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news & notes: may 2019

Save the date: All iSchool Reunion

We will hold an All iSchool Reunion from July 12-14. There will be many different events during the weekend, including:

  • Welcome reception on Friday, July 12, including remarks to thank Professor Linda Smith for her service to the School.
  • Events on Saturday, July 13, to update alumni on changes in the School as well as to inform on various topics of interest.
  • Evening reception on Saturday, July 13, at Houlihan's for networking and socializing.
  • Light brunch on Sunday, July 14.

More information will be available soon. 

Get to Know Jen Clark (MS ’14), director of artificial intelligence strategy

As the director of artificial intelligence strategy at Benefitfocus, Jen Clark (MS '14) works on leading-edge technology to solve complex data and AI problems. She credits her iSchool coursework with laying the foundation for her career in data science. Read more.

Summer Getaway 2019

Back by popular demand, Summer Getaway 2019: Professional Learning for School Librarians will be hosted by the iSchool from July 11-12. Participants can customize the conference experience, attending one or two full days of engaged learning. Up to seven Professional Development Hours will be offered for each full day of attendance. Register by June 15 to receive the discounted rate of $50/day. Be prepared to pack your bags; you don't want to miss this opportunity!

Meet us in Washington, DC for ALA

Alumni attending the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Washington, DC are invited to visit the iSchool at booth #3205 from June 21-24. We are pleased to offer Exhibit Hall passes at no charge. Please contact us at ischool-advancement@illinois.edu to request a pass. We will be hosting a recent alumni reception on June 22 and our alumni reception and ISAA annual meeting on June 23.

Recent graduates—Stay connected!
Congratulations to our May graduates! As you start your new career and enter the next phase of your life, please remember to stay in touch with us. The iSchool offers many ways to stay connected with former classmates as well as to keep up with School news and trends in the field. Find out how you can stay connected on the New Graduates page.
iSchool Job Search Workshop series

The iSchool Job Search Workshop Series is designed for anyone who is currently job searching, plans to begin a job search soon, or has questions related to job searching. All iSchool students (current and incoming) and alumni are welcome to attend. Participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions but welcome to attend just one or two. The first round will be recorded. See the calendar below for dates and times.

iSchool Summer Socials in Champaign

Alumni Affairs and Career Services will once again host our iSchool Summer Social series for local alumni and friends:

  • May 31, Focus on Librarians: Quality in downtown Champaign. Register here.
  • June 28, Focus on Data: Research Park, 2100 S. Oak Street in Champaign, held in conjunction with the monthly Fire at Five Bonfire and Happy Hour by the pond. Register here.
  • July 11, Focus on School Librarianship: Quality in downtown Champaign, held in conjunction with both the iSchool Summer Getaway and the iSchool Reunion. Register here.
2018 LIS Graduates

Stand up and be counted in the Library Journal Placements and Salary Survey! If you graduated in May, August, or December 2018, please fill out the form to be included.

Alumni Connections Facebook group

If you’re on Facebook and would like to be more involved with the iSchool, please join the iSchool Alumni Connections group. You’ll find information about your fellow alumni, discussion on professional activities, and updates (some serious, many humorous) about the School and University. It’s a great way to reconnect!


First professorship established at the iSchool

The iSchool is pleased to announce the establishment of its first endowed professorship, the Mildred M. Luther and Kathryn Luther Henderson Professorship in Preservation and Technical Services. The professorship was established through the generosity of Mildred Luther (1926-2017), a loyal Illinois employee and alumna with a special family connection to the School.

"This is such a wonderful expression of support for the mission of our School and our University," said Professor and Dean Allen Renear. "Kathie Henderson has been a powerful intellectual figure at our School. Her sister Mildred, who graciously made this gift, throughout her life provided vital wise and expert support for decades of University leaders, support that helped the University navigate many challenges and become the great institution it is today. With this gift, Mildred continues her devoted support for the University by recognizing the extraordinary contributions, to the field, to the School, to the University, and to the world, of Kathryn Luther Henderson."

Read more about the Mildred M. Luther and Kathryn Luther Henderson Professorship in Preservation and Technical Services.

Learn more about the With Illinois campaign and the iSchool’s priorities.

student life
Cheng receives fellowship for summer study in data science

Drexel University's College of Computing and Informatics has selected PhD student Jessica Cheng as a LEADS-4-NDP 2018-2019 Fellow. LEADS-4-NDP, the LIS Education and Data Science for the National Digital Platform program, is part of the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. Read more.

