School of Information Sciences - Alumni & Friends

iSchool Alumni eMagazine

December 2013

Visit the iSchool at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia

The iSchool will be attending the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.  Please visit us in the Exhibit Hall at Booth #441.  Meet faculty members, staff, and students of the Library and Information Science program.  We hope you'll stop by!

Alumni Reception in Philadelphia, January 26, 2014

Alumni in the Philadelphia area, or those attending the 2014 ALA Midwinter Conference, are invited to a reception on Sunday, January 26, 2014. The event will take place at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Salon A from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  RSVP by January 10 to Marci Carothers  at or 412-624-9473. More information.

MLIS: PittOnline & LIS Program Update

As the iSchool congratulates Dr. Leanne Bowler on being named a Remake Learning Fellow by the Sprout Fund for the 2013-2014 academic year, we are reminded of the progress we’ve made in offering our Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree program via the PittOnline platform. Since the transition to PittOnline in 2012, we have continually added innovative ways for our online students to connect with our on-campus faculty and students. Dr. James “Kip” Currier uses blogs and Google Hangouts to bring current topics to his students while Dr. Christinger Tomer fosters learning through the use of ScreenSteps: a desktop authoring tool and online web application for the creation and publication of knowledge based articles.

Although our MLIS degree has been offered as an online option for more than a decade, the switch to the PittOnline platform ensures our online MLIS students receive the same high standard of teaching quality our on-campus MLIS students are privileged to receive. Currently, students enrolled in the MLIS through PittOnline are automatically placed in a general track, but we are planning to expand options in the future to make many of our current on-campus specializations available to online students.

In addition to Dr. Bowler’s recent accolade, our faculty continues to employ innovative approaches to learning to ensure both online and on-campus students receive the most up-to-date material. We are excited for the future expansion of the MLIS through the PittOnline platform and hope you are, too! For the most up-to-date information on the Library and Information Science program, please visit our website.

Drs. Bowler, Oh, and He awarded 2014 OCLC/ALISE Library and Information Science grant

The iSchool is delighted to congratulate Library and Information Science (LIS) faculty Leanne Bowler, Jung Sun Oh, and Daqing He on receiving a 2014 OCLC/ALISE Library and Information Science Research Grant (LISRG) for their proposal “Teen Health Information Behavior and Social Q&A: A Study to Investigate Teens’ Assessments of the Accuracy, Credibility, and Reliability of Health Information about Eating Disorders in Yahoo! Answers.”

This research project will investigate teens’ perspectives on the accuracy, credibility, and reliability of health information found on Yahoo! Answers a Social Q&A site commonly used by teens. While the use of the Web by teens as a source for health information is growing, there is little evidence to suggest that their ability to critically evaluate such information has improved. This project will contribute to the greater understanding of young people’s health information-seeking behavior and the role that Social Q&A plays in the provision of health information for young people.

In awarding the grant, the review panel noted “The proposal addresses a timely, highly relevant and important topic comparing teen assessment of health information on a Social Q&A site with that of health professionals, yielding some sense of information literacy and overall judgment of online sources.”

Dr. Bowler is an Assistant Professor in the LIS program whose research interests include children and youth information interaction in relation to metacognitive practices and the critical creation and use of information and information technology and the health information behavior of children and youth.
Dr. Oh, also an Assistant Professor, researches social information tools, social informatics, information behaviors on the Web, digital libraries and metadata. Associate Professor Daqing He researches information retrieval and interactive retrieval-system design, user-modeling and adaptive Web-search system design and analysis, and computational linguistics and natural-language processing.

The OCLC/ALISE LISRG Program was established to recognize the importance of high quality research within the fields of Library Science and Information Science. From the agency, the “overall goal is to promote independent research, particularly work helping to integrate new technologies that offer innovative approaches, and research that contributes to a better understanding of the information environment and user expectations and behaviors.” Grant awards range up to $15,000 and support one-year research projects. For more information on this program, please visit the OCLC/ALISE LISRG website.

