News & Notes from FIMS

News from FIMS Alumni

Sara Mai Chitty's (MA'15, Journalism) new podcast titled Mbwaach'idiwag is available to listen to on Soundcloud, Spotify and Amazon Music. Podcast description: "Embedding Indigenization and decolonization promises into institutional practice is difficult and nuanced work, join Western’s Office of Indigenous Initiative’s Sara Mai Chitty as she visits with Indigenous Peoples and allies who seek to bridge the long-held divides between Euro-Western and Indigenous communities through their work in the areas of curriculum, research and beyond. Drawing inspiration from an Indigenous relational pedagogy of visiting, Mbwaach’idiwag (they visit with each other), will start off by releasing episodes monthly.”

Katrina Clarke (MA'13, Journalism), won an honorable mention from the Canadian Hillman Prize for her work on "House of Horrors: Hamilton's Rosslyn Retirement Residence," published in the Hamilton Spectator on June 10, 2020. Clarke is currently an investigative reporter and a daily news reporter for the Spectator, and worked with two other investigative journalists on this piece that exposes some of the worst conditions endured by residents in long-term care homes in Canada over the course of the pandemic.

Michelle Goodridge (MLIS'14), is co-author for the forthcoming (November 2021) book, Librarian's Guide to Games and Gamers: From Collection Development to Advisory Services," published by ABC-CLIO.

Heidi Julien (LIS PhD'97), currently a professor in the Department of Information Science, Graduate School of Education, University of Buffalo, won the 2020 SIG-USE Outstanding Contributions to Information Behavior Award, and she was also inducted into the SIG-USE Academy of Fellows.

Christine Pinkney (MLIS'15), recently accepted a position at Toronto Public Library, and as of January 18, 2021, is a Library Service Manager, Barbara Frum District.

News & Announcements

In Memoriam: Judith Knelman
The FIMS community was saddened to learn that Judith Knelman, Professor Emerita, died on October 9, 2020, at her home in Toronto. She was 81. Professor Knelman arrived at FIMS as a scholar and print instructor with the Graduate School of Journalism in 1996/97. She retired in the early 2000's. Read more about her in her obituary or in the tribute published in The Globe and Mail on November 11, 2020.

Awards & Accomplishments

Chandell Gosse, Media Studies PhD candidate, and colleague Jaigris Hodson (Royal Roads University) were the successful recipients of a SSHRC knowledge synthesis grant titled, "A New Glass Ceiling: The Impact of Online Harassment on Research Innovation and Public Education Workers."

FIMS instructors Erin Isings and Mark Kearney were awarded the 2020 Dean's Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Isings won in the full-time teaching category while Kearney was selected for the part-time teaching category.

HIS PhD Candidate Ebenezer Martin-Yeboah won the Overall Best Presenter Award at the 2020 Africa-Western Collaborations Day conference for his presentation entitled "Through the lens of egocentric design: Do AYA males' social networks influence or shape their sexual and reproductive health literacy and information behaviour?"

Martin Nord, LIS PhD candidate, won the 2020 Student to CAIS/ACSI Award for his paper titled, "The United Church of Canada's Reconciliation Documents and the Indexing of Collective Memory," presented at CAIS 2020. The award is given annually to the best scholarly paper submitted and presented by a student at the Canadian Association for Information Science's annual conference.

Angela Pollak, MLIS instructor, was awarded the Fantastic FIMS award for the Fall 2020 term, while Marni Harrington, FIMS Librarian, was awarded the Fantastic FIMS award for the Winter 2021 term. The Fantastic FIMS is awarded to a member of the MLIS staff or faculty to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions that they bring to the program in terms of social support and administrative savvy. It is awarded to the individual who best exemplifies the spirit of collaboration and professional progression in their daily life as a member of faculty or staff. View a list of previous winners.

Brittany Robinson, MLIS student, received the Spirit of Librarianship award for the Fall 2020 term, while Bethany Paul, MLIS student, received the Spirit of Librarianship award for the Winter 2021 term. The Spirit of Librarianship Award is given to a Master of Library and Information Science student by the MLISSC to celebrate the contributions they bring to the program. The award is meant to recognize the student who best exemplifies "the spirit of librarianship" in their daily life as a student. View a list of previous winners.

Associate professor Kamran Sedig, jointly appointed to the Faculty of Information & Media Studies and the Faculty of Science, was promoted to Professor, with the appointment taking effect on July 1, 2021.


