UMSI class notes
Alumni, faculty, staff and students share life changes, job updates, significant accomplishments and more with the UMSI community. We want to hear from you! Please fill out the class notes submission form and we'll post your updates.
Graduating classes of 2011-2016
Yung-Ju “Stanley” Chang, PhD '16, MSI ’09, chose the human interaction concentration and hopes to bring the field back home to Taiwan. He will be joining the faculty at National Chiao Tung University (where he received his undergraduate degree) as an assistant professor to teach human computer interaction and user experience in its computer science program. He wants to teach students about the various interpersonal opportunities connected to computer science. (7/16)
Jennifer Brown, MSI ’15, is currently an emerging technologies coordinator at Columbia University. Her SI degree gave her code literacy and the ability to interact with developers and designers. She also worked as a library assistant while at U-M, and appreciated the relationship between SI and university libraries. Her favorite memory is going to the Big House for football games. (7/16)
Tao Dong, PhD '15, MSI '09, interned at Adobe Systems where he created a jigsaw puzzle game to help people learn how to use Photoshop. After graduating he went to Google where he continues to work and collaborate with UMSI researchers. He believes that the skills he developed at SI enabled him to help build some of the most exciting information products at Google.
Michael Grisafe, MSI '15, works as a solution architect for Improvement Path Systems where he is responsible for designing interfaces for hospital systems. Michael was drawn to the Health Informatics program at the School of Information while getting his Masters of Public Health at the University of Michigan. He believes his degree taught him to be a dynamic thinker and he enjoyed using his skills during the Innovation in Action project where he helped create an app that benefited children with food allergies. (4/16)
Corine Vieracker, MSI '15, is working as a digital archivist for Allied Vaughn in Livonia, where she manages a team. She had a great experience at UMSI as a student and worked many hours in libraries gaining worthwhile work experience. Corrine will be getting married in Fall 2016. (4/16)
Connor Waldo, BSI '15, recently moved back to Michigan after living in California and working in the music industry. Connor enjoyed the mixture of business and technology training that he received with his undergraduate degree at SI. He also values the tangible skills his classes taught him, especially in his coding and web development courses. Connor's favorite SI memory was taking a selfie with Professor King at graduation. (4/16)
Michael Barera, MSI '14, (left) moved to Commerce, Texas, and began working as an archivist at Texas A&M University- Commerce. As a student he valued the balance between theoretical and practical hands-on training that the School of Information offered him.
Sarah Billiu, MSI ’14, worked for the University of Colorado after graduating. She now works for the Brewers Association as a membership coordinator. She enjoyed walking around campus in Ann Arbor, especially the Law Quad. She has particularly fond memories of her advisor David Wallace.
Raymond D. Alexander, MSI '13, is a senior UX designer at Victoria's Secret. He has been working at the same job that he was offered two weeks after graduation. In December he bought a house and he also recently purchased a motorcycle. His advice to other UMSI students is this: If you have a good enough style guide, anyone can be a designer.
Emily Bowman, MSI ’13, worked in higher education before studying at SI. She did not feel fulfilled in her current field and found the social computing program very attractive. She began working in user experience design in Detroit and then Portland after graduating and loved what she was doing. She is now at GM working on in-car operating technology. While at SI, she especially loved having the opportunity to work on a start up at Michigan. She worked with another SI student and two Ross students to help businesses improve their professional development and allow colleagues to share feedback in real time. She also worked in the career development center as a grad assistant, where she felt the training and resources were invaluable.
Lisa Hardman, MSI '13, was recently promoted to senior IT analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C.
Sabarish Raghupathy, MSI '13, moved across the country to New York City to work for EdLab, a research, design, and development unit at the Gottesman Libraries in Teachers College, Columbia University. He does user experience design and software development of new learning technologies and platforms. Previously, he worked at Empirical, a UX research and design agency in Portland.
Peter Zubalake, MSI '13, has enjoyed living in the Ann Arbor area since graduation. Peter has a special interest in preservation of sound recordings and was able to explore this interest as a student during his internship with Michigan Opera Theater. A great memory of his was his class on Preservation of Sound and Motion which he took with Paul Conway. (4/16)
Nikki Roda, MSI '13, moved to Palo Alto, California, to work as a senior interaction designer at VM Ware. Nikki made a lasting impact during her time at UMSI. She organized and put on the first A2 Data Dive and was later awarded the first Student Impact Award, which was named after her. Her advice to current UMSI students would be to try and push their understanding as far as they can while they have the time at the University of Michigan.
Peter Andrews, MSI '12, has been working as an interaction designer at Bloomberg LP in New York since his graduation. The greatest value of his UMSI degree has been the practical work experience he received. Peter was a research assistant and worked with several Ann Arbor start-ups during his time at U-M and would recommend this type of involvement to other SI students because the entrepreneurial spirit still helps him in his work today.
Deborah Blumenthal, MSI ’12, met her fiancé at SI. She loved Michigan football games and the group of students she went to grad school with.
Anne Cox, MSI ’12, has been working as a photograph archivist at the State Historical Society of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, since June 2012. She and her husband Steve are expecting their first child in October 2016. She remembers going to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago for ASB. She loved being behind the scenes of the aquarium, seeing how its library worked, and helping with its fairly new archive effort. (7/16)
Naim Falandino, MSI '12, and his wife, Veronica, recently returned from a trip to Scotland where they introduced their son, Ronan, to his great-grandparents. Naim is chief data scientist at Deepfield in Ann Arbor. Veronica is currently the assistant director for graduate programs at the School of Information. (9/16)
Omid Farivar, MSI '12, has been working as a UX researcher at Facebook for over two years. “My SI degree was pivotal in landing me my first job, where I had to make the case for a position to be created for me.” His favorite SI memories were parties that he threw with his friend Mo Ibrahim where Omid was the house DJ. (12/16)
Jessica Kahan, MSI '12, now lives in Cincinnati. She is the collection and development specialist for children and teens at the Lane Libraries. (4/16)
Samantha Ashby, MSI '11, is currently working as a reference archivist at Bowling Green State University. While she was at UMSI she enjoyed participating in an Alternative Spring Break in D.C. and working in the Ford Presidential Library. (9/16)
Sarah Barbrow, MSI '11, is working as a research and instruction librarian at Wellesley College in Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and son. During her time at UMSI, Sarah valued her proximity to the library where she was able to engage in many hands-on experiences. Her favorite part of working at Wellesley College is her ability to effectively support and empower the students she interacts with.
Andrew Calvetti, MSI ’11, recently had his second child and adopted a puppy. He became a high school teacher after graduating and is now in a job search process. At SI he fondly remembers BiblioBouts projects with Professor Karen Markey that gave him practice with online databases and project research.
Rodger Devine, MSI '11, is senior executive director of business intelligence at the University of Southern California. “In my career, the ability to manage, analyze and organize a variety of information sources and data analytics methods has been a key determinant in my success and professional development. The U-M School of Information is the foundation of these skills.” (12/16)
Matt Scheinerman, MSI '11, and his wife welcomed the birth of their daughter on June 11, 2015. Allison Yager Scheinerman weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces.
