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iSchool holds first Leep Welcome Weekend

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:55:17 +0000

(image) Ninety-five Leep students traveled to campus from over twenty-five states for the iSchool's inaugural Welcome Weekend on September 23-25. During the course of the weekend, Leep students interacted with faculty and fellow classmates at a Friday afternoon reception and Saturday night dinner, learned about student organizations over breakfast on Saturday morning, and attended workshops on a variety of topics as well as sessions on cultural competency and professional development. On Saturday, students selected which workshops they wanted to attend—options included such topics as career strategies, faculty research, creating a professional web presence, and technology in libraries. At the Leep Unplugged session, Leep alumni engaged students in a Q&A format.

Leep Welcome Weekend replaces the initial seven-day residency for Leep students, affectionately known as Boot Camp. Students are now able to complete all degree requirements online, including LIS 502, which had previously been completed during the seven-day residency.

(image) The weekend was a hit with Leep students, who enjoyed mingling with faculty, talking with their peers, and connecting with alumni. Students commented that the weekend made them feel more connected to the School and the University. Around thirty iSchool faculty and staff actively participated, in addition to alumni, library, and adjunct faculty.

"The success of this model lies not only in the hands of those faculty and staff who developed and participated in it, but more importantly, it lies in the energetic engagement the students themselves brought to the weekend. We look forward to working with students, faculty, and staff to continue to evolve the weekend to ensure Leep students are well prepared to be academically successful, to feel like a part of the iSchool community, and to begin to develop important professional relationships with their peers and colleagues," said Meg Edwards, assistant dean for student affairs.




Cooke works with Our Voices to bring diversity to library collections

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:31:48 +0000

Assistant Professor Nicole A. Cooke is a founding member of the advisory board for Our Voices, a new American Library Association (ALA) initiative that seeks to increase diversity in the production and distribution of children’s books. Sponsored by ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom and Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, Our Voices offers interested libraries a template to promote the growth of diverse, quality content in library collections. The initiative is being launched during Banned Books Week, September 25-October 1.

"Working with the Our Voices is an absolute pleasure and is among the most important work I’ve done with the American Library Association," said Cooke. "It's such a great group—librarians, booksellers, and publishers—all of whom are passionate about seeing more diverse faces and stories in library collections."

Some of the steps Our Voices plans to use in achieving its goal are to identify small, independent content creators; connect with independent booksellers and readers for conversations about diversity of stories, quality of collections, and the value of libraries; and encourage the exchange of diverse collections among libraries. Cooke looks forward to working with iSchool students to increase diversity in the creation, publication, review, and acquisition of library materials. "Our diverse patron populations demand and deserve collections that reflect them and their experiences," she said.

Cooke was named a "Mover & Shaker" by Library Journal in 2007 and was the 2016 recipient of the ALA's Equality Award. Her research and teaching interests include human information behavior (particularly in the online context), critical cultural information studies, and diversity and social justice in librarianship with an emphasis on infusing them into LIS education and pedagogy. She holds an MEd in adult education from Penn State, and a Master of Library Science degree and a PhD in communication, information and library studies from Rutgers University, where she was an American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Doctoral Fellow.




Get to know Ziba Perez Zehdar (MS ’12), community services librarian and zinester

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 18:02:48 +0000

Community services librarian Ziba Perez Zehdar (MS ’12) is going mobile with the Long Beach Public Library (LBPL), and we’re not talking about a digital app. She leads several community engagement projects at multiple branch libraries and outside the library. Zehdar oversees the library’s makerspace, which includes a physical space at the Main Library called The Studio. One of her first tasks after joining the system in October 2015 was to take the makerspace mobile. She now manages mobile makerspace resources that can pop up at any one of the system’s twelve branches. She also oversees makerspace programming and a small staff of creatives and tech industry specialists who work with patrons at The Studio. This fall, Zehdar is launching a new mobile service point for the library in the form of a traveling librarian with a bicycle-based collection. In addition to sharing a rolling print collection, LBPL librarians will help people sign up for library cards and offer reference services and database training on the go. “The intention is to reach the groups I don’t see using the library,” said Zehdar, “to really spread the knowledge of the library . . . . We want to go to the people.” The project is funded by the Knight Foundation and 8 80 Cities, which selected Zehdar to join the 2016 cohort of Emerging City Champions. As Champions, she and nineteen other young people from across the country carry out projects that “strengthen mobility, improve public spaces, and enhance civic engagement in their cities.” Back at her home branch, the Main Library, Zehdar manages LBPL’s zine collection, California’s only circulating zine collection in a public library. Among the collection is her own zine, ZebraPizza, which she coauthors with fiancé and fellow LBPL staffer Jon-o Gazdecki. ZebraPizza’s eighth volume will be shared with guests at their nuptials in January 2017. The zine is published by ¡Three Amigos Press!, which Zehdar created to publish and distribute the first volume. Zehdar has been involved in several zine fests and comic cons as a participant, author, and organizer. She is currently collaborating with zine distributor Darcy Crash Distro to plan LBPL’s first on-site zine fest, Zine Queens Vol. 2: The Library is Open, which will be held on November 26. Follow Zehdar on Twitter (@iluvlibraries) and keep up with the latest from ¡Three Amigos Press! on Tumblr. [...]



