UMD iSchool Spring 2020 Student Travel Award Winners Announced

UMD iSchool News

The University of Maryland College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool) is pleased to announce that two students have been selected to receive a "Beyond These Walls" Student Travel Award for Spring 2020. Established in 2012, this fund provides financial support to allow Master’s students from any program at the UMD iSchool to attend local and national conferences, present research, and gain experience and exposure to professionals in our field. Each of our two winners will receive up to $500 to help with the costs of their travel. Our Spring 2020 winners are:

  1. Marybeth Gill, a student in our History & Library Science (HiLS) Dual-Degree Program will be attending the LOEX 2020 conference ( in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Marybeth writes, "My poster session proposal, 'Disinformation, Then and Now: Teaching College Students Information Assessment Through a Historical Lens', was recently accepted at the LOEX 2020 conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I am thrilled about this, because this will be my first time attending any type of academic conference. I am even more excited to be able to present what I am passionate about at this information literacy- and instruction-focused academic libraries conference; that is, innovative ideas for teaching information literacy to undergraduate students. The opportunity to attend this conference will be highly beneficial toward my goal of becoming an academic librarian with a focus on information literacy instruction."
  2. Teresa Lewandowski, a student in our Master's of Library and Information Science Program (Individualized Program Plan), will also be attending LOEX 2020. Teresa, who will be presenting her poster entitled "Research Support and Instruction for International Graduate Students," writes: "This will be my first presentation at a national conference... I am excited to be able to share my work and engage with other practitioners on the topic of international graduate student research. This is a topic that I’ve been interested in for a while; many American universities have a large number of international graduate students, but there is a paucity of research on how to tailor library services to their unique needs. This conference is a great opportunity for me to learn from people who are experienced in the field and get involved in conversations with academic librarians from across the country."

We are also pleased to announce that two of our doctoral students have been selected to receive a Dr. Dana Rotman Doctoral Student Travel Award for Spring 2020. This fund was established by Dr. Yaron Rotman, Dana’s husband, to enable UMD iSchool doctoral students to attend and present at conferences. Dana received her doctorate from our College in 2013. As a student, Dana frequently attended academic and professional conferences and was excited to present her work, learn from fellow academics and researchers, and network with professionals in the field. Each of our two winners will receive up to $1,000 to help with the costs of their travel. Our Spring 2020 winners are:

  1. Emma Dixon, a second-year doctoral student here at our iSchool, will be attending the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2020) ( in Honolulu, Hawaii. Emma will be presenting a paper entitled "Approach Matters: Linking Practitioner Approaches to Technology Design for People with Dementia," that she wrote with Professor Amanda Lazar. Emma writes: "One of my life goals is to establish a career as an HCI academic researcher. Publishing and presenting my first full conference paper at CHI’20, the premier venue for publication in this area, is a major step towards this goal. This is the first time I’ve had a full conference paper accepted for publication and presentation in which I am the first author. Therefore, this presentation will help to establish my position on research with people with dementia among my colleagues, giving my work exposure to researchers from around the world who also work in HCI and dementia.
  2. Yongle Zhang, a first-year doctoral student here at our iSchool, will also be attending CHI 2020. Yongle will present a paper entitled, "Engaging the Commons in Participatory Sensing: Practice, Problems, and Promise in the Context of Dockless Bikesharing," that she co-authored with Yuling Sun and Professor Ge Gao. Yongle writes, "The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (the ACM CHI conference) is one of the most influential venues in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). By attending CHI, first of all, I can get insightful feedback from academic peers when presenting our work. Second, attending the conference provides me with a chance to hear about the latest work in HCI, and know about researchers who are producing excellent research work. More importantly, as a junior researcher in the field, I hope the presentation and social activities can improve my presentation and communication skills." 

Please join us in congratulating all four of these winners of iSchool travel awards and in wishing them well on their travels!

Beth St. Jean, Yla Tausczik, & Ron Padron
iSchool Awards Committee Co-Chairs

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