Spring 2023 Intersections

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The iSchool at Illinois educates leaders in the information sciences who impact our communities, nation, and world.

Spring 2023

School of Information Sciences

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Published by iSchool Communications and Marketing. For more information or to submit story ideas, please contact brya@illinois.edu.

Dean: Eunice E. Santos

Editor: Cindy Ashwill

Managing Editor: Cindy Brya

Contributing Writers: Cindy Ashwill, Cindy Brya

Photography: Cindy Brya, Michelle Hassel, Amanda Nguyen, Thompson-McClellan

Photography, Fred Zwicky

501 East Daniel Street Champaign, Illinois 61820 ischool@illinois.edu ischool.illinois.edu

Phone: (217) 333-3280

People use information for analysis, inquiry, collaboration, and play—and in so doing, change the world. The iSchool at Illinois is dedicated to shaping the future of information through research, education, and engagement, both public and professional. Intersections highlights our current work in these areas as well as achievements of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

On the cover: iSchool advising staff members Talia Shaw, Kristina Intinarelli, Lauryn Lehman, Kiona Kittl, Jacob Hagman, Melissa Newell, and Rebecca Hodson

Intersections Contents
iSchool researchers author new books 11 Student startups compete at Cozad 8 Couple show thanks by giving back 20 Alumni serve as panelists 16
NEWS Letter from the Dean 2 New Faces—Spring 2023 3 Lawrence Auld, former faculty member, passes away 4 Knox receives Oboler Memorial Award for book on intellectual freedom 4 Dahlen selected as judge for National Book Awards 5 Hopper named IAP Boss of the Year 5 An delivers the 2023 Gryphon Lecture 6 Bulletin announces 2022 Blue Ribbon winners 6 He named AAAI Senior Member 7 Santos named IEEE Fellow and elected chair of CRA Deans Group 7 Save the date: 130th anniversary celebration 7 RESEARCH Axelson receives grant from the Caxton Club 8 Cozad New Venture Challenge 8 Zhou receives HICSS Best Paper Award 9 Wang research group receives ASONAM Best Paper Award 9 iSchool researchers receive Lee Dirks Award for Best Paper 9 Building confidence in computer-generated research results 9 Project to examine the flow of the Earth’s mantle 10 Designing digital health interventions for cancer patients 10 Cordell to lead Mellon-funded project to study anti-Black violence in newspapers 10 New books address topics of provenance, smart cities, intellectual freedom, and more 11 FEATURES New iSchool-CPS partnership addresses need for school librarians 12 BIG expands with addition of undergraduates 13 Internship Spotlight: Nike 14 SLA chapter at UIUC celebrates 50 years 14 Postdoctoral Research Associate Program prepares future faculty 15 ALUMNI Cabada elected ACRL vice president/president-elect 16 Alumni share experiences with admitted students 16 Celebrating 75 years of the PhD program 17 CLASS NOTES 18–19 GIVING iSchool alumni give back to program that brought them together 20 First-generation college student to make a difference in her community through librarianship 21 Your gift matters 21

Letter from the Dean

Thespring semester passed quickly, and we celebrated another graduation in May.

Graduation is a highlight of the academic year, marking the accomplishments of our students and new beginnings as they pursue careers or further education. We look forward to learning about their successes and take great pride in the many contributions of our alumni.

In addition to providing an exceptional education, the iSchool is committed to supporting the professional success of our students. This support includes offering opportunities for practical experience through internships and careers courses and by providing outstanding advising and career services. This issue of Intersections features new staff who have joined our advising team. These individuals act as essential partners for our students and a crucial resource as the iSchool continues to grow.

Our staff serve as the foundation for our School’s operational excellence. They work diligently, often behind the scenes, to ensure that our projects and processes run smoothly. When they are recognized at the campus level for a job well done, it is a cause for celebration. As shared in the story that follows, Christine Hopper, assistant to the dean for the iSchool, was named Boss of the Year by the Illinois Administrative Professionals organization. Christine has served our School for 15 years with enthusiasm and professionalism, and she is highly respected by our faculty and staff.

Our faculty are renowned as leaders in the field of information science, and their contributions advance the national and global prestige of our School. This issue of Intersections highlights recent faculty achievements, and I hope you have an opportunity to read each of them.

Our research continues to thrive, as evidenced by the number of projects, books, and conference and journal publications, several of which are included in the pages that follow. This research addresses important challenges in education, medicine, science, and technology as well as social issues, all in an effort to positively impact our world. I hope you enjoy reading about the depth and breadth of this work.

This year, we have yet another reason to celebrate: the 130th anniversary of our School, which coincides with the 75th anniversary of our PhD program. We are proud of our distinguished history, and we look forward to our School’s continued excellence in the years to come.


Eunice Santos, Dean
“ In addition to providing an exceptional education, the iSchool is committed to supporting the professional success of our students.”

New Faces—Spring 2023

Jacob Hagman

Academic Advisor and Coordinator of Graduate Affairs for MSIM and MSBIO

Provides academic advising and support to students in the MS in information management (MSIM) and MS in bioinformatics (MSBIO) programs.

Amber Holmes

Assistant Director for Academic Affairs

Schedules the curricula across all degree programs and collaborates with Student Affairs to balance program needs with instructor preferences.

Kristina Intinarelli

Academic Advisor and Coordinator of Graduate Affairs

Provides academic advising and support to students in the MS in library and information science (MSLIS) program.

Kiona Kittl

Academic Advisor and Coordinator of Undergraduate Affairs

Provide academic advising and support to students in the BS in information sciences (BSIS) and BSIS + Data Science (BSIS+DS) programs.

Lauryn Lehman

Academic Advisor and Coordinator of Undergraduate Affairs

Provides academic advising and support to students in the BSIS and BSIS+DS programs.

Amanda Nguyen

Digital Marketing and Web Specialist

Manages social media and electronic communications, advertises events, and assists with video production.

Danielle Wilberg

Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

Identifies and collaborates with businesses and foundations to develop mutually beneficial partnerships that support the School’s mission.


Lawrence Auld, former faculty member, passes away

Lawrence W.S. Auld (PhD ’75) passed away on March 2, 2023. After earning his bachelor’s degree in English from Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) and master’s degree in library science from Columbia University, Auld worked in libraries at the University of Texas at Austin, Hawaii State Library of Hawaii, Oakland University, and Oregon State University. He returned to school to earn a PhD in library and information science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and served on the faculty at UIUC and then at East Carolina University until his retirement in 2003.

Over the course of his career, Auld wrote or contributed to eight books and more than forty articles. His interests included photography, woodworking, pottery, art, gardening, reading, and writing.

Knox receives Oboler Memorial Award for book on intellectual freedom

Associate Professor Emily Knox has received the 2023 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award from the Intellectual Freedom Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA). She was selected for the award, which recognizes the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom, for her book, Foundations of Intellectual Freedom (ALA Neal-Schuman, 2022).

The Oboler Award selection committee selected Foundations of Intellectual Freedom because of its high literary quality, outstanding references and research, and the importance of its message during what could be described as a period of intellectual freedom crisis. The selection committee agreed that the content is relevant to library workers at libraries and institutions of every kind.

