LEADS-4-NDP is the precursor to LEADING. We have had 21 LEADS fellows over a three-year period, and six fellows continued on to extend their LEADS research until October 31st, 2020. Below, read about our 21 fellows from the two cohorts and extended LEADS opportunity.
2020 Extended Fellows
✥ Yi-Yun Cheng (Jessica), PhD Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Academy of Natural Sciences
Yi-Yun Cheng (Jessica) is a 4th year PhD student in the School of Information Sciences at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advised by Professor Bertram Ludaescher. Jessica’s research interests lies in the intersection of information organization and data science methods. Specifically, Jessica is interested in topics related to knowledge organization, semantic web technologies, ontologies, and last but not the least — taxonomy alignment. She has worked with Professor Ludaescher on the NSF-funded project Exploring Taxon Concepts (ETC), in which they employed a logic-based approach to solve taxonomy interoperability problems in biodiversity informatics. Further, Jessica has also worked in collaboration with Dr. Nico Franz, an entomologist and taxon-concept expert from ASU, to explore the use of data science methods for taxonomy alignment problems in the WholeTale reproducibility in biodiversity project. Recently, Jessica has been exploring the ideas on geopolitical realities in different taxonomies in her research.
Prior to joining U of I, Jessica earned her B.A. and her M.A. from the Department of Library and Information Science at National Taiwan University. She has been actively working on problems in knowledge graph and linked data, in which she has published her thesis work on cross-lingual ontologies in geo-spatial domains.
To learn more about Jessica, visit her website here.
✥ Julaine Clunis, PhD Student, Kent State University, LEADS Fellowship Site: Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
Julaine Clunis is a third-year PhD student in the School of Information at Kent State University. She also holds a Master of Science in Health Informatics and a Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Science in Information Science from Northern Caribbean University.
Julaine has participated in several projects exploring digital humanities innovation, smart data, and knowledge graphs. Julaine’s research interests include topics related to knowledge organization, linked data, machine learning, semantic web technologies, ontologies, and consumer health. In particular she wishes to study how knowledge organization systems can be used to manage consumer health activities, and further to enhance and enable improved patient centered health care systems and services, as well as EHR usability and interoperability.
“I am excited by the LEADS-4-NDP because I have a genuine curiosity about data science techniques in LIS and the opportunity to dig deeply into data science applications with other doctoral students and to learn from the distinguished individuals already doing remarkable work in this area is a privilege that cannot be overstated.”
✥ Bridget Disney, PhD Student, University of Missouri, LEADS Fellowship Site: California Digital Library at University of California-Berkeley
Bridget Disney is a PhD student at the University of Missouri’s School of Information Science and Educational Technology. She holds and Master of Arts degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Missouri plus a BS/BA in Computer Science and French from the University of Nebraska. She is a web developer for the Digital Humanities website at the University of Missouri (http://dhc.missouri.edu), and has interned at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska. She is also an instructor for a technology class offered in the College of Education. Previously, Bridget worked as a software engineer at Northrop Grumman.
Bridget’s varied research interests stem from the belief that the field of library and information science has a lot to contribute to the application of data science in the academic and real world. These areas include data visualization and analytics, metadata and APIs, searching for datasets, digital humanities, and data science education for librarians.
“I am delighted to be part of the LEADS-4-NDP program and and am excited to be participating in a meaningful metadata project at the California Digital Library.”
✥ Jamillah Gabriel, PhD Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, LEADS Fellowship Site: Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC)
Jamillah R. Gabriel is a second-year PhD student in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, Bachelor of Arts in Black Studies and Journalism from California State University Long Beach, and an Associate in Arts in English from Cerritos College. Her professional experience includes 17 years in public and academic libraries as a librarian and library paraprofessional, most recently as Black Cultural Center Librarian and Metadata Specialist at Purdue University.