November 2013

Expanding International Ties

Dean Larsen and Associate Professor Daqing Hé visited six universities in China in October 2013. The itinerary began with a visit to the College of Electronic and Information Engineering at Tongji University in Shanghai, where mutual interests in computing research were explored with faculty. From Shanghai, Dean Larsen and Dr. Hé proceeded to Nanjing, where a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the Nanjing University School of Information Management and with the School of Economics and Management at the Nanjing University of Science and Technology. These two agreements launch valuable new relationships with these two major universities that are expected to include faculty and student exchange, collaborative research, and co-sponsorship of scholarly workshops and conferences. Two weeks prior to the visit to Nanjing, colleagues from the Nanjing University of Science and Technology visited Pittsburgh, and now we are pleased to be hosting Associate Professor Chengzhi Zhang, who is conducting collaborative research with Dr. Hé, for a two month visit.

From Nanjing, Dean Larsen and Dr. Hé travelled to Wuhan, where the School of Information Sciences (the iSchool) has an ongoing relationship with the School of Information Management at Wuhan University.  The agreement with Wuhan University includes a “3+2” program, enabling undergraduate students who have completed three years of study at Wuhan to transfer to Pitt for their fourth year (receiving their Bachelor’s degree from Wuhan), and to stay for an additional year to earn a Master’s degree from Pitt. The School of Information Management had just completed construction of its new home at the time of the visit and Dean Larsen was the first international visitor to this new facility.

Beijing was the next stop on the itinerary, with visits to the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) and the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), plus an alumni event held at the Great Leap Brewing Company. The stop at BIT included a visit with Prof. Zhendong Niu, who holds a joint faculty appointment with the iSchool and is a regular visitor to Pittsburgh.  Since our graduate Telecommunications and Networking program attracts students from BUPT, this visit sought to strengthen the relationship between our two schools. We discovered a mutual interest in conducting focused research-oriented workshops and special-topic summer schools.

Through the course of these six visits, relationships were established or strengthened that promise to yield productive results in the future. We envision opportunities for our faculty and students to engage more actively with colleagues in China in research and teaching in areas such as big data, information behavior, social media, and related topics.

On the return from mainland China, Dean Larsen stopped in Taipei to co-host a reception for the Taiwan Pitt Club with Dean John Keeler (GSPIA).  This event attracted about 60 alumni, 12 of whom were graduates of SIS. Yvonne Chen (SIS ’94) is the president of the Taiwan Pitt Club, and two other iSchool graduates (Anna Maio, ’94, and Marty Wu, ’09) serve on the leadership team.

Christine L. Borgman (MLS ’74) honored with Pitt’s 225 Medallion

The iSchool is delighted to recognize alumna Christine L. Borgman with the University of Pittsburgh’s 225th Anniversary Medallion. In a special dinner in Los Angeles, Dean Ronald Larsen presented Dr. Borgman (MLS ‘74) with the medallion, which commemorates the University of Pittsburgh’s 225th Anniversary by recognizing alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their professional fields and who still find ways to contribute to the progress of Pitt and our students.

A prolific and widely acclaimed researcher, Dr. Borgman is Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2012-13 she was the Oliver Smithies Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at Balliol College, University of Oxford, and also affiliated with the Oxford Internet Institute and the eResearch Centre. Her research interests include scholarly information, digital libraries, scientific information, learning and cyberlearning, and human-computer interaction, among others.

Dr. Borgman received the “Best Information Science Book of the Year” award from the American Society for Information Science and Technology for her monographs, Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet (MIT Press, 2007) and From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in a Networked World (MIT Press, 2000). She has authored more than 200 publications for the fields of information studies, computer science, and communication.

Professor Borgman conducts data practices research with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Sloan Foundation, and Microsoft Research. She is Co-Chair of the CODATA-ICSTI Task Group on Data Citation, on the Board of Directors of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and a Fellow of the AAAS. Her honors include the Paul Evan Peters Award, the ASIST Research Award, and previous recognition from her alma mater with the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from the School of Information Sciences and by being named a “Legacy Laureate” of Pitt.

