The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 ISAA awards.
Safiya Noble (MS '09, PhD '12) is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award. Each year this award is given to an alum who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of library and information science.
Noble is an associate professor of information studies and co-founder and co-director of the Center for Critical Internet Inquiry at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) and a research associate at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) at the University of Oxford, where she also serves on the Oxford Commission on AI & Good Governance (OxCAIGG). Noble is the author of the book, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press), which was featured in the New York Public Library's 2018 Best Books for Adults. In addition to being a prolific author and speaker, she runs a mentoring group for first-generation and underrepresented doctoral students at the UCLA and University of Southern California. Noble was nominated by Sarah Roberts (PhD '14). ISAA awards committee members agreed that Noble demonstrates distinguished performance and awareness in encouraging her peers and subordinates to examine and meaningfully contribute to topics in the LIS field.
Thomas Padilla (MS '14) is the recipient of the Leadership Award, which is given to an alum who has graduated in the past ten years and shown leadership in the field.
Padilla is the interim head of knowledge production at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is principal investigator of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported project, "Collections as Data: Part to Whole." He is the author of the library community research agenda, "Responsible Operations: Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI in Libraries," which he completed while serving as a practitioner researcher-in-residence at OCLC Research. Padilla's professional service includes membership on The Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) Executive Council, WhatEvery1Says (WE1S) Advisory Board, and Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence Advisory Group. "In the six years since completing his MS/LIS degree, Thomas Padilla has emerged as a leader involved in consulting, publishing, presenting, and teaching widely on digital strategy, cultural heritage collections, data literacy, digital scholarship, and data curation," said nominator Linda C. Smith, professor emerita and interim executive associate dean.
Meg Edwards (MS '04) is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Each year this award is given to an individual who has served ISAA or the School in an exceptional way.
Edwards is the assistant dean for student affairs at the iSchool. She previously served as advising coordinator, senior advising coordinator, and assistant director of advising and student affairs. As assistant dean, Edwards oversees the work of the Student Affairs team and continues to advise students. "I often receive unsolicited testimonials from students who comment on how supportive Ms. Edwards has been as they made the transition to graduate study (many are returning to higher education after an interval of several years) and made decisions about courses and career paths," said Linda C. Smith, who nominated Edwards for the award. "She is an excellent problem solver who always seeks to identify strategies to ensure student success in completing our degree programs."