Graduating classes of 2001- 2010
Kamaria Campbell, MSI ’10, has used her human-computer interaction specialization to work in UX consulting roles at ForeSee in Ann Arbor and IBM in Chicago. In 2014 she organized the first World Information Architecture Day event for Chicago, and was recognized as one of the top 50 techies to know in the city by Crain’s Chicago Business. She is currently studying for her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Rachel Doepker, MSI '10, works as an enterprise and policy manager at Ernst & Young. Her work in the graduate library and her contextual inquiry class have been useful experiences for her career. She also enjoyed her ASB trip to the Library of Congress during her time at school. (12/16)
Katie McCurdy, MSI ’10, has been focusing her UX design practice on healthcare for the past few years, merging her love for her work with her experience as an autoimmune patient. She is now working as an embedded consultant at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, VT (and spending a lot of time outdoors).
Brian Wilson, MSI '10, was elected to the board of the Michigan Archival Association in June 2015. He is currently working as a digital access and preservation archivist at Benson Ford Research Center, where he is proud to be making the archival collections more available digitally. Brian enjoys the fact that he was a part of the last SI class to call West Hall home.
Jason Colman, MSI '09, is the director of Michigan Publishing Services. His career has consisted of publishing and the digitization of books. He once led a project to digitize 1 million books at the California Digital Library. He was a founder of the squirrel club at U-M and is now its faculty advisor. (12/16)
Aalap Doshi, MSI ’09, is a human-centered designer at the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research within the U-M Medical School. He's involved in designing people-focused solutions for patients, researchers and the community. He enjoys staying connected with SI by mentoring students and learning from their fresh perspectives. He also met his wife at Michigan. They had a daughter in 2016. (7/16)
Elaine Meyer, MSI '09, began a new position as the engineering librarian at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Previously, she was the user experience librarian at MCLS in Lansing, Michigan.
Kumad Anant Baid, MSI ’08, returned to India after graduating, where she started a design and development agency. Her degree allowed her to explain user experience to potential clients and subsequently receive more business. Her company received an award for Fastest Growing IT Company in East India. They currently employ over 30 people. You can view their website at www.codez.in.
Marianne Braziunas, MSI ’08, has worked in five different schools as a K-12 school library media specialist since graduating. She is now married and lives in Minnesota with her son, Gavin, and dog, Sadie. (7/16)
Bethany (Panozzo) Cron, MSI ’08, works at the National Archives and Records Administration in records management policy and outreach for the federal government. She worked at the Federal Trade Commission and the National Archives on ASB, which led to her job. She worked at the Ford Presidential Library during her time at Michigan. She also met her husband, Bill, at U-M and they have a son named Jojo. (7/16)
Alexander Byrne, MSI ’07, has fond memories of Professor Robert Frost from the pilot of the SI 110 course. The course showed him that he wanted to be an SI student. He is now a happily employed youth services librarian.
David Hsiao, MSI ‘07, joined Accenture as a Technology Consulting Analyst after graduating. He is currently working on his own start-up. His favorite memory of Michigan was going on a road trip to Northern Michigan to see the Fall colors and camping at the Sleeping Bear Dune park.
David Dworin, MSI ’06, currently runs Dworin Consulting (dworin.com), which provides "advice to the advice industry," where he helps professional services firms to grow and scale their businesses. He feels that his exposure to a variety of academic perspectives and problem solving methods while at SI has been very helpful to his career. While at U-M, David was involved in the SI Student Association and the business school's Community Consulting Club. (7/16)
Eric Frierson, MSI '06, was named director of discovery service engineering at EBSCO Information Services after 3 years with the company. Prior to joining EBSCO, he was head of library systems at St. Edward's University. (12/16)
Thomas Mobley, MSI IEMP ’06 says that i/t was a real honor to have an MSI IEMP degree from the University of Michigan. “As we humans traverse through the Stone, Copper, Bronze, Iron, and Space Ages, we now occupy the Information Age.” He believes there is no better way to celebrate than with the MSI degree!
Steve Cotterill, MSI ’05, began working at Apple after graduating. He started his own user experience group within the company after two years. He regularly refers to lessons learned in grad school. “Understanding the human mind and the hidden forces at work in society has enabled me to influence my organization to improve the lives of Apple’s employees and customers.” (7/16)
Julie Darling, MSI ’05, is a media specialist at Creekside Intermediate School. She is also passionate about maker spaces and allowing the students to create and innovate. In this picture (left) she is building the 3D printer that is now used in the school. (7/16)
Matthew Dull, MSI ’05, met his wife and found his calling to information science and technology at SI. “The level of care and connection with students are top-notch; I hope every student feels that at some time in their collegiate life.” (7/16)
Sarah McNitt, MSI '05, recently moved back to Ann Arbor and accepted a position as the MGlobal Technical Coordinator for the University of Michigan. She previously worked as a study abroad advisor for the University of Iowa. She feels the greatest value of her SI degree has been enabling her to think about how the end user will receive the information she is providing. Sarah comes from a family of SI alums: Her father, mother and sister all graduated from the School of Information. One thing she has especially enjoyed about moving back to Ann Arbor has been running into other people with SI connections - both her realtor and her office neighbor are alumni!
Marjorie Knepp, MSI '04, recalls her favorite memory of UMSI being the many friends she made while in her program. Since graduation, Marjorie has pursued positions as product and project managers, and recently has spearheaded her own start-up with her partner, called ALTality. ALTality works to bring augmented reality into the everyday and is located in Ann Arbor. Their first product is SpellBound. (4/16)
Kerry (Connole) Baldwin, MSI '03, manages part of the archives collection at the History Colorado Center in Denver, Colorado. She enjoyed the beauty of the arboretum in Ann Arbor, and would love for her children to experience fireflies someday. (7/16)
Lauren Collins, MSI ’03, worked in the law library at Michigan as a student assistant, which spurred her second career. Her best SI memory was working for a week at the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., on her ASB. (7/16)
Christian Dodd, MSI ’03, has worked as an interaction designer at Digitas, worked as an interaction designer and strategist at Organic and worked on product design at Whirlpool. He's currently with Cramer Krasselt in Chicago where he leads the UX strategy group. He remembers being at UMSI on September 11, 2001. “Despite what was happening, almost everyone showed up to our 9 a.m. class. Classes were canceled shortly after we arrived, but a few of us found a TV and watched the events unfold together. While the day was unquestionably terrible, the ability to experience it with people approaching it from such different perspectives and life experiences is something I'll always remember.” (7/16)
Scott Duimstra, MSI ’03, is currently the senior associate director of Capital Area District Libraries. He is married with a daughter and a son. His favorite place on campus was the DIAD. “Whatever time you went, there would always be another student in the DIAD. I remember working on the Internet Public Library and going to the DIAD at 3 a.m., thinking for certain that I would be the only student there. Well, I wasn’t — there were about 10 others.” (7/16)
David Song, MSI '02, is the President and CEO of Rapid Networks and Network Group, Inc. He credits his coursework in SI for helping him to expand his interests from finance to the IT industry.
Jill (Carper) Simkanich, MSI ’01, has been a school media specialist for 15 years, of which she spent 13 years in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland and two years at Escuela Campo Alegre in Caracas, Venezuela. Her favorite SI memories are from a storytelling course. (7/16)
Todd White, MSI ‘01, started working with the start-up QuadMetrics in September 2015. QuadMetrics was spun out of University research, and it has employed at least one SI student each summer as an intern.
Graduating classes of 1991-2000
Rebecca Chamberlain, MSI ’00, graduated from law school at MSU in 2007. After running her own practice for a while she became a law librarian at the El Paso District Court of Appeals. The leaves changing in the fall and apple cider are what she misses most about Michigan.