In naming just a few of Dr. Borgman’s many accomplishments, it is clear that her leadership in the field of information science, both as an educator and a practitioner, makes her a role model for iSchool students at both Pitt and UCLA. Like the School of Information Sciences at Pitt, the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA is an institutional member of the iSchools organization: a collective of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field. Please join us at the University of Pittsburgh in congratulating Dr. Borgman on this signature honor celebrating 225 years of building better lives and better communities.

Learn about Pitt’s 225th Anniversary celebrations and read more about Dr. Borgman.

Liz Lyon, Visiting Professor

The School of Information Sciences (the iSchool) is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Liz Lyon as Visiting Professor. Dr. Lyon has accepted an 18-month term, beginning in January 2014 with a primary appointment in the Library and Information Science program. Dr. Lyon brings a wealth of experience from her work as Associate Director of the UK Digital Curation Centre and the Director of UKOLN at the University of Bath, UK. In Spring 2014, Dr. Lyon will teach a seminar course “Special Topics: Research Data Management” (LIS 2975/LIS 3970). This topical course is designed to introduce Doctoral and Master’s students to the conceptual and practical challenges of research data management. It will be held on Wednesdays from 3:30-5:50 p.m. In September 2013, Dr. Lyon gave the inaugural talk for the 2013 annual iSchool colloquium series, speaking on “Roadmaps, Roles, and Re-engineering: Developing Data Informatics Capability in LIS.”

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Lyon to the University of Pittsburgh! To read more about Dr. Lyon’s research, please visit her bio page.

Volunteers Needed: Professional Development Day

The iSchool will host Professional Development Day on Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm.  Alumni volunteers are needed to conduct resume reviews and mock face-to-face interviews.  For more information or to volunteer, email Marci Carothers at


October 2013

2013 Alumni Awards

On Friday, October 11, alumni and friends gathered to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of three iSchool alumni.  Martin Weiss, Associate Dean and Professor presented Leona Mitchell (MSIS ’81) with the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award, Bella Karr Gerlich, PhD (’06) with the 2013 Professional Achievement Award, and Alexia Hudson-Ward (MLIS ’05) with the 2013 Young Alumni Award.  To read more about the event and the awardees and to view photos, visit here.

Volunteer to Participate in Professional Development Day

The iSchool will host its annual Professional Development Day on Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm.  Last year, more than 55 students participated in the Career Workshop, “Best Behavior for Lunch Interviews” Session, mock interview, and resume reviews!  The School is seeking alumni volunteers to conduct resume reviews and mock face-to-face interviews. Breakfast will be provided. To volunteer, email Marci Carothers at

Support the iSchool

Join the more than 150 alumni who have supported the iSchool since July. Give online today or email Marci Carothers at for more information.

Generous unrestricted alumni support, at all levels, was used to transform the third floor into a state of the art Student Collaboration Center. Alumni funding helps the iSchool complete renovation projects, supports students with scholarship funding and demonstrates confidence in our programs to current and prospective students. Thank you for continuing to support the iSchool!

Join the Pitt Alumni Association

Membership in the Pitt Alumni Association is the best way to stay connected to your University. Joining provides benefits and discounts to you and your family while providing funding for student programs and scholarships.  Your Pitt Alumni Association Membership helps you to:

For more information about the Pitt Alumni Association Membership program or to join please visit

iSchool mourns passing of Dr. Anthony Debons

The iSchool at Pitt regrets to announce the passing of one of the foremost pioneers of Information Science, Professor Emeritus Anthony Debons. Dr. Debons passed away on Saturday, October 19, 2013. Celebrated for his tireless efforts in the field of information science, Debons also held the rank of Colonel in the United States Air Force, and was recognized by many diverse nations, institutions and organizations for his contributions to society.

