Pitt Provost Awards Three Grants to iSchool Faculty


The University of Pittsburgh’s Provost, Patricia E. Beeson, recently announced that three grants have been awarded to faculty at the School of Information Sciences. These internal grant program funds, administered by the Provost’s Office, are distributed through competitive proposal processes open to faculty from across the University. The iSchool congratulates those faculty members who successfully garnered funding for their projects in research and in education.

Konstantinos Pelechrinis, Assistant Professor, submitted a winning proposal to the Central Research Development Fund to support the creation of a framework for establishing trust in wireless networks. This project will explore the factors that affect trust associations in the wireless context and how evidence about these associations is validated and disseminated. The results of this work could be applied to real-world scenarios where trust in other users of a network is critical to the success of a mission – for example, in the military or public safety arenas. Dr. Pelechrinis hopes that this work will lead to larger-scale projects on the use and popularity of wireless social networks.

Leanne Bowler, Assistant Professor, was also successful in acquiring funding from the Central Research Development Fund to support a pilot study to examine the efficacy of design-based research methods in revealing adolescent metacognitive thinking during the information search process. Even though adolescents have a vast number of information resources at their fingertips, they are – according to the literature – only adequate information seekers and in fact could use some guidance in terms of best practices. By creating a framework for investigating adolescent metacognitive knowledge during the information search process, Bowler aims to clarify the processes through which young people find and assess information.

A grant from the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence will support the “Information Professionals and Student Interactions” project supervised by Christinger Tomer, Associate Professor, and Susan Alman, Director of Distance Education and Outreach. The goal of the project is to produce video presentations of alumni discussing their professional experiences and providing specific advice on theoretical topics and fields of practice covered in the LIS 2000 (Understanding Information) course. Students in the course will then have the opportunity to interact with the alumni guest speakers through asynchronous Blackboard discussion forums.  This project will help current students to develop professional insights and skills beyond the traditional classroom experience.