iSchool faculty ranked as excellent for Summer 2016

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:20:37 +0000

Nine iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Summer 2016. The rankings are released every semester, and results are based on the Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES) questionnaire forms maintained by Measurement and Evaluation in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. Only those instructors who gave out ICES forms during the semester and who released their data for publication are included in the list.

Faculty and instructors appearing on the list include Robert Burger, Jeanne Holba Puacz, Andrew Huot, Karla Lucht, Patrick Olson, Kate Quealy-Gainer, Mary Wilkes Towner, Anieta Trame, and Melissa Wong.




iSchool cosponsors international symposium on cultural production

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 14:24:13 +0000

The University of Illinois is home to two extraordinary collections of modern reproductions of medieval Irish art, including jewelry, reliquaries, and manuscripts dating back to before the twelfth century. Many of these copies were acquired by the University around 1916, the year of the Irish “Easter Rising” against British rule. The centenary will be marked by an exhibit and symposium celebrating these works and their significance for Irish cultural heritage.

Hosted by the Spurlock Museum of World Culture and cosponsored by the iSchool and other campus units, the symposium, “Medieval Irish Masterpieces in Modern Reproduction,” features leading scholars from Ireland and the United States. Talks will explore the original works and their reproductions, and engage broader questions of collection, curation, provenance, and cultural heritage. iSchool Associate Professor Bonnie Mak will be the respondent for the session, “Copying Irish Culture: From Medieval Manuscripts to Modern Facsimiles.”

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to discuss the ways in which technologies of reproduction—whether manuscript, print, or digital—shape how we see the past, for this has important implications for how we understand our present and imagine our future,” said Mak.

(image) The symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on October 1 in the Knight Auditorium of the Spurlock Museum. It is free and open to the public. It is hosted by the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures and sponsored by the Program in Medieval Studies; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics; the University Library; the School of Information Sciences; the European Union Center; the Department of English; the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory; the School of Art and Design; and the Departments of Comparative World Literatures, Art History, and History.

The exhibit, “Medieval Irish Masterpieces in Modern Reproduction,” is ongoing at the museum through April 2, 2017.




La Barre's work with zines shared internationally through webcast

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 20:24:46 +0000

Music, politics, art, prison justice, comics . . . the topics of zines are as diverse as the individuals creating them. Unlike a traditional magazine, a zine is self-published, small in scale, and more personal. On September 16, iSchool Associate Professor Kathryn La Barre answered questions about zines and her role as caretaker of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) Zine Library on the Harukana Show, a broadcast of UCIMC's radio station WRFU, which is also webcast internationally.

According to La Barre, a number of the zines in the UCIMC Zine Library have only one copy, having been created at UCIMC workshops hosted by the library. Most of the library's 1,500 zines were donated by creators and collectors, but some were acquired at the Midwest Zine Fests hosted by the UCIMC Radical Librarians in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Perzines, or personal zines, are the most prevalent of the zines in the collection. Last spring, La Barre began working with volunteers to sort the collection into categories based on those in use at other zine libraries. "It is very difficult to categorize zines because most of them are about many, many different subjects," said La Barre. "Sorting is a first step in our project to make the library more accessible. Our hope is to enter the zines into an online catalog, so that other people can see what we have."
 
Many iSchool students have been caretakers of the book and zine collection at the UCIMC, including Tracy Nectoux (MS '06), Chris Ritzo (MS '09), Jeanie Austin (MS '09, now in the PhD program), and Maggie Taylor (MS '09). The School's connection (image) dates back to the establishment of the library in 2000. Currently, Em Justiss, a master's student, is engaged in a cataloging practicum. La Barre will work with Justiss and Taylor to host a pop-up "zinestravaganza" during the iSchool's Welcome  Weekend for Leep students on September 24  from 12:00-1:30 p.m. in room 52.

