No. 519 - May 15, 2024

  • Coming Events:

    - From Tenure to Full (& Beyond)
    - Staff and Leader Spring Learning Day
  • Important Dates:

    - Friday, May 17, 2024 - Senate (Somerville House, 1:30 PM)
    - Monday, May 20, 2024 - Victoria Day holiday (no classes, FIMS offices closed)
    - Friday, June 7, 2024 - Senate (Somerville House, 1:30 PM)
    - Monday, June 10 - Friday, June 21, 2024 - Spring Convocation period
  • News & Announcements:

    - Mediations says farewell to two committee members
    - Submissions open for Inspiring Minds graduate showcase 
  • Awards & Accomplishments:

    - Carleigh Bodrug (BA'13, MIT)
    - Annie Kavanagh
    - Alex Mayhew
    - Percy Sherwood
    - Sarah Smith

    Publications & Presentations:

    - Mark Ambrogio
    - Jacquelyn Burkell
    - Tim Blackmore
    - Lucia Cedeira Serantes
    - Brodie Fenlon (MA'99, Journalism)
    - Giada Ferrucci
    - Derya Hodge
    - Erin Isings
    - Lisa Macklem
    - Santasil Mallik
    - Jasvinder Mann
    - Alex Mayhew
    - Joanna Redden
    - Scott Robins (MLIS'10)
    - Victoria Rubin
    - Hugh Samson
    - Emma Scott
    - Luke Stark
    - Amie Wright (MLIS'09)
  • In the Media:

    - Ryley Alp (BA'18, MTP)
    - Maia Aqui
    - Emily Austin (MLIS'13)
    - Erin Isings
    - Celeste Laube Benini
    - Anabel Quan-Haase
    - Joanna Redden (with Sananda Sahoo, Effie Sapuridis, Janet Allen and JP Mann)
    - Romayne Smith Fullerton
    - Luke Stark
    - Tom Streeter
  • Additional Activities of Note:

    - Mark Ambrogio
    - Tim Blackmore
    - Court strikes down Ag-gag law (Sam Trosow)
  • News from the FIMS Graduate Library:

    - Summer hours
    - Staffing updates
  • News from Western Libraries:

    - Upcoming Research Skills Workshops
  • Next Issue:

Coming Events

From Tenure to Full (& Beyond)
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Weldon Library Community Room
RSVP required.
Donna Kotsopoulos and Lauren Cipriano will discuss the many opportunities and challenges of life after tenure. They will discuss how the balance of investments and the selection of specific opportunities open (and close) doors to career progression and leadership opportunities within and outside of Western. They will also discuss specific challenges faced by women and minorities in academic leadership.

Staff and Leader Spring Learning Day

Thursday, June 6, 2024
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
NCB Room 101
Enjoy talks from two guest speakers including Dan Riskin, evolutionary biologist, award-winning television presenter and bestselling author, as well as Kellylee Evans, internationally acclaimed Juno Award-Winning singer-songwriter. Registration is open to all Western staff and leaders. Register by May 27 at 4:00 p.m. Takeaway lunch will be provided to registrants.

Important Dates

- Friday, May 17, 2024 - Senate (Somerville House, 1:30 PM)
- Monday, May 20, 2024 - Victoria Day holiday (no classes, FIMS offices closed)
- Friday, June 7, 2024 - Senate (Somerville House, 1:30 PM)
- Monday, June 10 - Friday, June 21, 2024 - Spring Convocation period

News & Announcements

Mediations says farewell to two committee members
The Mediations committee wishes to acknowledge the work of two committee members who are leaving the committee this summer. Ebenezer (Eben) Martin-Yeboah and Avery Page have both been on the Mediations committee since December 2022. Eben has been the committee co-chair of Mediations and was especially helpful with the transition from the previous committee to the current one. Avery has been an active committee member and we are especially thankful to her for her great posters.

Submissions open for Inspiring Minds Graduate Showcase
Can you clearly describe your work in 150 or fewer words? Being able to communicate your research to broad, interdisciplinary and lay audiences -- both inside and outside academia -- is becoming an increasingly important skill for scholars of all levels. Inspiring Minds seeks to help graduate students enhance this skill. Describe your work in 150 or fewer words! Your research, scholarship or creative activity could be turned into a piece of digital artwork. This non-competitive showcase highlights work by master's and doctoral students from all 11 of Western's faculties and schools. Submissions are open until June 7, 2024. Visit the previous showcases online.

Awards & Accomplishments

Carleigh Bodrug, BA'13 (MIT), had the No. 1 bestselling book on Amazon at the beginning of April. Her zero-waste cookbook called PlantYou: Scrappy Cooking features 140+ plant-based, zero-waste recipes.

MLIS student Annie Kavanagh was the winner of the Winter 2024 term Spirit of Librarianship award, presented each term by the MLISSC. View previous winners online.

LIS PhD student Alex Mayhew was the winner of the Winter 2024 term Fantastic FIMS award, presented each term by the MLISSC. View previous winners online.

