UMSI 2014 Alumni Award Winners Announced

The School of Information has announced the winners of the annual alumni awards, including a new honorary alumni award. The awards will be presented at a ceremony during Homecoming Weekend on Friday, October 31 at 2 p.m. in the Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad, 105 S. State St., Ann Arbor.

Larry Mondry, Chief Executive Officer of Apollo Brands, a manufacturer of consumer electronics, will receive the schools’ first Honorary Alumni Award.  Mondry is the former CEO of CompUSA. He is being recognized for his generous support of the school, including his endowment of the first scholarship in the new bachelor of science in information program.

Although a graduate of Boston University, Mondry is a southeast Michigan native and a strong supporter of the University of Michigan.  “Michigan is mine, it’s in my heart and blood, both the state and university,” Mondry states. “When I say University of Michigan, I say it with the pride of an alumnus.”  With this award, the former Michigander can legitimately claim that distinction. 

Following the awards, Mondry will deliver a guest lecture on “Information in the 21st Century” at 2:15 p.m.

The UMSI Distinguished Alumni award goes to Michelle Light (MSI ’99), director of special collections at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. An innovator and leader in archival theory and practice, Light was recently inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists, the highest honor bestowed by that organization.

In one of her first positions, as an archivist at the Yale University Library, she developed and implemented a database of archival authority records for Yale University units, which informed her contributions to the international group that created Encoded Archival Context.

She later worked as the head of Special Collections, Archives, and Digital Scholarship at the University of California, Irvine where she implemented a virtual reading room that allows researchers from all over to access born-digital records. Light also led a multi-campus task force in creating “Guidelines for Efficient Archival Processing.”

According to one of her nominators, “her 2002 article “Colophons and Annotations: New Directions for the Finding Aid” (written with  UMSI grad Tom Hyry, MILS '96, recently named Florence Fearington Librarian at Harvard's Houghton Library), has contributed to some of the most influential philosophical and practical discourse in the archival profession. ‘Colophons’ is considered required reading in many archives management courses.” The article has been cited 58 times according to Google Scholar.

The Entrepreneurial and Innovation Alumni Award goes to Emily Puckett Rodgers (MSI ’10). Since graduating, Rodgers has worked as the open education coordinator at Open.Michigan and as a special projects librarian at the University of Michigan Libraries. In 2013 she was named one of the Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers in the Innovator category for her work at Open.Michigan.

She is also heavily involved in maker culture in Ann Arbor, where she coordinates and provides marketing assistance for that community as a board member of A2Geeks, a local non-profit maker-focused organization dedicated to “opening the tech culture to everyone.”

In September, 2014, Rodgers returned to UMSI as program manager for the school’s entrepreneurial program, where she is helping to build this new and innovative program with UMSI’s Ehrenberg Director of Entrepreneurship, Nancy Benovich Gilby.

Nominations for the annual alumni awards are solicited in the spring, with the winners selected in the summer by the Alumni Society Board.

Larry Mondry and Emily Puckett Rodgers will attend the alumni reception on Friday, October 31 from 5-7 p.m. at the Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor. All UMSI alumni are invited but registration is required. RSVP to Andrea Daly,

Posted October 17, 2014