Projects by Assistant Professor Nigel Bosch and Jeff Ginger (PhD '15) are featured in the 2021 STEM for All Video Showcase. The showcase, which brings together videos from hundreds of projects funded by the National Science Foundation and a diverse group of other federal agencies, is an interactive event. From May 11-18, viewers will watch, share, and interact with projects that are transforming science, technology, engineering, math, and computer science learning.
Jhani Miller (MS '15), assistant branch manager for the Brooklyn Public Library, is an aerial artist who has competed nationally, performed off-Broadway, and taught the first-ever public library pole dance class in the U.S.
The iSchool's Library Resources for Spanish Speakers (IS 563) course was featured in a session at Seguimos Creando Enlaces (Creating Connections), a virtual conference held on March 25. Adjunct Lecturers Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros and Anne Barnhart teach the course, in which students explore differences in U.S. Spanish-speaking populations and examine information resources for meeting their needs. At the session, moderated by Barnhart and Espinosa de los Monteros, MS students Kristin Greer Love, Lea Weatherall, and Sylvia Figueroa-Ortiz as well as recent graduates Eddie Kristan (MS '20) and Aldo Vasquez (MS '18) shared their experiences taking the course.
In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the School Librarian Licensure program, the iSchool is highlighting 20 school librarians who have made a difference in the field. Kim Anderson (MS '07, CAS '09), librarian at Jefferson Middle School in Champaign, loves being a school librarian and mentoring future librarians. Through the years, she has mentored 25 practicum and student teachers in her role as a cooperating librarian. She also contributes her time and expertise as a member of the iSchool's School Librarian Licensure program advisory board.
The trivia talents of six iSchool alumni—and a faculty member—catapulted them to one of America's most popular game shows, Jeopardy! Nanette Donohue (MS '03), Erin Hart (MS '19), Charlie Jorgenson (MS '12), Ana Palmer (MS '07), Becky Reisig (MS '07), Associate Professor Carol Tilley, and Clare Gaynor Willis (MS '10) recall their appearance on the show.
Mayank Vijaywargia (MS '19) credits his iSchool coursework with preparing him for managing, cleaning, and interpreting data to make strategic decisions; prototyping for data products; and building data warehouses in his job at Ernst & Young LLP. He encourages current students to choose their courses wisely, keeping in mind what they want to do in their future careers.
Students in the second-grade classroom at Villa Grove CUSD #302 are enjoying 80 new culturally diverse books, thanks to the fundraising efforts of their teacher. For Kelly Vail, an iSchool MS/LIS online student, the best part of her teaching job is reading with her students, encouraging the discovery of "books that help them fall in love with reading."
Saundra Nettles (MS '68) credits the iSchool with teaching her skills, such as systems thinking and interdisciplinary teamwork, that she has been able to transfer across work settings in diverse organizations. Nettles, who also holds a PhD in psychology from Howard University, has served as a special recruit at the Library of Congress, librarian at the Moorland-Spingarn Center at Howard University, principal research scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Social Organization of Schools, and faculty member at the University of Maryland, Georgia Southern University, and University of Illinois.
Adjunct Assistant Professor Ellen Knutson (MS '02, PhD '08) and Quanetta Batts, director of outreach and engagement at The Ohio State University Libraries, have coauthored a chapter in the new book, Ask, Listen, Empower: Grounding Your Library Work in Community Engagement (ALA Editions, 2020). Edited by Mary Davis Fournier and Sarah Ostman, the book features contributions by leaders active in library-led community engagement and serves as both an educational resource for LIS students and a "go-to handbook" for current programming, adult services, and outreach library staff.
In response to the World Health Organization's (WHO) need for timely, accurate, and searchable material about COVID-19, Elaine R. Hicks—research, education, and public health librarian at Tulane University in New Orleans—pulled together an ad hoc organization she named the Librarian Reserve Corps (LRC). Among those who answered her call for volunteers were Stacy Brody, reference and instruction librarian at the George Washington University (GWU) School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD; and Sara Loree, medical librarian at St. Luke’s Health System, Boise, ID, both of whom soon stepped up to serve as the project's co-leads.
Pujeethaa Jakka (MS ’19), data scientist at Pattern Computer Inc., credits the iSchool’s courses in applied business research, data visualization, and data mining with playing a crucial role in helping her achieve her professional goals.
Sarah Park Dahlen (MS '09, PhD '09), iSchool research fellow and associate professor in the Master of Library and Information Science Program at St. Catherine University, will deliver the 2020 Gryphon Lecture on November 12. Sponsored annually by The Center for Children's Books (CCB), the lecture features a leading scholar in the field of youth and literature, media, and culture.
Janice M. Del Negro (PhD '07) has been named an Illinois Library Luminary by the Illinois Library Association (ILA). This distinction honors individuals whose efforts have made a significant contribution to Illinois libraries.
Sanket Sinha (MS '18) uses the technical, interpersonal, and analytical skills he developed at the iSchool in his work as a senior data scientist at The Kraft Heinz Company. For Sinha, the combination of coursework and experiential learning opportunities make the MS/IM program "truly transformative and rewarding."
By the time that Nancy Balz (BA LAS '70, MS/LIS '72) decided to become a public librarian, over twenty years had passed since she had received her LIS degree. She had worked in an archive, academic setting, and bookstore, serving as a word researcher for the Oxford English Dictionary and as a researcher for book authors. While she was interested in working in a public library, she wondered if she was up to the task, with so much time having passed since earning her degree, along with the increasingly online nature of library work.
The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 ISAA awards: Safiya Noble (MS '09, PhD '12), Distinguished Alumna Award; Thomas Padilla (MS '14), Leadership Award; and Meg Edwards (MS '04), Distinguished Service Award.
Sherry Williams (MS '19) has a personal connection to her work as president and founder of the Bronzeville Historical Society. The Bronzeville neighborhood, located on Chicago’s South Side, was known as the "Black Metropolis" during its heyday in the early twentieth century. The Great Migration brought many African Americans to Bronzeville, including Williams’ grandmother, who moved to the area from the Delta of Mississippi in 1942.
The 2020 Illinois Library Association (ILA) award recipients include two iSchool alumni, Sara Benson (MS '17), adjunct assistant professor at the iSchool and copyright librarian at the University Library, and Roberta Koscielski (MS '82), deputy director of the Peoria (IL) Public Library.
"Crisis informatics," a term coined by iSchool alumna Chris Hagar (PhD '05) and Leysia Palen, professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is now a well-established area of study. Crisis informatics explores the interconnectedness of information, people, and technologies in crises and examines the intersecting trajectories of social, technical, and information dynamics during the full life cycle of a crisis. While Hagar first used the term in her PhD dissertation, which focused on the UK's foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in 2001, there are many similar information challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner's Social Computing Lab will present a tutorial, paper, and posters at the 6th Annual International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2), which will be held virtually from July 17-20. The conference brings together academic researchers, industry experts, open data activists, and government agency workers to explore challenges, methods, and research questions in the field of computational social science.