Jamillah’s dissertation research focuses on the information needs and behaviors of African Americans, and the effectiveness of cultural heritage institutions (libraries, archives, museums) at meeting the needs of African American information seekers. Her other research interests include information literacy and multiliteracies, cultural heritage institutions, global librarianship in Africa and the Caribbean, social justice in LAMs, critical theory and pedagogy in LIS education and research, and diversity and inclusion in information professions. Jamillah’s goal is to utilize both library science and data science methods and techniques in her research and teaching.
“I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity of working with the University of Maryland’s iSchool and Digital Curation Innovation Center in an endeavor that will provide me with invaluable data science skills and experience, and will allow me to contribute to a project that collaborates with and impacts community.”
To learn more about Jamillah, visit her website here.
✥ Alyson Gamble, PhD Student, Simmons University, LEADS Fellowship Site: Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP)
Alyson Gamble is a third year PhD student in Library and Information Science at Simmons University, where their doctoral research focuses on the health information-seeking behaviors of LGBTQ individuals.
Alyson holds a Master of Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University, a Master of Liberal Arts from Tulane University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Spring Hill College. Their previous experience includes several years working as a science librarian, where they initially developed an interest in the overlaps between LIS and data science. In particular, Alyson is intrigued by the many ways data science can be utilized to analyze, organize, and make available large quantities of previously hidden information within libraries, archives, and other information centers. For example, data science can help make historical data more available to and meaningfully interpretable by the general public. The opportunity to develop data science skills and put them to use for the benefit of a broad audience is what excites Alyson most about being a part of LEADS-4-NDP.
To learn more about Alyson, visit their webpage here.
Kai Li is a PhD candidate in the College of Computing and Informatics at Drexel University. He holds a degree of Master of Library and Information Science from Syracuse University and has worked in multiple institutions in the US and China as a library cataloger. Kai’s research focuses on how digital research objects, such as research data and software, contribute to scientific knowledge production. Some of his direct research interests include (1) how digital research objects are represented as the new scientific genres of data papers and software papers, (2) how digital research objects reflect scientific laboratory processes, and (3) how digital research objects are distributed in the universe of scientific outputs informed by scientometric theories and methods. These interests will be pursued in his dissertation work, titled “A quantitative examination of research methods and software in scientific publications,” which will be finished before the summer of 2020.
“I am excited by the LEADS-4-NDP Program because it addresses one of the most important movements that is happening in the LIS field, i.e., building more connections between library and information science and the emerging field of data science. I look forward to applying my knowledge and skills in LIS and data science to a problem that I had to deal with in my past career.”
To learn more about Kai, visit his website here.
✥ Rongqian Ma, PhD Student, University of Pittsburgh, LEADS Fellowship Site: University of Pennsylvania’s Digital Research Services
Rongqian Ma is a second-year PhD student in Library and Information Science at the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh. Before entering the PhD program, she obtained the MLIS (2017) and an M.A. in East Asian Studies (2016) from the University of Pittsburgh, and a B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature (2014) from Renmin University of China in Beijing, China.
Rongqian’s primary research focuses on “Asian informatics” that explores the relationship between people, information, and technologies contextualized in Asian cultures and societies. More specifically, she researches at the intersection of digital humanities and digital libraries, especially interested in examining humanities data sciences and digital data curation issues. During her time at the University of Pittsburgh, Rongqian has also been working at the East Asian Library on multiple digitization and digital humanities projects, which range from the digitization of East Asian archives and manuscripts, curation of oral history collections, to the creation of digital village data in contemporary China.
“I am excited by the LEADS-4-NDP program because it provides me with an excellent opportunity to acquire important data sciences skills and techniques, and to practice them with real library projects.”