Paige Cunningham 
Cunningham defends dissertation

Doctoral candidate Paige Cunningham successfully defended her dissertation, "Exploring Communication Patterns in Massive Open Online Courses," on May 6. Read more.


Student consulting team assists Illinois student entrepreneur

In Associate Professor Yoo-Seong Song's Applied Business Research class (IS 540), students learn advanced techniques of business research through hands-on experience with real-world clients. This semester, a team of students has been working with entrepreneur Douglass Lee, founder of the startup OneSoftDigm (OSD) and a senior in business at the University of Illinois. Read more

Monica Hoh 
Hoh receives SSP Fellowship

MS/LIS student Monica Hoh has been awarded a fellowship from the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP). Of the 90 students and early-career professionals in publishing, librarianship, and information science who applied for the fellowship, twelve were selected. According to the SSP, this year's recipients were chosen based on their high level of engagement in their fields and represent a diverse range of skills in scholarly publishing and librarianship. Read more.

Get to know Jenny Bruxvoort, MS student

New MS/LIS graduate Jenny Bruxvoort will head to Oregon to work as a research and instruction librarian at George Fox University, combining her interest in academic libraries and desire to support students. Read more.

Han Wins 2019 LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award

Master's student Sharon Han has been selected as the winner of the 2019 Student Writing Award sponsored by Ex Libris Group and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) for her paper titled "Weathering the Twitter Storm: Early Uses of Social Media as a Disaster Response Tool for Public Libraries During Hurricane Sandy." Read more.

Lawrence presents at popular culture conference

Doctoral candidate E.E. Lawrence gave a talk at the 2019 Popular Culture Association National Conference, which was held April 17-20 in Washington, D.C. Lawrence presented "Should the Public Library Promote Popular Fiction?," during the Libraries, Archives & Museums area's "Collections" session. Read more.

Gabriel awarded fellowships for study in critical theory, data science

PhD student Jamillah R. Gabriel has received support from the University of Illinois and Drexel University to attend summer programs in the areas of critical theory and data science. Drexel University selected her for a LEADS-4-NDP 2018-2019 Fellowship, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at Illinois awarded her a Nicholson Graduate Fellowship. Read more.

around the School
May Convocation

On May 12, the iSchool held its convocation for August 2018, December 2018, and May 2019 graduates. Foellinger Auditorium was at capacity with graduates, faculty, and family members. The convocation address was given by Katie Blakeman (MS '11), Clerk of the Circuit Court for Champaign County. Pictured at left: Director of Alumni Affairs Jill Gengler (MS '99) with Joanna Pike (MS '19), graduate assistant in the iSchool's Advancement Office. See more photos on Facebook

faculty news
He to join iSchool faculty

The iSchool is pleased to announce that Jingrui He will join the faculty as an associate professor in August 2019. She is currently an associate professor of computer science and engineering at Arizona State University (ASU). Her research is focused on two major challenges of big data: rarity and heterogeneity. Read more.

New lecturers to join the iSchool

In August 2019, the iSchool will welcome Inkyung Choi as a lecturer and Sharon L. Comstock (PhD '12) as a senior lecturer. Choi is currently a lecturer in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Comstock is an inquiry & impact officer at the Evansville (IN) Vanderburgh Public Library and adjunct instructor at Kent State University. Read more

iSchool names new MS program directors

The iSchool is pleased to announce the appointment of new directors for its master's degree programs. Associate Professor Maria Bonn will serve as program director for the MS in library and information science (MS/LIS), and Associate Professor Catherine Blake will serve as program director for the MS in information management (MS/IM). They began their three-year terms on May 16. Read more.

National Humanities Center Fellowship supports Underwood book project

With support from the National Humanities Center, Professor Ted Underwood is examining patterns of human perspective throughout two centuries of literary history. The Center is a residential institute for advanced study in art history, classics, languages and literature, philosophy, and other fields of the humanities. Read more.

Stodden to serve on NISO Reproducibility Badging and Definitions working group

Associate Professor Victoria Stodden has been selected to serve on the Reproducibility Badging and Definitions Working Group for the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). NISO is a U.S. nonprofit association that develops, maintains, and publishes technical standards to facilitate the creation, management, and interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and teaching. Read more.

