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College of Information and Communications

iSchool hosts annual Deans' and Directors' Lecture and Awards Ceremony

Top photo: Recipients of the Director’s Award for Excellence with Lyda Fontes McCartin (l to r) Margaret Cook, Adele Chase, McCartin, Beka Darrah, Megan Knight and Beth King.

The School of  Information Science honored students, faculty and alumni leaders at the 39th Deans' and Directors' Lecture and Awards Ceremony on March 27. Lyda Fontes McCartin, director of the iSchool, hosted the annual event at the Hollings Program Room at Thomas Cooper Library. 

McCartin welcomed previous deans and directors of the School of Information Science who were in attendance — Fred Roper, Dan Barron, Sam Hastings, and interim directors Karen Gavigan and Dick Kawooya — as well as members of the new Diversity Leadership Group. She also gave several updates on programming and faculty accomplishments.

"The Bachelor of Science in Information Science is no longer the smallest major in the College of Information and Communications," she said. "This fall we welcomed our largest incoming class. Our committed students for fall 2024 already have us over that number."

McCartin also lauded the "small but mighty faculty of 18" for continuing to bring in grants to answer important questions around issues of equity in library services, public health, library workforce development, cultural competence, literacy and equitable access. The iSchool currently has $650,000 in research and program grants, and in the past seven years faculty members have brought in more than $3 million in grants to the university.

Joan Donovan
Joan Donovan, keynote speaker

Joan Donovan, assistant professor of Journalism and Emerging Media Studies at Boston University was the 2024 keynote speacker and shared her knowledge of how to detect, document and debunk media manipulation campaigns. Donovan is also the coauthor of Meme Wars: The Untold Story of the Online Battles Upending Democracy in America.

Watch the keynote 

The event also recognized the great work of students, faculty, staff and alumni of the School of Information Science

Honorees were:

  • Evelyn “EV” Padilla 
    Samantha K. Hastings Student Award for Undergraduate Leadership - This award honors an outstanding undergraduate student leader in the school. 
  • Mei Gollon
    Undergraduate Scholarship - This award honors an outstanding undergraduate student for academic excellence.
  • Valerie Vera 
    Robert V. Williams Research Award - This award honors a student who has made exemplary contributions to scholarly research.
  • Yi Wan 
    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.
  • Kim Thompson 
    John N. Olsgaard Distinguished Service Award -
    recognizes an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the iSchool through a wide variety of service to students, faculty, and staff. 
  • Brandy Fox 
    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.
  • Adele Chase, Megan Knight, Margaret Cook, Beka Darrah, Beth King 
    Director’s Award for Excellence
    "This award is new this year, and I hope we will be awarding it for many years to come. This year we had a group of MLIS students revitalize the Library and Information Science Student Association, LISSA. In the past the iSchool’s LISSA won chapter of the year at ALA, but sadly activity waned the past few years. This group of students worked tirelessly to get LISSA back up and running this fall with a new website, newsletter, job board, social media presence, and a successful in-person event in February," McCartin said.
  • Darlene Jackson Thompson
    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.
  • Miciah I. Bennett, Brandy Nicole Ferguson, William Thomson McCorkle, Bernadette Kalysha Shelton, Christina Claire Varnell, Charlotte Louise Dunn, Tamie Lynn Pratt-Fartro
    Recognition of Beta Phi Mu Initiates - Inductees are selected by the faculty based on scholarship, leadership and service.

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