 Opportunities to learn more about zines include upcoming workshops sponsored by the UCIMC Zine Library, Urbana Free Library (UFL), and Urbana Arts Council. "Telling Our Stories: Make a Zine!" will be held at UFL from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on November 7 and 14. Art supplies will be provided for participants. All are welcome, and no registration is required. In addition, UFL will feature a special zine display from November 6-30.

While she has watched her students make zines, La Barre admits to having never made one herself. She looks forward to creating her first zine at one of the workshops in November. "I think in this world where so much of our communication happens online, the world of zines preserves the importance of being together and making things by hand," she said.

La Barre noted that the UCIMC Zine Library is eager to provide service learning opportunities, whether you wish to volunteer a few hours a month or want to set up practicum or internship engagements. For more information, visit the library’s Facebook page.




Tilley to give invited talk at Wonder Woman Symposium

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 20:34:54 +0000

Created in 1941, Wonder Woman has been a popular comics hero for decades. Associate Professor Carol Tilley will join fellow comics fans and scholars to celebrate the character’s seventy-fifth anniversary at the Wonder Woman Symposium on September 22-24 in Cleveland, Ohio. The event is hosted by Kent State University and the Cleveland Public Library.

Tilley will give an invited talk at the symposium, titled “By Sappho’s Stylus: Reading Wonder Woman with Wertham.”

Abstract: In his now-infamous 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent, psychiatrist Fredric Wertham opined that a child's exposure to Wonder Woman and other strong female characters might encourage non-normative understandings about gender and sexuality. Simply put, boys might grow to fear women and girls might grow to become lesbians. This talk will explore Wertham's arguments about Wonder Woman, drawing on some of the records he used to write Seduction, together with other then-contemporary expert opinions on Wonder Woman, information about comics readers, and other archival sources.

“Growing up, I wanted to be Wonder Woman. Although that dream didn't come true, I'm honored to be included on the roster of fabulous speakers, such as herstorian and cartoonist Trina Robbins and comics creators like Phil Jimenez and Genevieve Valentine, to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the beloved and controversial superheroine,” Tilley said.

At the iSchool, Tilley teaches courses in comics reader’s advisory, media literacy, and youth services librarianship. Part of her scholarship focuses on the intersection of young people, comics, and libraries, particularly in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. Her research has been published in journals including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), Information & Culture: A Journal of History, and Children’s Literature in Education. Her research on anti-comics advocate Fredric Wertham was featured in The New York Times and other media outlets.




Plante joins iSchool as employer relations coordinator

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 15:11:54 +0000

(image) Michele Plante joined the School on September 12 as the employer relations coordinator. In this new role, she will develop, maintain, and evolve partnerships with employers for student preprofessional and professional opportunities as well as increase corporate engagement. She will work with Becky Hodson, career services coordinator, to advise and guide students regarding their career materials and overall program and professional plans.  

Plante most recently worked as a career services coordinator at the College of Fine and Applied Arts. She enjoys promoting student talent and developing relationships with employers. Her primary advice for job seekers is to thoroughly research their target companies and individually tailor their approach to each employer. "Examine the language they use on their website; pay attention to their tone, their goals, their values, and their needs for a particular position. The cover letter you write to a corporate office in Manhattan may be very different in tone and content than the letter you write to a tech start-up in California, depending on what each employer is looking for and how they convey their corporate culture," she said.

Plante holds a bachelor's degree in graphic design and a master's degree in education. She has taught courses in professional development, entrepreneurship and self-promotion, and graphic design and was designated a Faculty Fellow by the Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership at the College of Business.

Plante is happy to be a part of the iSchool's student affairs team. "This is an exciting challenge, and I’m very much looking forward to hearing students' goals and ideas for their future," she said.




iSchool graduate student to present at ISIC conference

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 20:13:47 +0000

Cass Mabbott, PhD student, will participate in Information Seeking in Context (ISIC): The Information Behaviour Conference to be held September 20-23 in Zadar, Croatia. This biannual conference is devoted to information-seeking behavior and information use, focusing this year on analytical investigations of the connection between information research and information behavior and practices.

Mabbott will present, "Writing and reading the results: The reporting of research rigour tactics in information behaviour research as evident in the published proceedings of the biennial ISIC conferences, 1996-2014," with Heidi Julien, professor and chair of the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of Buffalo, SUNY; Lynne McKechnie, professor of information and media studies at The University of Western Ontario; and Roger Chabot and Nicole Dalmer, PhD students at The University of Western Ontario.

