Dr. Sholler appointed to Berkeley postdocFerguson, John  | Jul 17, 2017
Recent iSchool graduate Dr. Dan Sholler has been appointed to a postdoctoral fellowship with the rOpenSci project at the University of California, Berkeley.
An expert in qualitative research, Dr. Sholler studies digital infrastructure creation, growth and maintenance efforts.
At Berkeley, he joins a project that is aiming to transform science through better access to open data. In particular, rOpenSci team members use the open-source R programming language and software environment to develop tools to access, analyze, visualize, document and share vast troves of scientific data, including more than 400 million museum records.
Dr. Sholler said he plans to study the development of the open-science community with a particular focus on user engagement or resistance to open science.
“I want to leverage my experience to explore how and why scientists engage with or resist open-science communities and technologies, focusing on how particular communities like rOpenSci manage engagement and resistance to ensure positive outcomes,” Dr. Sholler said in a blog post announcing his fellowship.
Dr. Sholler’s research interests grow out of work he performed at the Texas iSchool, including a study with Associate Professor Diane Bailey of a new branchless banking system in Brazil, as well as his dissertation on doctors' resistance to the nationwide implementation of electronic medical records in the United States.
In his doctoral studies at the Texas iSchool, Dr. Sholler studied the widespread implementation of electronic medical record software and the associated attempt to create a national medical digital infrastructure. Employing the education in qualitative fieldwork the iSchool provided, Dr. Sholler observed and interviewed doctors, nurses, administrators, and IT staff in a large regional healthcare provider. He also flew to Washington, D.C. to interview officials in relevant federal agencies, and he interviewed officials at the American Medical Association as well as managers at medical technology vendors.
Dr. Sholler’s dissertation committee chair, Associate Professor Diane Bailey, said his analysis was powerful, employing institutional and social movement theories to tease out political, occupational, organizational, and institutional factors that shaped this federally-mandated use of big data and AI technologies. “Dan’s study is a strong, fascinating, and novel contribution to the literature on information technology and work,” Dr. Bailey said. “Through his dissertation work in medical infrastructure, and now his post-doctoral explorations into the creation of digital infrastructure in open science communities, Dan has his fingers firmly on the pulse of new technologies that stand to dramatically alter our understandings of work and organization. He also has the necessary toolkit of analytical and theoretical skills to decipher these changes. I expect him to become a leader in studies in this realm, and I am tremendously proud that he is a graduate of our Texas iSchool.”
He completed his Ph.D. from the School of Information in spring 2017.
Committee makes diversity recommendations for iSchoolFerguson, John  | Apr 26, 2017
The School of Information’s diversity and inclusion committee has issued its first report.
Drawing on conversations among students, faculty and staff, as well as a community-wide survey, the report makes eight recommendations for the iSchool. They include:
- Recruiting students from diverse backgrounds
- Adjusting or augmenting course materials
- Hosting school social events
- Publicizing the committee’s actions and findings
Nearly 60 percent of iSchool community members participated in the anonymous climate survey conducted in March. Key findings include:
- 97 percent of respondents believed that having meaningful interactions with people who are different from them is an important or very important part of their iSchool experience.
- About one quarter of respondents thought that members of the iSchool community were treated inequitably based on various demographic traits, such as race, age, gender or life experiences, particularly based on English language proficiency.
- Just over a quarter of respondents (28%) thought that diversity and inclusion were not adequately addressed in most iSchool courses.
In its report, the committee also makes several requests of UT Austin Provost Maurie McInnis. The requests include asking for funding for a diversity faculty hire, for faculty and staff training, and for a school staff position of a minority-liaison officer.
School of Information Dean and Professor Andrew Dillon formed the diversity and inclusion committee in 2016, answering a charge from McInnis as part of a broader effort to create a more inclusive campus culture. The University of Texas at Austin released its first university-wide diversity and inclusion action plan in late March.
Also earlier this spring, Dean Dillon sent a letter to iSchool stakeholders that announced a new initiative that includes news, events, research and resources to increase community dialogue about diversity and inclusion.
“The Texas iSchool is a vibrant, enriching, and exciting place to study and work together, and we intend to practice and celebrate what makes us special through this new initiative,” he said.
The iSchool’s diversity and inclusion committee members are Diane Bailey, committee chair and associate professor; Itza Carbajal, master’s student; Carol Carreon, graduate coordinator II; Kamar Nassor, finance manager; Crystal Paull, master’s student; and Lynn Westbrook, associate professor.
In the 2017-18 year, the members are planning to expand on their preliminary actions to include diversity workshops and panels, among other initiatives. More information about diversity & inclusion at the School of Information can be found at Diversity and Inclusion at the iSchool.
The Changing Working Environment for Professional and Technical Workers.Fernandes, Allen  | Nov 19, 2015
Professor Diane Bailey has been invited to speak on a panel before representatives from 22 labor unions, members of the Department of Professional Employees AFL-CIO, in Washington, DC November 18th as part of a series titled, “The Changing Working Environment for Professional and Technical Workers.
Read more about The Changing Working Environment for Professional and Technical Workers.