i3 Scholars complete their 2012 residential institute


On June 27, we said goodbye to the 19 i3 Scholars who had been in residence here at the University of Pittsburgh. The i3 program is designed to encourage undergraduate students from underrepresented groups to consider graduate study in the Information Sciences disciplines. The i3 project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and hosted by Pitt’s iSchool. This is the second cohort of scholars in the program – in 2011, 21 students from across the U.S. were admitted the program. The 2011 Scholars completed their i3 experience on June 15, 2012.

The 2012 cohort of students participated in a month-long residential institute, exploring the research and academic opportunities and challenges in the field of Information Sciences. The students are from 16 colleges or universities in 9 different states. They are currently earning degrees in a wide variety of disciplines including history, sociology, economics, mechanical engineering, journalism, psychology, business, applied mathematics and biomedical engineering, statistics, and information science. More information about this group of students can be found here. While here at the iSchool, the Scholars were engaged in a wide variety of academic and social activities: more than 40 academic events, 20 professional development activities, and 25 social events introduced the students to the Information Sciences, their career options, and to faculty and scholars from iSchools across the U.S. Some of the highlights included a keynote addresses by UBMC President Freeman Hrabowski and Pitt Trustee Emeritus, Alfred Moyé; workshops on writing résumés and  navigating the PhD program; and academic sessions exploring topics ranging from information technology and sustainability to the impact of crowdsourcing on innovation.

Now that the residential portion has concluded, these outstanding undergraduate students will work in teams on research projects to be presented at the 2013 Institute.  The proposed projects include:

  • examining the gendering of console video games among college-aged players
  • investigating how online videos go viral as well as the social and cultural implications of viral media
  • studying the effects of social media on political engagement in presidential elections
  • exploring digital identity on social network sites by considering the effects of pseudonymity, anonymity, and true identify on behavior in digital environments.

Congratulations to the i3 Scholars and we look forward to seeing you next year!