UMSI adds seven faculty members in 2014/15

Researchers and educators in the fields of transformational learning, human-computer interaction, information technology for development, entrepreneurship and more will be joining the School of Information faculty in the 2014/2015 academic year, Dean Jeff MacKie-Mason has announced.

Tawanna Dillahunt, who held a Presidential Post-doctoral Fellowship at the School of Information in 2013-14, has been hired as an assistant professor. Dillahunt has a PhD from Carnegie Mellon. Her research is focused on human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing and social computing in the domains of environmental and economic sustainability, education and health. She will be teaching SI 582: Introduction to Interaction Design in the fall semester.

Barry Fishman is transferring from the School of Education, where he has taught since 1997, to assume a full-time professorship in the School of Information. In 2010, he was awarded the Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize for using digital technology to transform large lectures into small seminars. His area of interest is learning environments, with an emphasis on transformative teaching and learning enabled by technology. He earned his PhD in education and social policy at Northwestern University. In fall 2014 he will be teaching SI 549: Transformative Learning and Teaching with Technology, which was formerly offered through the School of Education.

Nancy Benovich Gilby is the Ehrenberg Director of Entrepreneurship and an adjunct clinical associate professor in the School of Information. Gilby received both her BSE and MSE in computer engineering from the University of Michigan. In 2007 she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the department of Computer Science and Engineering. She has held  major roles in information technology companies since 1987, including Apollo Computer, Firefly Network, Component Software, Wildfire, ON Technology, Asurion Mobile Applications Division, A2O Mobile, and several others.

Elena Godin has been appointed to a Lecturer III position in the School of Information, where she has taught as an adjunct lecturer for several years. She has worked as web administrator and graphic artist at the university since 2004, most recently at the School of Education, where she received the Outstanding Staff Award in 2009. She will be teaching two sections of SI 520: Graphic Design.

Erik Hofer returns to UMSI after two years with the university’s Medical School Information Services, where he served as Learning Program Director and Director of the Office of Enabling Technologies. Hofer fills a new position as Chief Information Officer and clinical assistant professor. He has been an adjunct lecturer at UMSI for several years, teaching a graduate-level course in designing systems that help individuals collect and use data to better understand and improve their lives. In fall 2014, he will teach SI 606: Personal Informatics Design.

Previously, he worked at the UMSI as a research specialist and project director in the areas of collaboration technology, team science, high performance computing, visualization and distance education. He earned both his BS and his MSI at Michigan.

Sile O'Modhrain, an associate professor of Performing Arts Technology in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, will hold a joint appointment with the School of Information starting this fall. She holds an MS in music technology from the University of York and a PhD in computer-based music theory from Stanford University.

She has worked as a researcher and faculty member at the MIT Media Lab, Media Lab Europe, and at the Sonic Arts Research Center at Queen's University of Belfast. Her research focus is on haptics–touch and gesture–and its relationship to music performance and on the development of new interfaces for technology-enhanced instruments that extend the boundaries of musical expression.

Kentaro Toyama joins UMSI as an associate professor in January, 2015. He has been recommended to fill the post of W.K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information, pending regental approval. In his previous position, he was a senior researcher in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. Until 2010, Toyama was assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India, which he co-founded in 2005 and where he started the Technology for Emerging Markets research group. He earned his PhD in computer science at Yale.

Two faculty members hired in 2013, Silvia Lindtner and Markus Mobius, will begin their appointments in fall 2014.

Posted on July 29, 2014