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February 2012 Newsletter

  1. Recent iSchool News Bastrop Wildfires, New Grants, New Joint Degree & more

  2. Student Spotlight The iSchoolYou podcast group gives a new voice to iSchool Alums and students.

  3. Alumni News & Profiles Char Booth MSIS '05: E-learning Librarian Claremont Colleges Library

  4. Development & Giving Information on giving back to the iSchool

  5. Upcoming EventsUpcoming events in the iSchool and in the information fields.

Dean's Word

deans word

Andrew Dillon

Welcome to the new look iSchool newsletter wherein you can learn more about what makes us one of the world's top programs in information research and education. Everyone now knows that information and it's associated technologies are changing the world, but few realize there is an academic discipline committed to studying and leveraging information to advance understanding across all human endeavors. At the Texas iSchool, we have a truly interdisciplinary faculty conducting cutting-edge research across the information lifecyle, remarkable students who believe in changing the world, and an alumni network of leaders who are putting their knowledge to use. I look forward to sharing more with you in future issues.

1. Recent iSchool News   Top ↑

Conservators Aid Wildfire Victims

karen pavelka

Karen Pavelka

iSchool conservators lead by Karen Pavelka and a number of UT iSchool students volunteered to assist victims of the devastating wildfires that occurred in Bastrop in September 2011. The volunteers held free workshops around the Austin-area and provided guidance and support for salvaging documents, photographs, and heirlooms. Efforts to assist wildfire victims are still ongoing and more information can be found on the iSchool's disaster response and recovery Web page.

Additional coverage

yan zhang research

Online Game Aims To Help Children With Autism

Yan Zhang was recently featured for her work on an interactive online game to help children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) communicate their

Read more ›

diane bailey research

NSF Awards $1.4 Million To Study Information & Communication Technologies

Diane Bailey was awarded a grant by NSF to study how information and communication technologies can help individuals
Read more ›

Lecia Barker

NSF Grant to Help Identify New Teaching Methods to Retain Women in Computing and IT

Lecia Barker received a grant to study the adoption of teaching practices for retaining women
Read more ›

ischool joing degree

New Dual Master's Degree in Information Studies and Latin American Studies Offered

The School of Information and the LLILAS at The University of Texas at Austin are offering
Read more ›

iSchool Welcomes Three New Faculty

The iSchool welcomes new faculty members Tanya Clement, James Howison and Nathan Ensmenger for the 2011-2012 academic year. Dr. Tanya Clement most recently served as the director of the Center for Digital Cultures & Creativity at the University of Maryland. Dr. James Howison has just completed his post-doctoral research at Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Software Research. Dr. Nathan Ensmenger, who joins us from the University of Pennsylvania, is a social and cultural historian, specializing in software workers, gender issues in computing, technology innovation and social change.

Read more ›

new ischool faculty

iSchool launches Information & Culture journal

With the first issue of 2012 (volume 47, number 1),the journal Libraries & the Cultural Record will officially change its title to Information & Culture: A Journal of History. The title change reflects an expansion of the journal's scope enacted by Editor William Aspray, who took on the editorial duties in April 2011. Under the new title and scope, Information & Culture will invite interdisciplinary articles exploring the history of information as broadly conceived and unlimited as to time and place. Read more ›

information and culture

Deborah Peel Receives iSchool's First Tocker Fellows Grant

Deborah C. Peel, MD, psychoanalyst and health privacy expert, was named recipient of the School of Information's first Tocker Fellows grant. The goal of the program, funded by the Tocker Foundation, is to attract nationally recognized experts who will facilitate new thinking on aspects of teaching, research and service in librarianship and information professions. Dr. Peel is the founder of the Patient Privacy Rights, a nonprofit organization created to educate and empower Americans to preserve and protect their fundamental human and civil rights to health information privacy. Read more ›

Deborah Peel

Deborah C. Peel, MD

2. Student Spotlight   Top ↑

iSchool Students Develop Podcast Series

ISCHOOL YOU is a podcast conceived of and produced entirely by current iSchool students. Podcast episodes provide outreach and publicize the mission, goals, and events happening at the iSchool, as well as act as a collaborative and educational forum for issues in information studies. Listen now ›

ischoolyou podcast

Craig Blaha Featured In Article On Online Behavior

Craig Blaha is a doctoral candidate studying issues related to digital preservation and privacy. He was recently featured in an article by Austin American Stateman's technology writer Omar Gallaga, about online behavior. Craig also sat down recently for a discussion with the iSchoolYou podcast team to discuss issues discusses issues of digital preservation, changing definitions and expectations of privacy, and of viewing Facebook as possible historical records. Listen here ›

Craig Blaha

3. Alumni News & Profiles   Top ↑

Char Booth (MSIS '05)

Instruction Services Manager/E-Learning Librarian at Claremont College

char booth

Char Booth, E-Learning Librarian

As an E-learning librarian, Char Booth works directly with faculty and students at U.C. Berkeley to provide individualized research support and develop the Library's IS collection. She researches the integration of education, research, technology, and design in library services.

Char's background is in history, and though she considered getting her Ph.D., ultimately she found her calling in academic librarianship. "It's a perfect fit for me to work with people, and be able to continue my own research," she says. "I love engaging with smart individuals, and energizing them as they discover their interests. The ultimate goal is getting the students and users I work with to admit they're stoked about something."  Read more ›

Alumni News

Over the past few months, we've had the pleasure of connecting with a number of alumni for the first time in years, through alumni events hosted by the iSchool, as well as by a few of the school's very generous advisory council members. In December, alumna and Advisory Council Member, Dr. Virginia Bowden, graciously opened up her home in San Antonio for almost 20 School of Information alumni to get together and meet Dean Dillon. In January, alumni from Dallas, as well as alums in Dallas for ALA Midwinter got together for a happy hour downtown. We look forward to organizing more frequent alumni get togethers in different cities across the country. Keep an eye out for news on upcoming events in your area!

Stay Connected

What's newsworthy in your life? Have you changed jobs? Have you been recognized for your work? We want to hear from you! Update us on your current career, location and interesting things happening in your life. Send us an email at alumni@ischool.utexas.edu

4. Development & Giving   Top ↑


Did you know, as the smallest school at UT, the School of Information has one of the highest alumni giving participation rates on campus?

ut giving

Chances are, in the last year you may have received a phone call from a student at UT, a letter from Dean Dillon, or even correspondence from members of the school's advisory council asking you to make a gift. If you are one of the hundreds of alumni who make an annual gift to the school, THANK YOU! As the smallest school on campus, with very lean resources, these gifts allow us flexibility to use them where we need them most. For Instance, the tradition of hosting graduation, by state law, cannot be covered with state funds. We rely heavily on donor support for graduation, new student orientation programing, support of our student organizations, sending students to present their work at professional conferences, as well as providing student and alumni networking opportunities.

Every dollar counts. We receive annual gifts of all sizes, from $5 to $5,000, each year. No matter the size, your gifts add up to make a big difference for the school. If you would like to become a part of this special community of alumni who support the school, you can make a gift online. If you have questions about ways to give, or want to become more involved with the school, contact Cassie Alvarado. 512-232-0738 or cassie@ischool.utexas.edu

Quick Facts

There are currently 279 students enrolled at the School of Information. 248 are pursuing a master's degree and 31 students are pursuing a doctorate. There are nearly 750 undergraduate students enrolled in iSchool courses this semester.

5. Upcoming Events   Top ↑

The calendar below is a publicly shared Google calendar containing both UT iSchool Events and outside events of interest to a wide array of information professionals. Please feel free to suscribe to or import this calendar into your own Google account or other calendar software.