Linda Williams, MSI '00, works at The VA National Center for Patient Safety where she focuses on development and implementation of patient safety curriculum for physicians and fellows. She is also involved in the practical application of usability principles to medical devices and software. She is a proud grandmother to 10 grandchildren ranging from ages 1-16 years old. Linda says, "There wasn't a course that I took at UMSI that hasn't contributed to the work that I do now."
Karen Trimberger Brady, MSI '00, moved to Walgreens Corporate in Chicago in January. She is responsible for all customer satisfaction research for their digital properties (web, mobile, tablet, and app). (4/16)
Dan Bree, MSI '99, recently moved to Los Angeles, where he is an executive producer/showrunner for nonfiction television shows on networks like Discovery, National Geographic, Animal Planet and the History Channel. An itinerant vagabond since his Ann Arbor days, Dan lived in San Francisco, Boston and New York before making the move to LA. After his dot com days ended in 2001, he switched career paths to television production, and has produced over 100 hours of television on topics as diverse as the history of tattoos, the history of the Berlin Wall, extreme fishing and prisons in Georgia.
Nathaniel Bulkley, MSI ’99, PhD ’06, worked with Pfizer in Connecticut after graduating. He then started his own consulting company and recently took a job working in talent analytics at GM. While at school he enjoyed writing scripts for “Internet on the Air,” a segment on the Michigan radio.
Amy Cantu, MILS ’99, has worked at the Ann Arbor District Library since graduation from SI. She is a productions librarian who works with community partners and local historians to digitize local history collections. She also helped secure the complete archive of bound volumes and photographic negatives from the Ann Arbor News when it closed in 2009.
Amy Cooper Cary, MSI '99, first served as archivist and special collections librarian at the University of South Dakota, then as the assistant head of special collections at the University of Iowa, and recently as director of the archival studies program at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies, where she spent seven years directing the program and teaching. In 2012 she took her current position as head of special collections and university archives at Marquette University. She has served in multiple capacities in both the Society of American Archivists (national) and the Midwest Archives Conference (regional). She especially appreciated working with Dr. Margaret Hedstrom and Dr. David Wallace during her time at SI.
Patricia Katopol, MSI '99, got a job at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., before obtaining her PhD in information science from the University of Washington. She now works as a compliance and education specialist in the Human Subjects Office of the Institutional Review Board and the University of Iowa. (12/16)
Jen (Kush) Enzer, MILS ’98, started ACE Pyro LLC with her husband in 2004. They have 12 full-time employees and have created fireworks displays for events like the Big Chill and the Winter Classic, both held at the Big House. You can check out their work at acepyro.com. (7/16)
Megan Fitch, MILS ’98, is the chief information officer at Haverford College. She has worked at several other universities and colleges in this role. She loved the entrepreneurial and experimental spirit of SI, and she uses that in her work to figure out how to leverage information across a university. In her work, “culture eats structure for lunch.” (7/16)
Susan Kane, MILS ‘98, has managed people, projects and technology for a number of software companies. She currently works as a sales engineer for Harvard Business Publishing. She's married to a lovely artist/x-ray tech from Texas. Their family contains one college student, one 7 year old, and one really lazy cat
Rena Fowler, PhD ’97, was a university librarian for most of her career, including at the University of Denver. She also volunteers at the fundraising organization for the University of Denver Libraries. She said she could not have succeeded in getting her PhD without her co-chairs, Professors Olivia Frost and Donald Riggs. (7/16)
Gavin Fearey, MSI ’97, attended Northwestern University Law School after graduating from SI. He is now a corporate attorney with Grable Martin Fulton PLLC. Gavin has hiked the Grand Canyon, kayaked in the Ten Thousand Islands in Everglades National Park and hiked more than 10 U.S. National Parks with his family. UMSI helped him to compartmentalize and synthesize information in ways that he still implements with negotiating extremely complex business and financial transactions and compliance initiatives. (7/16)
Deborah Diesen, MILS ’96, has worked in several different library settings including Adrian College and the Library of Michigan in Lansing. She is the author of the children’s book series, The Pout-Pout Fish, as well as other children’s books that are not a part of the series. Debbie believes it's her mission to teach children to love books. She has two sons. (7/16)
Ginger Fearey, MSI ’96, attended DePaul University College of Law after graduating from SI. She's worked in several libraries, clerked for a judge in Illinois State Court and spent a few years at the Southern Methodist University Underwood Law Library. In 2014 she was sworn in as the Librarian for the Northern District of Texas. She works for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and, in addition to running the Federal Library in downtown Dallas, serves 30 United States judges. (7/16)
Randy Horton, MILS '96, has wonderful memories from his time at the School of Information especially during the launch of the Internet Public Library which he helped promote. Randy is now the managing principal at 94 Westbound Consulting. He credits his degree for giving him a framework to understand the world and information in creative ways. (4/16)
Triza Marsh-Crittle, MILS ’96, works as a systems librarian for Innovative Interface Inc. She is able to work remotely from anywhere in the world. She recently worked from Southern California and hopes to work from Dublin, Ireland, for a few weeks next year. Triza’s favorite memory was from ’95-’96, “We were constantly asked our opinion of this new, up and coming search engine called Google. We thought it was childish looking and the primary colors were offensive to our intelligence. Yes, the snobbery was abound but who knew!”
Josie Parker, AMLS '96, has been the director at the Ann Arbor District Library since 2002. She credits her time at the School of Information for helping her understand the value of having technology in the library. She is also thankful for the emphasis her professors put on knowing and serving your customer which is a skill she carried throughout her career.
Pamela (Ellis) Pavliscak, MILS ’96, is founder of Change Sciences, a research think tank focused on humanizing technology for Chase, NBC Universal, IKEA, Virgin, and many others. She serves on IEEE Standards Global Ethics in AI Initiative. She has taught at Parsons, Stanford, and ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination and has spoken at SXSW, Collision, and other industry events. Pamela is currently writing Designing for Happiness.
Mike Creech, MILS '95, has worked at Tulane, Johns Hopkins, Internet start-ups, and the U-M Library System. He has held library positions and information architecture positions. Mike currently works at Internet2 as a webmaster in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is passionate about his work. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Carol (UMSI alumna), and his two daughters. (7/16)
Eric Ederer, MILS ’95, worked in an urban public library and was on leadership for the society for organizational learning. He then earned his MPH in public health informatics from MSU. He is now caring for his parents.
Sandra Gallivan, MILS ’95, worked for 15 years as an elementary media center specialist. Her favorite SI memory is working in the media lab to try and figure out hardware and software through trial and error. (7/16)
Katrina Gormley, MILS '95, is the systems and technical services librarian for the Chippewa River District Library System. She greatly enjoyed working at the music library while at U-M. (12/16)
James Hannigan, MILS '95, worked in law firm libraries following graduation. Then he went to business school with the intention of entering the legal information vendor industry, which he did by joining Bloomberg to work on its law product. He then shifted back to law firms as a project manager, working on business improvement projects. (12/16)
Judith Gourdji, MILS ’94, worked as a business librarian at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan. She then worked as a substitute reference librarian for local public libraries in Ann Arbor, while volunteering in the U-M Patient Education Research Center at the cancer center. She retired to care for her elderly mother. She feels her SI degree was very worthwhile. “I still do all the research, medical and otherwise, for my family.” (7/16)
Lynn Dunn, MILS ‘93, has worked as a media specialist and provided tech support for students participating in a one-to-one laptop program. She is currently teaching 6th and 7th grades. Her favorite Michigan memory was studying abroad at the University in Aberystwyth.