Hoiem recognized as emerging scholar by ChLA

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Hoiem has been named the 2019 recipient of the Judith Plotz Emerging Scholar Award, which is given annually by the Children's Literature Association (ChLA). The award recognizes an outstanding article of literary criticism by an early career scholar on the topic of children's literature within a given year. Read more.

University funds yearlong interdisciplinary course on Illinois innovations

Four Illinois professors are creating the Innovation Illinois Community Laboratory + Interactive Exhibit with $150,000 in funding from the University of Illinois System, as part of an investment in the arts and humanities. The project, coordinated by iSchool Associate Professor Anita Say Chan, will involve a new course focusing on interdisciplinary innovations at Illinois for undergraduate students. Read more.

Bonn discusses scholarly communication at ACRL 2019

Associate Professor Maria Bonn presented her research during the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) biennial conference, which was held in April in Cleveland, Ohio. She spoke at the preconference workshop, "OER + Scholarly Communication." Read more.


Visit our newsroom page to see the latest School news.

class notes
 Submit your own class note.

Emily Adams (MS '17) is moving to the Bloomington, Illinois, area to begin work as the Tri-Valley Elementary School librarian. She will be with the K-3 students twice a week, teaching library and technology skills. She is looking forward to the smaller, rural setting.

Lizzy Boden (MS '18) is the recipient of the Illinois Library Association's 2019 Robert P. Doyle Conference Grant for Support Staff. She is currently an adult services librarian at the North Riverside Public Library.

Midori Clark (MS '17) will be the new director of Library and Cultural Services for the city of Aurora, Colorado, starting on June 24.

Lora Del Rio (MS '08) began working as humanities librarian at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) in 2013. As of March 2019, she has been appointed as a tenured member of the SIUE faculty and promoted to associate professor. 

Tracy Drake (MS '15), archivist/librarian for the Chicago Public Library, has received a scholarship from EBSCO Information Services and the American Library Association (ALA) to attend the ALA Annual Conference.

Mandi Goodsett (MS '13), performing arts & humanities librarian at Cleveland State University, was recently elected vice president/president-elect of the Academic Library Association of Ohio. She is also serving on the ALA Steering Committee for Organizational Effectiveness and as an instructor for the Open Textbook Network's OER Librarianship Certification program.

Heyworth CUSD #4 District Librarian Michelle Harris (MS '07) received a 2019 Excellence Award from the Illinois Education Association Region 62. She has been the district librarian, a solo librarian serving two libraries, for 13 years.

Heather Jagman (MS '96) has been elected secretary/treasurer of the Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL). She is the coordinator of reference, instruction, and academic engagement at DePaul University Library.

Cyril Oberlander (MS '00) coauthored the article, "How Data Improved Our Library Space," which was published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Hilary Rains (MS '14) is starting her third year as the youth services manager at the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois.

Catherine (Cathy) Ritchie (CAS '00) will retire as adult materials selector for the Dallas (TX) Public Library in July 2019.

Miguel Ruiz (MS '13) has been elected a director at large of the Illinois Library Association (ILA). He serves as the information services supervisor at Skokie (IL) Public Library.

Bethany (Dishion) Thompson (MS '05) achieved National Board Certification in Library Media.

Lisa Vallen (MS '16) has accepted a position as archivist for the Southern Labor Archives at Georgia State University.


Visit our class notes page to see more.

upcoming events

MS/IM Virtual Information Session
June 5, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

MS/LIS Virtual Information Session
June 6, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

iSchool Job Search Workshop: Job Search Strategy & Resume, CV, Cover Letters
June 9, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

iSchool Job Search Workshop: Interviewing Prep
June 16, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

iSchool@ALA 2019
June 21-24
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW, Washington, DC 20001

iSchool Recent Alumni ALA Reception
June 22, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Clyde's, 707 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

iSchool ALA Alumni Reception & ISAA Annual Meeting
June 23, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Embassy Suites Convention Center, Capital AB rooms
900 10th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

iSchool Job Search Workshop: Negotiating & Networking
June 23, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

iSchool Job Search Workshop: Job Search Strategy & Resume, CV, Cover Letters
July 9, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

MS/IM Virtual Information Session
July 10, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Summer Getaway 2019: Professional Learning for School Librarians
July 11-12, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
On campus

MS/LIS Virtual Information Session
July 11, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

iSchool Job Search Workshop: Interviewing Prep
July 16, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

iSchool Job Search Workshop: Negotiating & Networking
July 23, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

iSchool Job Search Workshop series (Condensed)
August 2, 12:00-2:00 p.m.