The iSchool is pleased to announce that Professor Michael Twidale will serve as interim PhD program director for one year beginning August 16. He will take over from Associate Professor Jana Diesner, who recently concluded her three-year term of service as PhD program director.
According to Linda C. Smith, professor emerita and interim executive associate dean for faculty affairs, program directors play a critical role in the overall coordination of the School's academic programs, working with other faculty and staff in curriculum development, recruitment, academic advising, and career services.
"I am delighted to follow on from the outstanding leadership of Professor Diesner," Twidale said. "Our School is rightly proud of the excellence of our PhD program. Our students are creative and insightful and are true partners in the research done in the School. The new ideas and enthusiasm that our doctoral students share with the faculty are just as important as the craft of doing research that we share with them."
Twidale holds a PhD in computing from Lancaster University. He is an expert in computer-supported cooperative work, collaborative technologies in digital libraries and museums, user interface design and evaluation, information visualization, and museum informatics. He holds joint appointments at Illinois in the Department of Computer Science, Information Trust Institute, and Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership. Twidale is a frequent speaker at scholarly conferences, and his research has been published in books and academic journals, including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology and International Journal on Digital Libraries.