2022 ISAA award recipients announced

The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Alumni Awards.

Emily Knox

Emily Knox (MSLIS '03) 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.

Knox, associate professor in the iSchool, has compiled an impressive record of contributions to the field of library and information science through her publications, teaching, and professional service. Her book, Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield), is the first monograph in the Beta Phi Mu Scholars' Series, and her most recent book, Foundations of Intellectual Freedom (ALA Neal-Schuman), won the 2023 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award for best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. She has been interviewed by media outlets such as NPR, The Washington Post, Time, and Slate for her research on censorship and intellectual freedom. As an instructor, Knox encourages students in her courses to think critically about both the field of LIS and the information institutions in which they will work. She was selected as the 2023 recipient of the American Library Association's Beta Phi Mu Award for her distinguished service to education for librarianship. Knox's record of professional service is exemplary. She currently serves as chair of the board of directors of the National Coalition Against Censorship and editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy.

Pia Hunter

Pia Hunter (MSLIS '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.

Since earning her MSLIS, Hunter has completed her JD degree and emerged as a leader in law librarianship. She currently serves as teaching associate professor and associate director for research and instruction with the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Memorial Law Library at the University of Illinois College of Law. Throughout her career, Hunter has advocated for fair use in higher education and open access to scholarly publishing. In 2013, she led the initiative to create Fair Use Week, an annual celebration that highlights the fair use doctrine and its significance to artists, students, faculty, librarians, journalists, and all users of copyrighted content. In 2018, the Harvard University Library and the Association of Research Libraries presented her with the first annual Fair Use Week Founders Award in honor of her achievement in the creation of Fair Use Week and her role as a scholar and leader in the promotion of fair use. Hunter gives generously of her time to the iSchool, frequently appearing as a guest speaker for classes and student events.

Ruth Shasteen

Ruth Shasteen (CAS '13) 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.

Shasteen has served as school librarian program coordinator at the iSchool since 2021. She also serves as an adjunct lecturer, teaching courses such as School Library Media Center, Cataloging for School Libraries, and Practicum and leading student teaching seminars. Shasteen is leading the iSchool/Chicago Public Schools (CPS) cohort project, a new initiative that supports the iSchool's goal of recruiting diverse representation to school librarianship. Cohort teachers selected for participation in the program are pursuing a school librarian endorsement while in their current positions in CPS. Shasteen has developed course selection to prepare participants as culturally responsive certified teacher librarians and leaders and advises cohort participants on course selection based on individual background and needs. Her commitment to the iSchool includes volunteering for every new student orientation, providing workshops during residential weekends for Leep students, and contributing to strategic planning efforts within Academic and Student Affairs.