Margaret Dykens, MILS ’93, is registrar and director of the Research Library at the San Diego Natural History Museum. She is currently curating a new exhibition featuring rare books dating back to the 1500s as well as works of art on natural history subjects. It will also feature the museum’s very rare copy of Audubon’s Double Elephant Folio of The Birds of America. The exhibition opened in August 2016.
Betsy Fronk, MILS ’93, worked at the Grace A. Dow Public Library in Midland. She also worked as a reference librarian at Virginia Intermont College. She's currently working at the Chattanooga State Community College library. She has also worked for the Southeastern Library Network, an organization that supports libraries all over the southeastern United States. (7/16)
Karen Jean Hunt, MILS ‘93, retired in January 2017. She has worked as an archivist at William and Mary, Head of Special Collections and University Archives at California State, and Director of Franklin Library at Duke University. She has also received a master's degree in public history from Wright State University.
Bill Teichert, MILS '93, is a librarian for the Chicago Public Library and is on the International Relations Reception Committee for the American Library Association's annual meeting in Orlando, FL. He spent time working in Bucan, South Korea, as an academic librarian. A favorite memory of Bill's was going on a field trip to Borders Publishing with Professor Margaret Taylor where he was able to see how a factory produces and publishes books. (4/16)
Chris Turner, MILS '93, received his Doctor of Education from Michigan State University in May 2015. He is employed as director of technology for Brighton Area Schools.
Diane Hummel, AMLS '92, manages the library at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids where she has been for 31 years. Diane commuted as a library sciences student and remembers packing up her dog after the work day, dropping him at a friend's home, and heading to Ann Arbor for class. She loved the Ann Arbor community and made it a point to stop by the Farmer's Market as often as possible while she was here. The greatest value of Diane's degree was the emphasis her classes put on technological advances as it prepared her for many of the transitions she would face at Spectrum Health.
Alice Dayhoff-Miller, MILS ’91, worked in the Toledo Lucas County library system after graduating. In ’93 she was married, and then had a child in ’95 who she stayed home to care for. In ’00 she returned to library work at her child’s private school until ’07.
Judy Hauser, MILS ’91, worked at a special library while getting her degree. After receiving her degree she was promoted to consultant and still works in that library today. She feels that her degree from SI helped her immensely in her library work. (7/16)
Luke Swetland, AMLS '91, is the current president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. He previously served as the COO and Interim Head of the Autry National Center of the American West.
Michelle Wisniewski, MILS '91, is currently working as the Rochester Hills Talking Book Services Librarian. Michelle has had a rewarding career at the Rochester Hills Public Library, where she has been able to bring adult book discussions back to the library, start an English conversation group and help plan the route of the library's Bookmobile. Michelle has fond memories of her classes with Joan Durrance and Gail Beaver, who pushed her out of her comfort zone. In their free time, Michelle and her husband enjoy tango dancing, a hobby they nurtured through dance lessons during a recent trip to Buenos Aires.
Graduating classes of 1981-1990
Kenneth Cory, PhD ’90, became an assistant professor at Wayne State University's Library and Information Science Program. He challenged his students to look at sources of information and think critically about the reliability of statistics. His best memory from Michigan was in April, 1985 when he was appointed Director of the History of Art Library at Tappan Hall, tasked with ensuring that the addition to that library was completed on time for the November 15 dedication ceremony. With the cooperation of the History of Art faculty, he succeeded. All seven of his children earned college degrees, three earned doctorates, and the youngest is finishing his dissertation.
Barry Brown, AMLS '89, serves as science librarian and head of access and collection services at the University of Montana Mansfield Library where he arrived in 1990. Barry thought he would move on to another job within five years but often says he came to Missoula because of his job, stayed because of his wife's job, and is still there because of his kids. His entire career has primarily involved managing the transition of print to electronic resources. His education from the School of Information provided an excellent foundation, particularly the frequent writing assignments which allowed for good practice in persuasive memo writing. One of his favorite Michigan memories is participating in his first online listserv in 1988 and the many opinionated discussions in cyberspace with fellow library science students. Instead of "Go blue," Barry now hears "Go grizzlies" a lot.
Catherine “Kit” Flynn, MILS ’89, cherished her time at UMSI, finding the graduate experience challenging and fulfilling. She has lasting memories of fellow students and inspiring professors. Kit pursued a career as the media specialist at Ann Arbor Open School, served as K-12 Media Department Chair and thoroughly enjoyed her roles for the Ann Arbor Public Schools. She served as a principal for four years, and is now enjoying retirement. (7/16)
Benedette Palazzola, MILS ’89, recently retired from a career that included stints at Duke University, the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and ProQuest. She is now pursuing arts and volunteer work, and has happy memories of her time at UMSI all those years ago!
Deborah Crocker, MILS ’88, spent five years working in the information field, then stopped working to care for and homeschool her seven children. Her degree has helped immensely in homeschooling her children. Her favorite Michigan memory is being chosen to run the dorm library at Oxford Housing for two years.
Margaret Delaney, MILS ’88, works at the Toledo Public Library. She appreciates their emphasis on kindergarten readiness and on business and technology for entrepreneurs and small businesses. She is also a member of the Ohio Library Council where she has been active for two years and president for one. While at Michigan she worked in the rare books library. She was able to help process a few manuscripts, and said that this helped her to understand what she wanted to do and where she wanted to work. One of her favorite memories from Michigan was getting candy before concerts at Hill Auditorium.
Bianca Johnson, MILS '88, achieved a National Board Certification in Library Science in 2005 and successfully renewed it again in 2015. In 2013, she published a free Apple eBook on iTunes titled: Surprise! Unexpected Gifts Received for Reading. Her degree helped her to adapt to rapidly changing technology, and gave her the confidence to continue to keep learning and trying new things. (12/16)
Jean Keleher, AMLS '88, took a position as the Global Health Sector Leader of Knowledge for Ernst and Young. Jean says, "I am glad that I moved into health care because it is something that affects everybody's lives. I love being at a global firm that is making a difference and being able to use my information skills in that capacity is really humbling." As an undergraduate she worked in several university libraries where she found her passion for library science. Jean has many fond memories of her time at SI, especially listening to Jim Croce albums in Professor Hessler's classes. (4/16)
Kayne Ferrier, MILS ’87, met most of her friends because she was a librarian. At SI one of her best memories is organizing a group of students to help one another study for a big final exam, and feeling very successful when everyone on the team did well.
Kim Laird, AMLS '87, worked for three different universities and a large state library during her career. She was involved with Michigan Notable Books while working for the Library of Michigan. (12/16)
Jane Berliss-Vincent, AMLS '86, has been working for three years in her dream job as the assistive tech manager in U-M Information Technology Services and says the greatest value of her degree has been the knowledge and flexibility to work with information in increasingly complex technological situations. She is the author of two books on library access for people with disabilities.
Melodie Hamilton, AMLS ’86, moved to Puerto Rico after graduating, where she served as a library consultant to the Arecibo Observatory. Next she worked at the University of Arizona, and then at Connecticut College where she has worked for 24 years. Melodie and her husband plan on spending some of their retirement in Scotland. They have two children. (7/16)
Beth Jacoby, AMLS ’86, has worked in many college and university libraries in cataloging and acquisitions, namely Temple University, University of Delaware, NYU, University of Maryland, and York College. She felt that she benefited from her internship at Hatcher Library while at Michigan. (7/16)
Sue McDowell, AMLS '86, is the IT service manager at the University of Michigan Medical School. She began working for the Medical School after working in Instructional Support services at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts for many years. Sue believes the most rewarding part of her job is being able to find a sustainable solution for somebody's dreams and helping them to refine those dreams accordingly. When she is not working, Sue helps coach the University of Michigan Women's Ice Hockey team as well as an Ann Arbor Amateur Hockey Association U14 girl's ice hockey team.
