A message to alumni from FIMS Dean Lisa Henderson

FIMS Dean Lisa HendersonDear Colleagues,

I write to you from a little over three months in to my term as the new Dean of FIMS. It has been stimulating (and then some), creative, full of energy from so many directions, including from alum in all programs—MIT, MPI, MTP, MMJC, MLIS, PMC, and our Master’s and PhD programs in Media Studies and Health Information Science. I welcome the learning curve.

With the help of current faculty and Tracy Fawdry, our Alumni and Development Officer, I also look forward to contact with many of you. How can we make the best connections to graduates from different programs? What can we offer you, our remarkable alumni? I had the great good fortune of attending the FIMS Career Conference in January—cold outside, warmth, soul, brilliance and great advice indoors. MIT and MPI alum could not have been more concrete or inviting with their stories of professional development, from student debt to speechwriting to digital marketing. Since then, visits with alum in Toronto in the run up to Western Founders Day left me with insight to spare—about making the transition from broadcast journalism to external relations and bringing your curiosity and story sense with you (thank you Lucianna Ciccocioppo, MAJ'94 and Director of External Relations at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law), to believing “there is better out there” (thank you Michael Kovacs, MPI'09 and project cultivator at The Garden North America), to remembering that whether it’s developing sources for a news piece or political contacts in a government office, “you can’t cut off the conversation” (thank you Sylvia Stead, Public Editor at the Globe and Mail, BA'75, Journalism).

We want conversation with our alum. We want to know where you are, what you’re up to, how FIMS has (and perhaps hasn’t) served your lives and careers. Hearing from you will always be to the benefit of current and future students, and will help us build the FIMS community of scholars, experts, mentors and friends. To our academic MA and PhD alum, we want to know how the fields of media, information, health information science, and popular music are changing in your contexts and your hands, what scholarly and other projects you’re up to, and when we might cross paths in London or elsewhere. To our alum librarians and archivists, what do you think is the most important thing that people graduating from an MLIS program will do differently in the next few years?

We’ve celebrated the 20th Anniversary of MIT and the 50th of the LIS program. We’ve witnessed the 60th anniversary of the Journalism program, and in 2018 welcomed our first three PhD graduates in Health Information Science. We have questions, we have bright new directions in our “maker-thinker” profile (check out makerthinker.org), we want the exchange. Please, keep us posted.

Please take a moment to answer our four-question survey to help us understand how to better engage you in the future.