More news from FIMS

News & Announcements

Associate Professor Jacquie Burkell was re-appointed as Acting Associate Vice-President (Research) for another year, effective July 1, 2020. For more about Professor Burkell's activities as Acting Associate VP (Research), read the article, "Jacquelyn Burkell, Kevin Shoemaker reappointed to Research roles," published in Western News on May 26, 2020.

Awards & Accomplishments

Yimin Chen, LIS PhD candidate and FIMS faculty member, was announced as the recipient of the Summer 2020 Fantastic FIMS award, while Monika Trzeciakowski, MLIS student, was named the winner of the Spirit of Librarianship award. Both awards are distributed each term by the MLISSC.

Professors Heather Hill, Marni Harrington, and Paulette Rothbauer were awarded a 2020 Fellowship in Teaching Innovation Award from Western's Centre for Teaching and Learning. The award supports their ongoing project (with critical contributions from LIS PhD student, Danica Pawlick-Potts) on Indigenizing and decolonizing the curriculum of the Master of Library and Information Science program. This work is also supported by FIMS.

Sabrina Hope, Media Studies PhD student, won the 2020 Budding Writers Contest at Western for overall winner across the categories. This year's theme was on Artificial Intelligence, and she wrote a short story called "The Other Side of the Door". Which was published in Scholarship@Western.

Martin Nord, LIS PhD candidate, won the 2020 Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. The award, distributed by the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society, provides support for doctoral students who are working on their dissertations in LIS, Information Studies, Informatics, or a related field.

Randy Richmond, MIT instructor and previous Clissold Lecture presenter, was named the Canadian Journalist of the Year at the National Newspaper Awards in early May. Richmond won for his We Are the Cops series, published in the London Free Press in 2019. His series also won the prize in the local-reporting category.

Several FIMS faculty members were among the latest recipients of SSHRC's Insight Grant competition. The projects are as follows:

Professor Nick Dyer-Witheford was a successful applicant for a research project titled Left Populism and Platform Capitalism.

Professor Anabel Quan-Haase was a successful co-applicant (with John McLevey, uWaterloo, and David Tindall, UBC) for a research project titled Disinformation, Democracy, and Online Political Deliberation.

Associate Professor Daniel Robinson was a successful applicant for a research project titled Teen Smoking, Youth Media, and Cigarette Marketing in Canada, 1960-2000.

Assistant Professor Luke Stark was a successful collaborator for a research project titled Media Governance After AI.

Professor Nadine Wathen, in partnership with frontline service providers, received a Catalyst grant to study the effects of physical distance, technology-mediated services, physical space planning and rapid change on women and children who use anti-violence services and on service staff

Publications & Presentations

Professor Edward Comor published the following article:

Harold Innis and the Greek Tradition: an Essay Concerning his Ontological Transformation’ in University of Toronto Quarterly Vol. 89 No. 2 (Spring 2020), pp. 239-264.

Professor Lisa Henderson published the following article:

Lisa Henderson, “Media Studies Futures: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multi-modality, and a Politics of Possibility,” Television and New Media (20th Anniversary Special Issue on the Future of Media Studies), 21(6), September 2020.

Jen MacGregor (Research Associate), Najibullah Naeemzadah (HIS PhD student) and Professor Nadine Wathen co-authored the following article:

MacGregor, J. C. D., Naeemzadah, N., Oliver, C. L., Javan, T., MacQuarrie, B. J., & Wathen, C. N. (2020). Women’s Experiences of the Intersections of Work and Intimate Partner Violence: A Review of Qualitative Research. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse.

Amber Matthews, LIS PhD student, published a feature series titled, Theory in practice: Moving from systemic racism to anti-racism in Ontario public libraries in Open Shelf on April 6, 2020. Part 1 is titled "Systemic racism in public libraries." It addresses the media response to conversations about white privilege that happened during Super Conference 2020 and the need to acknowledge the systemic racism in public libraries. In Parts II and III, published in May and June respectively, Matthews discusses the need to acknowledge racist thinking and how to engage in anti-racist praxis.

Romayne Smith Fullerton, Associate Professor, co-authored an article titled, "Challenging our conventions around naming mass shooters," published on on May 6, 2020.

Professor Smith Fullerton also published an article titled, "The Surprising Reason Some Countries Don't Publish the Names of Accused Persons," on on May 10, 2020.

Professor Nadine Wathen published an article titled, “Identifying intimate partner violence in mental health settings: There’s a better way than screening,” in Psynopsis Magazine, Issue 1 – 2019 (pg 17).

Professor Wathen also published the article, "Impossible Choices: Serving Women Experiencing Violence During COVID-19," as part of the O Canada Project on June 3, 2020. The O Canada Project is a collaboration between the Royal Society of Canada and the Globe and Mail aimed at providing Canadians with COVID-19 resources.

In the Media

Juan Bello, FIMS instructor, was featured in an article titled, "Project brings arts, artists home for kids," published in Western News on April 29, 2020.

Bello was also interviewed for a multimedia piece titled, "40 Aniversario de la masacre del Río Sumpul en El Salvador," published by Radio Canadá Internacional on May 21, 2020. The interview is related to Bello's work in El Salvador, and his documentary project titled, The Chalatenango Massacres, produced with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the London Arts Council and the Sumpul Association.