Dr. Debons was a pioneer of Information Science and his service as Professor and Vice Chairman of the Interdisciplinary Department of Information Science (now the iSchool) at the University of Pittsburgh from 1968-1986 was critical to our School’s early and continued success. The perspective of Dr. Debons continues to be at the heart of our School’s mission: contributing our expertise to advance humankind’s progress through information.

To remember Dr. Debons, his family invites friends, former colleagues and students to the Freyvogel Funeral Home in Shadyside (4900 Centre Avenue) on Friday, October 25, from 2:00-4:00pm and 6:00-8:00pm. A funeral mass will be held at the Saint Paul Cathedral (108 N Dithridge Street) on Saturday, October 26 at 10:00am.

In honor of Dr. Debons, memorial contributions may be made to the Anthony Debons Scholarship. For more information, please contact Marci Carothers ( To read more about Dr. Debons, please click here.


September 2013

Three New Faculty Members Join the iSchool

The iSchool is pleased to welcome three new faculty members: Dmitriy Babichenko, Yu-Ru Lin, and Balaji Palanisamy. All three began teaching in the Fall 2013 Term. Professor Babichenko is teaching courses in the undergraduate program and supervising the internship program. Professors Lin and Palanisamy are offering courses in the undergraduate and the Graduate Information Science & Technology programs. 

Babichenko comes to the School with years of experience in the corporate IT arena. Since 2012, Dr. Babichenko has also served as an adjunct professor at the iSchool. You can learn more about Professor Babichenko’s research and publications on his bio page.

Assistant Professor Yu-Ru Lin recently served as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the College of Computer and Information Sciences at Northeastern University and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. More information about Professor Lin can be found on her bio page.

Assistant Professor Balaji Palanisamy joins the iSchool faculty upon completion of his doctoral studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology. On his bio page, you can learn more about Dr. Palanisamy’s research and publications.

The iSchool’s faculty, staff and students are pleased to work with Professors Palanisamy, Lin and Babichenko.

Brian Beaton Named Interim Director, Sara Fine Institute

The iSchool is pleased to announce Dr. Brian Beaton as the Interim Director of the Sara Fine Institute.  Read more about Dr. Beaton. The Institute was established and named in honor of Dr. Sara Fine, a long-time professor in the School of Information Sciences. The Institute hosts an annual lecture each spring and in recent years has welcomed Dr. Pamela Samuelson, UC Berkeley Law School and School of Information, Dr. Jonathan Zitrain, Harvard Law School and Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and Dr. Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law School, among others. Check upcoming issues of the monthly e-magazine for information regarding the 2014 Lecture.

Join the iSchool at the 2013 Alumni Awards Ceremony, October 11

Each year, the iSchool recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni at the Alumni Awards Ceremony. 

On October 11, 2013, we'll be honoring Leona Mitchell (MSIS ‘81), Bella Karr Gerlich, PhD (‘06), and Alexia Hudson-Ward (MLIS '05). Read more about the award winners here. We hope you’ll join us!  Click here for additional details and RSVP information.

Alumni Reception at Seven Springs, October 20

The iSchool will host an alumni reception at the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) Annual Conference.  The event will take place on Sunday, October 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Laurel Room at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.  Hors d’oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available.  Stacey Aldrich (MLS’92), Deputy Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Office of Commonwealth Libraries, will join us. RSVP to or 412-624-9473.


August 2013

A Message from the President of the School of Information Sciences Alumni Society (SAS)

Dear iSchool alumna/us,

I am Samvith (Sam) Srinivas, the new President of the School of Information Sciences Alumni Society (SAS). I am a 2004 graduate of the iSchool’s Master’s of Information Science (MSIS) program and I earned my doctorate from the iSchool in 2010. I am joined on the SAS Executive Board by Vice President, Jennie Crowley (MLIS ’11) and Past President, Nancy Alstadt (MLS ’75). You can read more about us here.

