SIS 2005 Student Awards


The School of Information Sciences (SIS) and our Alumni Society offer a number of awards to recognize the outstanding academic and service contributions of our students. Students were nominated by faculty from all degree programs on the basis of academic accomplishment, leadership, and efforts to improve the academic programs or community life for students. We are pleased to announce the following 2005 Student Awards. Congratulations and continued success to all!


award cupsThe Margaret Mary Corbett Award was established in honor of the late Margaret Mary Peg Corbett, secretary to the Chair of the Department of Library and Information Science. The award honors the best dissertation proposal approved in the doctoral studies program of the Department of Library and Information Science over the preceding year.

The 2005 recipients of the Award are Donghee Sinn and Daniel Joudrey.

The title of Ms. Sinns winning dissertation proposal is "Records and the Understanding of Violent Events: Archival Documentation, Historical Perception, and the No Gun Ri Massacre in the Korean War". Donghee received her MLS from Chung-Ang University in Korea in 1996 and is a PhD student in the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences.

The title of Mr. Joudrys winning dissertation proposal is "An Evaluation of Methods for the Conceptual Analysis of Documents". Daniel received his MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences in 2000 and is a PhD student in the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences.


The faculty has selected Laila Marouf for the 2005 Harold Lancour Award for Excellence in International and Comparative Study in Library and Information Science. Among Ms. Marouf’s many distinctions is the fact that her doctoral dissertation ("The Role of Business and Social Ties in Organizational Knowledge Sharing: A Case Study of a Financial Institution"), which will be completed by the end of this term, is the first such work developed within the LIS program that investigates the issue of knowledge management within an organization, as well as the first to employ social networking analysis as a basis for the investigation. In addition, Ms. Marouf’s research establishes a strong empirical basis for the continued study of knowledge management and information transfer within multinational enterprises. Finally, Ms. Marouf’s interest in the culture of commerce and knowledge transfer within commercial organizations has added an important dimension not only to her own research, but also to the academic lives of her fellow students.

The Lancour award is named in honor of the late founding dean of SIS. This $200 award is made possible by gifts from many friends and former students of Dean Lancour. The Award reflects the desire of the School and the University to recognize academic excellence in the international librarianship field in which Dr. Lancour was pre-eminent.


The judges selected Denis Nkweteyim as this year’s recipient for the 2005 Catherine Ofiesh Orner Award. Dennis’ paper was titled “Web Page Classification Based on Web Page Size and Hyperlinks and Web Site Hyperlink Structure”. Denis is a current PhD student in the Information Science program.

The Orner Award, and its monetary award of $500, established in honor of Catherine Ofiesh Orner, a deceased distinguished alumna of SIS, is given annually for the best scholarly paper in information science suitable for publication.


Established in 1998, the Robert R. Korfhage Award honors the late Dr. Korfhage, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Information Science and Telecommunications. The Award encourages collaborative research between faculty and students through a paper addressing important areas of information science, including information retrieval, user interfaces and formal methods.

This year, the recipient of the $500 Robert R. Korfhage Award is Phongsak Kiratiwintakorn. His paper, “On a Framework for Energy-Efficient Security Protocols in Wireless Networks,” was co-authored with Dr. Prashant Krishnamurthy. Phongsak is a current PhD/IS Telecommunications student and received his MS from the University of Kansas in 1999.


Established in 1999, the Jennifer and Eric Spiegel Book Endowment Fund Award, funded in its entirety through the generosity of the Spiegels, recent SIS Alumni, is given to the student who submits the best paper written on a given topic. This year’s recipient for the Spiegel Award is Christopher Flyer for his winning essay submission, “Internet Communications: An Indecipherable Code?” Christopher is a current BSIS student.

This award is a joint award shared between the School of Information Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences. During the next term that this Award will be presented it will be given to a deserving candidate from the College of Arts and Sciences.


The SIS Alumni Society has created four $200 awards to recognize student leaders. Students were nominated by faculty from all three programs on the basis of academic accomplishment, leadership, and efforts to improve the academic programs or community life for students.


