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SIS News Archive

SIS Participates at Charleston Library Conference

Participants in Charleston Conference PanelThe School of Information Sciences had multiple faculty members and researchers participate in the 2018 Charleston Library Conference, which brings together a cross-section of librarians, publishers, researchers, academics, and others involved with libraries and scholarly publishing, every November in Charleston, South Carolina. This year’s conference was Nov. 5-9; it is a large conference, with attendance around 2,000 participants in 2017.

Into Our Archives: The Evolution of SIS Distance Education

DE Students in trainingIn a world where technology allows constant connection with people thousands of miles away, it’s easy to forget that such effortless communication was once unavailable to us. Despite the technological challenges of the day, the School of Information Sciences found a way to be the first school at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to establish a distance education program in the 1980s. It just didn’t look anything like it does today.

Learn About a Lecturer: Julie Ann Winkelstein & Her Goal to Help Librarians Help the Homeless

Lecturer: Julie Ann WinkelsteinJulie Ann Winkelstein

Location: California, Bay Area near Berkeley (Albany, CA)

Academic Background: Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts from the University of California, Berkeley; Masters of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University; PhD in Information and Communication from University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Projecting Student Voice: Advisory Council Established

Rose Borden at Grand Canyon

Everyone’s experience in the MSIS program matters, and student representation and participation in SIS governance are essential to the continual growth and development of the UT School of Information Sciences’ program.  

To further that idea, SIS launched the Director’s MSIS Student Advisory Council (DMSAC) last year as a platform for students to voice their views on initiatives, projects, and programming, and their visions for the future. The DMSAC further ensures that all students are heard and represented, as the SIS student body continues to grow and change

SIS Student Rose Borden Selected as ESIP Community Fellow

Rose Borden at Grand Canyon

SIS student Rose Borden has been selected as an Earth Science Information Partners Community Fellow, which is a national-level fellow that names five to six students a year to its program. Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) is an open, networked community that brings together science, data and information technology practitioners, according to its website.

“The ESIP Community Fellowship is a national honor that recognizes a student’s ability to contribute to the earth science community and their commitment to actively participate in assuring that scientists and others have reliable and accessible information into the future,” said Suzie Allard, SIS Chancellor’s Professor.

Student Spotlight: Long-time Lawyer Follows New Path to the Library

Featured student: Stephen SpannStephen Spann and wife Kimbra Spann

Location: Franklin, Tennessee

Past Job: Lawyer

Current Job: Working as a substitute librarian and doing a practicum at Vanderbilt Libraries in Nashville

Why SIS: I’ve been a lawyer for several years, and I realized a few years ago I wanted to do something different with my degree than just practice. Librarianship has always appealed to me, and there’s a career path out there for law librarians.

SIS Director Kelly’s Speaking Tour in China

Tsinghua University Computer Science Department Professor Yiqun Liu (pictured on right) served as Director Kelly’s main host, where Kelly gave a talk as part of a series celebrating the 60-year anniversary of the department.

In the spirit of advancing cross-cultural research collaborations, SIS Director Diane Kelly toured Beijing, China last week and was a featured speaker at several academic institutions and China’s largest online retailer. She shared her expertise on interactive information search and retrieval, information search behavior, and research methods.

Her talk “On the Generalizability of Results from Interactive Information Retrieval Research” focused on reasons why it can be difficult to use results from one research study to make predictions about what will happen in another research study.

Professor Mehra’s Promotion Recognized at the UT Faculty Bookplate Reception

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville School of Information Sciences Director Diane Kelly poses with SIS Professor Bharat Mehra.

The University of Tennessee Libraries and the Provost’s office honored SIS Professor Bharat Mehra’s recent promotion from Associate to Full Professor earlier this week at the Faculty Bookplate Reception. The Faculty Bookplate Reception celebrates faculty promotions by allowing honorees to choose a book to include in the University Libraries’ collections. A bookplate is placed in the book to commemorate the faculty member’s achievements, and the catalog record for the book notes it was selected to honor the faculty member.

Mehra selected Progressive Community Action, a book he co-edited with Kevin Rioux, because it represents the basic philosophy behind his work by detailing how action-oriented research strategies can generate socially relevant impacts through information work. His research has focused on the role of rural public libraries and librarians in the Appalachian region, and his grants have provided funding for the graduate education of more than 25 rural public librarians equipping them to better serve their communities.

Alumni Natalie Hansen Switches from Medieval Art to Nuclear Archiving

Natalie Hansen at Y12

What do medieval stained-glass pieces have in common with old film from the Y12 National Security Complex? Both should be archived properly, according to Natalie Hansen (‘12), an SIS alumni. Hansen started her academic career studying art history, and moved into medieval art as she attained her master’s degree in medieval studies at the University of York in the United Kingdom. After that, she went to the University of Illinois to pursue a doctorate in art history.

Where Digital Literacy, Social Media, and Fighting Corruption Converge

Devendra Potnis, US Embassy Seal, KenyaSocial media is a tool for people across the world to utilize in versatile ways – and in some cases, it can change countries. One aspect of this phenomenon was recently studied by School of Information Sciences Associate Professor Devendra Potnis and two SIS students, Hilary Jasmin and Lindsey McLennan. They undertook the research for the United States Embassy Nairobi Economic Affairs Section, and focused on ways that people in countries with corrupt governments could use social media as a means for lasting, positive change.