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news & notes: july 2019

Linda Smith & Eunice Santos 
Santos named new iSchool dean

Professor Eunice E. Santos has been named dean of the iSchool, effective August 16, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Professor Emerita Linda C. Smith (left), who retired from the School on June 30, helped introduce Santos to alumni during the iSchool's reunion weekend reception on July 12. 

2019 ISAA award recipients recognized

The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) honored its 2019 award recipients at the ISAA annual meeting and reception, which was held on June 23 during the annual meeting of the American Library Association in Washington, DC. Read more.

Recent graduate develops new open-access journal for anime and manga studies

During his time at the iSchool, recent MS/LIS graduate Billy Tringali established and launched the Journal of Anime and Manga Studies (JAMS), an open-access publication dedicated to providing an ethical, peer-reviewed space for academics, students, and independent researchers to share their research in the field of anime, manga, cosplay, and fandom studies. Read more

Book chapter co-authored by Hodson offers advice to job seekers

iSchool Career Services Coordinator Rebecca Hodson (MS '13) has coauthored a chapter with Madison Sullivan (MS '15) and Kristina Williams (MS '17) on troubleshooting the job search in The Future Academic Librarian’s Toolkit: Finding Success on the Job Hunt and in Your First Job, a newly published book edited by Megan Hodge. Read more.

iSchool at ALA Annual 2019

Nearly 200 alumni dropped by the iSchool booth in the Exhibit Hall and attended the alumni receptions and iSchool Alumni Association annual meeting at this year’s American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference. iSchool staff were thrilled to reconnect with alumni and hand out the School's marvelous socks. Next year’s conference will be in Chicago, and the iSchool is already making plans!

Recent graduates—Stay connected!
Congratulations to our recent graduates! 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. If you graduated this year or will graduate in August, please share your story using the Illini Success Survey. Your responses will provide crucial information for improving the experiences of future students and helping them with career and academic advising.
Nominations invited for annual Downs Intellectual Freedom Award

The iSchool at Illinois seeks nominations for the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. Given annually, the award acknowledges individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it impacts libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas. The deadline for nominations is October 5, 2019. Read more.

Ruan receives CALA Distinguished Service Award

Lian Ruan (MS '90, PhD '11) has been selected as the recipient for the 2019 Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) Distinguished Service Award for her dedication to Chinese-American librarianship and her commitment to the growth and integrity of CALA. Read more.

iSchool merchandise store now open!

The Illini Union Bookstore now has an online store for official iSchool merchandise. Items for sale include iSchool polo shirts in orange and navy, a blue t-shirt and crew-neck sweatshirt, a tumbler, and a coffee mug. Shipping is available.

iSchool alumni selected for 2019 ALA Leadership Institute

Anne Miskewitch (MS '05), deputy director for Schaumburg Township District Library, and Elisandro Cabada (MS '17), medical and bioengineering librarian at the University of Illinois, have been selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants to participate in the ALA Leadership Institute. Read more.

iSchool job search workshop series

This summer iSchool Career Services has organized a Job Search Workshop series for students and alums. You can listen to the recordings of the first round here:

The final session will be held on Friday, August 2 (in person and online).

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!

Richard Pearce-Moses & Linda Smith
iSchool alumnus honors Linda C. Smith through gift to School

Professor Emerita Linda C. Smith was the first person that Richard Pearce-Moses (MS '01) contacted after discovering that Illinois offered an online ALA-accredited library and information science program. He was interested in pursuing his MS/LIS degree through the School’s Leep program but had missed the application deadline by a few days.

"Fortunately, there was a note that applications would be accepted as long as there was room in the program," he recalled. "I immediately sent a note asking if space was available. It was in the evening—late evening in Illinois—and I had an answer from Linda in minutes. Her responses were always so quick that I teased her that she had a T-1 connection wired into her head."

Pearce-Moses has made a commitment to donate $5k to the Harold Ladd Smith Jr. and Flora Lancaster Smith Endowment Fund for Student Travel, which Smith established in honor of her parents. He challenges fellow alumni to match his contribution, as a way of congratulating Smith on her recent retirement from the School.

Learn more about the Campaign for Illinois and the iSchool’s priorities.

student life
Get to know Ben Chiewphasa, MS student

Get to know Leep student Ben Chiewphasa, a government information librarian and cataloging specialist at the University of Montana, who is a 2019 W. David Rozkuszka ALA Scholarship recipient. Read more.

iSchool student develops prison book club

In her work at a women's prison in Illinois, MS/LIS student Christinna Swearingen noticed that while a lot of the prisoners love books, many of them struggle to read. Her response to this problem was to create a Prison Book Club to engage readers at all levels of ability. Read more.


