iSchool’s newest faculty reflect excellence and diversity

The University of Washington Information School hired five new faculty members to start fall quarter 2016 who represent a range of disciplines and backgrounds.

New Beverly Cleary Endowed Professor in Children and Youth Services

Michelle Martin, professor, comes to the iSchool from the University of South Carolina, where she held the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair in Childhood Literacy, a position created to address high illiteracy rates in the state and named for the first African-American in the New York Public Library System administration. Martin is a renowned author, essayist, lecturer, book critic, community literacy activist, and champion of diversity in children’s literature. Read more.

Inaugural Professor of Practice

Susan Hildreth, professor of practice, is the former director of the Seattle Public Library, director for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and current treasurer of the American Library Association. She has accepted the position of Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the iSchool and will develop and shape curriculum, teach courses, and conduct a research project that focuses on the future of libraries.

The position is funded by a 10-year, $1.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will provide funding for up to five professors of practice, with each serving for two to three years and bringing a fresh perspective from the library world to the academic one. Read more.

Strengthening Expertise in Data Science

Bill Howe, associate professor, comes to the iSchool from the University of Washington’s eScience Institute, where he led strategic programs and operations committed to advancing data-intensive discovery across all fields. Howe’s core expertise is in databases and data management which will complement and amplify the iSchool’s own strengths across the field of information, especially through existing connections in data curation, data science, and human-computer interaction. Read more.

First Faculty Hire for the Native North American Indigenous Knowledge (NNAIK) initiative

Clarita Lefthand-Begay, assistant professor, is the first of two planned hires for the iSchool’s initiative on Indigenous Knowledge. She comes the University of Washington’s department of American Indian Studies. As a citizen of the Diné Nation and iSchool scholar, she plans to continue to bridge science, tribal community needs, and information policy in working with indigenous communities, including her research on tribal water security, climate change and indigenous knowledge systems. Read more.

Future of Libraries Faculty Focuses on Data

Nic Weber, assistant professor, received his Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of Illinois in 2015. Weber was an early-career fellow with both the Research Data Alliance’s DataSHARE program and the International Social Science Council’s ‘Big Data in Urban Contexts’ initiative. His research focuses on sociotechnical sustainability from a systems-thinking perspective. His interests include the emergence of commons governance, the use of scientific and public sector information (open data) for social change, and preservation of cultural heritage data. Read more.