I am so excited to serve the iSchool in this way…and I hope that I can count on your participation! SAS provides a great opportunity for you to network with your fellow alumni, to engage with current students at the iSchool, and to contribute to the life of the School and the University. Please consider how you can be a part of these SAS efforts:

Volunteer:  Current students benefit greatly from your experience on the job market or as an employer of Information Professionals. Please volunteer for our annual Professional Development Day (held during the Spring Term). We need people to conduct mock interviews, review students’ resumes, and serve on networking panels. On an as-needed basis throughout the year, alumni volunteers also provide virtual resume review services and mock phone interviews – current students can contact you via e-mail to request such assistance. You can learn more about this on-going opportunity here.

Support the iSchool:  I encourage you to join me in financially supporting the iSchool.  Your gifts support scholarships, facility updates, and much more.  Give now.

There are many benefits to being a member of SAS. First, you can keep up (and meet up) with other graduates from the School. Simply join us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Or, attend one of the many iSchool or University of Pittsburgh events. At these happenings, you can meet iSchool faculty, who are conducting leading-edge research in areas that impact your profession daily. In addition, by networking with students or offering internships, you have access to the next generation of Information Professionals.

Although joining SAS does not require that you are join the Pitt Alumni Association (PAA), both organizations work closely together.  Becoming a member of the Pitt Alumni Association helps you to stay connected to Pitt and fellow alumni, while offering membership discounts for everything from insurance to moving companies to hotels, and of course, Pitt gear. The Office of Career Development & Placement Assistance and the Pitt Career Network also offer career resources for Pitt alumni.

Looking back, I consider my time at the iSchool to be a pivotal experience in my career and my life. I was intellectually challenged by my studies and by the faculty with whom I worked. I made terrific professional connections, which have helped me immensely in my work life. However, perhaps most importantly, I consider the relationships with my fellow students to be among the most important. For me, the iSchool truly was a community…of learners, of researchers, of friends. Therefore, I took on this position to help foster such opportunities and relationships for those students who are now enrolled at the School. I hope that I can count on your support and participation to make this possible.

Please feel free to contact me via email at with questions or for more information regarding our alumni efforts. 


Samvith (Sam) Srinivas


July 2013

MLIS Program Re-accredited by ALA

The iSchool is pleased to announce that the American Library Association (ALA) has granted continued accreditation status to the School’s MLIS program! This continued accreditation, issued without conditions on July 1, will be in effect until 2020. The iSchool’s MLIS program has been continually accredited since 1962, which recognizes the academic excellence of the degree program and assures students that they will receive a quality education that prepares them to be productive professionals in the library and information science fields. More information about this honor is provided here.

iSchool to Host Reception at PaLA Conference

You are invited to the iSchool’s next alumni reception to be held in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Library Association’s (PaLA) Annual Conference. We look forward to seeing you at Seven Springs Resort (in Somerset, PA) on October 20th! More details will be available here.

Nominations sought for Alumni Awards until July 31

Don’t miss this chance to nominate one of your fellow alumni for recognition at the iSchool’s Alumni Awards Ceremony on October 11, 2013. The Alumni Awards honor graduates from any of the iSchool’s degree programs for their contributions to -- and support of -- the professions, the iSchool community and the University of Pittsburgh. Nominations for the awards (Distinguished Alumni, Professional Achievement, and Young Alumni) are being accepted until July 31, 2013. You can learn more about the awards program and how to submit a nomination at this Web page.

Michael Spring Elected to Prestigious University Position

Associate Professor Michael Spring has been elected President of University Senate, which is the official University body for shared governance. Through its various committees, the Senate considers and makes recommendations concerning educational policies and other matters of University-wide concern. As President, Dr. Spring hopes to increase communications amongst university constituencies and enhance the role of faculty in governing the institution. You can find more information about Dr. Spring’s election here.

Mark Your Calendars for Homecoming 2013!

The University of Pittsburgh’s Homecoming Celebration will be held September 27-29, 2013. Mark your calendars for the “Welcome Back” reception on September 27 and join the iSchool in celebrating homecoming! More details will be provided here.