Jerry Miller, AMLS '86, was able to instruct graduate students and assist managers in North and South America, Europe, Sweden, and Africa on how to manage knowledge assets and gather competitive insights on marketplace issues due to his studies at SI. He also endowed the Innovator Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements by students who participate in SI’s Design Clinic and other design-oriented courses. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the school!
Alicia Van Pelt, AMLS ‘86, worked at the Livonia Civic Center Library where she was an adult and teen services librarian for 17 years before retiring in 2004. She is proud of the many new library programs she developed during her time there which attracted teens and incorporated them into the library. “I know that with my education from the University of Michigan School of Information, I could have gone anywhere in the world and been respected in my field.”
Neil Hughes, AMLS ’85, will retire in Fall 2016 from his position as head of music cataloging at the University of Georgia Libraries. He began his 32-year career in music librarianship as assistant librarian at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He has served as chair of the Music OCLC Users Group (MOUG) and the Southeast Chapter of the Music Library Association (SEMLA). He was also elected to the board of directors of the National Music Library Association in 2000, where he also served as assistant fiscal officer and then fiscal officer. In 2016 he received MOUG's Distinguished Service Award. His best Michigan memory is of his first date with his now-wife Marty (Martha Tanner Hughes, AMLS ‘85). (7/16)
Patricia Byler, AMLS ’84, has worked in health and library sciences since graduating from SI. Her favorite memory from U-M was dancing with U of M A-Squares, a ballroom club that met in the Union. Her son now studies at U-M’s School of Information.
Tim Grimes, AMLS ’84, began working as a reference librarian in the Detroit Public Library. He then became a librarian at Ann Arbor Public Libraries, where he now runs the events and publicity. He and his wife started Red Bud Productions, a local theatre company. He felt that professors at SI really take a personal interest in their students and are willing to advocate for them. (7/16)
Deborah Evans, AMLS ’83, has worked in several libraries in the Wayne County area, including the downtown Detroit Library for the blind and physically handicapped. She is now the librarian at the Children’s Village School and she volunteers as a historical presenter at Greenfield Village. While at UMSI she enjoyed interning at the undergraduate library, won the Margaret Mann and the Edmon Low Awards and she enjoyed visiting the Ann Arbor Botanical Gardens. (7/16)
Marian LaBeck, AMLS ’83, went on to complete a master’s degree in public administration. Many of her positions have been reference and adult services librarian or manager. She studied abroad at the College of Librarianship Wales during her time at Michigan. Years later she arranged a job exchange with an English librarian. (7/16)
Cheryl Naslund, AMLS '83, passed away suddenly on October 13. She was a high school librarian living in Binghamton, NY. Cheryl was an active member of her community as she was a driving force in the University Women's group, a member of the Indial Cultural Center, a volunteer ski instructor for the Greek Peak Adaptive Ski Program, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and a part time PhD student. She will be remembered for her love of learning and her ability to make friends wherever she went. Cheryl is survived by her husband of 36 years, Richard, and her children. Read her obituary here.
Elaine Didier, PhD ’82, AMLS ‘71, is director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, located in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Mich. Since becoming director in January 2005, she has initiated a broad agenda to expand the array of educational offerings, public programs and feature exhibits, and increase the visibility and impact of both the Library and Museum. (12/16)
Luanne Frey, AMLS ’82, retired in 2008 from SC Johnson. She enjoyed her career in corporate libraries, helping scientists with research and development. (7/16)
Barbara Garavaglia, AMLS '82, has been the Director of the University of Michigan Law Library since 2011. Her Library Sciences degree put the information she learned about legal research into context and taught her how to function in a library structure from an organizational and managerial perspective. She also believes the courses she took on Legal Research from SI were incredibly useful and relevant.
Claire S. McLaughlin, AMLS ‘82, had a rewarding 25-year career at a suburban public library. She retired at 62 and now helps to evaluate applications for freshman admission at Michigan. She also leads K-12 tours as a docent at UMMA.
Debbie Michaels, AMLS '82, retired in late 2014 and moved to Naples, FL with her husband, Tom. Ten years after receiving her BA, Debbie returned to school to get her library science degree. She enjoyed working in the subspecialty of Medical Librarianship where she was able to help build two new libraries in two different hospital facilities from scratch. Debbie is grateful for the many new friendships she made while at SI and the flexibility her new career gave her to move around the country with her husband. (4/16)
Susan Christoff, AMLS ’81, worked at Toledo Lucas County Public Library before going to law school at University of Toledo. She has fond memories of living in Martha Cook, going to football games, and going to Dominick’s.
Melisande Engebretsen, AMLS ’81, believes UMSI gave her the basis for a career in competitive and business intelligence in the global pharmaceutical industry. Her favorite Michigan memory? “Ann Arbor in the summer. What a wonderful place to be.” (7/16)
Kathi Jakubowski, AMLS ’81, is an E-resources/serials coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her best UMSI memory is of Professor Olivia Frost, who introduced her to cataloging, which turned out to be her calling. (7/16)
Dar Matthews, AMLS '81, is the director of individual stewardship at the University of Michigan where he enjoys being a resource for both major gift officers and donors of the university. Dar has found that being able to find information and then present it clearly has been imperative to his career success and attributes that skill to his SI classes. As a student, Dar had an interest in archival work and enjoyed taking classes with Fran Blouin. (4/16)
Virginia “Ginny” Nilles, AMLS ‘81, has worked in public and university libraries for 40 years. She retired in January 2017. She has received several awards such as Outstanding South Carolina Librarian, Liberty Bell Award, Trail Blazer Award, and Indiana Outstanding Race Relations Award.
Graduating classes of 1971-1980
Steve Barkan, AMLS '80, says his UMSI degree opened the doors to a rewarding and fulfilling career. He currently works as the director of the Law Library at the University of Wisconsin and teaches there as well. Recently, he received the Outstanding Classroom Teacher of the Year award from the Wisconsin Law Alumni Association.
Ruth Person, PhD '80, AMLS '69, has had a long and prosperous career in higher education. She was the former chancellor of the University of Michigan- Flint and has since returned to her position as professor of management. In 2006, Ruth received the distinguished alumni award from SI. She continues to rely on her SI education to locate and organize information in her current career. Ruth is grateful for the faculty's dedication to student success and enjoys running into other SI alums. (4/16)
Priscilla Oppenheimer, AMLS '80, recently started teaching computer forensics at Southern Oregon University. Priscilla is an educator, author and computer networking consultant, with over 30 years of experience in the computer industry. Priscilla worked as a software developer for Apple Computer and as a technical instructor for Cisco Systems, and has taught classes around the world to thousands of network engineers. She is the author of "Top-Down Network Design," 3rd ed., Cisco Press, 2011, and the co-author of "Troubleshooting Campus Networks," John Wiley, 2002. Priscilla also developed the "Innovating Women" book in 2014.