✥ Nikolaus Nova Parulian, PhD Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, LEADS Fellowship Site: RAMP at Montana State University Library
Nikolaus Parulian is a first-year Ph.D. student in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also holds a Master Degree in Information Management from the University of Illinois. His research interests include topics related to machine learning, text mining, data quality management, and network analysis. During his master program, Nikolaus has interned at John Deere where he was researching on the Internet of Things and Data Science implementation for the smart home-yard purpose. Recently, he worked on extracting relations/associations between entities from a text corpus using different models and analyzing the network created by those relations. The research is useful for understanding the relationship between entities and building a knowledge network from text data. In particular, Nikolaus is interested in the implementation of machine learning method, especially text mining, to create a better knowledge representation from text data.
“I am very excited to be part of the LEADS-4-NDP to find more interesting applications and practices of Data Science in the Library Information Science field. I look forward to implementing my Data Science skills on the project.”
✥ Sonia Pascua, PhD Student, Drexel University, LEADS Fellowship Site: Digital Scholarship Center at Temple University
Sonia M. Pascua is a PhD student in Information Science at the College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) of Drexel University and a research assistant of the Metadata Research Center (MRC). She holds a masters degree in Computer Science taken from the Department of Computer Science College of Engineering, University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman and a Bachelor in Library and Information Science (BLIS) taken from the UP School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS).
One of her professional extensions is in the field of LIS education where she’s one of the faculty of the UP SLIS teaching Cataloguing, Classification, Indexing, Abstracting, and ICT courses. Her research interests are in linked data, metadata, software engineering, software quality assurance, IOT and bibliometrics and citation analysis. She became the Deputy QMR for three years in the ISO 9001-2008 Certification of the UP IT Development Center and the Deputy Training Manager managing the pool of instructors of the Center and teaching applications development and IT Business Executive courses like Software Testing, SQA, Software Engineering, SAD and Project Management.
Her research interests are in metadata and metadata capital, linked data, knowledge organization, software quality assurance, IOT, bibliometrics, and citation analysis. She’s working on the standard metadata metric and capitalization for her doctoral cynosure where she aims to quantify the economy of metadata.
“I am excited by the LEADS-4-NDP program because I strongly believe that it opens opportunities to collaborate with colleagues in the field, to be trained in data science and to strengthen my research skills.”
To learn more about Sonia, visit her website here.
✥ Minh Pham, School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri, LEADS Fellowship Site: RAMP at Montana State University Library
Minh Pham is a third year Ph.D. student in the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies (SISLT) at the University of Columbia, MO. She works as a research assistant at the Information Experience (IE) lab, part of the SISLT. She also serves as an intern in economic analysis at the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Center.
She holds an M.Ed degree in Global and Educational Change from Lehigh University, PA. Minh has varied research interests including game-based learning with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) tools, geographic information system (GIS) for research and decision-making, UX design and usability, and data science in education.
To learn more about Minh, visit her website here.
✥ Hanlin Zhang, PhD Student, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, LEADS Fellowship Site: California Digital Library at University of California-Berkeley
Hanlin (Han) Zhang is a Ph.D. student at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC- Chapel Hill, where he works with Dr. Bradley Hemminger in the Informatics and Visualization Lab. He holds a Master of Science degree in Information Management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Previously, Han worked for Anheuser-Busch as a data analyst.
Han’s research interests include data analytics, augmented/virtual reality, and scholarly communication. He is involved in a number of research projects related to virtual reality, digital scholarship and open access. Currently, Han is focused on developing a data analytics approach in two scholarly communications projects: altmetrics and ArchiveOne. This work will provide new insights into scholarly communication in general as well as discover how insights generated are both conveyed and understood by consumers of research. In his free time, Han enjoys assembling Gunpla Model Kits, street photography, and repairing his fiancée’s 9-year-old car.
“I am excited by the LEADS-4-NDP program because I believe it will be a great experience in applying data science techniques in metadata research. I hope to develop this new knowledge and understanding and to provide original contributions to the the field of LIS.”
To learn more about Hanlin, visit his website here.
