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The Power of Information
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News & Notes: October 2021

Safiya Noble  
Safiya Noble named MacArthur Fellow

Internet studies and digital media scholar Safiya Noble (MS ’09, PhD ’12) has been named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She is among 25 fellows who will each receive $625,000 in unrestricted support over the next five years. Read more.

Alma Mater  
ISAA seeks nominations for annual awards

The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) is seeking nominations for three distinguished awards. The awards are given annually at the iSchool alumni reception held at the American Library Association conference. The deadline for nomination is October 15, 2021. Read more.

2020-21 annual research report  
Annual report highlights iSchool research

The 2020-2021 Research Highlights report showcases the leadership of the iSchool in conducting meaningful research to address key challenges in today's society. Read more.

iSchool at AISLE

The School of Information Sciences will participate in the in-person Association of Illinois School Library Educators (AISLE) Conference at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign on November 8-9. The School will have a booth in the exhibit hall of the conference and will host a reception on November 8 from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

CCB and School Librarian Licensure Anniversary Celebration

Join the iSchool as we celebrate 75 years of the Center for Children’s Books (CCB) and 20 years of the School Librarian Licensure program. We will hold an open house and reception on Sunday, November 7, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. in the multipurpose room on the 4th floor of our new space in 614 E. Daniel Street. For COVID mitigations, registration is required.




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Student life

David Alegre  
Internship Spotlight: PepsiCo

BS/IS student David Alegre recently interned with PepsiCo in Rancho Cucamonga, California. After graduating, he hopes to earn a master's degree in user experience design and work for a similar company. Read more.

scavenger hunt  
Scavenger hunt builds community

iSchool students learned more about campus and each other at the second annual iSchool Scavenger Hunt. The event, which was held September 3-10, was open to on-campus students in all programs. Pictured: Hallene Gateway group members Clara Belitz, Andrew Zalot, and Frank Stinar. Read more.

Cayden Boyer  
Boyer starts academic honor fraternity

Cayden Boyer, a senior from a small town near Peoria, Illinois, has expressed his appreciation for the BS/IS degree program by starting the Information Sciences Academic Fraternity. This new fraternity is an official student organization with a focus on helping future information professionals network and find more internship and career opportunities. Read more.

Cassidy Russell  
Russell represents iSchool on SAGE board

Cassidy Russell wears many hats—theater director, improv teacher, visual artist, and MS/LIS online (Leep) student. However, she still finds time to be involved and is a new member of Students Advising on Graduate Education (SAGE), a student advisory board that fosters active engagement with Graduate College programs and initiatives. Read more.

Jose Ramos  
Practicum Spotlight: JPMorgan Chase

For his practicum, BS/IS student Jose Ramos was a summer analyst at JPMorgan Chase. The experience gave him a preview of the Corporate Analyst Development Program, which he will join as a full-time analyst after he graduates in the spring. Read more.


Around the School

Jerome McDonough  
Professor Jerome McDonough passes away

Associate Professor Jerome ("Jerry") McDonough passed away at his home on September 17 after a long illness. He is survived by his spouse, Associate Professor Lori Kendall, and extended family and many beloved friends and colleagues. Read more.

Kate Quealy-Gainer  
Quealy-Gainer selected as Bulletin editor

Kate Quealy-Gainer (MS/LIS '09) has been selected as the new editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, one of the nation's leading children's book review journals for school and public librarians. She has over a decade of experience with the publication. Read more.

JCDL 2021  
iSchool hosts JCDL 2021

The iSchool at Illinois hosted the 2021 ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) in September. JCDL is a major international forum focusing on digital libraries and associated technical, practical, and social issues. Keynote speakers included Safiya Noble (MS '09, PhD '12) and Professor Michael Twidale. Read more.

Peggy Regan  
Get to Know: Peggy Regan, Office Administrator

As part of the iSchool's Academic Affairs office, Peggy Regan schedules courses and assists instructors by placing textbook orders. She enjoys when “all the course scheduling puzzle pieces come together" and students start to register for their courses. Read more.


Faculty news

Maria Bonn  
Bonn elected ASIS&T director-at-large

Maria Bonn, associate professor and director of the MS/LIS and CAS programs, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). She will begin her three-year term immediately following the ASIS&T Annual Meeting this fall. Read more.

