Julie Yen (MS/LIS '07) wants students to receive the same quality educational experience that she enjoyed during her time at the iSchool. For this reason, she is a loyal donor to the iSchool Annual Fund, which provides dollars for scholarships, annual student awards, new technology, and conference travel.
Five iSchool alumni are included in Library Journal’s 2022 class of Movers & Shakers, an annual list that recognizes 41 professionals who are moving the library field forward as a profession. Jeanie Austin (PhD '17) was honored in the Advocates category, Van McGary (MS/LIS '18) was honored in the Change Agents category, Elisandro Cabada (MS/LIS '17) and Robin Davis (MS/LIS '12) were honored in the Innovators category, and Barbara Alvarez (MS/LIS '12) was honored in the Educators category.
Catheryne Popovitch (MS/LIS '11) had never considered working in government archives when she was a student in the iSchool but is now relishing the variety in her job with the Illinois State Archives. Her work has garnered accolades from the Council of State Archivists (2021 Rising Star Award) and the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (inaugural Emerging Leader Award).
For Kam Wells (MS/IM '18), working for the Boston Red Sox is a dream come true. A baseball player and lifelong fan of the sport, Wells was a graduate data analyst for the U of I Division of Intercollegiate Athletics Sports Technology Department while he was an iSchool student. Now he works with player-related data—analyzing and storing it, as well as everything that goes into running a professional baseball team.
Zines—small-scale, self-published works about anything and everything—have made their way from homes to libraries over the years. As libraries' zine collections grow, librarians must address the acquisition and circulation of these unique publications and develop new ways to promote the creation of future zines. iSchool alumni Ann "A'misa" Matsushima Chiu (MS/LIS '15), Ziba Pérez (MS/LIS ’12), and Josh Lupkin (MS/LIS '08) recently penned chapters on this topic for Zines in Libraries: Selecting, Purchasing and Processing (ALA Editions/CORE, 2022).
As the tragic scenes of war in the Ukraine unfold on TV, computer, and cellphone screens across the world, people wonder what they can do to help the besieged country. iSchool alumni are among those working to make a difference by capturing Ukrainian museum and library websites, digital exhibits, text corpora, and open access publications in order to preserve Ukraine's cultural heritage. Quinn Dombrowski (MS/LIS '09), academic technology specialist in the Library and the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at Stanford University, is co-organizing the initiative Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) with Anna Kijas of Tufts University and Sebastian Majstorovic of the Austrian Center for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage.
Mandi Goodsett's interest in professional development was sparked when she was an iSchool student volunteering with the Special Libraries Association (SLA). She has since become an active member of the American Library Association, serving as president of the ALA New Members Round Table and as a member of the ALA Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness. Goodsett was recently selected by the ALA as the 2022 Lois Ann Gregory-Wood Fellow. She will receive a stipend of $2,500 to offset the cost of attending the ALA 2022 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. and the 2023 LibLearnX experience in New Orleans.
After a few years in the workplace, it took a "leap of faith" for Callan Miranda to decide to return to school for an MS/LIS degree. A full-time employee at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, Miranda is happy with her choice to enroll in the iSchool's Leep (online) program and thankful to be the inaugural recipient of the Nancy and Dan Balz Scholarship. Nancy (BA LAS '70, MS/LIS '72) and her husband Dan (BS Media '68, MS Media '72) established the scholarship to help make education more affordable for returning students like Miranda.
When he was a student, Dan Andree (MS/LIS '18) became involved in the School's mentoring program for the chance to have a one-on-one exchange with a professional in his field of interest. He was matched with Marci Cohen (MS/LIS '00), assistant head of the music library at Boston University. In addition to speaking with his mentor over the phone, Andree had the opportunity to visit her place of work in Boston and get an idea of her day-to-day work.
Like the character in his latest book, Mr. Watson's Chickens, Jarrett Dapier (MS/LIS '15) has three chickens. Dapier, a librarian-turned-author, writes at his home in Evanston, Illinois, where he lives with his wife, two children, and pets (including a dog and two cats as well as the chickens). Mr. Watson's Chickens, illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi, received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was chosen by NPR and BookPage as one of the best books of 2021.
Lauren Ochs (MS/LIS '07) has always wanted to teach. In college, she decided to become a high school English teacher, because of her love for literature and admiration for an English teacher she had in high school. It was while completing courses and practicum experiences for her major that she discovered how much she enjoyed teaching reading and integrating technology into the classroom in meaningful ways.
When asked to serve as the iSchool's convocation speaker next month, Yasmeen Shorish (MS/LIS '11) was surprised and honored. "It means a lot to be recognized by my alma mater in this way." Shorish, who holds a BS in biology from Northeastern Illinois University and a BFA in theater from UIUC, is the head of scholarly communications strategies at James Madison University Libraries.
When Lucille Belcher applied to the Graduate School of Library Science (now the iSchool) in the 1960s, she was met with some uncertainty, or at least concern, regarding her ability to complete the program. After all, Belcher was a middle-aged housewife and mother, and at that time, there weren't many women of her age and situation heading back to college.
Ellen Janowski (MS/IM '18) is a knowledge management associate at Invenergy LLC, a leading, privately held, global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions. In this role, she supports, maintains, and deepens the knowledge management (KM) practices across the core facets of people, processes, and technology. According to Janowski, KM is more than a specific technology: it is a practice that makes a company more efficient and effective through the allocation of information held by individuals within the organization.
After receiving his bachelor's degree in computer science from Visvesvaraya Technological University in India, Rahul Chandran joined Deloitte Consulting as a business technology analyst. It was there that he realized how much he enjoyed solving customer's problems. This experience motivated Chandran to further his education in a master's program that would best complement his professional goals.
Kathryn Harris (MS/LIS '71), former director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, has been inducted as an Illinois Library Luminary. The Illinois Library Luminary program, an initiative of the Illinois Library Association (ILA), recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to Illinois libraries.
Internet studies and digital media scholar Safiya Noble (MS '09, PhD '12) has been named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Noble, an associate professor in the Department of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is among 25 fellows who will each receive $625,000 in unrestricted support over the next five years.
The iSchool at Illinois will host the 2021 ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL), which will be held virtually from September 27-30. JCDL is a major international forum focusing on digital libraries and associated technical, practical, and social issues. The conference will feature paper and poster presentations as well as a wide variety of tutorials and workshops offering hands-on experiences with different digital libraries and online archives.
The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) is seeking nominations for three distinguished awards. The awards are given annually at the iSchool alumni reception held at the American Library Association conference. The deadline for nomination is October 15, 2021.
Kelly Czarnecki (MS/LIS ’02) is the 2021-2022 president of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. She is excited about YALSA's new strategic plan, which is based on member needs and feedback. Czarnecki describes the plan as "a fresh start we can rally around that will make YALSA an even stronger organization!" She also is looking forward to serving as an alumni panelist at the iSchool’s Fall 2021 Virtual Open House on September 3.