The iSchool Celebrates Graduates at Spring 2015 Recognition Ceremony
On April 26, 2015, we recognized the 322 graduates of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences and honored their impressive achievements at the 2015 Recognition Ceremony. Dean Ronald L. Larsen led the day’s events, alongside department chairs Bob Perkoski, Peter Brusilovsky, David Tipper, and Sheila Corrall at the University of Pittsburgh’s Alumni Hall.
The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Alfred L. Moyé, who has very strong ties with the iSchool. Dr. Moyé is a Pitt Alumni (A&S ’68), he held positions as an Associate Professor of Chemistry, Dean of Students, and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs here at Pitt, and he has served as a Pitt Trustee for ten years. He continues his service as an Emeritus Trustee and as the Chair of the School of Information Sciences Board of Visitors.
Dr. Moyé, who is now retired from his latest position as Director of University Affairs at the Hewlett-Packard Company, has likely influenced the education our graduates received in rather profound ways through his distinguished career in academia and in industry, and it was as honor to have him address our graduates.
The iSchool and the Alumni Society offer awards to recognize the academic and service excellence of our students. This year, 12 distinct awards and recognitions were administered to students who were chosen either through faculty nomination or by a selection panel based on work students themselves have submitted. The students honor with an award or recognition this year were:
Sarah C. Cohen Award
- Presented in memory of Sarah C. Cohen, alumna of the School Library Certification Program, who became an outstanding high school librarian in Howard County, Maryland.
- Awarded to the outstanding School Library Certification Program practicum student
- This year’s recipient is Bonny Yeager, a current MLIS student.
Margaret Mary Corbett Memorial Award
- This award was established by friends, graduates, colleagues, and relatives in memory of Margaret “Peg” Corbett.
- The award is offered to the LIS doctoral student presenting the best doctoral dissertation proposal in the Library & Information Science Program.
- This year’s recipient is Michele Leininger, honored as a Library and Information Science doctoral graduate here today, for her dissertation, “From Librarian to Proficient Manager: The Journey of Public Library Front-line Managers”.
Anthony Debons Award
- This award was established by Dr. Anthony Debons, professor emeritus in the School of Information Sciences, to recognize a student who makes outstanding contributions to the Bachelor of Science in Information Science program at the iSchool.
- This year’s recipient is Melodi Reich, recognized as outstanding on behalf of the Debons family by the undergraduate program chair, Bob Perkoski.
Ida Flynn Award
- Professor Ida Flynn taught at Pitt from 1980 to 2004 and was the Director of the Information Science undergrad program from 1990 – 2001.
- This award, named in her honor, is presented to a student in recognition of their outstanding academic performance in the Bachelor of Science in Information Science program.
- This year’s recipient is Antoinette Doyle.
Fritz Froelich Award
- Presented to a student in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the graduate program in Telecommunications.
- This year’s recipient is Velin Kounev, honored as a Telecommunications Doctoral graduate at today’s ceremony.
Allen Kent Award
- Presented to a student for outstanding contributions to the graduate program in Information Science and Technology.
- This year’s recipient is Cristina Robles Bahm, an Information Science doctoral student.
Lancour, Immroth, Brewster Award
- This award recognizes a Library & Information Science student whose achievement in the field of international and comparative studies is judged outstanding by the dean or by a faculty committee.
- This year, the faculty committee selected Heather Soyka, honored as a Library and Information Science doctoral graduate here today, to receive this award.
Catherine Ofiesh Orner Award
- Catherine Ofiesh Orner was an alumna of the iSchool; this honor was funded by her husband, Dr. Gerald Orner, in her honor. This award acknowledges students who offer scholarly contributions to advance the information sciences.
- This year’s recipients are those who presented at the 2015 iConference in Newport Beach, California. The iConference is an “annual gathering of a broad spectrum of scholars and researchers from around the world who share a common concern about critical information issues in contemporary society.
- The eight students from our School who received this award are Wei Jeng, a current Library and Information Science doctoral student; Lauren Kilgour, a current Library and Information Science doctoral student; Di Lu, a current Information Science doctoral student; Shauna Policicchio, honored as an MSIS graduate at this ceremony; Aisling Quigley, both a current Library and Information Science doctoral student and a student being honored as an MLIS graduate at this ceremony; Chun-Hua Tsai, a current Information Science doctoral student; Xidao Wen, a current Information Science doctoral student, and Michael Widdersheim, a current Library and Information Science doctoral student.
School Library Certification Program Award
- The Library & Information Science faculty nominated several Master’s students who enrolled in the School Library Certification Program. The nominated students exemplify both academic excellence and great professional promise as school librarians.
- Finalists presented their professional portfolios in an interview with a panel of faculty and SLCP Practitioner Advisory Committee members, and a winner was selected.
- This year’s finalist is Gretchen Barrett, being honored as an MLIS graduate at this ceremony.
- This year’s winner is Sarah Beckman, being honored as an MLIS graduate at this ceremony.
Jennifer and Eric Spiegel Technology & Communications Essay Award
- This award is given annually to an undergraduate student who submits a written essay as part of a course assignment for the Human Factors in System Design course.
- It is offered by Jennifer and Eric Spiegel jointly to the iSchool, the College of General Studies, and the Communications Department in the School of Arts and Sciences.
- This year’s recipient is Shannen Davis, a student enrolled in our Bachelor of Science in Information Science program.
Tung-Li and Hui-Hsi Yuan Family Scholarship
- This award was set up to support masters and doctoral students in the Library and Information Science program who are of Chinese origin and show potential to advance the field in China.
- This year’s recipient is Tianni Wang, a student enrolled in our Master of Library and Information Science program.
Five CNSS Certificates Achievement:
The University of Pittsburgh has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education since 2003 and is one of only 20 centers in the United States with five Committee on National System Security (CNSS) certificates issued by the U.S. government and acknowledged by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The following eight graduates have achieved all five CNSS certifications: Brian D’Souza, honored as an MST graduate at this ceremony; Joseph Johnson, honored as an MSIS graduate at this ceremony; Sarah Kern, honored as an MSIS graduate at this ceremony; Donald McKeon, honored as an MSIS graduate at this ceremony; Kayla Mormak, honored as an MSIS graduate at this ceremony; Shauna Policicchio, honored as an MSIS graduate at this ceremony; Ajinkya Raut, honored as an MST graduate at this ceremony; Wenjia Song, honored as an MSIS graduate at this ceremony.
Congratulations to our graduates and award winners! We wish them all good luck and good fortune as they each embark on the next phase of their journey.
See photos from the ceremony at Alumni Hall on our Facebook page.