June 2013

Associate Dean Martin Weiss Promoted

Please join the faculty, staff and students in congratulating Martin Weiss on his promotion to Full Professor!  Weiss serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research at the iSchool, in addition to his teaching duties in the Telecommunications Program. Weiss has built a robust research and publication program addressing leading-edge topics in telecommunications policy including standardization, secondary spectrum markets, cooperation amongst competitors in the telecommunications market, and spectrum trading. For more information about Professor Weiss, please click here.

School of Information Sciences Alumni Society (SAS) annual meeting, June 27

Want to become a more active iSchool alumnus? All iSchool alumni are invited to attend the annual meeting of the School of Information Sciences Alumni Society (SAS). Come and learn more about the group, its mission and activities, and how you can be a part of the fun! Join SAS on Thursday, June 27th at 6:30 pm at the School. Your input about future events is critical to the success of this organization. More details about this meeting and other events are available here.

Alumni Reception in Chicago, June 30th

The Windy City will be the site of our next alumni reception, held in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference. The Dean of the iSchool, Ronald L. Larsen, invites alumni from all of our degree programs to join him for a casual social event in Chicago on Sunday evening, June 30th. For more information about the event, please click here.

iSchool Welcomes i3 Scholars in June 2013!

The iSchool has a little extra buzz this June as we host the third iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) during June. This program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is designed to introduce undergraduates from across the U.S. to the academic and career opportunities available with advanced study in the Information Sciences. i3 scholars learn about the Information Field through a series of events and projects during a four-week summer institute in Year One; participation in a yearlong research project; and a two-week concluding institute in Year Two. This year, we welcome 20 outstanding undergraduates to the Institute who will be in residence until June 28th. These young scholars are from 15 different colleges or universities and are studying in a wide range of fields including Engineering, Business Administration, Political Science, English Literature, Marketing, Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology, and Computer and Information Science. They will be joined by the members of the 2012 cohort in mid-June, returning to Pitt to present the results of their year-long research project.

Call for Nominations: Alumni Awards

The iSchool is seeking nominations for the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award, Professional Achievement Award, and Young Alumni Award.  These awards recognize iSchool alumni for their contributions to the University of Pittsburgh, the School, and the associated professions. Learn more about nominations here.


May 2013

Join us for the SAS annual meeting, June 27

The iSchool’s Alumni Society, SAS, hosts an annual meeting to plan for future events and activities. Make your voice heard in how SAS contributes to the wellbeing of the School by participating in this event, scheduled for June 27, 2013. We will be meeting at 6:00 pm in 522 IS Building. We’d love to get your thoughts and ideas on how to better serve alumni, the School and current students.  If you’d like to attend, RSVP to Marci Carothers at or 412-624-9473.    

Cynthia K. Richey honored with Pitt’s 225 Medallion

As part of the special iSchool Recognition event honoring graduating students, everyone was looking forward to the keynote address by Cynthia K. Richey (MLS ’72). In a surprise twist, Mrs. Richey got a special recognition of her own – Dean Larsen presented her with the University of Pittsburgh’s 225th Anniversary Medallion.  The University of Pittsburgh presented its first Anniversary Medallion on the occasion of its Bicentennial in 1987.  In 2012, the University celebrated 225 years of building better lives and better communities.  As part of that celebratory year, the Chancellor commissioned the creation of a 225th Anniversary Medallion, which commemorates a special year by recognizing alums who have made outstanding contributions to their professional fields and who still find ways to contribute to the progress of Pitt and our students. The medallions are intended to recognize those alumni who have created a legacy of Building Better Lives over the past 25 years. Mrs. Richey was selected to receive this honor in recognition of her leadership in the library field and the associated professions, for being a role model for iSchool students, and for her support of the School and the University. Please join us in congratulating Cindy on this signature honor!

