Candidates: President Elect
Nadia Caidi is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Trained in Linguistics and Communication from France, she then obtained an MLIS and Ph.D. from UCLA. Nadia’s research interests focus on information policy and community informatics. Her studies of information post 9/11, and on diasporic communities, have been funded by several grants from SSHRC (Canada). A longstanding and active member of ASIST, Nadia served as the Chair of SIG-III, the co-Chair of SIG-IFP, the co-organizer (with Michel Menou) of the Global Information Village Plaza (2001-04). She received the James M. Cretsos Leadership Award in 2006. Nadia was the President of the Canadian Association for Information Science in 2010-11.
What if we were to finally come to terms with the fact that ASIS&T is THE home for members of the Information Science and Technology community? What “work” do we want
ASIST-as-our-home to do for us? While taking stock of what ASIS&T does well (annual conferences, summits and
webinars, the work of the SIGs, the awards and publications), one cannot overlook the missed opportunities. ASIS&T’s membership remains strong, but who are its
audience(s)? What environment does ASIS&T foster? What is the nature and level of intellectual engagement about our field/discipline?
As President, I would challenge us all to lend our expertise and sensibilities to the task of (re-) positioning ASIS&T as a leading, dynamic, and highly relevant organization:
1) Our members: Let us put to the test some of our field’s interesting propositions around collaborative information practices, community engagement, or data analytics: How would they help us provide better services to our members (e.g., mentorship opportunities for emerging scholars; fostering of interactions and intellectual engagement beyond the annual conferences)?
2) (Re-)Investing in Education. ASIS&T could benefit from forging alliances and partnerships with the likes of ALISE and the
iCaucus. Collectively, let’s position ourselves as incubators for research on issues that define our times and are priorities for our discipline and profession (e.g., higher education trends, information ethics, digital literacy).
3) Making intellectual vibrancy its core mandate. Let us sustain the conversation and keep our members intellectually engaged (e.g., students at all IST education programs could wrestle with a common theme each year, and come up with innovative and collaborative ways to address it; followed by open forums and interactive sessions).
4) Going global. Opportunities for collaboration and networking across SIGs, national borders, and cultures, would be further enhanced if we were to commit to hold an ASIS&T conference outside of North America on a regular basis (e.g., every five years).
Directors at Large
Jamshid Beheshti holds degrees in Mining Technology, History, and Library and Information Science, all from various Canadian institutions. He has taught at the School of Information Studies at McGill University for more than twenty five years, where he was appointed as the Director of the School for six years. He was also appointed as the Interim Dean and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education at McGill University for five year.
Jamshid has been the principal investigator and co-investigator on more than a dozen Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grants, and in collaboration with colleagues has obtained several million dollars in research funds over the past decades. His publications have appeared in
JASIS&T, Information Processing & Management, and Education for Information among other international journals. He has been a consultant on many projects with various organizations, including the National Library of Canada, the Institutes of Higher Education in Indonesia, Kuwait University, and the University of West Indies. His area of expertise in designing information systems for children and young adults has been the topic of his contributions in his recently co-edited books,
The Information Behavior of a New Generation: Children and Teens in the 21st Century (with Andrew Large, 2013), and
New Directions in Children’s and Adolescents’ Information Behavior Research (with Dania Bilal, in press).
My international experience along with my service record in Canada as the Past President of the Canadian Association for Information Science, and in the US as the active member of ASIS&T for three decades, including the Past Chair of
SIGHCI, provide me with an understanding of issues and challenges facing our field.
If elected as the Director at Large, I would attempt to expand our presence and increase the association’s membership in the US, Canada, and around the world:
– By collaborating with the Web Presence Task Force to develop forums for discussions using the social media to solicit the opinions and views of our colleagues in industry and in academia, the objective of which would be to create more direct channels of communication among information scientists;
– By working closely with the Communications & Publications Committee to propose a new free open access publication to augment the existing ASIS&T publications, the objective of which would be to provide an efficient means for communicating research results;
– By working in partnership with the Information Science Education Committee to propose a free MOOC on ‘information science’, the objective of which would be to expand the base of our association among various disciplines.
Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan is a Professor of Information and Communication Sciences at the Jean Moulin University (JMU) in Lyon, France. Before joining JMU, she was Associate professor of Information and Communication Sciences at the University of Nancy (France). She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in French literatures obtained from the University of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria before completing a Masters degree in French contemporary literature at the Stendhal University, Grenoble, France. She then embarked on an academic career switch to Information Studies where she obtained a PhD in Information & Communication Studies with a specialisation in Information-Documentation from the Stendhal University in Grenoble (France). Her research interests span a wide range of problems: she first worked on information processing problems drawing upon methods from computational linguistics, text analytics, information visualization and information retrieval. Recently, Fidelia has been focusing on the history and foundations of information and communication sciences, on epistemology and the history of sciences and has been comparing anglophone and francophone conceptions of information and comunication studies. She has also been studying the impact of recent technological advances (open data, big data and web 2.0) on science and on the society. Since joining ASIST in 2009, Fidelia has served the association in many capacities: as conference paper reviewer; as chair of the European chapter of the ASIST (2011-2012) and currently its assembly representative and advisor; as a member of SIG H/FIS and currently its chair-elect; and as a member of the International Relations Committee. She obtained the New leader Award for 2012-2013 and has been instrumental in the European chapter’s winning the chapter of the year award for two consecutive years (2012-2013).
When I found ASIST and attended its annual conference as a new member, I knew I had found my “scientific home”. I have been impressed by the smooth and well-oiled operating procedures put in place, the efficiency of its officers and the welcoming and stimulating atmosphere that radiates within ASIST during the annual conferences. I have found ASIST to be one of the most vibrant and inclusive scientific societies it has been my luck to know. If elected as Director-at-large, I will work with ASIST’s officers to strengthen its current international course by:
1) reaching out to members and scholars beyond ASIST’s mainstream specialties in LIS who can have insights to offer in terms of scientific experience and approach to common problems the society is facing ;
2) continuing to work within the International Relations Committee to broaden ASIST’s international status, in making ASIST known to parts of the world where it is less well known (non english speaking
europe, Africa, Asia). Towards this goal, it will be pertinent to work towards reducing costs for attending the conference as this continues to be a concern for many members;
3) helping to improve ASIST’s link with the information practitioners worldwide who are our ambassadors in the private by promoting the organisation of jointly-sponsored sessions and panels during the AM or in other scientific events where ASIST can be associated;
4) motivating younger scholars in getting involved in ASIST
5) ensuring that ASIST remains at the forefront of the societal challenges that our information-centric world brings forth.
I would be honored to serve as Director-at-large for
ASIST, share my ideas, energy, and excitement, and work together with all members on initiatives that position ASIS&T as a leader in the field.