Graduation: A celebration of success

Every year the spring commencement ceremony at the School of Information grows a bit larger, reminding many just how far the School has come. It seems long ago — and probably hard to believe — but the entire ceremony with graduates, their families, and the faculty fit into the Ehrlicher Room. With enough room left over for the reception.

Now the School’s official Graduate Recognition Ceremony has turned into a full-scale program befitting a growing school, it’s held in the Mendelssohn Theatre in the Michigan League with a reception afterward at the Alumni Center. Our May 1 program for more than 500 graduates and guests proved again that a personal ceremony where everyone in attendance felt a connection to someone else. As each graduate’s name was called out as he or she crossed the stage, you could hear the applause  and whistles from friends and family. Among the guests on hand for the Friday afternoon ceremony were Teresa A. Sullivan, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and professor of sociology, and U-M Regent Julia Donovan Darlow.

This year’s program began with doctoral student Devan Donaldson singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” If you haven’t heard him sing at such an occasion, you might want to ensure you graduate before he does.

In her welcoming remarks to those in attendance, Dean Martha E. Pollack reminded the graduates that they are leaving SI as “change agents” at an unprecedented time in American history, one that is in special need of their talents. SI graduates are, she noted, change agents because they’re willing to take the path less traveled and they know the importance of putting people first through service and entrepreneurial activities.

“You all have a deep knowledge of the transformational power of information. So many of the problems we face today have an information component,” the dean remarked. “I’m thinking not just of problems that arise from the current economic crisis, but long-term issues, like more
transparent government, enhanced sustainability. improved health-care, and better education for the born-digital generation.

“You can’t tackle any of these problems without, in part, addressing massive information collection, storage, and access issues. It’s no surprise that research teams from across the University regularly include SI students and faculty to provide expertise on their information challenges. And it’s no surprise that SI graduates hold a very broad array of jobs.”

In keeping with tradition, three MSI students were honored for their achievements at SI.

Meredith Kahn received the Edmon Low Award was established by the Class of 1972 in honor of Professor Edmon Low upon his retirement. Nominees are chosen by their fellow students, and the award recipients were chosen by the executive officers of the School of Information Student Association (SISA). Awardees embody the qualities valued by Professor Low: dedication to service, empathy for others, confidence-building, industry, interpersonal acuity, responsibility, and humor. SISA President Jo Angela Oehrli, who also addressed fellow graduates, presented the award.

Dominique Daniel and Nathan Oostendorp were surprised to hear their names called by Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of information, to receive the Margaret Mann Award. They were cited based upon demonstration of ability and promise of professional development. The University of Michigan Library Science Alumni Society created the award in 1938 upon the retirement of Associate Professor Margaret Mann, who had achieved national distinction as an educator in her field.

The program also included a thoughtful remembrance of student Laura Deneau, who passed away on March 18. MSI students Rachel Pultusker and Kelli Herm asked all in attendance to observe a moment of silence, and Kelli read a poem in Laura’s memory, “To My Friends,” by Primo Levi. Laura was a poet herself, having won a prestigious Hopwood Award at the University of Michigan in the 2002-03 academic year. Laura began the MSI program in fall 2007, having received a full tuition scholarship for her outstanding academic record.

If you wish, you can see the video that preceded the ceremony. It captures many of the people and events of the past two academic years: small size and large size. You can also view a photo gallery from the reception.

Degree candidates recognized at the ceremony were:

Ph.D.
Ji-Hyun Kim
Anya Osepayshvili

MSI
Dawn Barton
Scott Berkley
Dominique Daniel
Jennifer Faber
Sara M. Henry
Meredith Kahn
Ashutosh Kaushik
Ray Matsil
Elizabeth Meier
Andres Montejo
Dale Myers
Bria Parker
Gaurav Pimprikar
Wenbo Wang

