News & Notes from FIMS


MLIS students Meagan Collins, Nicole Doro, Benjamin Robinson and Ariel Stables-Kennedy, were awarded top prize for ARMA's Sagesse Essay Contest for their submission "Managing Modern Technology." They were awarded a $1,000 honorarium and the essay will be published in the next edition of Sagesse in early 2019.

The MLIS Students' Council announced the winners of the Spirit of Librarianship and Fantastic FIMS awards for the Winter and Summer 2018 terms. Congratulations to MLIS students Krisandra Ivings (Spirit of Librarianship, Winter 2018) and Meagan Collins (Spirit of Librarianship, Summer 2018), as well as Assistant Professor Alissa Centivany (Fantastic FIMS, Winter 2018) and GSS Manager Brandi Borman (Fantastic FIMS, Summer 2018). A list of previous winners for both awards can be found on the FIMS website.

Michael Friesen, Adjunct Professor, received word that his online course, "Social Media and Organizations" was selected as the winner of the 2018 ATLAS (Apereo Teaching and Learning Awards) competition. The award recognizes courses that demonstrate innovative teaching and learning using Sakai, OAE, Karuta, Xerte and/or Opencast.

Amanda Grzyb, Associate Professor, was named the next FIMS Faculty Scholar. Professor Grzyb took on the role on July 1, 2018, following Professor Edward Comor. A full list of past Faculty Scholars can be found on the FIMS website. Established in 2005, the Faculty Scholars Award recognizes significant recent scholarly achievements in teaching or research. Recipients have an international presence in their discipline and are considered all-round scholars. Winners hold the title “Faculty Scholar” for two years and receive $7,000 each year for scholarly activities, as well as receiving a citation.

Andrew Lewis, Canadian graphic artist and FIMS instructor, has been selected to be a member of the China International Design Educator Association. C-IDEA is the only global design educator association to serve Chinese design education and research. To date, Lewis is the only Canadian graphic designer included in this international design association based in Beijing, China. Lewis is an invited international designer to teach and present his work this fall at the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing.

Amber Matthews, MLIS student, was awarded the Janette Baker Scholarship through the Ontario Library Association. The scholarship is meant to encourage people who are already working to participate in a formal full-time library and information science program.

Mark Rayner, FIMS instructor, was awarded a silver in the humour category of the 30th annual IBPA Franklin Award for his latest novel, titled The Fatness: A Novel of Epic Portions. The Independent Book Publishing Association has more than 3,000 members, and is the largest publishing trade association in the U.S. This year's contest had 1,500 entries. Rayner also won an IndieReader Discovery Award in the humour category for his novel. The awards were announced in early June.


Chris Clark, FIMS instructor, published his second novel, titled Tangled Strings, in June. The book is a thriller about tennis match fixing, international gamblers and players caught in a multi-million-dollar web of lies and cheating.

Kane Faucher, Assistant Professor, has published a book with Westminster University Press as part of their Critical Social Digital Media Studies series: Social Capital Online: Alienation and Accumulation.

Catherine Sheldrick Ross, Dean Emerita, Lynne McKechnie, Professor, and Paulette Rothbauer, Associate Professor, published Reading Still Matters: What the Research Reveals about Reading, Libraries, and Community (Libraries Unlimited). This edition, released in February 2018, updates research findings related to adult, teen, and children's reading practices that give strong evidence of the library's vital role in readers' lives.


Jacquie Burkell, Associate Professor, is among a group of co-applicants who have received a SSHRC Partnership Grant for a project titled, "Queery'ing resilience: Leveraging information and communication technologies to negotiate gender and sexual minority youth identity and wellbeing within diverse global contexts."

Amanda Grzyb, Associate Professor, was recently awarded a three-year $196K SSHRC Partnership Development Grant to support a new project, the “International Partnership for the Commemoration of the Civil War Massacres in Chalatenango, El Salvador.” The team’s plan includes the community-based development of architectural plans for a memorial at the site of the 1980 Sumpul River Massacre, an interactive online map of 58 community-identified massacres in the department (province) of Chalatenango, an international gathering of genocide/massacre survivors and scholars from around the globe in May 2020 on the 40th anniversary of the Sumpul River Massacre, and community-based research about the massacres and documentation through group workshops and individual testimonies. Collaborators on the project include Dr. Emily Ansari (Music History, Western University), Dr. Harold Fallon (School of Architecture, KU Leuven, Belgium), Evelia Macal (architect, Belgium), The Association of Survivors of Chalatenango Massacres (El Salvador), SalvAide (Canada), CRIPDES - the Association for the Development of El Salvador (El Salvador), and the Salvadoran municipalities of San José Las Flores, Arcatao, Nueva Trinidad, and La Vueltas.