Offered biennially since 1986, the award was named for Eli M. Oboler,

the extensively published Idaho State University librarian known as a champion of intellectual freedom, who demanded the dismantling of all barriers to freedom of expression. Knox will receive the award, which consists of a $500 monetary award and a certificate, at the Intellectual Freedom Event at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

“It is an honor to receive the Oboler Award this year especially when intellectual freedom is under attack across our country,” said Knox. “The ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom just announced that there were over 1,200 reported challenges last year, more than double the reported number in 2021. In my talks on this issue, I encourage librarians and community members to be prepared for a challenge by joining Unite Against Book Bans. If you are a young person, check out NCAC’s Student Advocates for Free

Knox’s research interests include information access, intellectual freedom, censorship, information ethics, information policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. She received her PhD from the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University and her MS from the iSchool at Illinois.

Adapted from an ALA press release

Speech. Most importantly, show up to support your local public libraries and schools!”

Dahlen selected as judge for National Book Awards

AssociateProfessor Sarah Park Dahlen has been selected by the National Book Foundation to serve as a judge for the 74th National Book Awards. The foundation chose 25 judges for this year’s awards, which are given in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature.

This year’s judges include writers, editors, booksellers, academics, critics, directors of educational research centers, and translators from across the country. Dahlen will serve on the Young People’s Literature panel with Claudette S. McLinn, executive director of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature, and authors Kyle Lukoff, justin a. reynolds, and Sabaa Tahir.

“I am honored and humbled to serve alongside such amazing people for this important award,” Dahlen said. “I’ve assigned many National Book Award winners in my classes, and to have the

Hopper named IAP Boss of the Year

responsibility of helping to choose yet another winner is a dream come true.”

Dahlen’s research addresses transracially adopted Koreans in youth literature, Asian American youth literature, and diversity in children’s literature and library education. She is cofounder of the open access journal Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, with Sonia Alejandra Rodríguez. Dahlen received her PhD in library and information science from the iSchool at Illinois.

The judges for the 2023 National Book Awards will select 50 longlist titles, 10 per category, which will be announced mid-September, and 25 finalists, to be announced on October 3. Winners in all five categories will be announced at the 74th National Book Awards on November 15, 2023.

Adapted from a National Book Foundation press release

Christine Hopper, assistant to the dean, was named Boss of the Year by Illinois Administrative Professionals (IAP, formerly known as The Secretariat), an organization for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign employees in certain Civil Service classifications.

“Christine is willing to take on any duty, big or small, to support her team,” said Office Administrator Beth Lewis, who nominated Hopper for the award. “This is not only during the workday, but also after hours and even while on vacation. No message, email, or call of duty is too minute to receive a response.”

Hopper, who joined the iSchool in 2007, supervises four administrative staff, including Lewis. In her nomination, Lewis described how Hopper ensures that staff are not overloaded or stressed, making “every effort to evenly distribute duties,” even when the office is shortstaffed. She also noted how Hopper supports professional development for staff and takes an active interest in helping them achieve their goals.

“I don’t see myself as a ‘boss’ per se but rather as someone who guides others to do their best by providing them with the resources they need to do their job and achieve their professional goals,” said Hopper. “I am very fortunate to work with a great team and strive every day to show them how much they are appreciated.”

5 SPRING 2023

An delivers the 2023 Gryphon Lecture

SohyunAn, professor of social studies education at Kennesaw State University, delivered the 2023 Gryphon Lecture on March 20. 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.

In “Using Asian American Children’s Literature as a Tool to Resist America’s Long History of Anti-Asian Violence,” An examined the upsurge of anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic and explore the significance of the TEAACH Act, which mandates the teaching of Asian American community history in public K-12 schools in Illinois, as a tool in the collective fight to stop anti-Asian violence.

“Asian Americans are largely absent in K-12 history curriculum, and when they are included (usually Japanese American incarceration and Chinese Exclusion Act), they are either presented as an enemy of the state or a powerless victim of racism,” An said. “This curricular exclusion and misrepresentation become a source of psychological violence by telling Asian

American students that they have no value and worth in this country. Such curriculum further becomes a source of physical violence by leaving Asian American students vulnerable to physical attacks from people who take up the oppressive message.”

According to An, education legislation such as the TEAACH Act allows and encourages students to learn and appreciate the “complex, rich, and diverse” experiences of Asian Americans. The next step will be to prepare K-12 teachers to teach Asian American studies—content they never formally learned during their own education.

“While we continue to work for a systemic change in preservice and inservice teacher education, we can start with what scholars have offered already,” said An. “One of the pedagogical tools to critically teach Asian American studies is Asian American children’s literature. Many Asian American children’s literature scholars have already gifted us with the tools to critically select and use Asian American children’s literature to engage elementary students to learn about

the diversity, humanity, complexity, and richness of Asian American experiences and their cultures.”

A former high school social studies teacher in South Korea, An is currently a social studies teacher educator and scholar-activist. Her scholarship centers on K-12 Asian American studies and antiracist social studies education. For her current project, funded by the Spencer Foundation, An is investigating anti-racist pedagogy in elementary classrooms. Her honors include the Distinguished Professor Award from Kennesaw State University and Distinguished Researcher Award from the American Educational Research Association’s Research on the Education of Asian and Pacific Americans Special Interest Group. An holds a PhD in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Bulletin announces 2022 Blue Ribbon winners

The staff at The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (BCCB) have announced the 2022 Blue Ribbons, their choices for the best of children’s and young adult literature for the year. Blue Ribbons are chosen annually by BCCB reviewers and represent what they believe to be outstanding examples of fiction, nonfiction, and picture books for youth. Forty-two titles received Blue Ribbons for 2022.

“The staff at The Bulletin is always happy to annually sort through the best and the brightest of children’s books, and we were lucky this year to see a sizeable increase in diverse identities and ideas represented in literature for youth,” said Editor Kate Quealy-Gainer. “With that in mind, we couldn’t help but expand our award list—there were just too many stellar examples of our field’s growing inclusivity. Readers will find a healthy variety of subjects and genres, and we even have a bonus of short story collections, a format we are always thrilled to see thrive.”

Founded in 1945, the BCCB is one of the nation’s leading children’s book review journals for school and public librarians.

View the full list of Blue Ribbon winners: bit.ly/3mgKzI4


He named AAAI Senior Member

JingruiHe, associate professor and MSIM program director, has been named a Senior Member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a nonprofit scientific society devoted to “advancing the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines.” The Senior Member status is bestowed upon AAAI members who have achieved significant accomplishments within the field of artificial intelligence. He was one of fourteen members from the U.S. and abroad who were selected for this honor. She was recognized at the 37th Annual Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-23), which was held in February in Washington, DC.

He’s general research theme is to design, build, and test a suite of automated and semi-automated methods to explore, understand, characterize, and predict realworld data by means of statistical machine learning. In addition to AAAI, He is a Senior Member of IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Santos named IEEE Fellow and elected chair of CRA Deans Group

Dean and Professor Eunice E. Santos has been named a 2023 Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and elected chair of the Computing Research Association (CRA) Deans Group.

