ASIS&T Faculty Advisor, Prof. Rong Tang, to be ALISE president-elect

Congratulations to Professor Rong Tang for being selected as president-elect for the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)! Professor Tang is the faculty advisor for Simmons ASIS&T, and we are incredibly proud of this accomplishment. We interviewed Professor Tang about her research and her involvement with ALISE. Read more to learn her thoughts on being president-elect, and how engaging in professional organizations relates to her career.

Tell us a little bit about your current research.

I have multiple research projects going on currently. One set of research projects is related to COVID-19 information or data: (1) I have a project looking into the COVID-19 datasets available on worldwide OGD sites, (2) a project on performing the heuristic evaluation of COVID-19 dashboards, and (3) social support and information zones of covid-19 information and vaccinations. I have a set of projects related to Research Data Management, including RDS maturity levels and RDM efforts. I have a set of projects on mobile news information behavior, which includes a journal article and a book, in collaboration with Prof. Kyong Eun Oh. I have another set of projects on paradigm shifts in the field of information. This set is associated with me serving as the lead guest editor of the JASIST special issue on this topic.

How have you been involved with ALISE throughout your career?

I joined ALISE since I was in the doctoral program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Over the years, I have been active in ALISE. I served on the ALISE Research Grant Committee. Most recently, I served as the Director of External Relations from 2017 to 2020, where I worked with the board of directors regularly on Association matters, especially advocating for the standing of the associations on social justice issues. Currently, I am the vice-Chair of the ALISE Advancement Committee. I will become ALISE’s president-elect in September 2021.

Congratulations on your position as the president-elect of ALISE! What are you looking forward to in this leadership position?

As I stated in Simmons’ announcement of this position, “we are facing tremendous challenges to the economy, daily life, social and political/ideological situations, in addition to the challenges of teaching and learning in LIS…As an educator in the LIS field, we need to be adaptive and innovative in the LIS pedagogy, but more importantly, advocate for the diverse communities that we serve through bringing in our DEI efforts to the forefront.”

In addition to the DEI efforts, I am looking forward to working with the Board of Directors to encourage innovation and thoughtful pedagogical experimentation to advance LIS education. I am also interested in developing international and global partnerships.

If you could go back in time and give yourself a helpful pointer early in your career, what would that be?

Earlier on in my career, back when I was in the doctoral program at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. William Shaw told me that to be committed to a career in academia, one has to have the passion and conviction, otherwise, it’s a loveless and long process. Additionally, I believe as a LIS educator, it is important to tie your teaching and research with LIS practice. So in my earlier career, I made a commitment that my teaching will be rooted in LIS practice, and this could be having guest speakers and designing projects/assignments that are LIS practice-based or have service-learning characteristics.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

I’d like to encourage SLIS doctoral students to be involved in ALISE activities and to form networks early on in their careers since that’s how I started and got my inspiration from.

Thank you, Professor Tang, for sharing your insight.

Member of the Month: Jae Jennifer Rossman

ASIS&T Simmons Member of the month: Jae Rossman, Ph.D. Student. Includes profile picture of Jae.

This month we are featuring Jae Jennifer Rossman, a current Ph.D. student who also got an MLIS from Simmons. Read more to learn about how ASIS&T has helped Jae’s research and career.

How long have you been in SLIS, and what program are you in?

I am in the Ph.D. program, which I started in fall 2015.

What are you working on right now?

My dissertation! I’m in the research phase, doing interviews and looking for supporting documents in archives.

How has being involved with ASIS&T Simmons (or ASIS&T in general) helped you move forward in your LIS career?

ASIS&T publications have been very important for me over my career. From studying for comps or just keeping up with the field, I know that I’ll always find quality ideas and research supported by ASIS&T.

Any pets at home?

Yes! We just adopted two adorable kittens. The last time I adopted a kitten was 1998, when I started at Simmons for my master’s degree. It seems appropriate to again have the joy of kittens at a time when I’m again figuring out what the next step in my career will be.

Thank you, Jae, for sharing your experiences.

Stay tuned for more next semester!

Member of the Month: Kevin Kidd

ASIS&T Simmons Member of the month: Kevin Kidd, Ph.D. Student. Includes profile picture of Kevin.

This month we are featuring Kevin Kidd, a current Ph.D. student who recently presented at the NEASIS&T Annual Conference. Read more to learn about Kevin’s experience with ASIS&T and how he gets involved.

How long have you been in SLIS, and what program are you in?

