Class Notes

graduates in cap and gown

Find out what's happening in the lives of your friends from days gone by. Publications, awards, marriages, retirements, moves, promotions, birth announcements—you're sure to come across news from someone you remember.

While you're here, don't forget to submit a Class Note and let old friends know what you've been up to. Don't be a stranger—we'd love to hear from you!

Alumni Class Notes will remain posted online for at least six months, and will be published in the next possible issue of the iSchool magazine, Intersections.

We're proud of the accomplishments of our alumni and their contributions to the field and their communities!

2020

  • Case, Christine (Class of 2020) 2 months 22 days ago

    Christine Case (MS '20) has started a new position as a library media specialist at Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, Illinois.

  • Cofer, Ashleigh (Class of 2020) 1 month 19 days ago

    Ashleigh Cofer (MS '20) has accepted an offer for an instructional librarian position at Columbus Technical College in Columbus, Georgia.

  • Graham, Rebecca (Class of 2020) 5 months 29 days ago

    Rebecca Graham (MS '20) has been appointed assistant professor and instructional design and technology librarian at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.

  • Haas, Mitchell (Class of 2020) 2 days 8 hours ago

    Mitchell Haas (MS '20) has been appointed assistant professor and online learning librarian at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

  • Tripathi, Mansi (Class of 2020) 4 months 4 days ago

    Mansi Tripathi (MS '20) has accepted a full-time offer as a senior data scientist at Target headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

2010

  • Anantachai, Tarida (Class of 2011) 2 months 14 days ago

    Tarida Anantachai (MS '11) was a corecipient of the Syracuse University Libraries' 2020 Distinguished Service Award. The award is a 30-year tradition recognizing staff members who have made significant contributions to the libraries and university community.

  • Chiewphasa, Ben (Class of 2019) 2 months 12 days ago

    Ben Chiewphasa (MS '19) joined the Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame as the economics and data librarian in December 2020.

  • D'Arpa, Christine (Class of 2017) 4 months 17 days ago

    Christine D'Arpa (PhD '17), assistant professor of information sciences at Wayne State University, has co-authored a juried paper, "'12pm Eastern, 11am Central, 10am Mountain': Student Contributions to Research on Rural and Small Public Libraries," as a result of her IMLS-funded research project, Community Health and Wellness: Small and Rural Public Library Practices, Perspectives, and Programs.

  • Dapier, Jarret (Class of 2015) 8 hours ago

    Jarret Dapier (MS '15) is the author of a new children's book, Jazz for Lunch, which was recently published by Simon & Schuster.

  • Dinnocenzo, Carla (Class of 2015) 1 month 19 days ago

    Carla Dinnocenzo (MS '15) recently joined the Palos Heights (IL) Public Library as the youth and teen services librarian.

  • Gabb, Henry (Class of 2019) 2 months 14 days ago

    Henry Gabb (PhD '19), senior principal engineer at Intel Corporation, joined the Board of Directors of the Linked Data Benchmark Council (LDBC). LDBC develops industry benchmarks for social network analysis, graph analytics, and Resource Description Framework (RDF).

  • Johnson, EvaAnne (Class of 2018) 4 months 15 days ago

    EvaAnne Johnson (MS '18) has started her new position as adult services librarian, specializing in Local History and Genealogy services, at Wilmette (IL) Public Library.

  • Labinger, Brittany (Craig) (Class of 2017) 30 days 8 hours ago

    Brittany (Craig) Labinger (MS '17) has been appointed director of the Elgin (TX) Public Library.

  • Lechtenberg, Urszula (Class of 2014) 3 months 19 days ago

    Urszula Lechtenberg (MS '14) recently started a new position as learning design coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh University Library System.

  • Liu, Shuyi (Class of 2019) 3 months 8 hours ago

    Shuyi Liu (MS '19) accepted a position as international outreach services librarian at the Illinois Fire Service Institute Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Love, Lacey (Class of 2013) 4 months 25 days ago

    Lacey Love (MS '13) will begin her new job as library director of the Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, Pennsylvania, on October 19.

  • McGowan, Patty (Class of 2016) 1 month 19 days ago

    Patty McGowan (MS '16) started her new position as reference librarian at National Defense University Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, in December 2020. 

  • Melone, Colleen (Class of 2016) 1 month 19 days ago

    Colleen Melone (MS '16) started a new position as the head of information services for the Lincolnwood (IL) Public Library District.

  • Miller, Melinda (Class of 2011) 4 months 2 days ago

    Melinda Miller (MS '11) became an owner of Pixo, a custom software consultancy in Urbana, IL. Melinda is the general manager at Pixo and co-owns the company with her business partner, Jason Berg.

  • Mitchell, Alice (Class of 2015) 1 month 18 days ago

    Alice Mitchell (MS '15) has started a new position as youth services manager at Fondulac District Library in East Peoria, Illinois.

