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iSchools Announce 2017 Dissertation Award Honorees


The iSchools organization is pleased to announce the results of its 2017 Doctoral Dissertation Award competition. The winner is Dr. Rachel Ivy Clarke, for her dissertation, “It’s Not Rocket Library Science: Design Epistemology and American Librarianship.” Dr. Clarke’s dissertation, conducted at the University of Washington Information School, was judged the best to have been completed at a member-iSchool in the preceding academic year. The runner up was Dr. Jasy Liew Suet Yan for her dissertation titled, “Fine-Grained Emotion Detection in Microblog Text”; it was completed at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies.

The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding work in the information field. Nominations are solicited from all members of the iSchools organization, now more than 80 institutions worldwide, and judged by an award committee drawn from leading international schools. The winner receives a prize of $2,500 US, the runner up $1,000. Honorees are also offered a travel allowance so they can collect their award in person at iConference 2017, which takes place March 22-25, 2017, in Wuhan, China.

Dr. Rachel Ivy Clarke

2017 award winner Dr. Clarke is currently an assistant professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. She was formerly the cataloging librarian at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She holds a BA in creative writing from California State University Long Beach, an MLIS from San Jose State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington Information School.

The award committee had the following to say about Dr. Clarke’s work: “This dissertation explores the role of design in American librarianship based on argument that design provides an appropriate epistemological framework for librarianship rather than traditional scientific epistemologies. It distills design principles and applies them to the critical analysis of three cases representing significant artifacts in library history. Examining the field of librarianship from the perspective of design epistemology reveals new insights and interpretations of library work. The reviewers agreed that the topic of this dissertation is novel and original and the findings provide significant implications for future library and information science education and library practice.”

Dr. Jasy Liew Suet Yan

2017 runner-up Dr. Jasy Liew Suet Yan is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Computer Sciences, University of Science Malaysia. She graduated with a Ph.D. from the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University in 2016. Her dissertation research was also recognized with the Syracuse University iSchool 2016 Doctoral Prize.

“This dissertation develops emotional categories inductively from Twitter data, and creates a taxonomy of 28 emotion categories for the range of emotions expressed in tweets,” noted the awards committee. “The dissertation also extracted linguistic cues that can serve as indicators, and then evaluated the performance of machine learning classification using several classifier and feature combinations. The results show that extend machine learning classification on tweets is feasible and makes a significant contribution toward machine learning models for fine-grained emotion detection in text.”

The 2017 iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award honorees will be recognized during a gathering of their peers at iConference 2017, which takes place March 22-25, 2017, in Wuhan, China. The iConference is an international gathering of scholars and researchers concerned with critical information issues in contemporary society.

About the iSchools
The iSchools organization was founded in 2005 by a collective of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. It has since grown into a consortium of more than 80 universities and institutions spanning five continents.

The iSchools organization supports and recognizes student achievement through its annual Doctoral Colloquium and Doctoral Dissertation Award, as well as other special contests and mentoring opportunities. The iSchools also provide collaboration tools and other support to assist faculty in their teaching and research endeavors. Every year, the iSchools organization presents the iConference, a forum in which information scholars, researchers and professionals share their insights on critical information issues in contemporary society. The next iConference is scheduled to take place March 22-25, 2017 in Wuhan, China.