Carole Palmer (PhD ’96), director of the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) and professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Illinois, has received the 2013 Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award given by the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T).
A member of the GSLIS faculty for 18 years, Palmer has made a significant impact in the lives and careers of the many students she has mentored. She has been integral in the development of new courses and educational opportunities at GSLIS and is highly respected for the amount of time and care she takes with students. She is frequently named to the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent issued by campus each semester.
“I am very fortunate to be at a school that attracts such talented students, who are truly partners in learning. They are already on the path to becoming accomplished professionals when they arrive at GSLIS. My job is easy—help them see how interesting, exciting, and important it is to be working in, but also building up, the information professions,” said Palmer.
Palmer has developed and taught a number of courses for both master’s and doctoral students, including Use and Users of Information, Foundations of Data Curation, Information Transfer and Collaboration in Science, and Knowledge Studies for Information Science, among others. Her role as principal investigator on a number of educational grants since 2006 accelerated the development of a GSLIS master’s degree in biological informatics as well as a specialization in data curation.
“Carole is richly deserving of this award. She is committed to preparing her students as leaders in research and practice in information science and to leading the field in advancing preparation for new roles for information professionals,” said Linda C. Smith, GSLIS professor and associate dean for academic programs.
Palmer blends dedication to her students with an astute understanding of the current issues surrounding digital information systems and services, especially in new areas related to the collection and preservation of research data. She has built an impressive research portfolio, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, among others.
In addition, Palmer is recognized as a national leader in the field of data curation, often invited to speak on issues surrounding education and workforce development. She serves on the Study Committee on Future Career Opportunities and Educational Requirements for Digital Curation convened by the National Academy of Sciences. She also presents and publishes prolifically in the area.
“Carole has always had her eyes on the future of information science and its potential for addressing the great challenges of the twenty-first century. The leadership and achievements of her students, working in many different roles and institutions, is testimony not only to her skill and influence as a teacher but to her deep understanding of those possibilities,” said Allen Renear, GSLIS interim dean.
GSLIS doctoral candidate Nicholas Weber, who nominated Palmer for the award, notes that she is an “exemplar educator, a passionate and committed mentor and above all else, a profoundly kind and generous human being that has dedicated a significant portion of her own career to the advancement of others. She has the unique ability to motivate people to achieve their absolute maximum potential and has had a profound impact on my career through her mentorship and the generous sharing of her own knowledge and expertise in this field. Her guidance, patience and dedication have helped me become a better researcher and a better instructor.”
Palmer will be presented with the award at the 2013 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, which will be held November 1-5 in Montreal, Canada.
ASIS&T previously honored two other GSLIS faculty members with the Outstanding Information Science Teacher award: the late F. W. Lancaster, who served on the GSLIS faculty between 1970 and 1992 and was the first recipient of the award in 1980, and Linda C. Smith, who was honored in 1987.