✥ Karen Boyd, PHD Student, University of Maryland’s iSchool, LEADS Fellowship Site: Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP)
Karen Boyd is a PhD Candidate in the School of Information at the University of Maryland, College Park, working with Katie Shilton in the Ethics and Values in Design (EViD) lab. She also earned an MBA from the University of California, San Diego and worked with the Design Lab there before returning to pursue a PhD.
She is interested in the beliefs and practices of technology builders. Her prospective dissertation work focuses on machine learning (ML) engineers, using mixed methods to build a picture of how individual beliefs, organizational environments, and work practices influence ML algorithms. After graduating, she hopes to find a position in which she can contribute to the understanding of ML development practice and communicate those findings effectively to researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, and students. The goal of her work is to contribute to the short- and long-term alignment of ML algorithms with the interests of the people they learn from and affect.
“I am excited by the LEADS-4-NDP program because the training and experience it offers will help me improve my research skills and prepare to train skilled, critical, contextual- and socially-aware data scientists.”
To learn more about Karen, visit her homepage here.
✥ Souvick Ghosh, PHD Student, Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information, LEADS Fellowship Site: OCLC
My primary research interest is in Conversational Information Retrieval, which includes but is not limited to searchbots and spoken dialogue systems. I am attempting to use deep learning and NLP techniques to create better models capable of context-aware responses while interacting with humans in information seeking platforms. Other goals would be to build a theoretical framework and performance evaluation metrics for voiced-based searches.
I am also interested in searching as learning (combining educational and retrieval theories for better search and learning experiences), assessing content quality for social question-answering platforms, and classification of fake news. My work is focused towards Goal 3 (Good Health and Well Being), Goal 4 (Quality Education) and Goal 10 (Reduced Inequality) of the 17 sustainable development goals proposed by the United Nations. They have the potential to influence the life of visually challenged people, of students, and promote social well-being.
“I’m excited by the LEADS-4-NDP Program because the fellowship fits my profile perfectly, and I will be working with the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) Research, who is a big name in ILS systems. I am also looking forward to meeting the project PIs at the Drexel Metadata Research Center. It is a great opportunity, and I am confident of doing some good research over the summer.”
To learn more about Souvick, visit his page at Rutgers here.
✥ Sam Grabus, PHD Student, Drexel University’s College of Computing and Informatics, LEADS Fellowship Site: Digital Scholarship Center at Temple University
*After completion of her 2018 LEADS fellowship, Sam served as Project Manager for LEADS and LEADING from 2019-2023.*
Sam Grabus is a third-year Information Science PhD candidate in Drexel University’s Information Science PhD program, and Research Assistant at Drexel’s Metadata Research Center. Her research areas are Knowledge Organization, Relevance Evaluation, and Automatic Subject Indexing.
Her research interests stem from her course work, her developing expertise in metadata, and her current work on the “Developing the Data Set of Nineteenth-Century Knowledge” project, a National Endowment for the Humanities collaborative project with Temple University’s Digital Scholarship Center. The grant is part of a larger project, Temple’s “19th-Century Knowledge Project,” which is digitizing four historical editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica (3rd, 7th, 9th, and 11th editions). Sam originally became involved with this project when she was partnered with the Digital Scholarship Center for her LEADS-4-NDP fellowship, and has continued on the project since. In addition to participating in the LEADS-4-NDP program as a fellow in 2018, Sam is also Project Manager for the 2019-20 cohort and LEADING.
“I am honored to have experienced LEADS both as a 2018 fellow and as the 2019-2023 project manager for LEADS and LEADING programs. LEADS has been a tremendous opportunity for me, expanding my data science competency and confidence to apply these techniques within the digital library environment.”
To learn more about Sam, visit her homepage here.
