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SIS News Archive

SIS, Director Diane Kelly Partner in PhD Training Grant

SIS Director Diane Kelly teaching in ChinaDirector Diane Kelly and the School of Information Sciences are participating as a partner organization in a Marie Curie Doctoral Training Network grant. The grant was recently awarded to a team of eight researchers working in institutions located in five different European countries including Austria, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands and United Kingdom.

Alumni Q&A: Recent Grad Valerie Aucoin on the Advantages of ALA

SIS Alum Valerie AucoinFeatured alum: Valerie Aucoin (’19) just graduated from SIS and is currently interviewing for youth librarian positions across the country. She will be attending the American Library Association conference this week in Washington, D.C. as a volunteer, after she helped lead the student ALA chapter at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Why UTK?

I had a family friend who spoke highly of the program and we used to vacation in Gatlinburg when I was little, so I kind of knew the area. So I knew I could do Tennessee – it’s cold, gets some snow, not too much. It’s the biggest city I’ve ever lived in, and it has a nice, vibrant downtown.

UT to Launch New Information Sciences Undergraduate Major in the Fall

UT TorchbearerThe University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will launch the state’s first bachelor’s degree program in information sciences in the fall. The program was approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission on Friday.

Faculty and administrators from the School of Information Sciences (SIS) in the College of Communication and Information (CCI) have worked for more than four years to make the new major a reality.

“We believe strongly that an undergraduate major in information sciences will allow us to increase the impact we make on the university, the state, and information professions,” SIS Director Diane Kelly said.

The major will have two areas of concentration: user experience design and data, information management, and analytics. Jobs requiring these concentrations are projected to grow by more than 36 percent in Tennessee by 2024, according to Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development estimates. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 27 percent job growth rate for data analysts and a 15 percent job growth rate for user experience designers.

Alum Donna George on Traveling Varied Information Sciences Paths

SIS alum Donna GeorgeShelving assistant, library branch manager, business analyst and now, director of product development – these are some of the job titles SIS graduate Donna George (’01), has held throughout her career.

The first job she ever had was at her neighborhood public library, and she loved it. While her peers were working in typical teen jobs at restaurants and retailers, she was happy to be at the quiet library, and had stable hours. But it was more than that – working in a public library set the stage for the rest of her career.

Lisa Ladd Heads to ALA with Marcellus Turner Student Travel Scholarship

MSIS student Lisa Ladd is the 2019 Marcellus Turner Student Travel Scholarship Award winner, and she’s thrilled that it will fund her trip to the American Library Association Conference in Washington, D.C. this June.

Though she has attended the ALA conference in the past in her capacity as a library professional, she has never gone as a student. After completing one semester in the SIS program, Ladd knew she wanted to attend the conference and learn more about her pathway, youth informatics. But without a scholarship, she said it wasn’t going to happen. It’s been a long journey for her to get to where she is, and she said she’s thrilled to have received this award.

Ladd’s library career was serendipitous and fortuitous. After a cross-country move, she had initially landed in a temporary position at the Dartmouth College athletics department.

“I went from working in downtown San Francisco to photocopying football playbooks. I was not happy,” Ladd recounted.

SIS Assistant Professor Zhu Awarded Summer GRA Grant

MSIS student Amy Moore and Assistant Professor Xiaohua Awa ZhuSIS Assistant Professor Xiaohua (Awa) Zhu was awarded a 2019 Summer Graduate Research Assistantship grant from the University of Tennessee Office of Research and Engagement to continue pursuing her work on digital ownership and possession. School of Information Sciences master’s student Amy Moore will be the graduate student supported by the grant for the three-month summer period.


24 MSIS Students Attend TLA Conference via the Annual SIS School Trip

SIS School Trip group 2019Twenty-four MSIS students attended the second annual SIS School Trip, which this year took place at the 2019 Tennessee Library Association Conference in Chattanooga. While students were given tours of information organizations in Nashville at the inaugural trip in 2018, the SIS Director’s Student Advisory Council suggested that this year’s trip be combined with the conference. The school covered the cost of transportation, conference registration and board for the students who participated in the trip.

Alum Ole Villadsen Uses Information Science to Assist in Security Intelligence

SIS alum Ole VilladsenWhen data are valuable products stored behind closed gates, monitoring those gates are people such as SIS alum Ole Villadsen (’15).

Villadsen works at IBM as part of the cyber security team; his role is to support incident response investigations by providing intelligence support, and he is also building a database of threat information.

“I love it, it’s great to be able to do both the hunting and the farming. Hunting in terms of supporting the investigations, and the farming is building out the database and making sure it’s a usable tool to support investigations,” Villadsen said.

Student Spotlight: Kashif Graham Finds New Calling in Theological Librarianship

Kashif Graham, MSIS studentStudent Spotlight features one of our current School of Information Sciences Master's students. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, careers, locations and academics, and we want to highlight who they are and why they chose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Information Sciences master’s program.

Featured student: Kashif Graham

Location: Nashville