Associate Professor Jacquie Burkell co-authored an article titled "Glitchy screens, 'cat lawyers' and hot mics: The perils of Zoom courts," published in The Conversation on April 8, 2021.

Professor Burkell also co-authored a chapter titled, "Framing the Challenges of Digital Inclusion for Young Canadians," which was contributed to Citizenship in a Connected Canada: A Policy and Research Agenda.

Eugenia Canas, postdoctoral research fellow, co-authored the book, Everyday Violence in the Lives of Youth, published in July 2020 by Fernwood Publishing.

Assistant Professor Basil Chiasson co-edited the new book, Harold Pinter: Stages, Networks, Collaborations, published by Bloomsbury. Chiasson also contributed the first chapter in the book, titled "Pinter's Modernism(s) Revisited: A Drama Reliant upon Prose."

Associate Professor Daniel Robinson published his new book, Cigarette Nation: Business, Health, and Canadian Smokers, 1930-1975, through McGill-Queen's University Press.

Associate Professor Romayne Smith Fullerton (along with colleague Maggie Jones Patterson) published a new book titled, Murder in Our Midst: Comparing Crime Coverage Ethics in an Age of Globalized News, through Oxford University Press.

Professor Smith Fullerton also published an opinion piece in the Toronto Star on March 30, 2021 titled, "Should people accused and convicted of crimes be named in the news?"

ELIP Vol 3 published
The FIMS Graduate Library is pleased to announce the publication of the third volume of Emerging Library & Information Perspectives (ELIP). Many members of the FIMS community came together over the past year as authors, peer-reviewers, volunteers, and advisors to bring the work together.

In the Media

Yimin Chen, LIS PhD Candidate, was a guest on CBC's London Morning with Rebecca Zandbergen on January 26, 2021, for a segment titled, "What's up with that Bernie Sanders meme?"

Associate Professor James Compton was interviewed for a Canadian Press article titled "Canadian news outlets close physical offices, codifying remote work" on March 22, 2021.

Professor Anabel Quan-Haase was interviewed for an article titled, "How do I know if a website, online source is reliable?" published on on January 8, 2021.

Associate Professor Daniel Robinson appeared as a guest on TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin on February 10. He joined Paikin for a segment titled, "How Canada Became a Country of Smokers," and the two discussed Professor Robinson's recently release book, Cigarette Nation: Business, Health, and Canadian Smokers, 1930-1975.

Associate Professor Victoria Rubin was interviewed for an article titled, "Disinformation agents were watching and waiting to exploit an error like Antrim County's," published in the Traverse City Record Eagle on November 15.

Professor Sharon Sliwinski partnered with The Museum of London (UK), to launch a research-based project entitled Guardians of Sleep. The project team aims to collect the dreams in the form of oral histories as part of the Museum of London’s ongoing Collecting COVID project, but also to explore what insight dreams might offer into mental health and ways of coping with external stresses, especially in times of crisis.

Professor Sliwinski appeared in numerous news sources to discuss her partnership with The Museum of London:

Associate Professor Romayne Smith Fullerton appeared in a number of news sources as her commentary was sought out about the controversy over whether journalists should name perpetrators of crimes. More specifically, the Alex Minassian case is discussed. In addition to an interview on AM980, Smith Fullerton spoke to Chris Dela Torre on CBC's Afternoon Drive on March 10 in a segment called, "Should the media name those accused or found guilty of crimes?" She and research partner Maggie Patterson also spoke to Bob Garfield from New York Public Radio's On the Media podcast in a segment called, "To Name, or Not to Name."

Smith Fullerton was also quoted in an article titled, "Questions raised about police response to stolen car hit and run," published by CBC online on March 11. Michael Arntfield (PhD'11, Media Studies) was also interviewed for the story.

Assistant Professor Luke Stark was a guest on CBC's The Current with Matt Galloway on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, for a segment titled, "We look at the implications of AI that can detect your emotions." Professor Stark discussed the reasons why companies or organizations are interested in using this technology.

Professor Stark was also featured in an article on titled "Google offered a professor $60,000, but he turned it down. Here's why." Published on March 24, 2021, the article was authored by Rachel Metz, Senior Writer for CNN Business.

Professor Stark was also interviewed for an article titled "A researcher turned down a $60K grant from Google because it ousted 2 top AI ethics leaders: I don't think this is going to blow over," published in on March 19, 2021.

