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Texas iSchool Welcomes New Student Cohort

Students in the new 2019 graduate student cohort mingling in a bar

The University of Texas at Austin School of Information is welcoming a class of 74 new master’s students and two new doctoral students for the fall 2019 semester.

Director of Master’s Studies Dr. Pat Galloway led a new student orientation on August 22, 2019 in the Prothro Theatre of the Harry Ransom Center. Orientation included a session led by Director of Career Development, Kim Wood, who stressed to students the need to start thinking about their career development throughout their studies. An informal luncheon was held in the Tocker Foundation Student Lounge at the iSchool to welcome the new cohort, where faculty, staff, and student leaders mingled with the new cohort. The Student Association of the School of Information (SASI) also held sessions sharing tips for all students, and a special International Student Discussion Panel and Career Development presenting “Job Seeking Strategies for International Students.” 

Every year, a highlight of the first week at Texas is the School-wide Gone to Information! and university-wide Gone to Texas! evening. The vast majority of new students attended the Gone to Information! Event held at El Mercado restaurant, where they got a chance to know each other in a casual setting and to meet more iSchool regulars. They were greeted by members of the Advisory Council led by chair and vice chair Michael Redding and Leticia Kinuthia.

In the spirit of new student orientation and the start of classes, we asked Dean Eric T. Meyer what advice and recommendations he would give to the new Texas iSchool cohort. 

Dean Meyer urged the new iSchool students to take advantage of the diversity offered at the Texas School of Information.  “The start of a new academic year always brings a new burst of energy to the iSchool, as students from a huge variety of disciplinary backgrounds and interests come together to develop and hone their expertise in the field of information,” he said.

“Our variety and diversity are one of our greatest strengths, and I urge all our students to take advantage of that. Take a class or two outside your comfort zone – you might discover a previously unknown passion. Partner on a project with a classmate from a different educational background, cultural background, or area of expertise – your combined efforts will be better for the dialogue. Look for peers and faculty members who challenge your existing ideas – engaging with them will allow you to understand your own views and strengthen your arguments for them or alternatively come around to a new view. Either way, you are better prepared because of the interaction.” 

Dean Meyer’s final comments involved the growth of Texas iSchool and the value of the new cohort in this process. “This is an exciting time at the School of Information – we are hiring additional faculty, designing new educational programs and polishing existing offerings, and starting new scholarly projects,” he said. 

“All of these efforts will enhance your experience as students and ensure that the value of your degree here will continue to increase in the future. We look forward to seeing the mark you will all make, as you become part of changing the future by engaging the present and preserving the past.”