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional society and serves professionals involved in all aspects of the electrical, electronic, and computing fields and the related areas of science and technology. This recognition, the highest grade of membership, is bestowed each year on fewer than 0.1 percent of voting members. It is given to eminent scholars and scientists whose outstanding accomplishments in engineering, science, and technology have shown significant value to society. Santos was honored “for leadership in computational social networks.”

CRA works with over 200 North American organizations to represent the computing research community and effect change that benefits both

computing research and society at large. More than 40 institutions from several countries participate in the CRA Deans Group, which meets annually to discuss a range of topics and share experiences in creating independent schools and IT units. The group is organized around schools of computing, information, and/ or information technology with heads that report directly to the provost or chief academic officer at a university.

During her two-year term as chair, Santos also will externally represent the CRA Deans Group and have a seat on the board of directors. Previously, she served on the CRA leadership team as vice chair and secretary.

Santos is an accomplished scholar and researcher whose expertise includes computational social science, with an appreciation for the social and human aspects of the information sciences. In addition to IEEE, Santos is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Save the Date for our 130th Anniversary Celebration Monday, October 2, 2023 I Hotel and Conference Center go.ischool.illinois.edu/130th

Axelson receives grant from the Caxton Club

Misawa Axelson, a student in the MSLIS online (Leep) program, has been awarded a grant from the Caxton Club, a not-for-profit organization devoted to the study and promotion of the book arts. The grant will support her project, “Bookmaking as bibliographic study: an inquiry into the first printing of the Hawaiian Alphabet,” which was a part of her final assignment for Associate Professor Bonnie Mak’s History of the Book (IS 583) course she took last fall.

Axelson is creating a portfolio of typographic specimens and new book versions of The Alphabet, a Hawaiian language reading primer first printed in 1822. Her project aims to show how “visual and physical forms influence and create meaning” as well as reveal the bibliography and history of the book. Axelson became interested in this book through her volunteer work at the Hawai‘i State Archives, where The Alphabet is part of the Kahn Collection.

“This book serves as a humbling pathway through which I am learning more about the history of Hawai‘i and the social and cultural landscape in which The Alphabet came into being; the challenges encountered in the orthographic process

Cozad New Venture Challenge

of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian language); the relationship between Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian people) and missionaries, both who participated in this book; unique printing needs; and the proliferation of handwritten and printed texts in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi that emerged from this time,” she said.

Axelson, who holds a BFA in graphic design from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has worked as a professional graphic designer for over twenty years. She enrolled in the MSLIS program to discover how she can contribute to improved organization, navigation, and communication in an information-heavy world.

“My graphic design work is a research/ writing/design process that aims to understand the purpose, context, and essence of each communication need. I create visual forms which endeavor to enhance and facilitate the communication of information or story in an effective, meaningful, and beautiful manner,” said Axelson.

In the History of the Book course, the class examined the history of books from various viewpoints and learned about the creation, production, distribution,

and reception of books. This experience served as “an inspiring portal” for Axelson, especially given her background in graphic design.

“My work up until now has focused on the design of various textual documents and books. The History of the Book course has allowed me to see the very items that I have been involved in making from a new, bibliographic perspective. As I research The Alphabet, I am reminded of the layers of cultural evidence we embed into these content-bearing forms as we create them,” she said.

At the iSchool, Axelson is exploring her interests in archives and rare books and forming new interests in bibliography and metadata.

“I’m just starting the MSLIS program with very little experience in the LIS field, so there is still much for me to learn,” she said. “I’m excited to see what traditional LIS or hybrid career paths may emerge that might include my passion for the relationship between information and form.”

Several iSchool students took part in the Cozad New Venture Challenge, a campus-wide new venture business creation competition. During the Demo Day on April 13, students showcased their startups to venture capitalists, early-stage investors, and experienced entrepreneurs. MSLIS student William Lawson and BSIS student Luke Emano represented their startup, Resolv, which is building a protocol that allows crypto users to recover stolen crypto after being the victim of theft.

Pictured at right: William Lawson and Luke Emano

Zhou receives HICSS Best Paper Award

Apaper coauthored by PhD student Zhixuan (Kyrie)

Zhou and Mengyi Wei, a PhD student at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, received the Best Paper Award at the 56th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-56).

In their paper, “AI Ethics Issues in Real World: Evidence from AI Incident Database,” Zhou and Wei discuss how they used the AI Incident Database to investigate how AI ethics incidents occur in the real world as well as their social impact. For their study, they applied a qualitative content analysis to 150 AI incidents, including their time, location, and corresponding news articles. The researchers identified areas that often involve ethical issues of AI, such as intelligent service robots, language/vision models, and autonomous driving, along with areas of AI risk, including physical safety, bad performance, and racial and gender discrimination.

Wang research group receives ASONAM Best Paper Award

Apaper coauthored by PhD student Lanyu Shang and members of Associate Professor Dong Wang’s research group, the Social Sensing and Intelligence Lab, received the best paper award in the research track during the 2022 IEEE/ ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Network Analysis and Mining (ASONAM 2022). Their paper, “A Knowledge-driven Domain Adaptive Approach to Early Misinformation Detection in an Emergent Health Domain on Social Media,” addresses an important problem of how to accurately detect misinformation in emergent health domains, where existing misinformation detection solutions often fall short in training effective classification models due to the lack of sufficient training data and up-to-date medical knowledge.

iSchool researchers receive Lee Dirks Award for Best Paper

Apaper authored by PhD candidate Yuerong Hu, HTRC Associate Director for Research Support Services Glen Layne-Worthey, Alaine Martaus (PhD ’19), Professor J. Stephen Downie, and Associate Professor Jana Diesner, “Research with User-Generated Book Review Data: Legal and Ethical Pitfalls and Contextualized Mitigations,” received the Lee Dirks Award for Best Paper at iConference 2023. The award recognizes the most exceptional completed research paper presented at the iConference each year. Papers are judged by the respective track chairs, in consultation with the conference and program chairs.

According to the researchers, while the number of user-generated book reviews has increased, there is a lack of literature that addresses the legal and ethical use of these reviews. Legal issues presented by user-generated book reviews include copyright infringement and violations of terms of service/end-user license agreements and privacy rights, while ethical concerns center on users’ expectations, informed consent, and institutional reviews. In their paper, the researchers discuss the potential legal and ethical pitfalls in leveraging user-generated book reviews and provide scholarly references that might serve as useful guidelines to avoid or manage these pitfalls.

Building confidence in computer-generated research results

Bertram Ludäscher, professor and director of the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS), and his team have been awarded a three-year, $349,999 grant from the National Science Foundation for a project that will create a certification for computer-generated results when it is not possible for others to recreate results either because the necessary data cannot be shared or specialized computing resources are needed to perform the computations. For their new project, “TRAnsparency CErtified (TRACE): Trusting Computational Research Without Repeating It,” the researchers will create tools that managers of computing centers can use to declare the dimensions of computational transparency supported by their platforms. These tools also will certify that a specific computational workflow was executed on the platform as well as bundle and certify for dissemination the artifacts, records of their execution, and technical metadata about their contents.


