At the 2018 annual conference of the Association for Library and Information Science Educators (ALISE) held in February in Denver, Colorado, two of this year’s national awards went to UT School of Information Sciences professors: Peiling Wang and Bharat Mehra.
Wang was selected as this year’s winner of the ALISE Pratt-Severn Faculty Innovation Award for her work on developing SIS’s ePortfolio capstone. This national recognition is a tribute to her persistent work on creating and structuring the capstone to provide students with the opportunity to integrate and apply what they’ve learned in their SIS classes.
The e-Portfolio is one of three exit requirement options. It consists of two essential parts: 1) the process, during which the learner collects and organizes evidence of learning outcomes, and reflects on learning and professional growth; and 2) the product, a Web-based ePortfolio, by which the candidate reflects on learning achievements and showcases professional competences in connection with the candidate’s career goals.
“I want to acknowledge that this award truly belongs to my SIS colleagues who believed in the ePortfolio initiative that our former director Ed Cortez assigned me to lead,” said Wang. “Their contributions and encouragement have contributed to the ePortfolio capstone as a popular graduation choice by many SIS graduate students.”
Wang joined the SIS faculty in 1995. She earned her PhD in Information Science from the University of Maryland and holds a master’s degree from the Institute of Scientific & Technical Information of China. Her undergraduate degree is in chemical engineering from East China University of Science and Technology.
Mehra received the ALISE Connie Van Fleet Award for Research Excellence in Public Library Services to Adults. The Awards Committee selected Mehra because, "[He] has extremely impressive credentials over a long period of time. He has [impacted] and continues to impact public libraries at multiple levels - as professor, as researcher with funded research that impacts public libraries, and certainly as author whose productivity is remarkable.
He has conducted research focused on the role of rural public libraries and librarians in the Appalachian Region through several grant funded projects. His research has led to a large body of published work and conference posters. His grants have provided funding for the graduate education of more than 25 rural public librarians equipping them to better serve their communities.”
Mehra joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee in 2005 after earning his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Library and Information Science. He also holds Master’s degrees in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.