iSchool Doctoral Student Awarded ALISE Diversity Travel Award

School of Information (iSchool) doctoral student Shannon Williams received the Diversity Travel Award from the Association of Library and Information Science Education (ALISE). This grant awards Williams with a stipend that defrays travel expenses to the ALISE Annual Conference, complimentary registration to the conference, and a one-year student membership in ALISE.

The Diversity Travel Award aims to increase diversity in LIS education and research. It allows recipients who wish to address issues of diversity in their doctoral studies to gain exposure and network with LIS industry professionals.

“Since I embarked on my doctoral studies in June 2020, I have concentrated on the areas of misinformation and its adverse effects on the African American community in relation to the COVID-19 crisis, the Black Lives Matter movement, the effects of mis-, dis-, and mal-information regarding bias in policing and the efforts of misinformation on social movements in general,” said Williams. “I’d like to also focus on how to qualify or quantify the cost of fake news. Lastly, I’m looking forward to researching willful ignorance and Elfreda Chatmon’s concept of ‘small worlds.’ I hope to continue to research minority issues in an attempt to bring some meaning to my time as a Ph.D. student at the iSchool; a time where we are given the liberty to research and write about issues as we seek to find our special interest in the field of Information.”

The theme of this year’s ALISE Conference is “Crafting a Resilient Future: Leadership, Education, & Inspiration” with a goal to update standard operating procedures so that they are better suited for their rapidly changing environments.

“I am very much looking forward to learning more about how to fortify the field of information during uncertain times such as pandemics or weather-related disasters,” said Williams. “I am also looking forward to the presentation of conference paper entitled ‘Is There a Social Worker in Your Library?’ written by Dr. Melissa Gross and Dr. Don Latham of our iSchool here at FSU.”

Williams plans to participate in other organizations similar to ALISE. She wants to not only serve as minority representation but also help implement new initiatives to promote inclusion throughout the LIS world.

“The professors here at the iSchool, especially in Proseminar with Dr. Hinnant, have reiterated to my cohorts and I the importance of becoming members of professional organizations that align with our educational and career goals,” said Williams. “I joined ALISE to affiliate myself with faculty staff, and students in library and information science, and other allied disciplines. This award has afforded me the opportunity to attend my first professional conference in the field of information, putting me in the proximity of hundreds of experts. I look forward to learning from everyone I meet.”