Meet with iSchool Faculty and Staff at the Alumni Reception at ALA Annual, June 30th

The Dean, Ronald L. Larsen, invites you to join him at a reception for alumni on Sunday, June 30 at 6:00 pm. This event will be held in the Tower Lounge at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago, Illinois (505 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611). As many of our alumni will be attending the ALA Annual Meeting, it seems like the perfect time to host such an event – but it is not limited to just graduates of the Library & Information Science program!  Any iSchool alumni in the Chicago area at that time are welcome to attend this casual evening event with Dean Larsen.  RSVP to Marci Carothers at or 412-624-9473.

Call for Nominations: Alumni Awards

Each year, the iSchool seeks nominations of alumni for three awards: the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Professional Achievement Award, and the Young Alumni Award. The award program is designed to recognize those iSchool graduates who have contributed greatly to the University and the School, the professions, and society. The winners of each award are nominated by alumni of the iSchool and recognized at the Alumni Awards Ceremony, scheduled for October 11, 2013.  Submit your nomination here.

Save-the-Date: Alumni Awards, October 11

Each year, the iSchool recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni at the Alumni Awards Ceremony.  The event will take place on Friday, October 11 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the University Club. More details to come, but you can check our Events page for regular updates.


March 2013

i-Fest 2013 – a celebration of the iSchool

April 3rd through the 6th will be a really exciting time here at the iSchool – those are the dates for i-Fest 2013!  Each year, the School plans a series of events to have fun and to celebrate the School. For 2013, there are seven events for students including competitions for posters, robots, and mobile application development. Alumni are invited to join in the festivities by participating in the iSchool Professional Engagement Fair on Thursday, April 4th. This event will offer professional development activities including an opportunity for students to network with graduates of the various iSchool degree programs. If you’re interested in attending and helping our students, please contact Marci Carothers at

New Student Collaboration Center Opens at the iSchool

On March 19th, Dean Larsen introduced iSchool faculty, staff and students to the new Student Collaboration Center on the third floor of the iSchool building.  The space, designed based on input from iSchool students, will provide students with appropriate spaces for studying in groups or alone, working on team projects, and collaborating with research or classroom colleagues across the world. The design addresses faculty and students’ increasing calls for collaborative study and research space. The redesigned Collaboration Space on the third floor will incorporate a number of enclosed meeting spaces with conferencing and collaboration technology. It will also feature refreshment facilities, comfortable seating, spaces for small-group teaching and seminars, and places where students can practice conference or classroom presentations.

The iSchool Student Collaboration Center has already been a huge hit with faculty and students. It was the site of the grand opening celebration, a student organization lecture, admitted students day, and a reception for the ALA accreditation review panel.

The iSchool Student Collaboration Space was made possible through the support of the Dean’s Funds, annual alumni support, the Office of the Provost, Facilities Management, Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education, and Computing Services & Systems Development at the University of Pittsburgh. The iSchool would welcome the chance to discuss naming opportunities within this facility: contact if you or your corporation would be interested in supporting the iSchool Collaboration Center.        

MLIS Alumna Wins 2013 Coretta Scott King Author Honor

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, MLIS alumna and author, was recognized by the American Library Association for her recent book, No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Micheaux, Harlem Bookseller. Featuring line drawings by R. Gregory Christie, "No Crystal Stair" is an unusual combination of fact and fiction, offering a comprehensive picture of Michaux, who worked assiduously to promote African-American authors. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. 

ALA Annual – Come and meet us there!

The iSchool will be hosting an event for alumni at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.  See future issues of this alumni e-magazine for more details, but plan on visiting with us there!


February 2013

Hail To Pitt Reception!

Alumni are invited to attend a “Hail To Pitt” reception on Monday, March 11, 2013 in New York City. Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg will be the special guest for this event, to be held at the Bloomberg Headquarters at 731 Lexington Avenue in New York City. For more information, visit .

Happy Hour at the iSchool

Each month, the School of Information Sciences hosts a “Happy Hour” for faculty, students and alumni. The next event will be held on Friday, March 22, 2013 from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm in the new student space on the third floor of the building. These “Happy Hours” are a great opportunity to network with faculty, to meet our students, and to casually discuss some of the current happenings in our field. No R.S.V.P. needed, just join us at the iSchool for some refreshments and fun!

