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Alumni Awards

Alumni Award Winners

The School of Information Sciences offers two alumni awards to recognize School alumni at the annual hooding ceremony held in May. These two alumni are chosen to receive the award each year by a selection committee convened by the SIS Director.

Distinguished Alumni Award

  • This award honors an alumnus or alumna who graduated at least ten years previously.
  • The recipient demonstrates a meritorious career based on service, teaching, and/or scholarship.

Innovator’s Award

  • This award honors an alumnus or alumna who graduated at least two years earlier.
  • The recipient demonstrates innovation in the field of library and information sciences through cutting edge activities, forward thinking, leading trends, or reinventing a traditional service.
SIS Alumni Award Nomination Form

*Nominations are due on April 7, 2023 at 5 p.m. eastern time. The award recipients will be featured on our 2023 SIS Hooding website. Current members of the SIS Advisory Board and CCI Board of Visitors are ineligible for the awards.

SIS Distinguished Alumni Award

The SIS Distinguished Alumni Award was inaugurated at the School’s 30th Anniversary Celebration held on September 14, 2002 at the UT Conference Center. To honor graduates who have demonstrated professional achievement or leadership attributable to their education at the School, the alumni board chose to select representatives from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s – one award for each decade. Thereafter, one alumni is chosen to receive the award each year by a selection committee convened by the SIS Director.

Below you will find SIS Distinguished Alumni Award recipients by year and position held at the time the award was bestowed.

  • 2021: Nancy Pack, (’81) Executive Director of the Alabama Public Library Service
  • 2020: David Johnson, (’93) Fayetteville Library Director
  • 2019: Zoe Hoyle, (’94) Science Writer and Editor at the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station
  • 2018: Sandra Treadway, PhD (’07) Librarian & State Archivist of Virginia, Library of Virginia
  • 2017: Kendra S. Albright, PhD (PhD/C&I ’02; MS/IS ’85; BS/CEHHS ’79) Director & Professor, Kent State University, School of Library & Information Science
  • 2016: Gloria Sharrar (’82) Retired Senior Vice President, Technology & Operations, Bank of America
  • 2015: Dr. Danuta Nitecki (’76) Dean of Libraries, Drexel University
  • 2014: Marcellus Turner (’88) City Librarian, Seattle Public Library System
  • 2013: Dr. Shali Zhang (’88) Dean of Libraries and Professor at University of Montana
  • 2012:  Beth Davis-Brown (’84) Program Coordinator, Cooperative & Instructional Programs Division, Library of Congress
  • 2011: Bob Conrad (’83) Library Director, Oak Ridge National Labs
  • 2010Scot Smith (’98) Media Specialist at Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge, TN
  • 2009:  Dr. Mike Pemberton, Professor Emeritus, School of Information Sciences
  • 2008:  Pat Powell  (’96) Senior Vice-President of Business Development at Information International Associates (IIa)
  • 2007:  John Wilkin (’86) Co-interim University Librarian and Associate University Librarian for Library Information Technology, University of Michigan
  • 2006Martha Earl (’85) Reference Coordinator, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Preston Medical Library, Knoxville
  • 2005Steve Cotham (’78) Manager, Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection and Knox County Archives, Knoxville
  • 2003Jackson “Jack” Maxwell (’95) Information Specialist, Memphis City Schools
  • 1990sElizabeth “Liz” Bibby (’96) Director, Business Information Services Center, Baker Library, Harvard Business School
  • 1980sBiddanda “Suresh” Ponnappa (’84) Assistant Dean for Learning Resources, Director, Quillen Medical Library and Biomedical Communications Department
  • 1970s Vicky Leather (’78) Director of Libraries, Chattanooga State Technical College

SIS Innovator’s Award

The SIS Innovator’s Alumni Award was inaugurated in 2009.

  • 2021: Celise Reech-Harper (’12) Director, Rapides Parish Library
  • 2020: Wendy Cornelisen (‘07) Assistant State Librarian for Library Innovation and Collaboration, Georgia State Library
  • 2019: Amy Dye-Reeves (’13) Humanities and Instruction Librarian, Assistant Professor at Murray State University
  • 2018: Amber Conger (’10) Director, Kershaw County Library
  • 2017: Chad Mitchell (’14) Data Scientist, NextHealth Technologies
  • 2016: Nakia Woodward (’03) Senior Clinical Reference Librarian, East Tennessee State University, Quillen College of Medicine Library
  • 2015: Mary Beth West (’11) Quality Assurance Analyst, The Tombras Group
  • 2014: Jordan Nielsen  (’12) then Assistant Professor & Business Librarian, Unviersity of Arkansas; now Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Business Data Librarian, San Diego State University Library & Information Access
  • 2013: Andrea Baer, PhD (’10) Undergraduate Education Librarian at Indiana University-Bloomington
  • 2012: Jill Grogg (’00)Electronic Resources Coordinator & Professor (8/12), University of Alabama Libraries.
  • 2011: Jessica Waugh (’09) Health Information Specialist and Research Librarian Chesterfield County, VA Public Library System.
  • 2010: Beverly Simmons (’05) Reference & Instruction Librarian at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
  • 2009: James Staub (’04) Systems Librarian at the Nashville Public Library, president of TLA Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT).