McCarthy receives innovation award

iSchool master's student Mark McCarthy received the 2018 Alexis Wernsing Innovation Award at this spring's Innovation Celebration, hosted by the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the University of Illinois, Parkland College, and community sponsors. The award recognizes “an individual or team from the University of Illinois that has channeled their experience living with a disability into positive change through the creation of new products, environments, or protocols that enhance quality of life.”

Mark McCarthy with Provost Andreas Cangellaris
Mark McCarthy with Provost Andreas Cangellaris
Hoemann-Perrone Photography

McCarthy was honored for his Access Illinois web app, which integrates existing accessibility maps on campus with Google Maps, allowing individuals to discover walking directions to a destination and the locations of accessible entrances, classrooms, and restrooms. The app earned his team first place at HackCulture, a humanities-focused hackathon held last year at the University Library.

"This award is due in large part to my iSchool professors and other mentors for helping me to achieve things I never thought possible," McCarthy said. "I also want to thank my colleagues and close friends Matt Arensdorf (Computer Science) and Emily Chen (Linguistics) for their hard work on making Access Illinois what it is. Without them, it never would've been done."

"I hope this can serve as an example of the many things that are possible here at the iSchool and the University as a whole. We plan further development still, aiming to add more functionality to the web app."

McCarthy received his bachelor's degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Illinois and minored in informatics and Asian American studies. He would like to work in user experience and accessible information architecture after finishing his master's degree in information management.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Cheng to discuss classification systems at international workshop

Doctoral student Jessica Cheng will present her research at the 18th European Knowledge Organization Systems (NKOS) Workshop, which will take place on September 13 in Porto, Portugal. The workshop, held in conjunction with the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (TPDL 2018) and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI 2018), will explore the potential of knowledge organization systems (KOS) such as classification systems, taxonomies, thesauri, ontologies, and lexical databases in the context of current developments and possibilities.

Jett presents at digital humanities conference

Doctoral candidate Jacob Jett presented his research in digital cultural heritage collections at the Japanese Association for the Digital Humanities annual conference (JADH 2018), which was held September 9-11, in Tokyo, Japan. The theme of this year's conference was "Leveraging Open Data."

iSchool faculty ranked as excellent for Spring 2018

Nineteen iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Spring 2018. The rankings are released every semester, and results are based on the Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES) questionnaire forms maintained by Measurement and Evaluation in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.

Rollins to receive Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award

Alison C. Rollins (MS '17) has been selected to receive a 2018 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, which is given annually to six women writers who demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers.

Alison Rollins-cropped