MSI – ARM
Katherine Goodwin
Sarah Gurnick
Emiko Hastings
Philip Heslip
Kimberley Hoff
Marc Levitt
Lauren Lippert
Barbara Pezet
Angelique Richardson
Matthew Schultz
Derek Spinei
Matthew Strand
Lance Stuchell
Krystal Thomas
Nathan Tomlanovich
Shannon Wait
Rebecca Welzenbach

MSI – HCI
Matthew Adamo
Jared Bauer
Pratibha Bhaskaran
Suzanne Coutchie
Anindita De
Tao Dong
Aalap Doshi
Mark Goetz
Tammy Greene
Christian Hanrath
Maureen Hanratty
Jakob Hilden
Jeff Honeyman
Jung Yoon Kim
Saurabh Koparkar
Mouly Kumaraswamy
James Laing
Chia-Hui Lin
Zhe Liu
Andrea McVittie
Therese Nielsen
Anna Polukeyeva
Eileen Quintero
Matthew Rubinstein
Jason Stewart
Adam Torres
Ning Wang
Krystle Williams
Benjamin Worrel
Beilei Zhang

MSI – IAR
Chen Huang

MSI – ICD
Thomas Hayden
Miles Putnam
Eric Schultz

MSI – IEMP
Nathan Oostendorp
Hannah Wald

MSI – IPOL
Ayodele Alli
Xiaomeng Zhang

MSI – LIS
Todd Baker
Jennifer Balaco
Graham Dethmers
Catherine Dover-Taylor
Semyon Khokhlov
Evyn Kropf
Mary Kuipers
Ryan Lankton
Cherie Lee
Megan Morrissey
Jo Angela Oehrli
Julia Proctor
Audrey Riojas
Jonathan Seid
Maria Stamboulidis
Jennifer Tatomir
Lisa Wheeler
Seanna Yeager
Alexis Zirpoli

MSI – PI
Jason Colman
Kathleen Fear

MSI – SC
Rozaidi Nik Rashid
Hung Truong

MSI – SLM
Suzanne Braverman
Brian Hewlett
Rachel Pultusker
Sarah Rentz
Cheryl Whitfield

MSI – ARM – IPOL
Emily Cogswell
Jennifer Henderson
Alison Trulock
Alexandra Zehnder

MSI – ARM – LIS
Rachael Dreyer
Julie Judkins
Daniella Lee-García
Adrienne Leo
Catherine Weinstein
Jill Zawacki

MSI – ARM – PI
Jenica Baty
Tiffany Chao
David Jackson
Malisa Lewis
Dejah Rubel

MSI – HCI – ICD
Yung-Ju Chang

MSI – HCI – IEMP
Gaurav Anand

MSI – HCI – IPOL
Geoffrey Ho

MSI – HCI – LIS
Elaine Engstrom
Anran Ye

MSI – HCI – SC
Gaurav Bhatnagar
Elizabeth Blankenship
Jacqueline Cerretani
Tanuj Shah

MSI – ICD – SC
Joshua Gerrish

MSI – IEMP – CI
Bei Li

MSI – IEMP – ICD
Michael Matrescu
John McNew

MSI – IPOL/MPP
Nicholas Bartine

MSI – LIS – CI
Megan Esseltine
Emily Hamstra

MSI – LIS – IPOL
Gregory Grossmeier
Monica Jacobson

Degrees earned at the School of Information

  • Ph.D. — Doctor of Information
  • MSI — Master of Science in Information
    • MSI with Specializations:
      • MSI – ARM — Archives and Records Management
      • MSI – CI — Community Informatics
      • MSI – HCI — Human-Computer Interaction
      • MSI – IAR — Information Analysis and Retrieval
      • MSI – ICD — Incentive-Centered Design
      • MSI – IEMP — Information Economics, Management and Policy
      • MSI – IPOL — Information Policy
      • MSI – LIS — Library and Information Services
      • MSI – PI — Preservation of Information
      • MSI – SC — Social Computing
      • MSI – SLM — School Library Media Concentration

Degree earned at the University of Michigan

  • MPP — Master of Public Policy (Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy)
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