in this year's class of fifty individuals from across the country. Now in its eleventh year, this leadership development initiative provides opportunities for newer library professionals to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, observe ALA structure, and serve the profession in a leadership capacity.

The Emerging Leaders program will launch with events at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, which will be followed by six months of online learning and networking activities. At the end of the program, participants will display the results of...

Nov. 9, 2016

Where do you work, and what is your role?

I’m an interaction designer/information architect at Expedia. I’m responsible for the design, usability, and accessibility of our Things to Do line of business—selling tours, activities, and shows. I do a little bit of everything, from research, information architecture, and interaction design to visual design. I work closely with our product managers and developers to figure out how to balance user needs and business goals and to figure out how we’re actually going to get things built.

What do you like best about your job?

I love working on a product that is used by tens of millions of people each month. It’s kind of amazing to think that so many people are using features I’ve designed. It also reminds me of the responsibility...

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...