About the research: This study examined if and how information behaviour researchers include research rigour tactics in reports of their research projects. A content analysis was conducted of the 193 research reports published in the 1996-2014 ISIC proceedings. Articles were coded for author affiliation, rigour tactics reported, and whether or not enough information was presented to allow readers to assess the quality of the research and replicate the study. Both quantitative (frequencies) and qualitative (excerpts from the articles) data are reported. In total, 698 research rigour tactics were reported for an average of 3.6 per paper, a median of 3 per paper and a range of 0-20 tactics across all papers. Twenty-six papers (13.5%) included no rigour tactics at all while 8 (4.1%) included ten or more. Only 76 (39.4%) provided enough information for readers to assess the quality of the study, with fewer (n=44; 22.8%) providing enough information to allow for replication of the study. Conclusion: Both quantitative and qualitative empirical work is not being reported in ISIC papers in ways that clearly demonstrate research rigour, nor assure replicability.

Mabbott also will participate in a preconference doctoral workshop based on her dissertation work, "The Information Seeking Behavior of Preschoolers." Her research and teaching interests include social justice and youth in public libraries, information behavior of young children, and the history of children's literature. She currently is a graduate assistant working with The Comic Book Readership Archive in collaboration with iSchool Associate Professor Carol Tilley.




Padilla appointed inaugural humanities data curator at UCSB

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 19:45:08 +0000

courtesy of Library Journal Most academic librarians stepping into a position can model their work on that of their predecessors. But not Thomas Padilla (MS '14). On his appointment in April as the first humanities data curator at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Library (and the first in the entire University of California system), Padilla has had to draw on a number of different disciplines to shape his role of working with data throughout its life cycle, creating a support plan for digital humanities researchers, and providing research data consultation. Formerly the digital scholarship librarian at Michigan State University Libraries, Padilla is pioneering a new niche for academic librarians—and one that may become increasingly common. LJ: What do you do as humanities data curator? Thomas Padilla: I get that question a lot. To a certain extent it's still a role that is evolving. I see it as a combination of a digital humanities and a data curation librarian. I emphasize the digital humanities component because I think that makes it easier to engage with researchers, faculty, and students. Having a disposition toward not only the curation, but also the acquisition, analysis, and representation of the data, is really helpful because it provides different opportunities for engaging people in the course of exploring or formulating questions. In terms of what that looks like in a concrete way, it could be any number of things, from helping [researchers] acquire materials to evaluating the structure of the data to see whether it affords the possibility of asking certain types of questions. So if, for example, they wanted to do a mapping project, or a network analysis project, part of the role is helping them understand the affordances of the content they have in hand. And part of that is translating their individual disciplinary competencies so that [they have] purchase in a digital environment with materials they may not be accustomed to working with. On the data curation side, it's about helping researchers understand how to document the process of working with data to explore certain types of questions, so that other researchers can understand what they’ve done. How did you come to work in digital humanities and data? I was halfway through a graduate degree in history [at San Francisco State University] and I thought that I might be interested in archives or libraries as an additional career path. I was able to get an internship through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)...doing archival processing for a special collection at the National Archives in St. Louis, and I got bit by the archives/libraries bug. Through the same organization I was able to get a series of internships, one at the Library of Congress (LC) in the Educational Outreach division, and then a couple more in a program [at LC] called Digital Preservation Outreach and Education, which eventually was converted to a full-time position. I think it was that nexus of my humanities background and…exposure to digital archives and digital preservation work that led me to library school. I went to the University of Illinois, and had a number of other opportunities there to do digital preservation research. At Michigan State I started as digital humanities librarian, and the liaison to linguistics and philosophy. Eventually my role was broadened to digital scholarship writ large. And now I'm here. How does the treatment of humanities data differ from science data? It's an interesting sort of tension, because in the sciences a lot of the conversation around documentation focuses on the notion of reproducibility in research. But that sort of paradigm doesn’t always map to the humanities. One of [the researchers at UCSB] brought up the notion of repeatability. It[...]