Media Studies PhD candidate Percy Sherwood successfully defended his thesis titled Arts-Informed Storytelling: How Arts-Informed Research was Used with Six Indigenous Peoples in London, Ontario on May 14.

Associate Professor Sarah Smith received a 2024-2025 Rockefeller Archive Center research stipend for her project: Canada and the Americas: Examining Art, Cultural Diplomacy and Pan Americanism at the Center for Inter-American Relations and Americas Society.

Publications & Presentations

A number of FIMS community members participated in the Rotman Institute of Philosophy's Research Retreat: AI & Democracy on May 1, either giving presentations or appearing on panels. They include Professor Jacquie Burkell, LIS PhD candidate Jasvinder Mann, LIS PhD candidate Alex Mayhew, Associate Professor Joanna Redden, Assistant Professor Luke Stark and Professor Tom Streeter.

Professor Tim Blackmore and journalism alumnus Brodie Fenlon (MA'99) participated in a panel discussion that followed a screening of the documentary Killer Water: The toxic legacy of Canada's oil sands industry for Indigenous communities at the Ink-StainedWretches International Journalism Film Festival on April 28.

Assistant Professor Lucia Cedeira Serantes, Scott Robins (MLIS'10), and Amie Wright (MLIS'09), participated in a panel titled Ask A (Comics) Librarian, held at the Toronto Comic Art Festival on May 11-12. The panel discussed the evolution and current status of comic librarianship.

Giada Ferrucci
, Media Studies PhD candidate, co-authored an article titled "Solidarity with El Salvador's Santa Marta 5 Grows Across Borders," published in North American Congress on Latin America on April 19.

Derya Hodge, current MLIS student, published the following paper:

Hodge, D. (2024). Review of Trans and Gender Diverse Voices in Libraries. Journal of New Librarianship, 9(1), 119–124.

Assistant Professor Erin Isings and HIS PhD candidate Hugh Samson co-authored the following paper:

Dong, C., Isings, E., Jones, S., Samson, H., McCorquodale, L., Telfer, T., Ropp, T., & Bell, C. (2024). Feedback and Focus: Exploring Post-Secondary Students’ Perceptions of Feedback, Mindfulness, and Stress. Cogent Education. DOI:10.1080/2331186X.2024.2316920.

Professor Isings also presented the paper at the University of Waterloo Teaching and Learning Conference on May 2, under the title Supporting Student Engagement with Feedback through Mindfulness.

Assistant Professor Lisa Macklem authored an article titled, "Drake-Kendrick Lamar feud: What does the law say about defamatory lyrics?" published in The Conversation on May 14.

Media Studies PhD candidate Santasil Mallik published a review essay titled "Critique in Liminality: Ana Vaz's It's a Night in America," in the Millennium Film Journal Vol. 79.

Associate Professor Joanna Redden co-authored an article titled "The federal government's proposed AI legislation misses the mark on protecting Canadians," published in The Conversation on April 11. The article was republished in Western News, the Winnipeg Free Press and Canadian Manufacturing.

Associate Professor Victoria Rubin provided the keynote lecture at a conference at Concordia in Montreal titled Disinformation: Creation, Dissemination and Pedagogical Responses held on April 29-30. Her talk, which is available on Youtube, was titled "How to Combat the Spread of Mis- and Disinformation?"

MLIS student Emma Scott presented a talk titled “Historians as Expert Witnesses: Historians’ Roles in Indigenous Legal Claims” at Queen’s University Library on April 5.

In the Media

Ryley Alp (BA'18, MTP) was featured in an article titled "Gold-medal student essay shines a light on the role of homophobia and transphobia in wrongful convictions," published by uOttawa.

MIT student Maia Aqui was featured in an article titled, "Western second-year student to release debut novel," published by the Gazette on April 8.

CBC's The Next Chapter interviewed Emily Austin (MLIS'13) for an online article titled "Emily Austin's latest novel Interesting Facts About Space explores reckoning with fear and letting people in" published on April 19.

Assistant Professor Erin Isings and current MMJC student Celeste Laube Benini were interviewed for an article titled "Classrooms advocate for press freedom," published on on May 1.

Professor Anabel Quan-Haase appeared in a segment from Global National titled "Biden signs bill that could ban TikTok in U.S." aired on April 24.

Professor Quan-Haase also joined CBC Afternoon Drive on April 23 to discuss YouTube's 19th anniversary.

Associate Professor Joanna Redden appeared in numerous news sources recently in relation to her research looking into the use of AI by the Canadian Federal Government and the publication of the Tracking Automated Government (TAG) in Canada Register. Professor Redden found that the government had used AI in nearly 300 projects and initiatives.

