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SIS Hooding Ceremony Celebrates 2015 Graduates

Hooding CeremonyThe 2015 School of Information Sciences Hooding Ceremony took place Friday, May 8 in the University Center Ballroom. Director and Professor Ed Cortez led the faculty and students as they celebrated the recognition of their hard work. Eighty-four students graduated from the program and 26 participated in the ceremony.

The ceremony was Dr. Cortez’ last as Director and it was the last to be held in the University Center. Dr. Cortez has completed his second five-year term as Director and will return to the faculty. The UC is being demolished to make room for the next phase of the new Student Center building.
Laura Frizzell gave the student address for her class to a crowd of around 150 friends and family who were in attendance to witness the ceremony. Cindy Hicks, harpist for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, provided the music and processional.

Special guests were College of Communication and Information Dean Michael Wirth, President of the SIS Alumni Society Michael Lindsay (2002) from Knoxville, and CCI Director of Development Patrick Powell.

The annual student awards were presented at the ceremony. The award winners are as follows:
Best Paper Award – Louisa Trott Reeves
Best Technical Project (Group) – Andy Bell, Madison Langseth, Elizabeth Wilson, and Zach Johnson
Best Technical Project (Individual) – Krista Oldham
Outstanding ePortfolio Award – Sarah Fesmire
Academic Achievement Award – Jason Sharp
SIS Outstanding Master’s Student Award – Beverly Boyko
Gary R. Purcell Award – Madison Langseth

The Hooding Ceremony was a very special occasion this year for many of the ITRL2 students. They began the program together in the summer of 2013. The class will graduate together this summer. The 2015 summer ITRL2 graduates are: Amanda Aubrey, Rebecca Baker, Anjanae Brueland, Ryan Congdon, Casey Fox, Tonia Kestner, Laura Murray, Mary Rayme, Amy Steadman, Rebecca Tedesco, Catherine Tyler, Angela West and Pamela Wiggins.

Dr. Cortez presented the faculty award to Dr. Wade Bishop. The award is sustained through a generous endowment gift from Bonnie Carroll and Roy Cooper. Their Faculty Enrichment Award is intended to encourage faculty research and publication by the School’s faculty as well as enhance the reputation of the School.

Michael LindsayMichael Lindsay presented the SIS Innovator’s Award to Mary Beth West (2011). West serves as a Quality Assurance Analyst for the Tombras Group, the oldest advertising agency in Tennessee, where she reviews web products during the entire web development process and life cycle. She utilizes her SIS experience with the Eye Tracker to analyze electronic media, including designs, wireframes and websites.

West also works with stakeholders and conducts research with groups to determine usability of the Tombras deliverables to ensure client satisfaction and results. She is the embodiment of the emerging face of library and information sciences. She is among those in the forefront of taking the time-proven methods of handling information from the library setting and applying them in new ways to bring solutions to other organizations.

Lindsay also presented the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award to Dr. Danuta Nitecki (C&I ‘76). Nitecki is the Dean of Libraries for Drexel University. She serves on the Provost’s Academic and Deans Councils, the President’s Executive Council, as well as various campus groups. She has worked to evolve the Drexel Libraries as an integral part of the learning enterprise. Dr. Nitecki is also a Professor at Drexel’s College of Computing and Informatics.

She has been active in national, state and regional associations, served as a consultant and invited presenter throughout the US and internationally, and has published over ninety articles, books, compilations, and reviews on such topics as user-based evaluation of library services, research methods, library space, document delivery, and management of library services and information technology applications.

“Our alumni award winners this year illustrate the breadth of opportunity available to our graduates,” said Cortez. “Their acceptance speeches also underscored the common elements in IS careers.”

Assistant Professor Rachel Fleming-May announced the 2015 scholarship winners at the ceremony.
Glenn E. Estes Scholarship

  • Brittany Tavernaro
  • David Baber
  • Kathryn Booher
  • Rebecca Doran

Information International Associates Scholarship

  •  Andrew Grissom

Jane Moulton Ray Scholarship

  •  Bridgette Johnson
  •  Andrew Grissom
  •  Jessica Bender
  •  Joanna Ragland

John C. Tyson Scholarship

  • Rebecca Doran

Carmen L. Moulton Scholarship

  •  Joanna Ragland
  •  Jessica Bender
  •  Andrew Grissom
  •  Amanda Molgaard

Gary R. Purcell Scholarship

  • Brittany Tavernaro

H. W. Wilson Scholarship

  •  Brittany Tavernaro
  •  Dwight Hunter
  •  Jennifer Young
  •  Joan Weddell

Congratulations to all of the graduates, award winners, and scholarship recipients. The Hooding Ceremony this year was the culmination of a truly wonderful year at the UT School of Information Sciences.