During the COVID-19 pandemic, internet access has become more critical than ever before. Sharon Irish, research affiliate, Julian Chin (MS ’12), research manager, and Lisa Bievenue, director of informatics programs for Illinois Informatics Institute, are working with C-U Connect to map locations in Champaign-Urbana providing free WiFi to people with limited internet access in their households.
Every day, iSchool faculty, staff, alumni, and students are implementing creative solutions to combat COVID-19 and make a difference in their local, national, and global communities. We are interested in telling these stories! Please send your news to email@example.com. By promoting the good news of your efforts, we can build connections and share ideas that can be implemented in communities nationwide.
Faculty expertise and impact
In their article for Nature Medicine, Bashir and Informatics PhD student Tanusree Sharma examine how digital surveillance used to contain the spread of COVID-19 may impact privacy rights.
In the Copyright Chat podcast, “Fair Use During the COVID-19 Quarantine,” copyright librarian Benson (MS ’17) examines fair use in the age of an epidemic.
Brooks addresses public health topics, especially disease surveillance; develops information systems to generate data for public health decision making; and collaborates with WHO/PAHO and other public health agencies on multiple service projects.
The Community Data Clinic, led by Chan, is partnering with the Cunningham Township Supervisor's Office on a 211 online directory that will connect people with crisis response and wellness resources.
Hinchliffe (MS '94) collaborates with a colleague to develop a survey to track the response of academic libraries to COVID-19 and provide real-time data on their actions.
Kendall is working with students to complete a research project utilizing methods of collaborative autoethnography to document experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kilicoglu's research in large-scale information extraction from biomedical literature and knowledge graphs supports drug discovery/repurposing applications for COVID-19. He and his colleagues also developed semantic technologies to address information overload in the management of epidemics and other disasters.
Magee and her students are developing a Teens & COVID-19 resource guide (from novels to physical/mental health resources to resources for learning and pursuing fun) that will be shared online with youth services providers in libraries and schools.
Mattson shares strategies and resources for information literacy in today's world, as applied to pandemics and fake news, and issues related to student privacy during the remote learning explosion.
McDowell, a storytelling scholar, connects and engages people of all ages through her Saturday stories, offering valuable insights for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ocepek explores the intersection of food, information, and culture, including grocery shopping decision making; how shoppers navigate the information environment of the grocery store; attitudes toward online grocery shopping.
Behavior change during pandemics, including methods to help understand and explain complex group behaviors; societal resilience; and the effects of comorbidity of chronic diseases and socio-economic disparities.
Schneider accelerates search and appraisal for optimal information in a pandemic; crowdsourcing COVID-19 information on Wikidata; text and data mining of COVID-19 data; and studying dissemination of COVID-19 misinformation.
Schwebel's work with the Channel Islands National Park and other partners to offer an interactive website and K-12 lesson plans on Island of the Blue Dolphins provides a rich learning tool for students (and their parents and teachers) who are now learning remotely.
Weible teaches students to model the spread of infectious disease through a population and inform outcomes, such as the aggregate effects of portions of the population staying isolated, traveling or not, etc.
Wickes (MS '16) is collaborating with the COVID-19 instructional task force of The Carpentries to develop guidelines for adapting methods of teaching in-person workshops to digitally inclusive, online delivery for a global audience.
Wong (MS '94), an expert in e-learning and online instructional strategies and techniques, addresses challenges in migrating classes online in a very short time frame; she also was recently highlighted for her response to a student experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.