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Who to know at the iSchool (and beyond!)

What makes the iSchool is not Mary Gates Hall or the fancy technology resources we’ve got available to us (though both are nice)—it’s the people: our faculty, staff, and students. Harry Bruce said that the iSchool is like a family, which is true, but in the sense of a great big extended family with many distant second cousins that you’ve never met.

Unlike with your family, however, you’ve only got a limited time here (unless you have an unlimited bank account!). So, we’re trying to make it easier for you by offering returning and former students’ input on which relationships you might find especially valuable.

By far the most highly recommended people to know are your very own classmates at the iSchool, for camaraderie, cslass projects, and eventually professional networking. Also important to know are the administrative staff, including Marie Potter who is incredibly responsive to student needs and questions. Your advisor is someone to connect with—remember that you can always switch to be with someone whose professional interests align more with yours. Finally, the individual most frequently named in the survey responses was Dowell Eugenio, the informatics advisor who seems to know everything about everything at the iSchool!

The most frequently mentioned individuals or groups of people to know

Who: Your classmates
Why: “They are great for moral support, keeping you on task, etc. Later in the term, they will be like war buddies.” “You’ll probably work with them on projects in multiple classes.” “They will be your colleagues and peers once you leave school, and they are a very important network.” “They will be hiring and managing (or being hired by and managed by) you in the near future.” Plus, it just makes your program experience more fun!

Who: Administrative staff (who make the iSchool run as smoothly as possible!)
Why: They are the “gatekeepers” of faculty schedules and can offer “inside information on goings-on at the top.” Also, “they will be your godsend when you’re trying to navigate the bureaucracy of finishing your degree.” “[Marie Potter] is simply amazing and the nicest person you’ll ever meet.”

Who: Your advisor
Why: “If something catastrophic happens during your time in the program you will need to be able to rely on your advisor to be your advocate.” “Your advisor is a great guide for the program and possible fieldwork opportunities.”

Who: Dowell Eugenio (Informatics Advisor)
Why: “He knows everything or knows who does.” “Aside from being a very cool guy (and in the incoming cohort!), he is very easy to talk to about the inner workings of iSchool bureaucracy and can always tell you the best route to go when negotiating it.”

General groups of people to know

Who: Practicing library and information science professionals
Why: “Figure out what kind of job you’d like and what skills you need to build for it.” Networking.

Who: Local professional library chapters, such as SLA-PNW (Special Libraries Association—Pacific Northwest) and the WLA
Why: “To keep apprised of issues we will soon face” and “provides valuable networking opportunities”

Who: Senior students with similar professional interests
Why: “They’ve been through all the classes and will be able to recommend a course of study for you.”

Individuals to know (predominantly iSchool faculty and one “founding father” of library and information science)

Who: Ranganathan
Why: “His name (and facets) are fun.”

Who: Scott Barker
Why: “If you need a thorough explanation of ‘technology anything’ then Scott Barker is your guy.”

Who: Mike Crandall
Why: “He’s as nice as can be, involved in interesting activities, and has loads of interesting experience.”

Who: Nancy Gershenfeld
Why: “She’s a great teacher and a great person to seek out for advice”

Who: Harry Bruce (dean of the iSchool)
Why: “He enjoys working with and hearing from students.”

Who: Bob Boiko
Why: “He is an excellent teacher…able to teach information systems and difficult technology concepts to a class at various levels of knowledge and experience. Bob is a great resource for portfolio opportunities […].”

Who: Trent Hill
Why: “He rocks.”


Back to the New Student Guide >>

September 24, 2007
Vol. XII Issue 1

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