This award, which was established by the late Jay Daily, Professor Emeritus in DLIS, is presented to a student for outstanding contributions to the graduate program in library and information science. The recipient for the Jay Daily Award is Christopher Brown.

Chris has revitalized the Student Chapter of ALA (SCALA) this year. It is a visible organization that has made great strides in attracting new members. Through his efforts the following has been accomplished:

  • Developed an informative newsletter
  • Involved FastTrack MLIS students in meetings using virtual chat
  • Creative fundraising efforts
  • Increased attendance at Chapter meetings


This award is presented to a student for outstanding contributions to the Bachelor of Science in Information Science program. The recipient for the Anthony Debons Award is John Paul Oleksiuk. John Paul is working towards a joint degree in BSIS and Music. He was a member of and served as an Assistant Coach for the University of Pittsburgh’s Crew Team, has worked in Mongolia at the Institute of Finance and Economics, and was a finalist for two of the top University of Pittsburgh Undergraduate Awards (Senior of the Year and the Emma Locke Award).


This award is presented to a student for outstanding contributions to the graduate program in telecommunications. The recipient of the Fritz Froehlich Award is Natthapol Pongthaipat. Natthapol’s research on the Optimal Placement of Base Stations for a Data Rate Capacity Constrained Networks addresses the expected growth in wireless data services. As mobile phones are increasingly used to exchange data, the network of cell phone base stations need to be engineered to support these new requirements. His research is developing the tools needed to place base stations so that they have sufficient capacity to support both voice and data applications. Additionally, Natthapol has been actively supporting the program through his work as the Tele "superGSA". In addition to his many other duties as the superGSA he is the one to be sure that the SIS wireless network remains operational.


This award is presented to a student for outstanding contributions to the graduate program in information science. The co-recipients for this year’s award are Sean Ellis, Maria Harrington and Christopher Jursa.

Sean currently works in the VISC Lab within the School of Information Sciences. He has assisted in the construction of the Virtual Theatre (VT Lab), conducted demonstrations within the VT Lab; supported courses by giving tutorials on Photoshop and Unreal Editor for student projects; provided tutoring support for additional class projects within the program as needed; supported SIS staff with school events and graphical work; promoted SIS programs at the Alumni Association tent during athletic events.

Maria is currently a Teaching Fellow and a Ph.D. student in the School of Information Sciences. Since Spring Term 2000, Maria has been an Adjunct Professor/Visiting Lecturer within the School. Her current research focuses on formalizing complex HCI models that can be used for collaboration, education and virtual realities. This research may focus on answering questions about what combinations of tools are needed to help a child independently explore an environment, develop insights, encourage creative problem solving, and intrinsically seek knowledge.

Chris is currently a Ph.D. student in the School of Information Sciences. Chris is a Graduate Student Assistant within SIS. Chris volunteers to work at and/or attends all SIS recruitment events and many Student Services events. He speaks with many students and represents the school as a Masters alumni and a current PhD student. Chris conducts school tours for nearly all prospective students considering SIS.


The SLCP Student Award is made to the outstanding student who exemplifies professional promise based on academic achievement and faculty nomination graduating in a three term period. This year’s recipient selected by the panel of judges is Sarah Goodman. She was chosen by the faculty committee for her quality essay and interview and received a $2500.00 award. Sarah is an April graduate and is the school librarian at Craig Academy in Pittsburgh. The runners up were Raquelle Brennan, Michelle Kramer, Susan Dahlstrom and Amy Pickett who each received a $1000.00 award.

Two of the finalists are from the Philadelphia area: Amy Pickett, graduated in December and will be the librarian at Ridley High School. Sue Dahlstrom, an April FastTrack MLIS graduate, is a librarian at Upper Merion High School.

Michelle Kramer, an April graduate, is an English and theater teacher at Mt. Lebanon High School. Raquelle Brennan, a December graduate, is from the Chicago area and will be a librarian at New Trier Township High School.