CCI Establishes Endowed Professorship in Honor of Elfreda Chatman

Professors Kathy and Gary Burnett have established the Elfreda Chatman Endowed Professorship, a fund which will increase minority representation among the iSchool’s faculty and place a greater focus on the information practices of underrepresented groups in iSchool research.

This endowed professorship is dedicated to the life and legacy of Dr. Elfreda Chatman, a former iSchool faculty member and a trailblazer within the field of Information.

“Her work, which explored issues related to information poverty, social contexts and factors of information behavior, and the information practices of underrepresented groups has had an immeasurable impact on the field of Library and Information Science, and has played a transformational role in terms of its focus on social contexts,” said Gary. “She inspired and influenced at least a generation of doctoral students in our program, and that influence has continued to this day. Our School would not be what it is had she not been here.”

Creating an endowed professorship in Elfreda’s honor was personal for Kathy and Gary. Elfreda had served as a mentor to Gary when they started at the iSchool together in 1998, and she had also provided guidance and support to Kathy during the early part of Kathy’s academic career.

Twenty years after Elfreda’s passing, Gary hopes that she will be remembered for two things: “the influence of her research, and the intellectual generosity she always exhibited to her colleagues and her students.”

Kathy and Gary have contributed the lead gift for the endowed professorship, which they hope will continue to grow for years to come. To learn more about the Elfreda Chatman Endowed Professorship, and to make a gift, click here.