iSchool graduate's Ph.D. dissertation judged best of year

Rachel Ivy Clarke, who earned her Ph.D. in Information Science at the UW iSchool in 2016, has earned this year’s Doctoral Dissertation Award from the international iSchools organization.

Clarke’s dissertation, “It’s Not Rocket Library Science: Design Epistemology and American Librarianship,” was judged best of the 2015-16 academic year at an iSchools-member institution.

The award committee said Clarke’s dissertation “distills design principles and applies them to the critical analysis of three cases representing significant artifacts in library history. Examining the field of librarianship from the perspective of design epistemology reveals new insights and interpretations of library work.”

“The findings provide significant implications for future library and information science education and library practice,” the reviewers said.

Clarke is now an assistant professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. She was formerly the cataloging librarian at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. In addition to her doctorate from the UW iSchool, she holds a BA in creative writing from California State University Long Beach and an MLIS from San Jose State University.

The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding work in the information field. Nominations are solicited from all members of the iSchools organization, now more than 80 institutions worldwide, and judged by an award committee drawn from leading international schools. As the winner, Clarke receives a $2,500 prize and a travel allowance to collect her award in person at iConference 2017, which takes place March 22-25 in Wuhan, China.