ISAA Annual Alumni and Student Awards announced

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

Michele Cloonan

Michèle Cloonan (MSLIS '84, PhD '88) 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.

Cloonan is dean emerita and professor at the School of Library and Information Science, Simmons University. Her accomplishments reflect a long and successful career dedicated to promoting preservation in practice, theory, and graduate education. She is the author of numerous publications, including Preserving Our Heritage: Perspectives from Antiquity to the Digital Age (2015), which received the 2016 Society of American Archivists (SAA) Preservation Publication Award, and The Monumental Challenge of Preservation: The Past in a Volatile World (2018), which received the 2019 University of Mary Washington Historic Preservation Book Prize. Cloonan joined Simmons as dean and professor in 2002, after serving as chair of the Department of Information Studies at University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked at the Newberry Library, Brown University, and Smith College, as a conservator, preservation librarian, and a special collections curator. A past president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), Cloonan was recognized with the Service to ALISE Award in 2011. Her honors and awards also include the Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award from the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) and the Robert Vosper/IFLA Fellows Programme award.

Ted Quiballo

Ted Quiballo (MSLIS '17) 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.

Quiballo has served as an instructional technologies librarian at Northwestern University since 2019. In this role, he works closely with other librarians to develop and incorporate instructional tools, such as video tutorials, assignment-based learning tools, library research guides, and other course-specific learning objects into a variety of instructional contexts. He manages and develops collections to support research, teaching, and learning in the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering Sciences and Applied Math, Physics and Astronomy. He also provides strategic direction and outreach for the MakerLab at Mudd Science and Engineering Library, working in collaboration with library staff, faculty, students, and other makerspaces across campus. He supports the university's prison education program, NPEP, which provides a high-quality liberal arts education to incarcerated students in Illinois. For his outstanding public service accomplishments, Quiballo was selected for a 2024 I Love my Librarian Award.

Christine Hopper

Christine Hopper 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.

Hopper has served as assistant to the dean of the iSchool since 2010. She acts as a consultant and advisor to the dean and other senior administrative staff, all of whom depend on her knowledge and sound judgment. She serves as a key resource concerning administrative matters and university policies and procedures. Hopper acts as an ambassador for the iSchool through her participation in hiring processes related to faculty and staff. She supports faculty governance activities by staffing the iSchool’s Executive Committee and coordinating meetings of the full faculty. Her steady presence was critical to the sustained successful operation of the iSchool throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopper willingly takes on new responsibilities, such as serving as coordinator for the use of a new system for handling review of promotion and tenure cases. She ensures that staff have opportunities to attend training and workshops and supports their advancement to new position classifications. Hopper was named Boss of the Year by Illinois Administrative Professionals in 2022. In all that she does, she is unflappable and exhibits a high degree of professionalism.

Kaitlyn Weger
Kaitlyn Weger

Kaitlyn Weger is the recipient of the Student Award, which recognizes a student who "caught the spirit" of the library and information science profession while employed in a library setting and so chose to enter the MSLIS program.

Weger works as a library assistant at the Anderson Library at Olney Central College in Illinois. She began her graduate studies at the iSchool in 2022 by taking a summer course and officially started the program in January 2023. According to Chad Groves, director of learning commons at Olney Central College, who serves as Weger's direct supervisor, "Kaitlyn absolutely loves her job, and it shows. She is continually finding new ways to engage our library patrons and streamline our processes. Her gentle and easy-going nature, combined with her willingness to go the extra mile, make her an obvious favorite of our library guests. Whether aiding a student with a research paper, or assisting a community member with resume design, or simply recommending the latest greatest work of modern fiction, Kaitlyn embodies the attentive and knowledgeable librarian." Weger was the recipient of a Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) Scholarship in the 2023-2024 academic year.

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