Melissa Newell joined the iSchool on July 15 as director of undergraduate affairs. In this new position, she provides leadership and strategic direction for the administration of the Bachelor of Science in information sciences (BS/IS) degree, undergraduate student experience, and undergraduate recruitment and admission.
Newell has worked at the University of Illinois since 2007, most recently as the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Economics. She also has worked in alumni affairs at the University of Illinois Alumni Association.
"My new position at the iSchool combines my passion for supporting undergraduate students at Illinois with the rare opportunity to develop a program from the start," Newell said. "It has been wonderful joining such dedicated and collegial colleagues who have made me feel at home. I have always felt a connection to the iSchool, as my mom received her MS/LIS degree from Illinois and worked as a school librarian."
Newell is herself an Illinois alumna, with a BS in food science and human nutrition and Ed.M. in educational organization and leadership. In addition, she recently deposited her dissertation to complete her PhD in education policy, organization, and leadership in higher education administration.
As director of undergraduate affairs, Newell will collaborate with Associate Professor and BS/IS Program Director Emily Knox and colleagues in Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Communications, and Enrollment Management to successfully plan, implement, and launch the BS/IS program.
"I am very excited to welcome our first students in Fall 2020! It will be wonderful when we have our first class and to see our population grow over time. I spoke to my first interested transfer student last week, and hearing the excitement in her voice for this program and making that early connection is why I love working with students. I am looking forward to helping them find their home here in the iSchool," Newell said.