Project to examine the flow of the Earth’s mantle

Visiting Research Scientist

Chris Havlin and Assistant Professor Matthew Turk have been awarded a five-year, $127,723 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the project, “inveStigating the Transient Rheology of the Upper Mantle (iSTRUM).”

Their work is at the center of a larger multi-institutional project to better understand the microphysical activities of rocks that affect the upper mantle of the Earth. The iSchool team will use a software program that Havlin developed, Very Broadband Rheology Calculator (VBRc), to determine the rocks’ properties at various time and length scales. The tool will connect the microscopic description of the rock to macroscopic observations of the land masses as recorded from satellites in space, Global Positioning System networks and seismic stations.

Designing digital health interventions for cancer patients

Assistant Professor Jessie Chin and her team have received a $30,000 Arnold O. Beckman Research Award from the U of I Campus Research Board for their project, “Augmenting Health Self-Regulation across the Cancer Survivorship Continuum by Digital Phenotyping.” For this project, the researchers will develop a model of how breast cancer survivors manage their health by passively tracking survivors’ interactions with their personal digital devices to identify when assistance is needed. Chin’s team will use the new algorithms to design proactive interventions to lower the self-care demands of cancer patients and optimize their long-term quality of life.

Through this pilot study, the research team will bridge natural language processing, digital phenotyping, active machine learning, and the Health Action Process Approach, a framework that aims to describe, explain, and modify health behaviors. According to Chin, the new project is a stepping stone for all cancer researchers to design new digital health intervention for cancer patients.

Cordell to lead Mellon-funded project to study anti-Black violence in newspapers

Aprojectto examine the circulation of newspaper reports about antiBlack violence in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century U.S. newspapers could provide context to the spread of white supremacist ideologies in social media today. “The Virality of Racial Terror in US Newspapers, 1863-1921” (VRT) is a partnership between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Northeastern University, and Washington University, with Illinois serving as the lead institution. VRT was recently awarded a $500,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation. The principal investigator at Illinois will be Associate Professor Ryan Cordell, who also co-leads Viral Texts, a project that examines the way in which information moved around the country and world through newspapers during the nineteenth century.

The VRT project will focus on eight case studies of anti-Black violence spanning from the 1860s to the 1920s. The team will draw on the Viral Texts project’s computational methods for reprint identification to trace how stories related to these case studies spread around the country, how the texts were edited for different audiences, and the emergence of new stories in response. The project will expand the work being done by the Racial Violence Archive project at Washington University to document and map the spread of violent events by examining large-scale collections of digitized newspapers.

According to the project team, while VRT will use the case studies to focus on antiBlack violence in the past, the methods can serve as a model for future research into violence against other racial, ethnic, or identity communities, both historically and currently.


Harry Potter and the Other: Race, Justice, and Difference in the Wizarding World University Press of Mississippi, 2022

Edited by Associate Professor Sarah Park Dahlen and Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (University of Michigan)

Examines how the original Wizarding World in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series depicts diverse identities, social subjectivities, and communities. The book received a starred review from School Library Journal.

Foundations of Intellectual Freedom

ALA Neal-Schuman, 2022

Authored by Associate Professor

Emily Knox

Provides “a holistic view” of intellectual freedom by addressing the following topics in addition to book banning and internet filtering: the historical and legal roots of intellectual freedom; the intersection of intellectual freedom, freedom of expression, and social justice; professional values and codes of ethics; pro- and anti- censorship arguments; privacy and its relationship to information services; and emerging global issues and their impact on future intellectual freedom.

Documenting the Future: Navigating Provenance Metadata Standards

Springer, 2022

Authored by PhD student Michael Gryk, Rhiannon Bettivia (PhD ’16), and Jessica Yi-Yun Cheng (PhD ’22)

Explores provenance documentation, which is critical for authenticity, trustworthiness, and reproducibility in science; addresses the challenge of identifying which pieces of provenance are important versus which are extraneous as well as how to document this information.

Information Science: The Basics

Routledge, 2023

Authored by Teaching Associate Professor

Judith Pintar and Teaching Assistant Professor

David Hopping

Provides an accessible introduction to the field of information science, which is organized by following the key concepts, technologies, and professions associated with each step in the information life cycle.

Governing Smart Cities as Knowledge Commons

Cambridge University Press, 2023

Edited by Assistant Professor Madelyn Rose Sanfilippo, Brett M. Frischmann (Villanova University School of Law), and Michael J. Madison (University of Pittsburgh School of Law)

Examines how several cities handle ethical, economic, political, and social issues arising from their technologically advanced statuses.

The Dictionary of the Book: A Glossary for Book Collectors, Booksellers, Librarians, and Others

Rowman & Littlefield, 2022

Authored by Adjunct Professor

Sidney Berger (MSLIS ’87)

Provides a definitive glossary of bookrelated terminology, bringing “the vocabulary and theory of bookselling and collecting into the modern commercial and academic world” through the addition of more than 700 new entries.

Beyond the Classroom Walls: Imagining the Future of Education, from Community Schools to Communiversities

Rowman & Littlefield, 2022

Authored by Professor Emeritus

Chip Bruce

Prompts readers to adopt “a critical and comprehensive view of education” that transcends the classroom, acknowledging that educational systems are organized in ways that complicate the integration of online learning, schools, and learning through work.

Crossed Wires: The Conflicted History of U.S. Telecommunications from the Post Office to the Internet

Oxford University Press, 2023

Authored by Professor Emeritus

Dan Schiller

Discusses the progression of telecommunications systems in the United States, drawing on archival documents to argue that it was not technology but political economy that drove the evolution of the telecommunications industry.

New books address topics of provenance, smart cities, intellectual freedom, and more

New iSchool-CPS partnership addresses need for school librarians

Accordingto the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 10,000 full-time school librarian positions have been lost nationwide over the past two decades. This loss is especially felt by students, since research suggests that reading, writing, and graduation rates improve where schools employ certified school librarians. Thanks to a new program cosponsored by the iSchool and Chicago Public Schools (CPS), five school libraries that had been shuttered for five or more years now have a school librarian in place, with more to come.

Teachers in the iSchool/CPS cohort pursue a school librarian endorsement while working in their current positions at CPS. The program provides funding for the teachers’ continuing education coursework, with half coming from the CPS and half from the iSchool through scholarships made possible by a generous gift from Lionelle (BA LAS ’66; MSLIS ’67) and James (BS Business ’66, MS Business ’67) Elsesser.

In addition to developing a standing pipeline of potential librarians, the program’s benefits for CPS include providing professional development for current staff, ensuring equity of access to libraries, and building a library and information science program that reflects the diversity and needs of the CPS community. Likewise, the iSchool aims to increase the number of school librarians, especially from diverse populations, to meet the needs of students.

“The iSchool is committed to making sure there are certified librarians in schools throughout the state,” said Ruth Shasteen, program coordinator for the School Librarian Licensure program. “We received over one hundred applications last year when we launched our program with CPS and welcomed twenty students into our first cohort.”