The 2013 Sara Fine Lecture – a huge success!

On February 19, almost 100 people gathered for the 2013 Sara Fine Lecture featuring Pamela Samuelson, the Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at the University of California, Berkeley. This event was co-sponsored by the Innovation Practice Institute at Pitt Law. Professor Samuelson offered an insightful presentation on the “Copyright Obstacles to Digital Libraries”. The iSchool was so pleased to partner with PittLaw and to host Professor Samuelson, who was a member of the faculty at the Law School from 1981-1996. She is recognized as a pioneer in digital copyright law, intellectual property, cyberlaw and information policy having written and spoken extensively about the challenges that new information technologies are posing for public policy and traditional legal regimes. She has more than 40 publications on the Google Book Settlement, written extensively on copyright reform and intellectual property rights in software development, has written briefs on patents and high technology entrepreneurship, and has authored insightful Op-Ed pieces in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Washington Post. If you weren’t able to join us for the event, feel free to view the recording of the lecture at 

Pitt Alumni Association Events – From African diversity lecture to Opera!

Have you ever thought about all the benefits of your membership in the Pitt Alumni Association?  One is the myriad of events that are open to you as a graduate of the University.  Check out this calendar of events specifically for Pitt alums.


January 2013

Happy New Year!

The faculty, staff and students at the iSchool wish all alumni a Happy New Year! We’re all looking forward to another exciting year and hope to see you at one of our alumni events during 2013.

Alumni invited to Sara Fine Institute 2013 Lecture

You are invited to join the iSchool as we host the 2013 Sara Fine Institute Lecture on February 19, 2013. This year’s event will feature Professor Pamela Samuelson from the Law School and the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Samuelson will discuss “Overcoming Copyright Obstacles to Creating Digital Libraries.” The event will take place on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm in the Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom in the School of Law. The School of Information Sciences is pleased to host this event and to welcome the Innovation Practice Institute at PittLaw as a co-sponsor. For more information about the 2013 Sara Fine Lecture, please visit this link.

Be an advocate for Pitt

Make your reservations today to join “Pitt Day” in Harrisburg, PA, on Tuesday, February 12. This day is an opportunity to interact with Commonwealth lawmakers, helping them to understand the many benefits and contributions this institution makes to businesses, communities, and organizations in Pennsylvania. The day will include meetings with legislators and a dessert reception: charter buses will leave from Oakland and take you right to the Capitol. This is an excellent chance for you to show your Pitt Pride and to promote the University to those who provide funding for students and the institution.  Visit for more details and to make a reservation to participate in this advocacy event.

Volunteers Needed for Professional Development Day

Alumni volunteers are needed for the iSchool’s Professional Development Day on Saturday, February 2, 2013. In particular, the School is seeking graduates of the BSIS, MSIS and MST programs to help prepare future graduates for successful job hunting campaigns. Professional Development Day is hosted by the iSchool’s Alumni Society (SAS) and includes workshops on improving resumes, presentation skills, interviewing capabilities, and networking techniques. Alumni are gracious enough to host face-to-face resume reviews and mock-interview opportunities so that students can experience first-hand the challenges they will face during the interview process. If you’re available to volunteer from 8:30 am to noon on Saturday, February 2, please contact Marci Carothers, the iSchool’s Alumni Relations specialist at or 412-624-9473.

Previous Issues

Issue 1 (April 2004)

Issue 2 (December 2004)

Issue 3 (August 2005)

Issue 4 (December 2006)

Issue 5 (August 2007)

Issue 6 (October 2008)

Issue 7 (October 2009)

e-Magazine 2010

e-Magazine 2011

e-Magazine 2012

                           1                 LinkedIn                    Facebook

iSchool Alumni

Join the more than 13,000 alumni in leading the Information Professions — managing the information and designing the systems for people, business, and society.