The second time was the charm for the Information School’s 2020 Convocation.
After the iSchool’s initial online ceremony on June 6 left many students and their families disappointed, the school decided to redo it and give students a proper sendoff with a “Version 2.0.” Some aspects of the initial ceremony were beyond the school’s control, and it left out some students while not representing others as they wished.
For the “do-over” on June 20, the school took control over all aspects of the ceremony. It included a live reading of graduates’ names, new speeches by faculty and students centered on the theme of resilience, and several live video appearances by graduates after their names were read. The result was a much more complete and spirited ceremony.
“We simply could not accept sending off the Class of 2020 with an event that didn’t fully represent our graduates and the very best of the Information School,” Dean Anind Dey said in his opening remarks. “This would be intolerable even in the best of years. But given the many challenges this class has overcome the last several months, hosting a second event was the least we could do.”
In place of a keynote address, several faculty members spoke at the second event about the resilience of the graduating class. They included Miranda Belarde-Lewis, Sandy Littletree, Ricardo Gomez, Nam-ho Park, Chirag Shah and Jason Yip.
“You have graduated despite a global pandemic, racial tensions, and have shown up – shown up in the classrooms, shown up in the streets,” said Belarde-Lewis, an assistant professor. “Graduating this year has proven to yourselves, to your family, to all of us, you can do literally anything.”
While Convocation couldn’t be held in its traditional in-person format, it did include the traditional set of awards presentations to graduating students. They included:
- 21st Century Award (Master of Library and Information Science, residential): Pearl McCrea
- 21st Century Award (Master of Library and Information Science, online): Sam Buechler
- Archer Award (Master of Science in Information Management, 1 year, early career): Hannah Gavin
- Archer Award (Master of Science in Information Management, 2 year, early career): Nadia Asiz
- Archer Award (Master of Science in Information Management, mid-career): Emily Bajet
- Eisenberg Award (Bachelor of Science in Informatics): Priti Patel
- Ruth Worden Award for Student Excellence in Library and Information Science: Kaitlin Throgmorton
- Faculty Award for Student Excellence in Information Management, early career: Tasha Lin
- Faculty Award for Student Excellence in Information Management, early career: Turam Purty
- Faculty Award for Student Excellence in Information Management, mid-career: Troy Hilton
- Faculty Award for Student Excellence in Informatics: Eva Perez