Since the classes are live, synchronous, and online, they don’t conflict with the workday for CPS staff. Among the program’s strengths are the course offerings, which one participant described as “rigorous yet rewarding.” For the Library Information Specialist endorsement, teachers in the cohort must take 18 credit hours of iSchool coursework and pass the LIS Content Area Test administered by the Illinois Licensure Testing System. In addition to general library best practices, the program emphasizes collection development, cultural relevance, research and inquiry, and information and media literacy.

Andrew Nelson applied to be part of the cohort because of his previous experience as an English teacher at a school that lacked a librarian and library.

“I experienced firsthand the feeling of not being able to provide students with enough resources and skills to experience the best education possible that they deserved,” he said. “Despite my best efforts, I knew that some of the work around research, media literacy, and ethical use of resources was not being delivered as often or as well as it should have been.”

Nelson is now employed as a school librarian and looks forward to passing on the skills and knowledge he has gained to the staff and students at his school.

CPS staff accepted into the cohort must complete their coursework within eighteen months and, upon completion, transfer to a currently vacant school librarian role within their school or at a vacant school for the upcoming academic year.

“As I transition to a school librarian, I see many opportunities to plan with my administrators and partner with teachers to fill literacy gaps and reinforce what is being taught in the classroom,” said Joyner Bonds, who entered the iSchool/ CPS program after thirteen years as a classroom teacher. “Students meet me at the door in the morning or catch me at the end of the day to discuss books. They are excited to read at home with their parents and share what they’ve learned with their peers.”

“I most likely would not have been able to get my endorsement without this program, since I have a three-year-old child and paying for more school would have been difficult,” said Nelson. “I felt incredibly well prepared and supported when I moved into a librarian role last fall.”


BIG expands with addition of undergraduates

TheBusiness Intelligence Group (BIG), a student consultancy group associated with Associate Professor Yoo-Seong Song’s Applied Business Research class (IS 514), has expanded its size and scope this year. In addition to graduate students, BIG now welcomes iSchool undergraduates to serve as consultants.

Over 30 student consultants are working on projects related to digital health, telecommunications, and the metaverse. For example, in one project, students advise clients of possible solutions to address rural first responders who lack access to key medical expertise in critical time-sensitive situations. In another project, they offer recommendations for using AI and the metaverse to address serious side effects of diabetes, such as diabetic retinopathy, in order to diagnose and track treatment response over time.

According to corporate partner and client Ferdinand Belga, CEO of Ascertain Biosciences, “BIG has been very impressive in the amount of creativity to think outside of the box with the latest technology (e.g., the metaverse) to solve current problems in healthcare. Problem-

solving is a key skill set that the BIG students are not only learning with realworld projects but also working towards, on an advanced level, with subject matter experts across various industries. By the time the students finish, they will be further advanced than other consultants entering the job market.”

BIG has joined an international network of collaborators, such as Global Catalyst Partners, a consortium hosted by IE University in Spain through which faculty from top universities share ideas for new technologies. Sung-Chul Bae, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, serves as an external mentor for BIG, advising a student team on the state of digital health innovation in East Asia. With his guidance, students can develop recommendations appropriate for BIG’s client company, one of the largest telecom services providers in East Asia that is exploring several options to enter the digital health landscape.

“Our students are extremely bright and professional, as our clients from previous semesters can attest,” said Song. “Former

BIG students have been successful in securing wonderful career opportunities in many of the world’s leading companies. To better align our students’ expertise and interests with the new demands of clients, we’ve been trying to source projects that deal with digital transformation strategy. We hope to provide iSchool students with opportunities in which they can build competencies in technology and management skills in the global context.”

Before his graduation in December, Faizan Saiyad (MSIM ’22) served as a project manager and senior manager at BIG. Now a technology consultant at Boston Consulting Group, Saiyad credits BIG with playing a significant role in his career transition from software development to consulting.

“It helped me build my skill sets around solving real-world problems and working effectively in a team. In addition, the cases at BIG helped me to articulate my hypotheses in a more professional way for different audiences, especially during the client and internal team meetings. I believe these three skills are most important for any career path and go a long way,” he said.


Internship Spotlight: Nike

BSIS student Bea Verin discusses her internship experience with Nike. She especially enjoyed the “fun atmosphere” at the company and opportunity to collaborate with her fellow interns.

Where did you intern, and what was your role?

I interned at Nike in Beaverton, Oregon, as a global technology engineer.

How did you find out about the internship?

I found out about this internship through the Nike’s career website. I’ve always liked Nike as a brand, so I ended up going to their website to see if there were intern opportunities. After I saw the Global Tech position opening, I attended one of the info sessions and applied.

What new skills did you acquire?

During this internship, I was able to learn many skills. I learned technical skills from using Tableau, Python, and SQL as well as Big Data tools like Grafana Dashboard, Meerkat, and Spark. Nike had a hackathon for all the global tech interns, which gave us the opportunity to work in teams with interns from other departments. We had fun creating a project toward the end of our internships. It was awesome to collaborate and work on mobile development, an area that was new to me.

What did you like best about working at the company?

I enjoyed the fun atmosphere that Nike offered. I love how they had multiple organizations for people from different backgrounds to join. I loved the fellow interns; we were such a tight-knit group and truly made the most of moving to a new place. My team members were so helpful and wanted me to grow in all aspects. I also loved the sports factor. After work, we had a community to play beach volleyball together.

What would you advise current students who are interested in an internship opportunity?

Be incisive in how you conduct your search. Consider the companies in which you are most interested and learn as much as you can about them, including any potential early career development programs. Additionally, make an effort to meet with a company one on one, whether it be at a career fair, an instructional session, a coffee meeting, etc. Your chances of being called back for more interviews and rounds of screening will increase as more company representatives recognize your name and face. Put some thought into your application and then follow up with employers.

SLA chapter at UIUC celebrates 50 years

One of the iSchool’s student organizations is celebrating a special anniversary this year—the Special Libraries Association chapter at the University of Illinois (SLA@UIUC) is turning fifty. The chapter’s mission is to support and empower iSchool graduate students with specialized interests in librarianship. The organization provides a community and resources that promote learning and professional development and offers students a chance to connect with peers and working professionals who share their specific interests.

“‘Special Librarian’ is such a broad term, including positions such as subject librarians, solo librarians, medical librarians, taxonomists, etc., so we focus primarily on hosting events that help us to learn more about the wide variety of careers that fall under its scope,” said SLA@UIUC President Margot Cuddihy. “Through individual guest lectures and career panels, as well as tours of local special libraries, our members are exposed to a variety of career paths and personal perspectives. The knowledge we gain through these conversations helps us to make the most of our time at the iSchool and informs our professional decisions. We also hold social events, too, like our Bring Your Own Book Club.”

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the chapter has created an SLA@ UIUC LinkedIn group (linkedin.com/ groups/14161021), where alumni can share their experiences working in special librarianship and current students can share their career goals. In the long term, this group is intended to serve as a means for networking and resource sharing for both current and past members of the organization.

