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College of Information and Communications

  • Deans and Directors

iSchool hosts annual Deans' and Directors' Lecture

Top photo: (back l to r) deans emeriti Dan Barron and Fred Roper, interim director Karen Gavigan and dean of the college Tom Reichert. (front) Lyda McCartin, who begins her tenure as director of the iSchool in June 2023

"We are in this business together," said cybersecurity expert Eddie Doyle in his address to students, faculty and alumni leaders at the 38th Deans' and Directors' Lecture and Awards ceremony on March 16.

"We guard cybersecurity. You are part of the cybersecurity dynamic because you guard precious information."

Describing the internet as the "printing press on steroids," Doyle discussed various threat actors — hackers with nefarious intent — and encouraged the iSchool to continue educating and preparing students to push back on these attacks. With more than 3.4 million cybersecurity jobs available, Doyle said employees with these skill sets are the "heroes."

Special Recognition

Doyle's keynote was just one highlight of this annual event, which honors past and current deans and directors of the school for their many contributions to the school and the profession.  

Dean Emeritus Fred Roper presented Karen Gavigan with the College of Information and Communications 2023 Award for Outstanding Leadership. Gavigan came out of retirement to serve as interim during the search for a new iSchool director.

“She could have been a caretaker interim director, but in her inimitable fashion she chose to be proactive,” said Roper. “She worked with the faculty to develop new degree programs and she worked to expand existing programs — particularly the B.S. in Information Science.”

Dean Tom Reichert praised Gavigan for "milestones" of her two years as interim: the 50th Anniversary celebration, Davis College upgrades, as well as an increase in undergraduate enrollment and the development of the cybersecurity program.

Awards and Scholarship Presentations

Associate professor Susan Rathbun-Grubb inducted 13 students into the Beta Omega Chapter of Beta Phi Mu, the library and information science honor society. Inductees were selected by the faculty based on scholarship, leadership and service. The initiates were: Laura Carter, Frances Caroline Crouse, Allison Crout, Michelle M. Grabiec, Andrea Harmon, Randy Dantrell Heath, Gabriel C. Marz, Sherry V. Neal, Melinda Joy Nye, Heather Lynn Richardson, Peter Santore, Kathryn Thoemke and Edward Leon Wilson, Jr.

Other honorees were:

  • Ethena Lighty 
    Samantha K. Hastings Student Award for Undergraduate Leadership -This award honors an outstanding undergraduate student leader in the school. 
  • Evelyn "EV" Padilla
    Undergraduate Scholarship - This award honors an outstanding undergraduate student for academic excellence.
  • Yi Wan
    Robert V. Williams Research Award - This award honors a student who has made exemplary contributions to scholarly research.
  • Jeanna Holmes
    John N. Olsgaard Distinguished Service Award - This award recognizes an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the school at large through a sharing of their time and expertise and is an outstanding representative of the profession, the school and the university.
  • Andrea Harmon
    Wayne S. Yenawine Distinguished Student Award - This award is presented to a graduate from the previous year's class based on the entirety of the student experience including grade point average, quality of class participation and the ability to assimilate information and pass it on.
  • Nick Vera and Valerie Lookingbill Vera
    William M. Trafton III Outstanding Student Award for Leadership - This is given annually to an outstanding student leader who promotes a sense of community at the iSchool through school work, professional participation and involvement with student organizations.
  • Angela Craig
     F. William Summers Outstanding Alumni Award - This award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the school and whose career reflects a commitment to excellence and dedication to the advancement of the profession.

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