More news from FIMS and FIMS alumni

News from FIMS Alumni

Lara Buchar, BA'15 (MIT) was featured in a Western Gazette article titled "Lara Buchar: From Western MIT to the Food Network," published on November 14. The article profiles Lara's employment trajectory and notes her attendance at the recent FIMS Career Conference 2022 on October 21.

Jennie Coleman, MLIS'97, posted on LinkedIn that she received a congratulatory note from Western President Alan Shepard related to her company being named in The Globe and Mail's "Canada's Top Growing Companies" issue. Her business, Equifruit, was also profiled in an article titled "Meet the small startup taking on Big Banana in the fight for wage equity," published on September 23, 2022.

Jessica Grossman, BA’09 (MIT), was interviewed by CTV’s Breakfast Television Calgary on March 8, 2023 to discuss her experience with ostomy.

Emily Gusba, MLIS'08, was announced by the Assistant Deputy Minister, Collections, as part of the new senior leadership team for the Collections sector at Library and Archives Canada in early October.

Ruth Hamlin-Douglas, MLIS'05, was appointed as the new head librarian at the Thunder Bay Public Library. The announcement was made in an article titled "Thunder Bay Public Library names new head librarian," published on March 20 by

Paige Martin, BA'14, MMJC'19, was hired by the NHL's Edmonton Oilers to serve as an on-air broadcaster and also to perform some behind the scenes production work. Martin has been working as an on-air host for the London Knights since 2018. She is part of an increasing number of women breaking into professional league sports broadcasting.

Bhavin Prajapati, MHIS'16, published a new book titled The Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need, a satirical book designed to motivate. He also launched a new podcast titled 10 Min Dharma in which he talks about rediscovering Hinduism. Lastly, he launched a YouTube project called Pokelosophy which is focused on philosophy through a Pokémon lens.

Awards & Achievements

Leah Brown (PhD in LIS) was named a longlist finalist for the 2023 World Data Visualization Prize for her submission "Panta Rhei - Everything Flows" in the static poster category. Her work was featured at this year's World Government Summit in Dubai along with the other finalists and winners. The competition challenged participants to visualize one of three complex data sets based on the past, present, or future of nations and societies.

Associate Professor Amanda Grzyb was promoted to Professor. The promotion takes effect on July 1, 2023.

Associate Professor Alison Hearn was promoted to Professor. The promotion takes effect on July 1, 2023.

MLIS student Michael Nyby was appointed to the CFLA Intellectual Freedom Committee, and he now sits on the Intellectual Freedom Challenges Survey work group and the Communications working group.

Michael Ridley, PhD in Library and Information Science candidate, successfully defended his thesis titled Folk Theories, Recommender Systems, and Human-Centered Explainable Artificial Intelligence (HCXAI) on December 16, 2022.

An article by Michael Ridley (LIS, PhD) and Danica Pawlick-Potts (LIS, PhD) titled, Algorithmic Literacy and the Role for Libraries, was awarded the 2022 “Publication of the Year” by the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Special Interest Group of the Association for Information Science and Technology.

Elders Dan Smoke and Mary Lou Smoke, hosts of the long-running radio program Smoke Signals, accepted honorary degrees from Western University at Convocation on Friday, October 21, 2022. The Smokes have a long-standing relationship with FIMS and Western and were nominated for the honor by Associate Professor Paulette Rothbauer.

Associate Professor Sam Trosow was elected as Ward 6 Councillor for London City Council during the October 24 municipal election. Trosow campaigned on issues including community safety, housing affordability, sustainable development and inclusivity and defeated incumbent Mariam Hamou.

Publications & Presentations

The team of Associate Professor James Compton, Professor Nick Dyer-Witheford, Associate Professor Amanda Grzyb and Associate Professor Alison Hearn co-edited the published book Organizing Equality: Dispatches from a Global Struggle. The contents of the book are based on the Organizing Equality conference that was held in at FIMS 2017. Publication is through McGill-Queen's University Press.

Media Studies PhD candidate Giada Ferrucci published an article titled "Canadian mining project in Guatemala opposed in local vote over environmental concerns" in The Conversation on October 27, 2022.

Assistant Professor Lisa Macklem co-authored an article titled "Should a Tragically Hip song have been played at a Pierre Poilievre event?" in The Conversation on March 20, which was then republished by Yahoo News.