14 Features

Postdoctoral Research Associate Program prepares future faculty

Inthe 2021-2022 academic year, the iSchool launched its Postdoctoral Research Associate Program. The goal of this program is to prepare candidates for tenure-track assistant professor or other appointments inside and outside of academia.

“The iSchool is committed to advancing research and teaching in the information sciences,” said Dean and Professor Eunice E. Santos. “This program expands our strong record of preparing doctoral students for careers in academia. We are pleased to provide PhD graduates across the globe with access to our outstanding faculty and professional development opportunities.”

Each postdoc is assigned to an iSchool faculty mentor, who provides guidance and support. In addition to developing their research agendas, postdocs teach up to one course per semester and serve on at least one service committee. Current postdocs include:

Janaynne Carvalho do Amaral, PhD in Information Science, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rexwhite Enakrire, PhD in Library and Information Science, University of Zululand, South Africa

Yousif Hassan, PhD in Science and Technology Studies, York University, Canada

Aiko Takazawa, PhD in Library and Information Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Yang Zhang, PhD in Computer Science and Engineering, Notre Dame University

“My experience in the program has exceeded my expectations. For me, the postdoc is more than a job—it is a journey of professional development and personal growth to figure out who I am, who I want to be in the future, and most important, what my role in society will be as an information scientist,” said Carvalho do Amaral. “My mentors [Associate Professors Jodi Schneider and Maria Bonn] have offered advice and encouragement, helped identify opportunities for me to expand my perspective on information sciences, and been open to ideas and projects.”

Postdocs participate in workshops and training opportunities offered by the iSchool Research Services and in connection with the Doctoral ProSeminar (IS 529). Topics include applying for grants, building a scholarly profile, and crafting a professional portfolio for the job market.

“Our postdocs benefit from—and contribute to—the iSchool’s famously cross-disciplinary research community,” said Associate Dean for Research J. Stephen Downie. “Postdocs work with and are mentored by faculty who are experts in their field. They can develop their own research agenda while also gaining teaching experience, which will make them even more successful in the academic job market and their future careers.”

Carvalho do Amaral’s professional plans are to become a faculty member and conduct research on peer review

and on public engagement in science. She also would like to develop partnerships and projects with scientific journals, libraries, scholarly societies, and outreach departments to support the understanding of the scholarly communication cycle inside and outside academia.

“I would like to be a bridge between university and society, scientists and non-scientists,” she said. “I am also looking forward to seeing more women as postdocs and getting involved in projects to break stereotypes about women in science.”

“My experience in the program has exceeded my expectations. For me, the postdoc is more than a job— it is a journey of professional development and personal growth to figure out who I am, who I want to be in the future, and most important, what my role in society will be as an information scientist.”
–Janaynne Carvalho do Amaral

Cabada elected ACRL vice president/president-elect

Elisandro (Alex) Cabada (MSLIS ’17), assistant professor at the University Library, emerging technologies and immersive scholarship librarian, and director of the Grainger IDEA Lab at the University of Illinois, has been elected vice president/president-elect of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Cabada will become president-elect in July 2023 and assume the presidency in July 2024 for a one-year term.

“I feel privileged to serve as ACRL vice president/president-elect as we move into a new era of Open Scholarship with an increasing emphasis on the application of emerging technologies, including Generative AI,” Cabada said. “While there are many challenges ahead for us, there are also opportunities to advocate for the value of Open Access, for responsible and ethical use of technology, and for a purposeful understanding of how this will impact our underserved and marginalized communities. With this understanding, we can come together to build on the meaningful work needed to address the inequities of the digital and technological divide in our society.”

During his eight years of ACRL membership, Cabada has held various positions with the ACRL Digital Scholarship Section Executive Committee (DSS), including past-chair (2022-2023), chair (2021-2022), vice-chair (2020-2021) and member-at-large, (2018-2020). He has also served as a member of the ACRL DSS

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (2017-2019).

“It is my distinct pleasure to congratulate Alex Cabada for his election and to welcome him to the ACRL Board of Directors,” said ACRL Executive Director Robert Jay Malone. “Alex’s deep involvement with digital scholarship, especially his good work with ACRL’s Digital Scholarship Section, will help us move more assuredly into the expanding digital landscape. Likewise, his involvement in ACRL’s equity, diversity and inclusion efforts will aid our efforts in making ACRL more equitable, more diverse, and more inclusive. I am grateful for his willingness to help ACRL succeed.”

Representing more than 8,000 individuals and libraries, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products, and services to help those working in academic and research libraries learn, innovate, and lead within the academic community.

Adapted from an ACRL press release

Alumni share experiences with admitted students

Alumni shared how they have used their MSLIS degrees during an admitted student visit day held in March. The iSchool welcomed nearly 60 admitted MSLIS and PhD students for campus visits during this event. In addition to the alumni panel, visits included sessions with faculty, staff, and current students.

Panelists included, from left to right: Joanna Pike (MSLIS ’19), prospect development analyst, University of Illinois Foundation; Shuyi Liu (MSLIS ’19), international outreach Services librarian, Illinois Fire Service Institute Library, UIUC; Christopher Bailey (MSLIS ’17), information sciences librarian, UIUC; and Tom Ackerman (MSLIS ’13), prospect development analyst, University of Illinois Foundation.


Celebrating 75 years of the PhD program

What has it meant to you to be an alum of the program at Illinois?

In 2023, the iSchool’s PhD program is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The School is highlighting the accomplishments of PhD students and alumni throughout the year in a special “PhD at 75” series. Read more: bit.ly/3mqCdhb

“I am immensely proud to be an alum of the iSchool at Illinois. I thought coming to Google with a background in a field outside of core computer science would put me at a disadvantage. However, I realized that the interdisciplinary nature of the iSchool uniquely prepared me for the challenges of my job. Every day, I have to synthesize diverse opinions and perspectives, quickly identify critical information, and align decisions across multiple stakeholders. I have to be fluent in data science and be able to extract meaningful metrics and insights from data and then communicate them in ways that facilitate decision making.

As a manager, I continually challenge myself to bring the same patience and mentorship to my team that the faculty at Illinois showed me. I often catch myself repeating the advice I received from Professors Twidale and Downie when I was a student.”

“I am extremely proud to be an alum of the iSchool and U of I. I cherish the friends I made while I was a student, and I am always thrilled to make connections with other alumni. The iSchool’s excellent reputation precedes us wherever we go. I also enjoy learning about the latest developments at the School.”

“The iSchool is one of its kind among schools offering information sciences. It is a great privilege to be an alumnus of a program that has consistently continued to lead the field of information science research and scholarship. The School has been built on 75 years of historical antecedents and records of success. Prestige and honor come naturally from being part of the iSchool at Illinois, and I am always grateful for my time in the PhD program. The faculty and the administrative staff made my time in the program a great experience.

“Being an alum of Illinois prepared me to see myself as a fearless leader. The program and the guidance I received gave me the confidence and skills needed to chart out new research pathways that inform inter-professional practices.”

— Vandana Singh (PhD ’08), Professor in the School of Information Sciences and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the College of Communication and Information at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.