Get to know Cheryl Thompson, PhD student

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:59:29 +0000

Policies and practices in data management—including data preservation and sharing—are increasingly important and complicated aspects of research today. Scientific research and data centers as well as universities and academic libraries are leading the way in developing and implementing best practices in data management. But how do they integrate data management strategies and experts into their workflows? It is at this intersection of people and institutions that doctoral candidate Cheryl Thompson is conducting her research. Specifically, she explores how organizations develop data expertise and services to support science. “My research focuses on the role of institutions in data use and access in scientific and research environments. By studying organizations and professions, I investigate the conditions that advance or hinder data-intensive research as well as the emerging data profession and its required expertise,” said Thompson. “As the need for quality data curation grows in contemporary research, information professionals play an essential role in data infrastructure, standards, and user services in science and scholarship. My primary goal is to promote innovative and responsive data services and the preparation of library and information science students for data work to meet the needs of the workforce,” she explained. In addition to pursuing these ideas in her doctoral coursework, Thompson has worked as a graduate assistant with faculty in the iSchool's Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship. She was a Data Share Fellow of the Research Data Alliance in 2015-2016 and a Data Curation Education in Research Centers (DCERC) fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in 2014. As a DCERC fellow, she and other iSchool students gained hands-on experience in data curation at NCAR. Thompson has also been a graduate researcher on the Data Stewardship Engineering Team at NCAR, which is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). In this role, she conducted interviews with lab representatives regarding their data services, the user communities they serve, and the challenges they face. She also assisted in inventorying data assets. Thompson recently presented some of her research findings at SciDataCon, a conference that addresses emerging issues in the role of data in research. Her poster, “Cultivating Data Expertise in Geoscience Research Centers,” put forth results from an ongoing study she is conducting at NCAR and eighteen other geoscience data centers. Based on interviews with data professionals at these centers, Thompson has drawn several conclusions about the knowledge and skills required for high-level data management and the roles these professionals play in the large-scale research taking place at their centers. She has found that many data managers learn their work on the job, rather than through formal training, and have expertise in a science domain. They tend to focus on the needs of the end user, combining domain and data management skills to develop strategies and tools to support user needs. “Data professionals have the unique ability to organize these data and information into valuable, useful products, collections, or systems for their domain communities . . . . All the interviewees, coming from geoscience backgrounds, described learning how to organize and manage data by doing it,” she said. Thompson identified four distinct roles for data professionals within large-scale research organizations: data managers or curators, data engineers, data scientists, and data service managers. However, she has observed that these roles are evolving—in part due to external forces impacting research centers—as well as moving from specialist to generalist[...]



Smith and Wong edit new edition of reference services textbook

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 14:45:11 +0000

In the new book, Reference and Information Services, An Introduction (5th Edition), Professor Linda C. Smith (MS '72) and coeditor Melissa A. Wong (MS '94) have assembled chapters from experts in library and information science that focus on new ideas and methods for providing reference service; discuss the effective use of print, online, and fee-based sources; and explore the future of reference services in light of today's fast-changing technology. The book was published in August by Libraries Unlimited, an imprint of ABC-CLIO.

In addition to Smith and Wong, contributors include several iSchool alumni and faculty members: Dave Tyckoson (MS '78), Kathleen Kern (MS '99), Beth Woodard (MS '79), Wendy Holliday (MS '02), JoAnn Jacoby (MS '97), Marcia Brandt (MS '08), Stephanie Davis-Kahl (MS '98), Jenny Marie Johnson (MS '85), Jeanne Holba Puacz (MS '92), Sarah Erekson (MS '04), Paul Healey (PhD '10), and assistant professors Nicole Cooke and Emily Knox (MS '03).

"The first edition of this textbook was published in 1991, offering instruction on reference and information services in a pre-web world," said Smith. "Now twenty-five years later, the fifth edition reflects the dramatic changes shaped by rapidly developing technologies and increasing volumes of digital content. Thanks to new collaborating authors, this edition also expands coverage in such important areas as readers' advisory services and business, medical, and legal sources."

Smith, associate dean for academic programs, teaches courses in information organization and access, reference, and science reference. She is a past president of both the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) and the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). She also is the recipient of several awards, including the 2010 ASIS&T Award of Merit and the 2012 ALISE Service Award as well as the 2000 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award from the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) for distinguished contributions to reference librarianship.

Wong, an iSchool adjunct lecturer, teaches online courses in reference, instruction, management, and academic librarianship. She is the recipient of the 2012 Campus Award for Excellence in Online and Distance Teaching. Previously, she worked as an academic librarian at the University of Southern California and Marymount College Palos Verdes.

"There is an art to distilling down complicated professional issues to the essentials in a way that is both educational and engaging. It was such a pleasure to work with all of our contributors, and I am immensely grateful for their willingness to share their expertise with students," said Wong.




