Mardis to deliver Distinguished Lecture at Syracuse's CDL

Dr. Marcia Mardis, an assistant professor in the School of Library & Information Studies, has been invited to give the 2011 Distinguished Lecture at Syracuse University’s Center for Digital Literacy on Oct. 17.

Mardis, who is also associate director of the Partnerships Advancing Library Media (PALM) Center, has done extensive research on the intersection of school libraries, science learning and digital resources. She currently leads two grants from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and one National Science Foundation grant. She also is one of the senior personnel on iDigBio, the NSF’s new flagship biological specimen digitization project. Last year, she was the recipient of the American Association of School Librarians’ Distinguished Service Award.

She will speak on “Grand Challenges, Boundary Objects, Cyber-Infrastructure and STEM Learning: Pulling the Threads Together.”

“Improving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning is a stated priority for many governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation,” Dr. Mardis said. “However, the means by which this challenge is best met have become boundary objects with common ideas interpreted by a range of stakeholders. We’ll explore all the elements – key national and state projects to improve STEM learning, their interplay with cyber-structure, shifting policy environments and differing beneficiary perspectives – and the extent they affect efforts to address the ‘grand challenge’ of enhancing education.”

She also will give a brown-bag lunch lecture Oct. 18 for Syracuse faculty, “The Life Cycle of the National Science Digital Library: Reflections on a Decade-Long Program.” Mardis led and staffed eight projects for the NSDL during its 10-year existence, and she has mapped distinct phases of the program area. Her analysis may also have implications for studying large collaborative networks, NSF’s merit review process and project sustainability.

The Center for Digital Literacy is an interdisciplinary, collaborative research and development center at Syracuse University that studies the impact of information, technology and media literacies in today’s technology-intensive society. It is a partnership of the School of Information Studies, the School of Education and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication.

Last year’s distinguished lecturer was Dr. Stephen Krashen, a leading expert in the field of linguistics and professor emeritus in the Rossier School of Educations’ Language and Learning Department at the University of Southern California. He spoke about both traditional and non-traditional techniques to promote language acquisition and literacy. Previous speakers included Norman Lewis, chief strategy officer of Wireless Grids Corp. and a former vice president of France Telecomm, and Idit Harel Caperton, founder and CEO of