This is my 2nd semester. I started in the SLIS Ph.D. in Library & Information Science in September 2020.

What are you working on right now?

At the moment, I’m taking LIS621, Conducting Research, with Dr. Tang and LIS421, Social Informatics, with Dr. Rhinesmith. I’m also working full-time as Director of the Library at Wentworth Institute of Technology. It’s great to be back in school and to have the time and space to read and think about Library and Information Science. I’m still building towards an idea for my thesis, and the classes I’ve taken so far have been wonderful in helping me focus my potential topic.

How has being involved with ASIS&T Simmons (or ASIS&T in general) helped you move forward in your LIS career?

I have been a member of ASIS&T for some time, and I regularly attend the NEASIS&T conferences. In fact, I’ve been fortunate to be a presenter/panelist at NEASIS&T a couple of times over the years. Their journal – JASIST – is a key resource in our field, and I regularly read it. Hopefully, someday I’ll be able to publish in JASIST.

What are you working on that’s not library-related? (Hobbies, projects, etc.)

I am building a music studio/rehearsal space in my barn. I’m in a bluegrass/folk music band, so it will be great to have a dedicated space to play and record in.

Thank you, Kevin, for sharing your experiences.

If you’d like to share your work or experiences as a featured member, be sure to fill out the Member of the Month survey. Stay tuned for more next month!

Member of the Month: Wenqing Lu

ASIS&T Simmons Member of the month: Wenqing Lu, Ph.D. Student. Includes profile picture of Wen.

This month we’re kicking off our “Member of the Month” series, highlighting the work of Simmons students and their involvement with ASIS&T. Throughout the series we will learn more about our peers, get inspiration, and celebrate the achievements of our community.

To start, we are featuring Wenqing (Wen) Lu, a current Ph.D. student who participates regularly in ASIS&T annual meetings. We asked Wen a few questions about her work. Check out Wen’s responses to learn about how ASIS&T can impact your career.

How long have you been in SLIS, and what program are you in?

I started my Simmons life in 2012 Fall. I finished my master’s program in LIS in 2014, and now I’m at the end of the Ph.D. program in LIS.

What are you working on right now?

I’m revising my dissertation paper, participating in some academic research projects, and doing job-hunting.

How has being involved with ASIS&T Simmons (or ASIS&T in general) helped you move forward in your LIS career?

For me, ASIS&T is a great platform for presenting my research findings in the LIS fields. With co-authors, I presented some long papers and short papers to ASIS&T Annual Meetings (AM) since 2018. Last year, I was honored to be invited as a reviewer in the poster session of ASIS&T AM 2020. In addition, one of my co-authored papers received the “Best Information Behavior Conference Paper Award, 2020” in the SIG-USE Annual Symposium of ASIS&T. These are very important experiences for me. Besides the annual meetings, I visit the ASIS&T website from time to time, reading news, checking job postings, and signing up for events that are related to my study fields. This is very helpful information for me.

What is your current obsession?

Lego Technic. We are working on a Lego Lamborghini with over 3000 pieces.

Thank you, Wen, for sharing your experiences.

If you’d like to share your work or experiences as a featured member, be sure to fill out the Member of the Month survey.  Stay tuned for more next month!

ASIS&T Student Feature: Zhan Hu

Congratulations to student Photograph of doctoral student Zhan HuZhan Hu for winning our raffle during our virtual meet and greet! 🎉
Zhan Hu is a doctoral student at SLIS. Entering her fifth year in the program, Zhan is currently working on her preliminary literature review for her dissertation proposal.  She also assists in managing the Research Data Management Librarian Academy (RDMLA) program and the Interprofessional-Informationist (IPI) program. Her research interests include knowledge management, the ecological approach of information research, user experience and usability testing, and research data management. Her dissertation will investigate the Information Horizon framework’s application in studying working parents’ information behaviors during COVID-19.
Zhan has been a student member of ASIS&T  for several years and has attended and presented at the past three ASIS&T annual conferences. The ASIS&T Annual Conference is a great way to get updated on emerging research topics and trends, share and exchange research ideas with renowned scholars and peers, and also social-network for career building and collaboration opportunities. Aside from the yearly event, Zhan also finds the ASIS&T webinars and ASIS&T publications to be very informative in learning about different research topics. Volunteering and participating in various Special Interest Groups (SIG) is another excellent way to get more involved with one’s research interests and communicate with researchers who share similar passions.
Keep up your awesome work, Zhan!