Alumni return to SIS to celebrate homecoming
On Friday, October 7, SIS held its annual Alumni Reception and Awards Ceremony. More than 75 people were in attendance. This year’s event was a joint effort between the School of Information Sciences and the Department of Computer Science. Faculty, staff, and alumni from other areas of the university as well as members of the Pittsburgh community were also there to support this year’s honorees.
Eric Spiegel, the Pitt Alumni Association’s iSchool representative, began the event by welcoming all attendees. Dean Larsen was next to speak, thanking everyone in attendance and congratulating the alumni who were being awarded.
The following four alumni were honored at the ceremony for their outstanding achievements:
- Joseph Trost (MST ’93) received this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Joe Trost earned his Master of Science in Telecommunications at the University of Pittsburgh in 1993. Joe also has a Bachelor of Science in Decision Sciences from Rider University in New Jersey and an Associate Degree in Computer Science from Middlesex County College, NJ. He started his career as a mainframe computer operator in New York City in 1982. During the late 1980s, computers began to be “networked” together. Trost wanted to be a part of this new technology, so he left his job and enrolled in the iSchool at Pitt. After graduation, Trost took a position as a Technical Support Engineer with FORE Systems. Over time, he rose to the rank of Director of ATM Switch Engineering. Today, Trost holds the position of Director of Systems Verification Test at Aclara Technologies.
- Noelle Calabro Conover (MSIS ’85) was the recipient of the Professional Achievement Award. Noelle Calabro Conover has worked in the IT field for over 30 years. She began her career at Pitt and, upon completion of her master's degree, was hired by IBM as a Systems Engineer. Upon leaving IBM, Conover became a consultant, specializing in the field of technical communications for the next 20 years. She worked in 23 separate startups and established IT departments throughout the Pittsburgh region. Currently, Conover works as the Project Coordinator for SurvivorConnect at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
- Jefferson Bailey (MLIS ’11) received the Young Alumni Award. Jefferson Bailey is Director of Web Archiving at Internet Archive. Jefferson joined Internet Archive in Summer 2014 and manages Internet Archive's web archiving services, including Archive-It, used by over 450 institutions to preserve the web. He also oversees contract domain-scale web archiving services for national libraries and archives around the world, including Library of Congress, NARA, and foreign national libraries. He works closely with partner institutions on technology development, web data research services, educational partnerships, and other programs. He is the principal investigator for multiple grants focused on systems interoperability, data-driven research use of web archives, and digital preservation.
- Dr. Vivian Davidson Hewitt (BLS’44) was honored with the first iSchool Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was created with the intent to honor alumni, like Dr. Hewitt, who have had a rich and extensive career, and made outstanding contributions to their field. Dr. Hewitt's career as a librarian began as the first African American Librarian for Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh. She later took a position as a librarian and instructor at Atlanta University's School of Library and Information Science. Upon her return, she worked for Crowell-Collier Publishing, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as Chief Librarian until her retirement. She has served on the Council on Foreign Relations, on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, and as a board secretary.
The Hewitt Art Collection, now considered one of the finest in the world, was purchased by Bank of America and gifted to the Harvey B. Gantt African-American Cultural Center in Charlotte, NC. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, inductee to the Hall of Fame of the Special Libraries Association, and is a member of the American Branch of the British Order of Saint John.
Congratulations to our four award recipients for their accomplishments and continued dedication to the field of information science.