Ruth Guldner Miller (MSLIS ’63) passed away on July 13, 2022.

Susan (Harrington) Steiniger (MSLIS ’62) passed away on August 7, 2021.


In November 2022, Michael Golrick (MSLIS ’76) became the associate state librarian at the State Library of Louisiana.

Jerome Richard “Dick” Stegman (MSLIS ’70) passed away in December 2022.


Frances Ott Allen (MSLIS ’83) passed away on February 23, 2023.

The History Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA) selected Carol A. Leibiger (MSLIS ’85) as co-editor of its peerreviewed journal, Libraries: Culture, History, and Society (LCHS).


Leslie Bednar (MSLIS ’96), Kim Hale (MSLIS ’89), Kathleen Helsabeck (MSLIS ’08), Patrice Johnson (MSLIS ’06), Jennifer Lara (MSLIS ’06), and Rick Meyer (MSLIS ’09) have been appointed to the Illinois State Library Advisory Committee (ISLAC), whose duty it is to make recommendations concerning the policies, services, and management of the State Library.

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (MSLIS ’94) has been appointed chair of the Open Research and Contributor ID (ORCID) Board.

Jeffrey Makala (MSLIS ’98) authored Publishing Plates: Stereotyping and Electrotyping in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Print Culture, which was published by Penn State University Press in November 2022.

Bethany Stone (MSLIS ’99) was promoted to chief operating officer of the Orange County Library System in Orlando, Florida, in October 2022.


Christine Carmichael (MSLIS ’04) was promoted to senior research and instruction librarian for business, arts, and sciences at Creighton University.

Laurie Chipps (MSLIS ’07) recently became the acquisitions librarian for the Wisconsin Historical Society’s library.

Melissa Cragin (PhD ’09) is the new associate vice president of research computing at Rice University.

Lesley (Lee) Dzik (MSLIS ’06) married Matthew F. Dzik, Jr., on December 31, 2021.

John Fischer (MSLIS ’07) has been named director of the Normal (IL) Public Library.

Dan Freeman (MSLIS ’05) is the director of continuing education at the ALA.

Cate Kaufman (MSLIS ’09) was recently promoted to dean of Faculty Development and Learning Innovation at Illinois Central College.

Diana Koppang (MSLIS ’04) has been elected to the Executive Board of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Karla Lucht (MSLIS ’07) has been selected to join The Reading List Council (CODES, RUSA, ALA). The Reading List seeks to highlight outstanding genre fiction that merits special attention from general adult readers and the librarians who work with them.

Robin Miller (MSLIS ’09) was promoted to full professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in July 2022. Robin also serves as head of library collections and discovery.

Liz Muller (MSLIS ’08) was promoted to associate director of special collections processing at the New York Public Library in October 2022.

Safiya Noble (MSLIS ’09, PhD ’12) received the 2023 Miles Conrad Award from the National Information Standards Organization.

Josh Petrusa (MSLIS ’07) became dean of libraries at Butler University in Indianapolis in December 2022.

Heidi Rhea (MSLIS ’08), adult services and outreach librarian at Alpha Park Public Library in Bartonville, Illinois, was interviewed by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the ALA.

Rachel Scott (MSLIS ’07) recently published Open Access Literature in Libraries: Principles and Practices with ALA Editions.

Manya Shorr (MSLIS ’04), library director of the Fort Worth (TX) Public Library, has been named one of the top 100 local government influencers for 2022 by Engaging Local Government Leaders.

Sarah Shreeves (MSLIS ’02) has been named dean of libraries for the University of Utah.


Barbara Alvarez (MSLIS ’12) has authored a new book, The Library’s Guide to Sexual and Reproductive Health Information, which was published by ALA Editions.

Tarida Anantachai (MSLIS ’11), director of inclusion and talent management at the North Carolina State University Libraries, has been elected to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Board of Directors as a directorat-large.

Mary Baker (MSLIS ’16) was promoted to lead at Bain & Company in September 2022.

Claire Berman (MSLIS ’18) started a new position as the librarian for Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in January.

David Bond (MSLIS ’14), library director of Val Verde County Library in Del Rio, Texas, is part of a county team working on the Cardwell Branch Library Project, an outreach library that will benefit an underserved area of Del Rio.

Anne Booker (MSLIS ’13) recently accepted a position as the adult services librarian for the Central Skagit Library District in Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

Katie Chamberlain Kritikos (MSLIS ’10) served as guest editor for a special issue of Journal of Information Ethics (Volume 31, Issue 2) on social justice and information ethics.

The Most Haunted House in America by Jarrett Dapier (MSLIS ’15) was selected as one of 36 Illinois Reads books for 2023 (K-2 category).

Robin Davis (MSLIS ’12) is the associate head of the User Experience Department at North Carolina State University Libraries.

Maria Emerson (MSLIS ’14), Lauryn Lehman (MSLIS ’18), and MSLIS student Isabela Pessoa Tavares de Oliveira presented the workshop, “Collection Diversity Audits: Planning and Development,” at the 2023 ACRL conference.

Jessie English (MSLIS ’13) has started a new position as grants and data coordinator for St. John Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Andrea Gannon (MSLIS ’15) was promoted to senior product manager at Microsoft in the Modern Work Transformation organization.

In October 2022, Heather M. Gunnell (MSLIS ’15) was selected as the new youth services collection management librarian at the Rockford (IL) Public Library.

Class Notes

Jason D. Harvey (MSLIS ’16) is the senior program manager of the ASU/Chandler Innovation Center in the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University.

EvaAnne Johnson (MSLIS ’18) has been appointed to the Illinois State Archives Advisory Board/Illinois Historical Records Advisory Board.

In February 2023, Kevin Kelley (MSLIS ’18) has a new job as associate director of children’s services at the New York Public Library.

A paper coauthored by Alex Kinnaman (MSLIS ’17) won the Best Paper Prize at iPRES 2022, the 18th International Conference on Digital Preservation.

Thomas Kuipers (MSLIS ’19) is the sole archivist and curator at the Betsy Ross House, responsible for exhibits and collection maintenance. He is also a grant-funded archivist for the Woodford Mansion.

Xiang Li (MSLIS ’17) passed away on March 12, 2023.

Sawyer Magnus (MSLIS ’18) was promoted to university archivist for the Velma K. Waters Library at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Emily Moran (MSLIS ’16) gave birth to her first child, Orion Fox Moran, on January 29, 2023.

In December 2022, Kinsley L. Riggs (MSLIS ’15) was promoted to deputy county librarian at Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kansas.

Martin Rollins (MSLIS ’19) joined Walgreens as a creative asset librarian in December 2022.

Kelly Schulz (MSLIS ’18) started a new position as an archivist in the Gallery Archives at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Kristin Somers (MSLIS ’14) is a nurse technician at Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Illinois.

Madison Sullivan (MSLIS ’15) was promoted to associate librarian with permanent status at the University of Washington Libraries on June 3, 2022, following the birth of her first child, Agnes Rooney Sullivan. She also teaches art librarianship at the San Jose State iSchool.