Lawrence Frank, AMLS ’79, works as an idea consultant to non-profits, a website administrator, a publisher and an artist. He is a retired librarian. Lawrence also published several books. You can visit his website at www.ljfrank.com. (7/16)
Jane Kahan, AMLS '79, has retired from her career as a children's librarian. (4/16)
Monica Hines Craig, AMLS ’78, was a reference and microforms librarian at Wayne State University and then the distance education librarian at Central Michigan University. She received the Distance Education Librarian Award in 2006. One of her best UMSI memories is attending the student picnic with her daughter, who was 18 months old, and watching her play with the professors, particularly Dr. Olivia Frost and Dr. Gwen Cruzat. (7/16)
Don Beagle, AMLS '77, has had a very successful career since graduation. He began as a public library director and then transitioned to the academic library side after a conversation with Dr. Joan Durrance. During his career he published many articles and books which have won him awards and helped him live out his lifelong passion for writing. The greatest value of his degree was the key perspective the School of Information gave him at the dawn of the IT revolution.
Gail Beaver, AMLS '77, began her career as a librarian at Clinton Public Schools, where she was proud to have brought technology to the library early on. She later made the switch to Huron High School in order to shorten her commute. While at Huron, Gail also worked as an adjunct professor at the School of Information, where she taught children's literature and storytelling courses. Gail's classes were incredibly popular among students of many different disciplines, and she took great pride in teaching them. In her retirement, Gail spends her summers helping revitalize an elementary school library in Northern Michigan. She is also an avid volunteer, working with Food Gatherers and Open Spaces, a gardening charity in England.
Dena Bovee, AMLS ’77, worked as a librarian for four and a half years after getting her degree. She then spent 34 years working as a developer at Online Computer Library Center. Her Library background has been so helpful to her when communicating between the library business and technical sides of her job. She especially misses Seva in Ann Arbor, where you could get a pita, tomato, and cheese sandwich for 50 cents. She also loved the lists of questions from Dr. Slavens’ bibliography classes that took students to libraries all over campus looking for answers.
Beth Andersen, AMLS '76, retired in 2014 after many years of working for the Ann Arbor District Library and credits her UMSI degree for getting her the job. She says it was a great experience to start her career at the library before computers and see how wonderfully computers transitioned into the library space. She continues to volunteer her time as a book reviewer for Library Journal.
Eve Brown, AMLS ’76, retired in 2012 from her job at the CS Mott Foundation Library and Archive where she had worked since graduating. She helped with record keeping, grant writing, and designing their own library catalog online.
James Piper, AMLS ‘76, spent his career as a librarian at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, MI. Originally planning to be a teacher, James enjoyed the high school environment and decided to become a librarian because it seemed to have more job security. He values the flexibility his UMSI degree gave him to work in either academic or public libraries. His advice to students would be to take advantage of their time in school and diversify themselves as much as possible.
Fern Mitchell Cheek, AMLS ’75, has worked as a hospital librarian at Henry Ford Hospital and Mount Carmel Health Sciences. She currently works as an associate professor/research librarian at Ohio State University. She remembers walking to class in the winter and having to hold on to parking signs because the wind was blowing so hard.
Jean (Liming) Dundas, AMLS ’75, spent her years teaching and working in school libraries. She was a school media specialist in Lapeer for quite a few years when her son, Lee Liming, graduated from U-M. She retired from Lapeer Community Schools in 2006, and now enjoys being a grandma, travelling and volunteering at the Flint Institute of Arts. (7/16)
Paula Gilbert, AMLS '75, has worked 34 years at Martin Library and the York County Library System as director of youth services and several other positions. Her favorite student memory was meeting Frank Gorshin (the Riddler of Batman fame) in the bar of the famous Palmer House! She has been married to Barry Gilbert for 37 years. They have a daughter, Stephanie, who is a fashion designer for DKNY in Manhattan. (12/16)
Carol Burns, AMLS ’74, has been retired for almost 16 years. Her experiences at Michigan, especially in Virgil Gulker's Bibliotherapy class and as a Library Associate in the Medical Center Library prepared her for the next 30 years of her career, in which nearly everything she had learned about "how" to do things changed. “What didn't change was the "why" we do things!”
Darlene Crane, AMLS ’74, is a business growth advisor to small businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked at the Business School library while at Michigan. After graduating she worked with banks and corporations before becoming an independent consultant. (7/16)
Julie Early, AMLS ‘74, received her PhD in English from the University of Chicago after her studies at U-M. The most thrilling moments of her career were those spent archiving volumes from extraordinary libraries here and abroad.
Sarah Fallon, AMLS '74, returned to the field and decided to seek a master's in library science after her children were older. She then became a high school librarian. This led to a principal's position in the same small high school. She believes that the principal's position would not have been open to her without her degree from U-M. (12/16)
Tim Richards, AMLS '74, spent the majority of his career as the director of the Mardigian Library at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. He says the greatest value of his degree was learning about the organization of information and the process of reference interviewing. Looking back on his career, he is most proud of being able to help people realize what they were truly passionate about.
Ron Sharp, AMLS '74, retired in 2014 and volunteers part-time as a cataloguer for the Indiana State Library. He was drawn to the University of Michigan School of Information because of its prestigious reputation and enjoyed the challenging academics and universal student body. Ron remembers enjoying his classes with Constance Rhinehart and listening to the speaker series which featured many librarians famous in their field. (4/16)
Charry Boris, AMLS ’73, became extremely interested in special libraries in her time at U-M. After graduating she worked in the business library at Life Office Management Association, and then at AMAX. She then worked at Financial Accounting Foundation in Connecticut for 30.5 years. Fun fact: she has named most of her pets after Michigan.
Joan Dunn, AMLS ’73, worked as a school media specialist in Charlotte, NC, where she later became an assistant principal. She then worked as a reference librarian at UNC Charlotte. She retired in 2005. She loves storytelling and helping kids with school media. (7/16)
Linda Egebrecht, AMLS ’73, particularly appreciated her class with Dr. Wallace Bonk and how he emphasized that cataloging was not just about strictly following a set of rules—the purpose was to help patrons and staff locate materials. She loved the beauty of campus in different seasons, and remembers being snowed in on North Campus for St. Patrick’s Day. (7/16)
Carolyn Gillay, AMLS ‘73, became a professor at Saddleback College. She taught for 30 years in the computer information management department. She also wrote 25 college textbooks.
Mary Bullard, AMLS ’72, has been a part of library sciences since beginning as a page in the Grosse Pointe Library at 14 years old. She also worked as a library desk clerk at Alma College and spent 10 years with Youth Services at the Monroe County Library System, 20 years at Monroe High School Library Media Center, plus more than 30 years as a part-time adjunct reference librarian with Monroe County Community College. She believes that librarians must be at the forefront of ensuring equal, educated access to the best materials whether these be print, digital, or multi-media.
William Burk, AMLS ’72, spent a lifetime career in scientific librarianship, working at the University of Utah, the University of Guam, the University of California–Santa Barbara, and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. He served at the botany and biology librarian at Chapel Hill for 30 years. He also conducted research on botany and its history, which resulted in numerous publications including three books, 65 scientific articles in refereed journals, 46 popular articles, seven abstracts, and 75 book reviews. He retired in 2009, but continues his research on the history of botany. Constance Rinehart’s class on the art of exacting and careful skills in cataloging prepared Bill for his first librarian position as science cataloger at the University of Utah and later at the University of California–Santa Barbara.