Jodi Schneider  
Schneider receives NSF CAREER award

Assistant Professor Jodi Schneider has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award to assess how to identify potential sources of bias in research and how confident we can be in the conclusions drawn from a particular body of evidence. This prestigious award is given in support of early-career faculty. Read more.

Sara Schwebel  
Schwebel edits book on Newbery Medal books

Sara L. Schwebel, professor and director of the Center for Children's Books, and Jocelyn Van Tuyl, professor of French at New College of Florida, have coedited a new book, Dust Off the Gold Medal: Rediscovering Children's Literature at the Newbery Centennial, which was recently published by Routledge. Read more.

Dong Wang  
Wang receives grant to integrate AI and human intelligence

A new NSF-funded project being led by Associate Professor Dong Wang will explore the power of human intelligence to address the failures of existing AI schemes in disaster damage assessment applications and boost the performance of the system. Read more.

Bonn and Twidale explore the concept of “informated food”

Associate Professor Maria Bonn and Professor Mike Twidale have published a two-part concept piece on "Informated Food" in the ASIS&T publication, Information Matters. It is one of the first featured pieces in this new digital-only forum. Read more.

Catherine Blake  
Blake promoted to professor

Catherine Blake has been promoted to the position of professor. She serves as director of the MS/IM program and associate director of the iSchool's Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS). Read more.

Masooda Bashir  
New course to promote understanding of cybersecurity as a career

Introduction to Cybersecurity (ENG 198 CYB) is being offered by the University of Illinois for the first time this fall. Associate Professor Masooda Bashir, who co-initiated the vision for the undergraduate course, will present some of the lectures. Read more.

teenager using a smartphone  
Multi-institutional team receives NSF grant

The iSchool is part of an interdisciplinary research team that will develop digital literacy tools to curb the harmful effects of online disinformation. Anita Nikolich, research scientist and director of research innovation, is a co-principal investigator. Assistant Professor Rachel M. Magee and Adjunct Lecturer Dan Cermak are also involved. Read more.

iSchool building  
iSchool instructors ranked as excellent

Forty-seven iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Spring 2021, and nine were named in the list for Summer 2021.


Class notes


Jeanie Austin (MS/LIS '09, PhD '17) and coauthor Chelsea Jordan-Makely published an article, "Outside and In: Services for People Impacted By Incarceration," in Library Journal.

André Brock (PhD '07) and Samip Mallick (MS/LIS '11) have been selected to serve on the advisory board for the Connecting Communities Digital Initiative, a key component of the new initiative Of the People: Widening the Path at the Library of Congress. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this initiative aims to connect the Library more deeply with Black, Indigenous and other communities of color traditionally underrepresented in the United States.

Martha Kyrillidou (PhD '09), research associate at the iSchool, has been engaged by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to lead a feasibility study for transferring the Academic Library survey from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)/National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to the IMLS. The full study will be completed in the fall. NCES collects annual data for academic libraries in the U.S. as part of the IPEDS. IMLS collects annual data for Public Libraries and biennial data for State Library Administrative Agencies in the U.S.

Visit our class notes page to read more and submit a class note


Upcoming events


Responsible DS + AI Speaker Series: Alexandra Olteanu, Microsoft Research
October 8, 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Responsible DS + AI Speaker Series: Babak Salimi, University of California, San Diego
October 15, 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Minitalk: Libraries, Archives, and Climate: Edgardo Civallero, Charles Darwin Research Foundation, Galápagos Islands 
October 15, 10:30-11:00 a.m.

Fall 2021 PhD in Information Sciences Virtual Information Session
October 15, 12:00-2:00 p.m.

Just Infrastructures Speaker Series: Shoshana Zuboff
October 20, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Data Privacy Seminar: The Coming AI Hackers (Bruce Schneier)
October 21, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Responsible DS + AI Speaker Series: Katrin Weller, GEISIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
October 22, 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Minitalk: Libraries, Archives, and Climate: Gabrielle Griffis, Brewster Ladies’ Library (MA)
October 22, 10:30-11:00 a.m.

2021 Research Showcase
October 27, 12:00-5:00 p.m.

Responsible DS + AI Speaker Series: Julia Stoyanovich, New York University
October 29, 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Minitalk: Libraries, Archives, and Climate: Eira Tansey, Archives and Rare Books Library, University of Cincinnati Libraries
October 29, 10:30-11:00 a.m.

CCB and School Licensure Program Anniversary Celebration
November 7, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
On campus

iSchool at AISLE Reception
November 8, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
On campus

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