  • Moran, Emily (Class of 2016) 21 days 8 hours ago

    Emily Moran (MS '16) recently joined the University of Wisconsin-Superior as an instructional design librarian.

  • Moreno, Araceli (Class of 2018) 4 months 2 days ago

    Araceli Moreno (MS '18) presented, "Mathical: Books for Kids from Tots to Teens," at the School Library Journal Virtual Summit 2020, which was held on October 24.

  • Moss, Christy (Class of 2017) 4 months 17 days ago

    Christy Moss (MS '17) will join the University of Illinois Alumni Association as vice president of membership and marketing on November 2.

  • Nhek, Christina (Class of 2014) 3 months 15 days ago

    Christina Nhek (MS '14) recently accepted a promotion to become a senior librarian at Long Beach (CA) Public Library.

  • Noble, Safiya (Class of 2012) 1 month 19 days ago

    UCLA's Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2), co-directed by Safiya Noble (MS '09, PhD '12) and Sarah T. Roberts (PhD '14), recently received a gift from the Archewell Foundation to support "research, programs, and convenings focused on the harms vulnerable communities face from internet technologies." 

  • Ross, Ryan (Class of 2010) 4 months 15 days ago

    Ryan A. Ross (MS '10) has been named associate editor of Illinois Alumni, the U of I's alumni magazine. He also serves as assistant director of history and traditions programs at the University of Illinois Alumni Association and curator of the Richmond Family Welcome Gallery at Alice Campbell Alumni Center.

  • Slagle, Ruth (Class of 2017) 8 hours ago

    Ruth Slagle (MS '17) started her position as instruction librarian at Jackson State Community College in Jackson, Tennessee, in March 2020. She recently published the article, "Remembering who is important: keeping the right focus in a national emergency," in the Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship.

  • Smith, Stacey (Class of 2015) 3 months 15 days ago

    Stacey A. Smith (MS '15) earned a promotion to digital asset strategist at Groupon. In her new role, she is now responsible for the strategic roadmap of Groupon's content.

  • Strong, Dena (Class of 2014) 4 months 15 days ago

    Dena Strong (MS '14) and Keith Wessel will present their research on accessible teleconferencing software for inclusive collaboration and presentation at the National Association for Computing Machinery's special interest group on HPC Education.

  • Swearingen, Christinna (Class of 2019) 4 months 2 days ago

    Christinna Swearingen (MS '19) recently got appointed as library director for Schreiner Memorial Library in Lancaster, Wisconsin.

  • Tang, Lydia (Class of 2015) 5 months 26 days ago

    Lydia Tang (MS '15) was awarded the Society of American Archivists' Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader Award, and three projects she contributed to received SAA Council Resolutions for the Archival Workers Emergency Fund, Task Force to Revise Best Practices for Accessible Archives for People With Disabilities, and the Accessibility & Disability Section.

  • Urberg, Michelle (Class of 2016) 4 months 15 days ago

    Michelle Urberg (MS '16) recently left the ExLibris Business Unit of ProQuest to move into the consulting space that supports scholarly publishing. She is currently doing some work with Maverick Publishing Specialists.

  • Villa-Nicholas, Melissa (Class of 2016) 4 months 15 days ago

    A paper by Jeanie Austin (MS '09, PhD '17) and Melissa Villa-Nicholas (PhD '16) titled, "Information Provision and the Carceral State: Race and Reference beyond the Idea of the 'Underserved,'" published in the journal The Reference Librarian, was named the winner of the Eighth Annual Library Juice Paper Contest.

2000

  • Austin, Jeanie (Class of 2009) 4 months 15 days ago

    A paper by Jeanie Austin (MS '09, PhD '17) and Melissa Villa-Nicholas (PhD '16) titled, "Information Provision and the Carceral State: Race and Reference beyond the Idea of the 'Underserved,'" published in the journal The Reference Librarian, was named the winner of the Eighth Annual Library Juice Paper Contest.

  • Belovari, Susanne (Class of 2002) 5 months 15 days ago

    Susanne Belovari (MS '02), the archivist for faculty papers at the University of Illinois Archives, won the 2020 Sophie Coe Prize for her work on the forgotten history of Viennese cuisine. 

  • Chipps, Laurie (Class of 2007) 7 days 8 hours ago

    After taking a nearly six-year break from libraries to work with a nonprofit organization focused on bicycle travel and advocacy, Laurie Chipps (MS '07) has found her way back as the technical services librarian at the Montana Historical Society's Research Center.

  • Del Negro, Janice (Class of 2007) 3 months 22 days ago

    Janice Del Negro (PhD '07) has been selected as a 2020 Illinois Library Luminary Honoree. She is a professor at the School of Information Studies at Dominican University.

  • Derden, Julie (Class of 2006) 3 months 14 days ago

    Julie Derden (MS '06) retired in June 2020 from Illinois State University's Milner Library where she served for 14 years as the teaching materials librarian and subject liaison to the College of Education's School of Teaching and Learning.