Five iSchool students named 2019-2020 ALA Spectrum Scholars

Shubhanshu Mishra defends dissertation

Jimi Jones defends dissertation

Takazawa defends dissertation

around the School
Hayden receives honorary degree

iSchool Dean Allen Renear presented Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden with her honorary degree at the University of Illinois Commencement on May 11, 2019. Read more.

Get to Know Dustin Janes, Office Administrator

Did you know Dustin Janes worked at a bagel factory before joining the University of Illinois? He has been an office administrator at the iSchool since March 2019. Find out more about Dustin in our "Get to Know" feature. Read more.

Student award recipients announced at Convocation

Each year, the School recognizes a group of outstanding students for their achievement in academics as well as a number of attributes that contribute to professional success. This year's student awards were presented at the School's Convocation in May. Read more.

Selma Richardson 
Selma Richardson passes away

Professor Emerita Selma Richardson passed away on July 10, 2019, in Urbana. An authority on school library media services, Richardson worked in a number of school libraries, including Oak Park and River Forest High School, before joining the University of Illinois in 1974. Read more.

faculty news
Chin to join iSchool faculty

The iSchool is pleased to announce that Jessie Chin will join the faculty as an assistant professor in August 2019, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Chin carries out wide ranging research in health informatics, including studying information needs at different ages, in different conditions of health and wellness, and in different social contexts. Read more.

Kilicoglu to join iSchool faculty

The iSchool is pleased to announce that Halil Kilicoglu will join the faculty as an associate professor in August 2019, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. He is currently a staff scientist at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read more.

Wang to join iSchool faculty

The iSchool is pleased to announce that Yang Wang will join the faculty as an associate professor in August 2019, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Wang's research interests include usable privacy and security technologies, social computing, human-computer interaction, and explainable artificial intelligence.  Read more.

Knox selected for leadership positions

Associate Professor and BS/IS Program Director Emily Knox was recently appointed president of the Board of Trustees of the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and elected vice president/president-elect of Beta Phi Mu. Read more.

Bonn and colleagues receive IMLS grant

Associate Professor and MS/LIS Program Director Maria Bonn and colleagues in North Carolina and Kansas have received an IMLS grant to fund their project, Scholarly Communications Notebook, which will create an open educational resource index and repository for teaching scholarly communications to emerging librarians. Read more.

Chan selected as a Data & Society Faculty Fellow

Associate Professor Anita Say Chan has been selected as a 2019-2020 Data & Society Faculty Fellow. Data & Society is a research institute focused on the social and cultural issues arising from automation and data-centric technology. Read more

Diesner and researchers to lead study on impacts of conservation investments

iSchool Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner is co-principal investigator on a new multi-institutional project supported by the MacArthur Foundation that will study the impact of conservation investments. Read more.


Hoiem presents research on economic justice in children's literature at ChLA 2019

Schneider presents research at ECA 2019

Stodden discusses reproducibility at White House conference

Weech discusses LIS accreditation at CoLIS

Bosch presents research on measuring learning outcomes at UMAP

Ludäscher Lab presents research at Philadelphia Logic Week

Knox authors article in IJIDI on censorship of diverse books


Visit our newsroom page to see the latest School news.

class notes
 Submit your own class note.

Marcus A. Berry (MS '18) started his job as a teen services librarian at the Chicago Public Library in June. He currently works at the South Chicago Branch but will be in charge of the YOUmedia space at the Altgeld Branch once the new building is complete. Previously, he worked as a reference and instruction librarian for City Colleges of Chicago at Malcolm X College. 

Ann Chiu (MS '15), electronic services and instruction librarian at Warner Pacific University Library, was recently elected as a member-at-large for the ACRL-Oregon Board.

Suzanna Conrad (MS '11) was awarded $149,384 by IMLS to organize a National Forum on assessing scholarly communication programs at M1 public institutions.

Alayna Davies-Smith (MS '81), accepted the branch manager position of Lahaina Public Library on the island of Maui, one of 51 branches in the Hawaii State Public Library System. She also serves on the Hawaii Library Association Board of Directors.

Tracy Drake (MS '15), archival specialist at the Chicago Public Library's Vivian G. Harsh Research Center, is a 2019 recipient of the Brenda S. Banks Travel Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA).

Kristine Hammerstrand (MS '79), director of user services for the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), received the 2019 TBS, Inc. Technical Services Award from the Illinois Library Association (ILA).

Susan K. Kendall (MS '01) has received the 2019 Louise Darling Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Collection Development in the Health Sciences from the Medical Library Association. She is the health sciences coordinator at Michigan State University Libraries.

Stacey Knight-Davis (MS '01), head of library technology services for Eastern Illinois University's Booth Library, received the 2019 ILA Reference Services Award.

