iSchool Convocation celebrates more than 500 graduating students

By Maggie Foote | Photos by Doug Parry and Victor Aque Saturday, June 8, 2024

A woman waves as she walks toward the stage.The University of Washington Information School honored graduating students from its undergraduate and graduate programs at Convocation on June 1 at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. 

More than 500 students walked across the stage, while about 2,000 attendees were on hand to celebrate their graduates.

The ceremony began with remarks from Dean Anind K. Dey, who encouraged graduates to honor all the individuals and communities who helped support them through their academic journeys. Before introducing the keynote speaker, Dey encouraged the graduating students to bask in their accomplishments for a moment.

“I know that many of you are feeling conflicted today. Many of you might be waffling between sadness over the end of an era and happiness over finally finishing your studies,” said Dey. “My advice for you is to allow yourself the luxury of celebrating the win of accomplishment and graduation. You've worked hard. You've made sacrifices. You've struggled and persevered. You all should be proud of everything you've accomplished.” 

The keynote speaker was Julie Averill, chief information officer and executive vice president at lululemon. Averill spoke of allowing herself the freedom to be open with her identity and lead with authenticity. She encouraged students to reflect and do the same. 

Ph.D. graduates at Convocation.“Is there anything holding you back from the freedom to be your full self? How are you going to show up in the world and stand tall in the values that matter to you?” Averill asked. “True leadership stems from authenticity, the courage to be unapologetically yourself, flaws and all. As leaders, our authenticity fosters trust, inspires confidence, and cultivates genuine connections with those we lead. Embrace your unique strengths, perspectives, and experiences, for they are the foundation of your leadership journey.”

This year, the iSchool celebrated the largest graduating class in its history, with 112 students graduating from the Master of Library and Information Science program, 173 from the Master of Science in Information Management program, 26 from the Master of Arts in Museology program, 282 earning their Bachelor of Science degrees in Informatics, one earning a Master of Science in Information Science degree, and six students graduating with a Doctorate in Information Science

A video of the ceremony is available on YouTube.

In addition to the speeches and procession of graduates, faculty and students presented several awards:

A row of women at Convocation

Student Awards 

The 21st Century Awards (MLIS) were given to Joe Lollo and Candy Lau. The award honors two graduating students, one from the residential modality and one from the online modality, who represent the spirit of librarianship and the future of the profession. 

The Mike Eisenberg and Scott Barker Awards (Informatics) went to Mariko Woodworth and Elizabeth Gronski, respectively. The Eisenberg Award celebrated Woodworth’s positive impact on the iSchool community, while the Barker Award recognized Gronski for reflecting the iSchool’s core values. 

The Archer Awards (MSIM) were presented to residential student Ansh Shah and online student Gabe De Guzman. The award honors two graduating students who embody the qualities of dedication, empowering others, and displaying vision, as voted by their peers.

Hundreds of graduating students seated at Convocation

Faculty Awards for Student Excellence 

The Ruth Worden Award for Student Excellence in Library and Information Science went to online student Amber Mak for their outstanding leadership, service and academic merit. 

The Faculty Award for Student Excellence in Informatics went to Seble Enyew and Sarah Thomas, who faculty said “demonstrated above-and-beyond excellence through their scholarship, their leadership, and their service to the Information School and to their peers.”

The Faculty Award for Student Excellence in Information Management was given to Early-Career student Jin Lee, Early-Career Accelerated student Hanna Lee, and Mid-Career student Sharayah Talarovich. Faculty said the students were selected for their demonstrated leadership, social responsibility and academic excellence. 

A cap decorated with the words "swim against the stream" is among the hundreds at ConvocationA student wears a pro-Palestine stoll at Convocation

A graduate waves from the stage

A woman walks toward the stage with a "go Huskies" banner in the backgroundA student gives two thumbs up