Sharon Sliwinski, Associate Professor, continued her work as the current Rogers Chair in Journalism and New Information Technology. Sliwinski has been participating in an international venture called "The Reverie Project" in collaboration with the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival, a migrant community in Geneva called La Roseraie, and the Italian photojournalist, Martina Bacigalupo. Travelling twice to Geneva this past winter and spring, Sliwinski worked with the community at La Roseraie to develop a series of video portraits that offer an intimate encounter with this migrant community in Geneva. The group previewed the project at the Gallery of Modern Art in Milan during Photoweek in June 2018 and hope to have the first public exhibition next year.

Sandra Smeltzer, Associate Professor, was awarded a SSHRC Insight Grant for the project "Ethical and effective experiential learning for communication studies." Collaborators include Greigory de Peuter and Penelope L. Ironstone-Catterall (Wilfrid Laurier University), Sandra Gabriele (Concordia University), Dawn E.B. Johnston (University of Calgary), Paul S. Moore (Ryerson University), and Philip D. Savage (McMaster University).

Matt Stahl, Associate Professor, was awarded funding from Western's Spring 2018 New International Research Network competition for a project titled, “Occupational music-making, remuneration, and social identity: music performance, law, and recording contracts, 1900-2000,” in collaboration with Olufunmilayo B. Arewa, School of Law, University of California, Irvine. The award is supported by Western's Office of the Vice-President (Research) and aims to promote new collaborations between researchers from Western and their international colleagues.


Robert Bertuzzi, Media Studies PhD candidate, successfully defended his thesis, titled "Hone the Means of Production: Craft Antagonism and Domination in the Journalistic Labour Process of Freelance Writers" on June 12, 2018.

Indranil Chakraborty, Media Studies PhD candidate, successfully defended his thesis, titled "Invisible Labour: Support-Service Workers in India's Information Technology Industry" on May 17, 2018.

Amy Freier, Media Studies PhD candidate, successfully defended her thesis, titled "Exhibiting Human Rights: Making the Means of Dignity Visible" on May 15, 2018.

Kyunghee Kim, Media Studies PhD candidate, successfully defended her thesis, titled "Cultural Hybridity in the Contemporary Korean Popular Culture through the Practice of Genre Transformation" on June 28, 2018.

Rachel Melis, LIS PhD candidate, successfully defended her thesis, titled "Information Freedoms and the Case for Anonymous Community" on Monday, July 23, 2018.


Grant Campbell, Associate Professor, was featured in a short YouTube video, titled "New ways to help individuals with dementia reach out to the world," published on August 17. The video is an addition to an article published in Western News back in July, titled "Work lends 'voice' to dementia patient wishes."

James Compton, Associate Professor, offered comments in an article posted on the UWOFA website on June 15, titled "UWOFA past presidents remain involved in the academic labour movement."

Amanda Grzyb, Associate Professor, was featured in a CBC News article, titled "London researchers want to recover El Salvador's forgotten past," published on August 29, 2018. She was also interviewed by CBC Radio London.

Emma MacMillan, MLIS student, was featured in the blog "Freshly Minted" on August 14, 2018.

Amara Pope, Media Studies PhD student, was featured in a blog post on the Laurier Alumni website, titled "Amara Pope (MA'16) is bringing a fresh perspective to academia - thanks in part to Drake," published in April.

Professor Anabel Quan-Haase was interviewed on CBC's Ontario Morning on September 5, providing thoughts on whether parents should use cell phone apps to track their teens' whereabouts. Quan-Haase's clip begins around 41m 30s.

Nafiz Shuva, LIS PhD student, recently spoke to SOGS about some of the challenges and benefits associated with being an international student in the blog "Not All The Same."

Professor Nadine Wathen was among a group of researchers profiled by the university in a recent multimedia, long-form project titled, Breaking the Uncomfortable Silence. Published on April 5, the articles examine the issue of domestic violence in-depth. It is the third in a series of works being produced under the Be Extraordinary campaign. Professor Wathen and her work are profiled in the chapter titled "Solutions through education and training."