✥ Chris Holstrom, PHD Student, University of Washington’s iSchool, LEADS Fellowship Site: Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC)
I am a PhD student in Information Science at the University of Washington. My research interests includeknowledge organization, social tagging and folksonomies, metadata, faceted classification, machine classification, and information architecture. I focus on comparing classification approaches and building hybrid knowledge organization systems. Recently, I studied an online community that uses social tagging extensively and found that a group of retroactive taggers largely conformed to established community standards instead of introducing classification best practices like controlled vocabularies. I also built a tagging UI to study how enabling and disabling UI elements like suggested tags and autocomplete affected the number and novelty of tags submitted.
Prior to studying Information Science, I earned a MS in Technical Communication and worked as a technical writer and manager at IBM and Google. I led a series of projects to integrate Google’s internal documentation and its metadata with search tools and the code base. As Head of Documentation for Google Cloud Platform, I was responsible for information architecture, content design, and quality of all technical content on cloud.google.com.
“I’m excited by the LEADS-4-NDP Program because I think that data science and metadata are the right tools to solve the large-scale classification challenges that library scientists face today.”
✥ Adam Johs, PHD Student, Drexel University’s College of Computing and Informatics, LEADS Fellowship Site: Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC)
Adam Johs is an information science PhD student in the College of Computing and Informatics at Drexel University. Prior to embarking on his doctoral pursuit, Adam first served in the U.S. Armed Forces and then spent several years in the healthcare information technology sector. Now, as an information science PhD student, Adam has an interest in investigating explanations from a lens of human-computer trust in relation to explainable artificial intelligence (XAI). Given the various research application contexts pegged thus far, Adam’s research aims to incorporate aspects from both library science and data science (DS). Specifically, a current research application context targeted by Adam is digital libraries (future efforts could see to orientation toward the Semantic Web). In terms of DS, Adam has learned there is extensive opportunity associated with textual data manipulation regarding how to inform said explanations. Overall, Adam believes through his research, several useful findings pertinent to the current trajectory and likely future state of technology in society can be realized.
“I’m excited by the LEADS-4-NDP Program because this will truly be a catalyzing moment in my doctoral path. The innovative, synergistic platform that is LEADS will see to a convergence of the multidisciplinary interests that comprise my research. The resources—technical, institutional, and intellectually interpersonal—are truly boundless. I feel honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with the renowned experts part of the Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC) at the University of Maryland’s iSchool, and greatly look forward to the growth, learning, and collaboration that is to come!”
✥ Laura Ridenour, PHD Student, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies, LEADS Fellowship Site: University of Pennsylvania’s Digital Research Services
Laura Ridenour is a PhD Candidate at the School of Information Studies and member of the Knowledge Organization Research Group at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her doctoral concentration is Information Organization; she is advised by Professor Richard Smiraglia and is an Advanced Opportunity Fellowship recipient. She previously earned her Masters in Information Science from Indiana University Bloomington.
Laura was an invited speaker at the 2016 COST KNOWeSCAPE workshop on Alternative and Tailored Metrics in Warsaw, Poland. She co-organized the 2017 North American Symposium on Knowledge Organization and the 2017 ASIS&T SIG/CR workshop. She is currently serving as President for the International Society of Knowledge Organization, Canada/United States, and Secretary/Treasurer for the Association for Information Science and Technology SIG/CR (Classification Research).
Laura’s research examines conceptual overlap and divergence using the sociological notion of the boundary object to examine interdisciplinary areas of science. Her work incorporates themes and methods from knowledge organization, philosophy of science, infometrics, and natural language processing.
“I’m excited by the LEADS-4-NDP program because it provides me with an opportunity to apply my technical and theoretical understanding to solve a real-world problem in information and library science.”
To learn more about Laura, visit her homepage here.