Finally, Professor Stark was interviewed at length for a Q&A style article titled "A.I. Can't Detect Our Emotions: A conversation with the professor who just turned down a $60,000 grant from Google." Published by on April 6, 2021, the article takes a deeper dive into Professor Stark's research and the "promises and pitfalls of emotion-sensing A.I."

Associate Professor Matt Stahl and research collaborator Olufunmilayo Arewa were interviewed for an article titled, "Deep Asymmetries Of Power: How The Recording Industry Spent Decades Denying Fair Payment to Black Artists," published on on October 19.

Associate Professor Sam Trosow appeared on an episode of CTV's W5 with Sandie Rinaldo on Saturday, November 28, 2020. His guest appearance was to discuss Ontario's Bill 156 - the "Ag Gag" law, a controversial attempt to prevent trespass and animal rights activism on corporate farms. Professor Trosow appears in Farm Secrets: Part Two, between 3:40 - 11:15 (Warning - the subject matter covers animal abuse on farms, so viewer discretion is advised).

Professor Trosow was also interviewed by the CAUT Bulletin in March. In this interview he addresses several copyright-related issues around remote teaching which are of importance to educators. Professor Trosow was also featured in the interactive story "Proctortrack: How Western quietly started watching students," published by the Gazette on March 17.

Additional Activities of Note

Nick Dyer-Witheford launches Platforms, Populisms, Pandemics and Riots website
Professor Nick Dyer-Witheford, along with contributors Raffaele Sciortino, Jaime R. Brenes Reyes, michelle liu and Alessandra Mularoni, launched the Platforms, Populisms, Pandemics and Riots website in late 2020. The site is the public face of a research project examining the convergence of digital capitalism, populist politics, the coronavirus crisis and world-wide explosions of social unrest. It is a project whose objects and subjects have been transformed by the successive shocks—epidemiological, economic, ecological—delivered to global capitalism in the last year.

Susan Knabe named to new EDI advisory council
Susan Knabe, Associate Dean, Undergraduate, was one of eight people recently named to Western's newly created Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council. The creation of the council is part of the university's commitment in response to the final report of the Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG) and the group will advise and support Western's future associate vice-president of equity, diversity and inclusion. Find out more in the Western News article "Western establishes first EDI advisory council", published on March 25.

Andrew Lewis gives Canada Post trucks a new look
FIMS instructor Andrew Lewis was interviewed by CBC News about his role in outfitting Canada Post trucks with new, eye-catching psychedelic exterior designs. There are currently 40 trucks in use across cities in Canada, including one in London. The artwork for the trucks grew out of an earlier project to design postage stamps. Read more about it in "This fleet of Canada Post trucks went psychedelic thanks to a London, Ont., artist's 'funny idea'."

Successful Defences

Chandell Gosse, PhD in Media Studies candidate, successfully defended her thesis titled More barriers than solutions: Women's experiences of support with online abuse, on February 17, 2021.

Vyshnave Jeyabalan, MHIS candidate, successfully defended her thesis titled Context-specific challenges, opportunities, and ethics of drones for healthcare delivery in the eyes of program managers and field staff: a multi-site qualitative study, on September 25, 2020.

Alexandra Murdoch, MHIS candidate, successfully defended her thesis titled Analyzing the Communication Methods of Crisis Pregnancy Centres: A Conventional Content Analysis, on Wednesday, November 25, 2020.

Gregory Nightingale, LIS PhD Candidate, successfully defended his thesis titled The Public Library as Past Become Space, on December 2, 2020.

Anton Ninkov, LIS PhD candidate, successfully defended his thesis titled Making Sense of Online Public Health Debates with Visual Analytics Systems on November 10, 2020.

Eada Novilla-Surette, MHIS Candidate, successfully defended her thesis titled Trends and Factors Associated with Suicide Deaths in Older Adults, on December 2, 2020.

Sadiq Raji, HIS PhD Candidate, successfully defended his thesis titled Regional Integration: Physician Perceptions on Electronic Medical Record Use and Impact in South West Ontario, on December 16, 2020.

Tiffany Scurr, MHIS candidate, successfully defended her thesis titled Evaluating the Process of Involving Affected Community Members in Service Delivery and Design: A Deliberative Dialogue Case Study, on September 28, 2020.