Media Studies PhD student Santasil Mallik published an essay titled "Farming Images: The Documentary Practice of Soumya Sankar Bose" on The Museum of Dreams website. The article includes a Q&A with Bose.

Santasil Mallik, PhD in Media Studies student, authored an article titled "Expert insight: Documentary raises ethical questions about using war footage," published in Western News on March 17.

Professor Anabel Quan-Haase published the second edition of The SAGE handbook of social media research methods, co-authored with Luke Sloan in September 2022.

Additional Activities of Note

Annual conference back files digitized and made available
Associate Professor Paulette Rothbauer announced that a project to digitize the entire back file of the Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Information Science/L’association canadienne des sciences de l’information was completed. With funding from CAIS/ACSI and the assistance of FIMS graduate students Maris Grewe (MLIS’22) and Megan Palmer (MLIS candidate), the team have created open access to the full text of the printed proceedings from the first annual conference in 1973 to 1992. With thanks to Kendall Sturgeon in the FIMS Graduate Library for assistance with the scanners.

This is a unique collection of scholarly abstracts and conference papers that will attract the attention of scholars and students with interests in the history of information, broadly conceived. Proceedings are missing from 1989, 1991, and 1992 — if anyone has those sitting on shelf somewhere, please contact Paulette Rothbauer at The proceedings are hosted by the University of Alberta Libraries at:

Doing Democracy Right or Doing Right By Democracy - Ethics Case Studies published
The students of MMJC 9200 - Doing Democracy Right or Doing Right by Democracy? Ethics, Critical Theory and the Public Right to Know, taught by instructor Percy Sherwood, published a website containing a collection of ethics case studies tackled by the students over the fall term. Looking at both journalism cases and professional communications cases, the students examined coverage of subjects like Indigenous issues, disability, transgender issues, corporate activism, and more.

Donation of Max Eisen materials to Ontario Jewish Archives
Family members of Max Eisen, who wrote the award-winning book By Chance Alone in 2016, have donated additional materials that document Mr. Eisen's life as a Holocaust survivor, to the Ontario Jewish Archives. After he passed away in July 2022 at the age of 93, five boxes of writings and documents were donated, including a handwritten copy of his memoir. Associate Professor Amanda Grzyb worked with Eisen throughout the writing of the book, facilitating its creation and publication. FIMS was able to provide a grant to support the digitizing of the donated materials, a project that was led by Associate Professor Melissa Adler with the help of LIS students. Digitizing the documents will improve access for researchers, wherever they may be located.

Guardians of Sleep Official Soundtrack release
On April 28, an event will be held to launch the official soundtrack to the first season of the Guardians of Sleep podcast (produced by Professor Sharon Sliwinski, Erin MacIndoe, MA'22, and Andrew Braun, MA'20). The music on the soundtrack was composed, produced and performed by FIMS alum Andrew Braun. Sharon Sliwinski served as Executive Producer on the project. Season 1 Volume 1 will be released through Flood Tide Records. Two singles from the soundtrack are available online. The launch party, An Evening of Dreams - Launching the Guardians of Sleep Original Soundtrack, will be held on April 28 at TAP Centre for Creativity in Downtown London. More information is available on Eventbrite.

Inspiring Minds Showcase
Michael Ridley, a recent LIS PhD graduate, was one of a number of graduate students across campus who had their thesis work randomly selected for display through the Inspiring Minds Showcase, curated by SGPS. Western's graduate students were challenged to describe their work in 150 or fewer words; this non-competitive showcase highlights a curated group of randomly selected master's and doctoral students from across campus. It's an exciting snapshot of work in progress and work that will have an impact on our society for years to come. Ridley's submission can be seen under the title "Folk Theories and Explainable Artificial Intelligence."

LIS 9004 Online Research Poster Showcase
Students from LIS 9004 - Research Methods & Statistics, taught in fall term, produced research posters as part of their coursework that are available to view online through Sway. The posters are based on research proposals made in the class and are designed so that they could potentially be carried out at some point in the future. Assistant Professor Yimin Chen was the class instructor for the fall 2022 term.

50 Years of Hip Hop at the Juno Awards
Niel Scobie, PhD student in Media Studies, served as a consultant for the Celebrate 50 Years of Hip Hop segment at the 2023 Juno Awards. The segment can be watched in its entirety on YouTube in a clip titled "Kardinal Offishall, Haviah Mighty and more celebrate 50 years of hip hop." The 2023 Juno Awards were held on March 13 in Edmonton.