Randy French, AMLS ’72, worked in public libraries for 15 years and a library for the blind for 29 years. He retired in 2015. His favorite SI memory was helping remodel the SI library in 1972. (7/16)
Martha Fessler Krieg, AMLS '72, retired in June 2014 after 18.5 years as a senior programmer/analyst at Advantage Computing Systems (now Advantage CS) in Ann Arbor. During those years, she did some translation on the side, and has continued that in retirement. During retirement she has enjoyed lace-making, knitting, book repair and restoration, and more translation and editorial services. She and her husband had three children. Martha says her life has also been enriched by the many foreign students she has hosted over the years.
James Hambleton, AMLS '71, retired from his position as a professor at Texas A&M University School of Law. He is still very involved with A&M as a consultant on its new law school building plans. James won't be leaving teaching behind altogether as he plans to teach a course entitled, "Analysis, Synthesis, and Predictive Writing," during the winter term at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Graduating classes of 1961-1970
Emily Brown, AMLS ’70, worked as a librarian for several years. She then became the owner of an HR Block and has been a tax return preparer for over 37 years. Her studies at U-M were helpful for the basic researching skills that she applies to all areas of her life. She fondly remembers meeting her husband Jon at Michigan. She also enjoyed watching her son Thomas play his trumpet with the Michigan Marching Band.
Gretchen Bush, AMLS ’70, went to work in New Jersey after school, where she was trusted to drop the cards in the card catalog (thanks to her cataloging professors). She went on to work for Kent County Library system in Michigan, and then for Indianapolis Marion County Public Library for 27 years. She is now retired from public library work.
Alan Carlson, AMLS ’70, retired in 2012, but still does occasional contract work focusing on eBooks and mobile devices. He has previously worked with the Tampa Bay Library Consortium on creating apps and using the Cloud, in a program called the Zombie Apocalypse technology road show. (7/16)
Bill McNitt, AMLS '70, began as a part-time student employee at the Bentley Historical Library, where he met his wife, Marilyn, also an alumna of UMSI. Upon graduation, Bill worked as an archivist for the Gerald R. Ford Library, where he stayed for 36 years until retiring in 2013. Bill was with the library from its beginning and transitioned it through many technological advances over the years. He is very proud of the number of collections he processed, which will facilitate research for generations to come. Bill and Marilyn have raised a family of SI alumnae: Their two daughters, Rebecca and Sarah, also graduated from the school. In his retirement, Bill is a regular volunteer for the American Red Cross Blood Services, Be the Match Organization and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Karen Cox, AMLS '69, passed away on December 18, 2015. Karen spent 25 years with the San Francisco Public Library. She began as a reference librarian and moved through various positions, ending as the interim city librarian. In retirement, Karen and her spouse, Kathleen, moved to Nevada City. She enjoyed many passions including running, the outdoors, gardening, and traveling. Read Karen's obituary here.
Mary Jo Pugh, AMLS '69, found the greatest value of her UMSI degree to be the people she met in the process. She believes the connections she made with her professors and classmates are what led her to a successful archival career. Her career began at the Bentley Historical Library. She later worked at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and for the Society of American Archivists. In her free time, Mary Jo enjoys traveling with her sister. The pair visited four different African countries this past summer.
Kenlee Ray, AMLS '68, has been a strong supporter of the School of Information for many years. In addition to being the co-chair of the UMSI campaign, she is now also on the National Student Support Committee under the Victors for Michigan campaign umbrella. Kenlee admits that it's hard to point to just one thing as being the greatest value of her UMSI degree. She made lifelong friends at SI and has had wonderful professional connections through its alumni and faculty. Though she is retired, she still continues to meet very interesting folks through those connections.
Michael Deller, AMLS '68, had a different graduate experience than some. He was a commuter student who also worked at the Detroit Public Library. Michael went on to work in libraries within the state of Michigan for 40+ years. His degree helped him navigate the challenges of incorporating computers into the daily routine at the library and he is still proudly displaying his UMSI diploma in his office.
Darrow Wood, AMLS '66, is professor emeritus, NYC College of Technology, of the City University of New York, having retired two years ago after 45 years there beginning in 1969. He remains active as an academic management consultant with a special interest in shared governance. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, not far from his two daughters and two granddaughters. (12/16)
Paul Jackson, AMLS '65, was remarried at age 80. In 2016 he was part of a panel talking about the history of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. This will be the association's 50th annual conference. Paul was the first executive secretary and later the VP-president elect of the group. He continues to play timpani with a concert band and other ensembles. Paul edits two publications for the Plateau Area Writers Association: a quarterly and an annual themed anthology.
Anne Morris, AMLS ’65, spent 44 years as head librarian at the Toledo Museum of Art. During that time, the art library collection quadrupled in size and was moved to a new building. She retired in 2009.
Ken Van Andel, AMLS ‘65, entered the Navy as a Navy Flight Officer flying off the Coral Sea and Ranger. From there he worked for the FAA as a controller and data systems specialist. Following his retirement there, he became the serials librarian and university archivist for Aurora University Library, as well as being elected Faculty NCAA Rep. Most importantly, he met his wife of now 48+ years while working in the Graduate Library as a Work/Study scholar. All in all he has great memories of his time at U-M.
Margaret Hammond, AMLS '61, passed away on May 31 at the age of 79. Margaret was the founding manager of the Detroit Public Library's Elmwood Park Branch. She later worked at the main library on Woodward in Detroit where she was a reference librarian and head of acquisitions. Margaret was a passionate librarian who passed her love of reading on to her family. She was also an American Library Association member, an avid gardener, and a Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert goer.
Graduating classes of 1951-1960
Jack Daball, AMLS '56, worked for many years at the Jackson District Library in Jackson, Michigan. He believes his degree from the School of Information was fundamental in helping him build a career he enjoyed getting up for every day. Jack's advice to current students would be not to take this time for granted and to stay as positive as possible. He believes every day he spent at Michigan was one to be remembered, and he looks back at his time as a graduate student very fondly.
William Cox, AMLS '51, passed away on January 19, 2016. William had a long career in the Rochester Public Library System where he was the assistant director of Rundel Building Public Services. William enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family and friends. Read his obituary here.
Graduating classes of 1941-1950
Frances Kepner, AMLS '44, died peacefully at her home on July 31, 2015. Upon her graduation she embarked on a career in academic libraries, including positions at the University of Michigan and Ohio State University. For the majority of her career, she was on the library faculty of the Cunningham Memorial Library at Indiana State University, serving in various positions, including head of the catalog department and special collections cataloger. Read her entire obituary here.
Steven Abney is an Associate Professor of Information at UMSI. He is currently researching methods for automatically learning new languages given the kinds of resources that are available.
This summer Assistant Professor, Julia Adler-Milstein, and her family took a trip to San Francisco and Portland to visit friends and family. The most exciting project she is working on right now is trying to understand how physician practices take care of very sick people and what strategies help them succeed. She has been working with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to do the research and has really enjoyed the partnership.
The most exciting research Kevyn Collins-Thompson believes he is working on are intelligent systems that can deliver the right information at the right time in the right form. He will be traveling to Chile and Easter Island in August and says his favorite thing about working at UMSI is, “the supportive interdisciplinary environment.”
In 2017, Barry Fishman will be celebrating his 20th year on the faculty at the University of Michigan. His favorite thing about working for SI is the sense of community and mission. He is currently excited about his work on GameCraft, a learning management tool that will bring gameful learning to students and teachers at Michigan and around the world.