The TAG Register was developed collaboratively by Starling Research Centre researchers including Joanna Redden, Sananda Sahoo (Media Studies PhD), Effie Sapuridis (Media Studies PhD), Janet Allen (LIS PhD) and JP Mann (LIS PhD)

Media hits include:

Ottawa has used AI in nearly 300 projects and initiatives: research (BetaKit, April 17)

The Mike Farwell Show on City News 570 (1:11:49, April 15)

Q&A: A call for public debate and thoughtful regulation of AI systems (CBC News London, April 14)

AI, document and identity verification continues to transform Canada (Biometric Update, April 12)

Touchdowns and Fumbles (The Jerry Agar Show, April 12)

CBC's Here and Now (April 12)

Why more needs to be done to regulate the use of AI (CBC London Morning, April 11)

Canadian government used AI in over 300 initiatives: Database (The Logic, April 11)

Federal government used AI in hundreds of initiatives, new research database shows (Canadian Press, April 11 - reprinted in the Toronto Star, CP24, and BNN Bloomberg).

Professor Romayne Smith Fullerton was quoted in an article titled, "Bell says facts have been 'distorted' amidst criticisms over its mass layoffs. Here's what it's saying," published by the Toronto Star on April 10.

Assistant Professor Luke Stark was interviewed for an article titled, "As AI becomes more human-like, experts warn users must think more critically about its responses," published by CBC News on May 15.

Professor Stark was also quoted in an article titled, "Adobe's 'Ethical' Firefly was Trained on Midjourney Images," published by BNN Bloomberg on April 12. The article was republished in the National Post on May 4.

Professor Tom Streeter was a guest on a episode of the podcast Cultural Studies titled "Tom Streeter on populism, capitalist technological hype, regulation, and law and the iPhone" on May 8.

Additional Activities of Note

LIS PhD candidate Mark Ambrogio and Professor Tim Blackmore ran the London Science Fiction Club on Saturday, May 4, featuring the novel The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.

Court strikes down "Ag-gag" law
Four years after Professor Emeritus Sam Trosow appeared as a guest on CTV's W5 to discuss Bill 156 (the "Ag Gag" law, intended to prevent trespass and animal rights activism on corporate farms), the law has been struck down. The decision was discussed in a media release from Animal Justice, titled "Court strikes down Ontario law banning hidden-camera farm investigation," published on April 3.

News from the FIMS Graduate Library

Summer 2024 Hours

Regular Hours
Mondays & Wednesdays, 10am – 7pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10am – 4pm
Fridays, 10am – 1pm
Saturdays, 1 – 4pm
Sundays, CLOSED

Long Weekend Closures
Saturday, May 18th through Monday, May 20th, 2024 (Victoria Day long weekend)
Saturday, June 29th through Monday, July 1st, 2024 (Canada Day long weekend)

Staffing Update

Student Library Assistant Team

The FIMS Graduate Library is pleased to welcome new and returning LIS graduate students as Student Library Assistant (SLAs) in the FGL for the Summer 2024 term. Returning to the FGL for their final semester in the Library are doctoral students Sodiq Onaolapo and Kevin Oswald, and MLIS student Aleesa Prendergast. Joining us for the coming two terms are MLIS students Jennifer Baba, Miyang (Settia) Roh, and Danie Sowinski. Please join us in offering a warm welcome to our SLA staff colleagues.

Library Director, Upcoming Transition

Melanie Mills will depart her role as Director, FIMS Graduate Library on May 14th, 2024 with a planned return to FIMS on May 15th, 2025. During this period, she will serve as Acting Associate Chief Librarian (ACL), Academic, with Western Libraries.

A search process to identify an Acting Director, FIMS Graduate Library, is now underway with FIMS Dean Dr. Lisa Henderson serving as Chair of the Advisory Group (as per the UWOFA-LA Collective Agreement). Members of the Advisory Group, assisting in the selection of the Acting Director, include: Dr. Heather Hill, Dr. Melissa Adler, and Kendall Sturgeon. It is anticipated that an internal appointment will be made for this interim appointment, drawing from the UWOFA-LA Membership.

Until such time that an Acting Director is in place, members of the FIMS community are asked to direct all FIMS Grad Library-related queries to: or x88488.

News from Western Libraries

Upcoming Research Skills Workshops

You're invited to join Western Libraries for the upcoming Research Skills Workshops in May. From data collection to publishing, get expert help at all stages of the research cycle with free workshops.

May 16 - Finding Statistical Data Resources (online)
May 21 - Basic Data Handling in Excel (online)
May 23 - Introduction to Qualitative Analysis with NVivo (online)
May 28 - Literature Searching: Finding & Evaluating Scholarly Sources (online)
May 29 - Literature Searching: Finding & Evaluating Scholarly Sources (in-person)

To find more upcoming Western Library events and workshops, visit the Western Libraries Events page.

Next Issue

The FIMS Bulletin is your source for news, announcements, and events pertaining to FIMS graduate programs. Submissions from the FIMS community are always welcome and may be sent via e-mail to

This is the first of four summer issues of the Bulletin. Future publication dates include: June 12, July 10 and August 7.