Faculty, doctoral students recognized for teaching and service

Dean Jeff MacKie-Mason with Cliff Lampe, Joan Durrance and Joyojeet Pal, announcing the first Joan Durrance Community Engagement Awards.

Several School of Information faculty, doctoral students and staff were recognized for their achievements at the annual joint faculty/staff meeting on October 1.

Dean Jeff MacKie-Mason introduced a new faculty award, named for Professor Emerita Joan Durrance, the Joan Durrance Community Engagement Award. Durrance was a leader in the field of community informatics. She was the first UMSI faculty member to receive recognition and major funding for her work in the field of community engagement, including grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Institute for Museum and Library Studies. She was also the first, said MacKie-Mason, to mentor masters and doctoral students and direct them towards careers in community engagement.

The first recipients of the award were Associate Professor Cliff Lampe and Assistant Professor Joyojeet Pal, founders of two new programs at UMSI that exemplify community engagement.

Cliff Lampe’s project, Citizen Interaction Design, is a three-year partnership with the city of Jackson, Michigan, in which UMSI graduate students initiate and design programs to facilitate better communication between citizens and local government.

Joyojeet Pal leads the Global Information Engagement Program, in which students work with partner non-profit organizations in India remotely and on-location to develop and deliver solutions to information problems which the organizations have identified.

Clinical Assistant Professor Kristin Fontichiaro received the Excellence in Instruction faculty award. MacKie-Mason noted that she had been nominated every year and that her classes are among the highest-rated at UMSI. Her students regularly publish articles, write and edit books, and volunteer as Michigan Makers, helping middle school students to develop STEM skills.

The Michael Cohen Service Award, which recognizes commitment to serving the UMSI community and mission, went to Research Professor Stephanie Teasley. She was recognized for her years of service on both within UMSI and at the university level, contributing to enhancing the school’s reputation across campus.

In the past year, she served on the UMSI technology council, the provost’s online education policy committee, a learning analytics task force, and the digital initiatives advisory group, among many other service activities. For several years, she was the director of the UMSI doctoral program.

Assistant Dean of Academic and Student Affairs Judy Lawson cited three doctoral students for teaching excellence.

Melissa Chalmers was named the Graduate Instructor of the Year for her work teaching two foundation courses, SI 500: Information in Social Systems and SI 501: Contextual Inquiry and Project Management.

Allen Flynn received the Yahoo! Graduate Instructor of the Year award for his teaching of SI 525: Empirical Methods for Health Informatics and SI 654: Critical Policy Issues in Health IT in the winter 2014 term.

Caitlin Holman received the Yahoo! Teaching with Technology award for her work on GradeCraft, a game-inspired learning management system which she developed in conjunction with Professor Barry Fishman.

In addition, three staff members were honored for achieving employment milestones at the university: Jay Jackson (20 years), Meghan Genovese (10 years) and Sherry Smith (10 years).

Posted on October 1, 2014