As a clinical assistant professor, Kristin Fontichiaro enjoys working at the School of Information because of the many passionate and intelligent people working on intriguing projects in class, in their research, and in the community. She is currently working on an IMLS- funded Making in Michigan Libraries project, which envisions libraries in underserved areas of Michigan as community anchors for expanding maker culture in their areas. This work builds on the three-year Michigan Makers project with middle-grade kids.
Elena Godin has spent her summer assisting Dr. Besprozvany with his research and revising the SI 320 Graphic Design course for undergraduates. Elena enjoys the amazing community of faculty, staff and students: diverse, culturally rich, and intellectually thriving at UMSI.
Dan Klyn is a lecturer for the School of Information and enjoys the richness and diversity of the students’ experiences prior to studying Information. He is traveling to Japan this July to talk about information architecture with Peter Morville, a past faculty member and SI alum. In October he will be traveling to Italy to keynote the Italian IA Summit.
As an Assistant Professor of Information at UMSI, Casey Pierce, values the fact that the UMSI community represents so many disciplines while still supporting the school’s mission of understanding how to connect, people, information and technology. Casey is currently researching how enterprise social media can be used to support knowledge sharing. She is also beginning to explore how telemedicine shapes the practice of medicine, whether it supports the sharing of complex medical knowledge among specialists, and its effectiveness in expanding access to healthcare.
Kentaro Toyama, W. K. Kellogg Associate Professor of Community Information, enjoys working at SI because of the friendly, interdisciplinary atmosphere among people who care about social impact. He is currently most interested in his research surrounding social change and how it is caused. His hypothesis is that real social change happens as people pursue their long-term aspirations which he hopes to find true in his research.
Professor Kai Zheng feels that SI has a great staff team and enjoys the collegial environment among faculty. He is currently working on a project to understand the workflow impact of health information technology. In June, he welcomed the birth of his first child.
Benjamin Armes enjoys his work as a videographer for Marketing and Communications at SI because it allows him creative freedom and it revolves entirely around shooting and editing videos. He has worked for the School of Information for the past three years in various positions. This summer he took a trip to Italy as part of his summer classes at Eastern Michigan University.
In August, Reggie Beasley will be celebrating his 1 year anniversary at the School of Information as the Admissions and Student Affairs Assistant. He is currently enrolled in Eastern Michigan’s Higher Education Student Affairs Master’s Program and is expected to graduate in 2017. Next year he will marrying his fiancé, Ashley. Reggie says his favorite thing about working for UMSI is the constant energy that the students, faculty, and staff bring every day. He writes, “It motivates me to learn new things both inside and outside of this building. From programs/activities held on campus to different insights on how we can effectively use information technology daily.” UMSI is glad to have you!
Heather Carpenter has been working at the School of Information as a Registration and Curriculum Specialist for 4 years. She has enjoyed being a part of a great staff and she is constantly amazed and inspired by the things our faculty and students are able to accomplish. She especially enjoys the collaborative and friendly environment.
Having been with UMSI since 2007, Andrea Daly, started as the faculty secretary. Since then she has had the opportunity to work for various associate deans and support faculty search initiatives. She is now the Assistant Director of Development and Alumni Relations where she is able to facilitate connections and relationships between alumni and the school while managing donor stewardship and communications. She enjoys her work because of the people who make up the UMSI community saying, “People care about the work they do and each other, which makes it a rewarding place to work both professionally and personally.”
In his spare time, Mike Doa enjoys flying airplanes and playing on a softball team with his daughter. He also has really loved working with SI since 2006 when he was a Desktop Support Specialist. His current position title is Senior IT Support Specialist. What he likes most about UMSI is being able to work face to face with the level of talented people here. He said, “UMSI is progressive and always a step ahead of everybody else which makes me proud to tell people I work here.”
Veronica Falandino recently returned from a trip to Scotland where she introduced her 7 month-old son, Ronan, to his great-grandparents. She has worked in various positions at the School of Information but is currently working as the Assistant Director for Graduate Programs. She enjoys how the school is always evolving and speaks to this by saying, “with change comes engagement and opportunity.
Kanda Fletcher was a non-traditional student when she returned to school and graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 2011. In 2014, she went on to earn a Master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership from Eastern Michigan University. Kanda was new to SI in December 2014 but has loved her time here because of the vibrant and dynamic environment.
Ridley Jones works at UMSI in Computing. Previously she worked as a grader for course 534 in SI and was an assistant for the Research Office. Her favorite thing about working for the School of Information is the extensive opportunities to learn. She says the culture of learning and open-minded experimentation pervades all aspects of the school.
Caitlin Kelley graduated with her MSI in 2014. Since then she has been busy splitting her time working for both the School of Information and the Veterans Affairs Office in Ann Arbor. At the VA she works on research projects that leverage technology to encourage the use of data in clinical decisions. She enjoys the atmosphere of openness and dedication to teamwork that comes along with her job at SI.
Katherine Lawrence began at the School of Information as a post-doctoral researcher with Tom Finholt in 2005. She went on to work on several applied research projects concerning cyberinfrastructure, requirements analysis, and community engagement. She has also been a lecturer as SI when she designed and taught the first two years of SI 422: “Evaluating Systems and Services” for the undergraduate informatics program. She loves the fact that the school represents so many different disciplines and expertise that are all combined in an environment of respect for the strengths that each person brings to the school.
Rebecca Pagels is the Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the School of Information. She says that working at UMSI has been a great opportunity. It has given her the chance to meet fantastic alumni, faculty, staff and students from across the United States- and even China. She’s learned how amazing the UMSI community is and loves to see the dedication that alumni, faculty, and staff have for the school. Rebecca says, “It’s such a privilege to engage with alumni and supporters who are passionate about making a difference with students and UMSI.”
Ceci Riecker is the Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations. She has been with the School of Information since November 2014 and she values her colleagues’ dedication to development and alumni relations. Ceci’s favorite part of her work is matching a donor to the right project, “It fills their soul, it accomplishes a philanthropic goal for that donor, and it makes such a difference to the students and programs at UMSI!”
Emily Puckett Rodgers is a 2010 School of Information graduate who now works as the UMSI Entrepreneurship Program Manager. She loves the collaborative environment between staff, faculty, and student communities at SI which continues to help her grow professionally and personally in such a rich learning environment.
Scott Staelgraeve is the Administrative Director at SI. He likes working here because of the people. He says that as a school we are blessed with an abundance of dedicated, passionate staff and faculty. “The staff and resources at UMSI make it a great place to work,” says Scott TenBrink of his time here. Specifically, Scott works on the Citizen Interaction Design project which allows him a variety of work and opportunities to engage and partner with the community while interacting directly with students. This summer, his family is taking their second big trip out west where they will be hiking in Glacier National Park.
Friends of SI
Betty Bishop has a long history with the School of Information. Her grandfather, William Warner Bishop, was asked to come to the University in 1915 by Regent Clements under the terms that he would run the library and eventually start a department of library science. William stayed at the University of Michigan until his retirement in 1941. Betty believes one of her grandfather’s greatest legacies to the school is that he transitioned the libraries out of the Dewey Decimal system and into the Library of Congress classification system. She also believes one of his accomplishments was investing in book buying which allowed the University to build up a back log of collections to rival universities older than them. Betty grew up on the University of Michigan campus, as her father was a law professor, and remembers hearing many stories of her grandfather’s legacy. She is a graduate herself of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. She has fond memories of attending Michigan Football games and hearing Lyndon B. Johnson give his “Great Society” speech at the 1964 Graduation Commencement.