  • Edwards, Eric (Class of 2006) 1 month 19 days ago

    Eric Edwards (MS '06) recently finished serving as past president of the Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) and as chair of the Illinois Library Association's ILA Reporter Advisory Committee. He is currently the secretary for the ACRL Chapters Council and a member of the ILA Conference Program Committee.

  • Gorman, Jonathan (Class of 2004) 3 months 22 days ago

    Jon Gorman (MS '04) received an Outstanding Academic Professional Award from the University Library. He works as an application support specialist within Library IT.

  • Greenlee, Alison (Bolla) (Class of 2009) 2 months 14 days ago

    Alison (Bolla) Greenlee (MS '09) recently earned promotion and employment security status. She has been the special collections metadata librarian at Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) since 2017.

  • Hensley, Merinda Kaye (Class of 2006) 17 days 8 hours ago

    Merinda Kaye Hensley (MS '06) was named senior fellow of information literacy for Project Information Literacy. She will be focused on their Provocation Series, a new publishing initiative for 2021 that will delve into pressing information literacy and higher education issues, while exploring new ways of thinking and directions for future research.

  • Obst, James (Class of 2004) 3 months 29 days ago

    James "Jim" Obst (MS '04) died on October 14, 2020, from pancreatic cancer. He worked as an archivist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for 14 years. He was a valuable member on the iSchool Alumni Association Board from 2012-2015, serving as president from 2013-2014.

  • Rose, Mary (Class of 2001) 2 days 8 hours ago

    Mary Z. Rose (MS '01) was recently appointed as the archival library research manager at the Madison County Archival Library in Edwardsville, Illinois.

1990

  • Drone-Silvers, Scott (Class of 1992) 19 days 8 hours ago

    Scott Drone-Silvers (MS '92) retired on January 1 after serving as director of library services at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois, for 29 years.

  • Posz, Pamela (Class of 1995) 5 months 16 days ago

    After many years of teaching a job hunting class, Pamela Posz (MS '95) has published her book, Power Posz: and other Hacks for Getting the Job You Want.

  • Rogers, Mark (Class of 1994) 5 months 1 day ago

    Mark Rogers (MS '94) passed away on September 1. He worked as a library specialist in the Undergraduate Library at the University of Illinois.

  • Simmons, Carol (Class of 1995) 3 months 14 days ago

    Carol Simmons (MS '95) just finished an Encore Fellowship with Community Tech Network (CTN), a 1000 hour per year commitment. Encore matches skilled, seasoned professionals who have 20+ years of experience with nonprofit organizations in flexible, high impact, (with a stipend) assignments. She is still working with CTN part-time and continuing her library consultant work.

  • Spasser, Mark (Class of 1998) 14 days 8 hours ago

    Mark Spasser (PhD '98) retired as the online nursing librarian at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a distinguished member of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

1980

  • Chadwell, Faye (Class of 1988) 2 months 17 days ago

    Faye Chadwell (MS '88), the Donald and Delpha Campbell University Librarian at Oregon State University Libraries and Press, has been selected to serve as the Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications at Pennsylvania State University, effective March 1.

  • Choy, Fatt Cheong (Class of 1987) 1 month 12 days ago

    Choy Fatt Cheong (MS '87) has received the 2019 Lifetime Contribution Award from the Library Association of Singapore.

  • Cloonan, Michèle (Class of 1984) 5 months 2 days ago

    Michèle Cloonan (MS '84, PhD '88) has co-authored a new book with Elizabeth Joffrion, Advancing Preservation for Archives and Manuscripts, which was recently published by the Society of American Archivists.

  • Freiheit, Kathy (Class of 1980) 22 days 8 hours ago

    Kathy Durley Freiheit (MS '80), former director of library services for the City of Rowlett, Texas, is now (blissfully) retired. Her post-graduate career path included library administrative services and building projects in public, academic, school and special libraries in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Texas. She adds, "Reading, relaxing & soaking up the sun has never been better!"

1970

  • Gonzalez, Nelly (Class of 1973) 2 months 12 days ago

    Nelly Gonzalez (MS '73) passed away on November 29, 2020. She served as the head of Latin American Library Services at the University of Illinois before her retirement in 2008.

  • Harris, Kathryn (Class of 1971) 2 months 23 days ago

    Kathryn Harris (MS '71) has received the 2020 State Journal-Register First Citizen Award. The award recognizes residents in the Springfield, Illinois, area who give selflessly of their time and resources in service to others.

1960

  • Singh, Rosemary (Class of 1969) 30 days 8 hours ago

    Rosemary Young Singh (MS '69) passed away on January 20, 2021. She worked at the Mathematics Library, Illinois Historical Survey, and Main Library circulation desk at the University of Illinois and at the Manitowoc (WI) Public Library.