Meet our Information Mentors

To connect with us or our information mentors, please email

 Claire Marshall

Hi! My name is Claire Marshall and I am a first year MSI student. I graduated with a Master’s in History, then took a year off to intern at an archive before coming to UMSI. My focus is Preservation of Information, and I am particularly interested in digital curation and providing access to cultural materials for research and other purposes. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about the Preservation of Information or Archives and Records Management (I am dabbling a bit, at the moment!) specializations. Also happy to provide an outsider’s perspective on Ann Arbor, since I’m originally from Milwaukee, WI, and went to school in New York.

Desiree McLain

Hello! My name is Desiree McLain, and I am a second-year MSI student. I am interested in Information Management, Entrepreneurship, and Content Management systems. My undergraduate degree was in Women’s Studies and African American studies. I also have an MPH and worked in the Health Informatics field before studying at UMSI. I lived in Texas for a few years before returning to graduate school, so I can answer questions about moving to Michigan and adjusting (or readjusting) to a warmer climate. I also have worked on quite a few research projects while here at UMSI, and can answer questions on strategies for getting involved, as well as extracurriculars, being an older, non-traditional student, and anything else. Hope to hear from you soon!

 Kangning Chen

Hi! My name is Kangning, and I’m a first year MSI student focusing on Data Science/Computational Social Science. I’m extremely interested in the intersection of policy research and data analytics. Born and raised in China, I moved to Washington, DC for my undergrad and currently live in Detroit. My undergrad degree was in Foreign Service, and I worked at a government policy research firm for a year prior to coming to UMSI. If you have any questions about coming from a non-technical background, being an international student at UMSI, moving from an urban setting to a college town, or just the MSI program in general, please feel free to email me, and I’m more than happy to answer your questions! 

 Michael Abboreno

Hello! My name is Michael and I am a first year Masters Student specializing in Human-Computer Interaction.  My main goal is to become a User Experience/Interaction Designer.  For my undergrad at the University of Michigan in the Stamps School of Art and Design, I specialized in Industrial Design, but through my senior thesis designing medical products found that my passion was in designing experiences in products for users, whoever they may be.  Being that I have been in Ann Arbor for 5 years now, I would be happy to talk about life in Ann Arbor, answer any questions you have about the University of Michigan or any extracurricular or academic opportunities.  Hope to see you soon!

Novia Wong 

Hi! I’m Novia, a first year MSI student. I am interested in Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience Research, as well as a little bit of robotics. My undergrad degree was in Psychology. I am interested in merging psychology and technology together in innovative ways that have never been thought of, including education and community involvement. I was born in Hong Kong, then moved to California, and to Ann Arbor right now. If you are curious how it feels like to travel across the coasts or if you are interested in any research related areas, feel free to talk to me about it. Hope to hear from you soon!


  Sylvia Simioni

Hi there! I’m Sylvia, a first-year MSI student with interests in Information Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD), Archives Assessment, and Science, Tech, and Society (STS) interdisciplinary studies. Raised in Miami, Florida, I earned a B.A. in Anthropology and Latin American Studies at the University of Virginia. In March 2017, I completed my AmeriCorps service running volunteer management at a refugee resettlement agency, and I’d be happy to discuss the challenges and virtues of transitioning from community service to academia. If you have any questions about the MSI program, career paths in the humanitarian sector, resources for first-generation students, or recommendations on the best pupusas in the metro Detroit area, I have you covered. 

 Xinchun Li

Hi! I’m Xinchun, a first-year MSI student. I’m interested in Data Science, Statistics, Information Technology and Machine Learning. With an undergraduate degree in accounting, I hope to leverage data analysis techniques in business contexts and improve innovation & efficiency. I was born and grew up in China. I know what it takes to work towards your goal and obtain ideal offers from U.S. graduate school. Although I’m new to Ann Arbor, I’ve already loved this place so much! Please feel free to reach out to me if you are interested in information technology, MSI program, life and experience here in UM or anything else. I’m more than happy to share things with you!