Lydia Tang (MSLIS ’15) served as a keynote speaker for the Code4Lib 2023 conference.

Michelle Urberg (MSLIS ’16), client success manager at LibLynx LLC, has established her own

LLC for consulting in the library and publishing industries (Data Solve LLC) and serves as the North American editor for Learned Publishing.

LaTesha Velez (PhD ’17) received the 2022 ALA Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award for her article, “It Was Like He Was Writing My Life: How Ethnic Identity Affected One Family’s Interpretation of an Afro Latinx Text,” which was published in the Fall 2021 issue of Library Trends

Latinas on the Line: Invisible Information Workers in Telecommunications (2022, Rutgers University Press), authored by Melissa Villa-Nicholas (PhD ’16), received honorable mention for the inaugural Labor Tech Research Network book award. Her upcoming book, Data Borders: How Silicon Valley is Building an Industry around Immigrants (UC Press), is available for preorder.

Bryan Whitledge (MSLIS ’11), public services librarian and archivist for the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University, received the Exemplary Service Award from the Society of American Archivists.

Madeleine Wolske (MSLIS ’16) has been named director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation.


Livia Garza (MSLIS ’21) serves as program manager in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards at the University of Houston.

Josh Henry (MSLIS ’21) coauthored and presented the paper, “Cultivating the Scientific

Data of the Morrow Plots: Visualization and Data Curation for a Long-term Agricultural Experiment,” at the 18th International Conference on Digital Preservation in Glasgow, Scotland.

Olivia Palid (MSLIS ’21) is a program coordinator with the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois.

Katie Peterson (MSLIS ’22) started a new job as an electronic resources cataloger at the University of Iowa in September 2022.

Helen Salkeld (MSLIS ’22) accepted a youth services library assistant position at the Eva Perry Regional Library in Apex, North Carolina.

Mimosa Shah (MSLIS ’22) is associate curator at Schlesinger Library at Harvard Radcliffe Institute. This two-year position is part of the library’s Diversity Residency Program and in partnership with Harvard’s Administrative Fellowship Program and ACRL Diversity Alliance.

Taylor Vazquez (MSLIS ’20) joined the SIU Medical Library team in June 2022 as a reference and education services librarian. In October 2022, Megan Williams-Friemel (MSIM ’20) started a new position with Abbott as a competitive intelligence manager in the Rapid Diagnostics Division.

Kerstin Wolf (MSLIS ’21) joined a new team at Vesta as a data scientist.

Emily Zerrenner (MSLIS ’22) blogged about her experience landing her first librarian job as research and instructional services librarian at Salisbury University on ACRLog.

Send us your news! We’d love to hear from you! Send us your updates as well as any employment or internship opportunities, conferences of interest, or opportunities for iSchool alumni to connect in your area. Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations School of Information Sciences 501 East Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61820 ischool-advancement@illinois.edu (217) 300-5746 ischool.illinois.edu/engage/alumni

Fortunatelyfor Chad Kahl, a PhD in political science wasn’t in the cards. As a graduate student at the University of Illinois, he wasn’t certain that he was in the right field. His advisor, Professor Paul Diehl, suggested that he take a class in the iSchool to see if it was a better fit—and everything fell into place. Chad not only ended up earning his MSLIS degree, but mutual friends in the program introduced him to fellow classmate (now wife)

Stephanie Davis-Kahl.

“After I made the move [to the MSLIS program], when I told people, a common response was ‘Librarianship. Of course. You were always reading. You loved going to the library.’ The fact that I was already on the campus that I loved, with the topranked graduate school in library science and phenomenal graduate assistantship opportunities, was extraordinarily lucky,” said Chad, who now works as a data services librarian at Milner Library at Illinois State University.

Like her husband, Stephanie’s decision to attend the iSchool was influenced by an offer of a graduate assistantship.

“I applied to several library schools and was lucky enough to receive an assistantship with a tuition waiver from the iSchool—I wouldn’t have been able to attend without the financial assistance,” she said. “I knew I’d get the education I needed from the faculty and staff at the iSchool, and the assistantship was an unexpected gift.”

Stephanie went to the public library on a weekly basis as a child and worked in her college’s library as an undergraduate. As someone who “loved the idea of knowing a little bit about everything and wanted to help people answer their own questions,” it was not a big leap for her to become a librarian. She currently serves as director of the Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University.

The couple, who earned their MSLIS degrees in 1998, are now loyal donors to the iSchool Annual Fund. They credit the School with not only bringing them together but also with preparing them for their professional careers in academic libraries.

“We had such a great experience, and we wanted to ensure that others had the same opportunities that we did to learn and grow,” said Chad.

Their advice to current students would be to “try to do as many things as possible.” In addition to her assistantships, Stephanie participated in internships and campus-level committee opportunities, and Chad completed an independent study that allowed him to try his hand at in-depth, scholarly research prior to graduation. Their second piece of advice is to have fun. “We made friends in the grad program that we still keep in touch with to this day,” they said.

For more information about giving to the iSchool, or to make a gift, visit go.ischool.illinois.edu/give.

iSchool alumni give back to program that brought them together
– Chad Kahl
We had such a great experience, and we wanted to ensure that others had the same opportunities that we did to learn and grow.”

First-generation college student to make a difference in her community through librarianship

Sinceshe was a child, Myriam Ramos has enjoyed helping organizations that give back to her community. Over the years, she has volunteered in the Back of the Yards neighborhood of Chicago, mentoring players in the Holy Cross Marimba Ensemble and planning and hosting book giveaways for youth.

It was this commitment to making a difference that prompted her to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work at the University of Illinois. A first-generation college student, Ramos worked as a library clerk for the Residence Hall Libraries, an experience that helped her realize her love for libraries. She decided to combine these two interests—giving back to her community and working in libraries—and pursue her MSLIS degree.

“When I first applied for the MSLIS degree, I was not really sure how I was going to afford to pay off my tuition, since I have loans from my undergraduate degree,” said Ramos. “Not only has the iSchool’s Anna Mae Koval Scholarship helped me financially, but it has also helped me to stay motivated to do well in my courses and seek out opportunities that allow me to continue to grow as a librarian.”

Your gift matters

Financial support from our alumni and friends plays a critical role in delivering transformational learning opportunities for our exceptional students. The generosity of our donors is a constant reminder of the important role our School has played in the lives of our alumni.

Student support continues to be a priority, along with the recruitment of outstanding faculty to teach our rapidly growing student body. Facilities and improvement projects are also incredibly important, and private support remains an essential component of our success.

As we look to the future, we would like to thank our alumni and friends for their continued support. If you would like to learn more about making a gift, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (217) 333-7344 or prillamn@illinois.edu.


“Not only has the iSchool’s Anna Mae Koval Scholarship helped me financially, but it has also helped me to stay motivated to do well in my courses and seek out opportunities that allow me to continue to grow as a librarian.”

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

501 East Daniel Street, MC-493

Champaign, IL 61820-6211

Student Showcase features undergraduate and graduate research

Bachelor’s and master’s students shared their research with the iSchool community online and in person at the 2023 iSchool Student Showcase on April 19-20.

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