✥ Gretchen Stahlman, PHD Student, University of Arizona’s School of Information, LEADS Fellowship Site: Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL)
Gretchen Stahlman is a PhD candidate in the School of Information at the University of Arizona (UA). She holds a Master of Science degree in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and she previously worked in United States and Chile as a Documentation Specialist for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. As a UA iSchool graduate student, Gretchen has participated in several projects exploring curation and cyberinfrastructure strategies for hidden or at-risk datasets in biology and astronomy, including assisting in development of the new “Astrolabe” repository and suite of tools for analysis and management of astronomical data. Gretchen also served as a Research Development Fellow in the UA Office for Research, Discovery and Innovation during the 2015-16 academic year. Currently, Gretchen is focused on a dissertation project that implements a mixed-methods approach to identifying indicators of potentially uncurated astronomical data in the scholarly literature. Overall, her work aims to provide deeper insight into scholarly communication and data practices in astronomy, situated within broader initiatives and discussions related to open science.
“I am excited by the LEADS program because it is an opportunity to learn and apply valuable data science skills as a member of a cohort of doctoral students from other LIS programs and iSchools!”
To learn more about Gretchen, visit her homepage here.
✥ Timothy Kanke, PHD Student, Florida State University’s College of Communication and Information, LEADS Fellowship Site: Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
Timothy Kanke is a doctoral candidate at Florida State University after having completed his Masters in Library and Information Studies there in 2014. His background includes academic and public library experience in cataloging, reference, and I.T. Additionally, he has taught courses on databases, spreadsheets, and informational architecture, as well as serving as the coordinator for the FSU iSchool’s internship program.
Timothy’s broad research interests include collaborative work organization and data practices, knowledge organization, and data curation. Currently he is focused on a dissertation project about Wikidata, a large scale peer-curated knowledge base Wikimedia project, and how their community creates and uses the knowledge base. He is looking primarily at their integration and reuse of data, as well as ontologies and controlled vocabulary.
“I’m excited by the LEADS-4-NDP Program because it gives me the opportunity to help the Digital Public Library of America make their collections more discoverable.”
To learn more about Tim, visit his homepage here.
✥ Kerry Townsend, PHD Student, University of Missouri’s School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, LEADS Fellowship Site: Free Library of Philadelphia
Kerry Townsend is a PhD student at the University of Missouri with a focus on effective school libraries, media and digital literacy and mediated communication. She holds graduate degrees in Education Technologies (MEd) and Educational Leadership (EdS) from the University of Missouri.
Kerry has previously worked as a high school English teacher, middle school librarian, and instructional technology specialist and is now the Library Media Coordinator for Columbia Public Schools in Columbia, MO. She is also a 2017- 2018 Lilead School Library Supervisors Fellow focusing on evidence-based leadership and library program advocacy. Kerry works to help her school district and others support student and teacher learning through effective library media programs. Follow her on Twitter @kltown.
“I’m excited by the LEADS-4-NDP Program because I cannot wait to dig deeply into the use of data to make educated decisions about programming and resource promotion in libraries. As a program director in a school district, I am very interested in how academic research can illustrate best practice in the field. What I learn by working with the Free Library of Philadelphia can be directly implemented into my daily professional work.”
✥ Mark Phillips, PHD Student, University of North Texas’ College of Information, LEADS Fellowship Site: California Digital Library at University of California-Berkeley
Mark Phillips is a PhD student in the College of Information at the University of North Texas (UNT). He holds a Masters of Science in Library and Information Science from UNT where he currently works in the Digital Libraries Division of the UNT Libraries. At the UNT Libraries he has worked with a team to design and develop The Portal to Texas History, the UNT Digital Library, and the Gateway to Oklahoma History. He has been involved in a number of research projects related to metadata change, metadata quality, user interface development for digital libraries, and Web archiving.
Mark is currently working with a team at the UNT Libraries to better understand how metadata creators think about quality in their work, and what tools they have available for assessing the quality of the metadata records they create. His research focus is in ways to combine data science and analytics with user interfaces to help cultural heritage institutions better understand the quality of the metadata they are creating in an effort to improve online access to digital resources.
“I am excited to be a part of the LEADS-4-NDP program because it gives me an opportunity to apply data science techniques I’m learning in my doctoral program to a nationally significant project.”
To learn more about Mark, visit his homepage here.