Wolske named interim director of CDI

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 13:48:35 +0000

The iSchool is pleased to announce the appointment of Martin Wolske as interim director of the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI). Wolske assumes the position following the departure of Jon Gant, founding director, who recently accepted the deanship of the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University in Durham.

As a senior research scientist and adjunct lecturer, Wolske is well known for his excellence in teaching, research, and community service. His experience includes leadership roles in the international Community Informatics Research Network and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium’s Outreach and Engagement Practitioners Network. A frequently invited speaker at national and international venues, Wolske shares insights gained through advanced research in areas such as community informatics and digital literacy. His accomplishments also include service as president of the Champaign Public Library Board of Trustees, which recently completed a successful search for a new director.

Wolske joined the iSchool in 1995 and has served in many key roles, including director of Prairienet (1997-99), Champaign-Urbana’s first community information network and the predecessor to CDI. Since the late 1990s, he has taught networking and information systems courses, for which he received the 2011 Library Journal Teaching Award. He has served on several campus advisory and review panels related to engagement and, in 2013, he was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement. Wolske has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on a number of grants related to digital inclusion and digital literacy that have received funding through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the American Library Association, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, among other agencies.

"Martin has demonstrated a deep commitment to people in the communities in which he works, including East St. Louis, Champaign-Urbana, Danville, Rantoul, Decatur, and throughout the state," said Dean Allen Renear. "Recognizing that relationship-building and trust are fundamental to successful, long-term engagement with on- and off-campus partners, he nurtures those relationships well. Martin was one of the first people I met when I visited the School in 1999, and we’ve benefitted much from his guidance and support."

Wolske looks forward to his new role and the opportunity to further the mission of CDI: to foster inclusive and sustainable societies through research, teaching, and public engagement about information and communication technologies (ICT) and their impacts on communities, organizations, and governments.

"It has been my great pleasure to collaborate with CDI founder Jon Gant from the Center's inception," said Wolske. "He leaves behind a wonderful resource for the campus and community. I look forward to building on Jon's legacy to ensure that all, and especially those historically disadvantaged, are able to fully participate in our digital society, democracy, and economy."




Turk joins iSchool faculty

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 20:28:42 +0000

The iSchool is pleased to announce that Matthew Turk has joined the faculty, effective September 9. Assistant Professor Turk holds a joint appointment with the Department of Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. His work focuses on how individuals interact with data, and how that data is processed and understood. 

"We are very excited that Matthew Turk is joining us," said Dean Allen Renear. "Matt is a truly extraordinary researcher in data science who also embodies the commitment to interdisciplinary education that is at the heart of our School. A recipient of the prestigious Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Moore Investigator Award in Data-Driven Discovery, Matt is already a leading figure in his field."

Turk's research areas include the organization of and meaning behind data, how groups of individuals collaborate in an inherently competitive system, and how the interaction of software and the human experience of knowledge generation can be influenced to increase productivity or understanding. "Sometimes this takes the form of developing and implementing algorithms for analysis and visualization," said Turk, "but in other cases, it involves understanding the way that communities form around software and scientific processes."

Turk came to Illinois in 2014 to work as a research scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and a research assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy. He earned a doctoral degree in physics from Stanford University, and he completed postdoctoral work at the University of California at San Diego as well as an NSF Fellowship in Cyberinfrasture for Transformative Computational Science at Columbia University. He is currently the group leader at the Data Exploration lab at NCSA.

Turk is a co-PI on the five-year, $5 million National Science Foundation-funded Whole Tale project which will enable researchers to examine, transform, and republish research data that was used in an article, with the aim of helping to ensure reproducibility and pave the way for new discoveries.

"The iSchool is in a unique position—the research going on, the world-class faculty, students, and staff, and the new programs (such as information management) make it one of the most exciting places to be on campus," Turk said.




iSchool faculty ranked as excellent

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:07:47 +0000

Fifteen iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Spring 2016. The rankings are released every semester, and results are based on the Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES) questionnaire forms maintained by Measurement and Evaluation in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. Only those instructors who gave out ICES forms during the semester and who released their data for publication are included in the list.

Faculty and instructors appearing on the list include Robert Burger, Elizabeth Bush, Jana Diesner, Jeanne Holba Puacz, Emily Knox, Rachel Magee, Annie McClellan, Kate McDowell, Debra Mitts Smith, Melissa Salrin, Fred Schlipf, Yoo-Seong Song, Carol Tilley, Martin Wolske, and Melissa Wong. Magee and Wong received the highest ranking of "outstanding."