Jeremy Copeland, FIMS instructor, and Carla Rawson, MMJC 2020 student council president, were featured in two articles about the upcoming MMJC internship period. The first was titled, "Western University creates companies so student interns have somewhere to work," published in the London Free Press on April 25, 2020. The second article was titled, "Students embrace MMJC summer internships shift," published in Western News on April 29, 2020.

Professor Anabel Quan-Haase was appeared in the article, “Pandemic exposes gaps between those with and without resources,” published in the St. Thomas Times-Journal on April 24, 2020.

Professor Quan-Haase was also interviewed by Oregon Public Broadcasting ( for an audio piece titled, "The Pandemic Is Changing How We Use Technology To Communicate," posted on May 27, 2020.

Associate Professor Romayne Smith Fullerton appeared as a guest on Global New Radio’s “The Morning Show,” on April 21, 2020 to join a discussion over whether to name the suspects of major crimes such as the mass shooting in Nova Scotia that had occurred earlier that month.

Professor Smith Fullerton was also featured on a podcast episode titled, "Should We Stop Naming Killers?" posted on May 11, 2020, on

And Professor Smith Fullerton was quoted in a Toronto Star article titled, “NHL postpones playoffs for two days after Hockey Diversity Alliance calls for action on anti-Black racism,” published on August 27, 2020.

Professor Nadine Wathen was quoted in an article titled, “Researchers respond to gender-based violence, ‘the pandemic within a pandemic’,” published in University Affairs on August 12, 2020.

Additional Activities of Note

Lyndsay Foisey, HIS PhD candidate, together with Professors Anita Kothari and Lorie Donelle (Faculty of Health Sciences), created a new blog intended to translate research knowledge about their CIHR Operation Grant (Titled, “What is the public health risk communication response to COVID-19 in the context of social media?) and related topics.

Stephanie Simpson, HIS PhD candidate, was awarded an 8-month research fellowship with Western's Health Ethics, Law, & Policy (HELP) Lab. The interdisciplinary research lab aims to support current research and expertise at Western with the aim of addressing pressing challenges in health ethics, health law, and health policy.

Associate Professor Matt Stahl and his band Infromaton (formerly called Little My), released their first new record in 23 years. The album (12" vinyl LP) is called "Zittle Muy," and it is available on Elftrap Records. You can also listen on Infromaton's Bandcamp site.

Digital Journalism and Communications Agencies a Hit!
A multi-talented team of MMJC students spent 10 weeks in virtual agency internships over the summer – five (and a half!) students focused on communications with Western Media Studios, and six students ventured into the journalism world with Western Journalism Studio.

Western Journalism Studio interns spent the summer pitching, chasing down and producing high quality stories against both daily and longer-term deadlines. Working remotely from six different cities, the correspondents developed a strong understanding of the practical techniques needed to find the right voices, conduct thorough interviews, and tell stories that are accurate, balanced and interesting. As individuals and as a team, they overcame challenges. WJS also participated in a nation-wide project to profile people who have died from COVID-19. Those profiles will be published by Maclean’s. All other stories are up at  

Western Media Studios interns spent their time working with non-profit clients such as the local chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Urban Roots, First-Person Science podcast and more! During their internships, the teams created engaging communications plans for videos, websites, social media, and learned how to work and deal within teams with real-life clients (and personalities!) from a comms perspective. See some of the fantastic work they accomplished here: 

LIS 9004 – Research Methods and Statistic poster session available online
The students of LIS 9004 class held their customary poster session at the end of the summer term in August. Due to pandemic precautions, they were unable to hold the session in person, but instead posted it online as a Sway presentation. Check out their work.

FIMS launched the Undergraduate Research Experience Fellowship for 2020/2021, which provides FIMS undergraduate students with an opportunity to obtain research experience by working with faculty members who are undertaking new, innovative, and collaborative research projects. This year's projects include the "Max Eisen Papers" (with Melissa Adler and Amanda Grzyb) and "Representations of the public library in Canadian mass media" (with Erin Isings and Pam McKenzie).

Successful Defences

Andrew Braun, MA in Media Studies student, successfully defended his thesis titled, Dance like nobody's paying: Spotify and Surveillance as the Soundtrack of Our Lives on May 11, 2020.

Jessica Carswell, MHIS student, successfully defended her thesis titled, Fostering a Trauma- and Violence-Informed Community: Developing Strategies to Inform Public Education on August 18, 2020.

Talia Di Marco, MHIS student, successfully defended her thesis titled, The enactment of patient education for complex inpatients over the course of a stay in an interprofessional internal medicine inpatient unit on August 20, 2020.

Mary Secco, MHIS student, successfully defended her thesis titled, Ongoing Information and Support Needs of Parents of Children with Epilepsy on August 17, 2020.

Nafiz Shuva, Library & Information Science PhD candidate, successfully defended his thesis, titled Information, Employment, and Settlement of Immigrants: Exploring the Role of Information Behaviour in the Settlement of Bangladesh Immigrants in Canada, on April 9, 2020.

Shamiram Zendo, PhD HIS candidate, successfully defended her thesis titled, Realist Evaluation of Health Equity Indicators for Local Public Health Agencies on August 20, 2020.