Julie Kuenzel Kwan (MS '68), 2018-2019 president of the UCLA Faculty Center Board of Governors, continues to serve on the board of the UCLA Emeriti Association. She retired in July 2016 as librarian emerita with 36 years at the UCLA Library at the Biomedical Library, the Science and Engineering Library, and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Southwest Region. She also served 12 years with the University of Southern California Libraries, focusing on science, engineering, and business.

Sawyer Magnus (MS '18) accepted the position of assistant archivist at Texas A&M-Commerce and will start in August.

Jennifer L. Marill (MS '88), chief of the Technical Services Division at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), received the 2019 NIH Director's Award for leadership in building the NLM digital collection and providing access to biomedical resources. The NIH Director's Awards acknowledge achievements from across all of the Institutes and Centers in advancing NIH-wide priorities.

Heather McCammond-Watts (MS '95), youth department director at Glen Ellyn Public Library, received the 2019 Davis Cup Award from ILA.

Nancy Arthur McDaniels (MS '70) retired eight years ago from the St. Paul Public Library. She volunteers several hours each week.

Emily (Hardesty) Moran (MS '16) married Mike Moran on June 22, 2019, in central Pennsylvania.

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

Kristin Petersheim (MS '15) has received a James M. Matarazzo Rising Star Award from the Special Libraries Association (SLA). The award recognizes outstanding new SLA members who show exceptional promise of leadership and contribution to the association and profession. 

David Pilachowski (MS '73) spoke on a panel at the 2019 National ACRL Conference about lessons learned from the ALA/AIA winning Williams College library building. He retired in 2017 after serving as director of libraries at Williams College for 19 years but continues to consult on space planning.

Katie (Lucas) Potempa (MS '17) accepted the position of archives assistant at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, in October 2018. 

Ted Quiballo (MS '17) started his role as instructional technologies librarian at Northwestern University on January 1, 2019.

Hiral Rayani (MS '19) is a data scientist at Caterpiller.

A new book by Sarah T. Roberts (PhD '14), Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media, was published by Yale University Press in June. Roberts is an assistant professor of information studies at UCLA.

Stephanie Shallcross (MS '18) accepted a position as the Learning Commons director at Meadow Glens Elementary for the 2019-2020 school year.

Brian Shepard (MS '05), executive director of the Indian Trails Public Library District, received the 2019 ILA Librarian of the Year Award.

Yasmeen Shorish (MS '11) was awarded $89,000 by IMLS to convene a national forum to address key opportunities and challenges in building a collective collection-development system for open access (OA) content. She also is completing her term as 2018-2019 chair of ACRL's Research and Scholarly Environment Committee.

Rachel Shulman (MS '08) left her position as research librarian for education and outreach at the University of California, Irvine, in late 2010 and became a private tutor. In 2017 she was recruited to run undergraduate programming at the MIT Energy Initiative, including the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and the interdisciplinary energy studies minor. 

Lissa Staley (MS '01) has become the community connections librarian at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library in Kansas. In this new position, she will continue moderating deliberative conversations and offering facilitation services in the community, in addition to managing popular programming around trivia nights and National Novel Writing Month events.

Patricia Fitzgerald Stenstrom (MS '57) passed away on July 2, 2019, in Woodlands, Texas. She worked for thirty years at the University of Illinois Library, concluding her career as the library and information science librarian. Professor Emeritus Donald Krummel remembers Stenstrom as "a treasure," a careful listener who kept the library running beautifully. 

Guy St. Clair (MS '65) has received the John Cotton Dana Award, SLA's top honor, which recognizes a lifetime of achievement as well as exceptional service to SLA and the library and information profession.

Sreeharsha Sura (MS '18) writes that he is grateful for the iSchool guiding him in his career and also for helping him meet his life partner.

Andrea Telli (MS '01) has been named the new commissioner for the Chicago Public Library (CPL), effective June 15, 2019. She served most recently as deputy commissioner of public services, where she oversaw operations for CPL's 81 branches and its central library at Harold Washington Library Center.

Della Terza (MS '13) has been named the new executive director of Naperville (IL) Public Library. He most recently served as deputy director of the three-building library system.

Kathryn Tripp (MS '15) received a promotion from young adult librarian to head of Youth Services at the Woodstock Public Library. In addition to this new role, she will continue to work with the young adults in grades 6-12. She has been with the Woodstock Public Library for five years.

Erika Weir's (MS '19) article, "Exploring the Digital Information Needs of Diaspora Communities: A User Study of the Lithuanian Diaspora," has been published in Slavic & East European Information Resources.

In May 2019, Harriet Wintermute (MS '11) started a new position as head of Metadata Services at Iowa State University Library.


Visit our class notes page to see more.

upcoming events

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

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

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