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Information Science Faculty Celebrate Retirement

June 30, 2016

Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics would like to recognize four faculty members from the Department of Information Science — Susan Davis, PhD, David Fenske, PhD, Alison Lewis, PhD, and Delia Neuman, PhD — upon their retirement at the close of the 2015-16 academic year. In gratitude for their many years of service to the University, the group was honored at a June 6 reception in the A.J. Drexel Picture Gallery.

Davis, associate teaching professor, is retiring after an over 40-year career in the archival studies. Davis arrived at Drexel in 2008, where she has led the archival studies concentration in the College’s ALA-accredited Master of Science in Library and Information Science program, and has taught many of the archival studies courses, including Introduction to Archives, Archival Access Systems and Archival Appraisal. Prior to Drexel, Davis served as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland—College Park, as an adjunct instructor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, as a project archivist at the Library Council of Metropolitan Milwaukee, and as a curator of manuscripts at the New York Public Library. Davis, whose research interests focused on the evolution of the archival profession, has been published in numerous journals, such as the American Archivist, Journal of Archival Organization, Library Trends, Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, The Midwestern Archivist, among others, as well as contributed to monographs, reports, proceedings, and book reviews. She received the Society of American Archivists’ Fellow award in 1997, the University of Wisconsin—Madison’s E.B. Fred Fellow in 1991 and the Vilas Fellow award in 1991-1992. She has also held positions in the Society of American Archivists and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference. Davis graduated with honors in 1973 from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, majoring in American institutions, where she then pursued her master’s degree in library science in 1975 and doctoral degree in 2003 from the university’s School of Library and Information Studies.

Dean and Professor Emeritus Fenske served 16 years as the dean of former iSchool, College of Information Science and Technology (IST) and CCI. Fenske joined Drexel in 1999 as dean of the College of IST, bringing the industry-savvy perspective of a former IBM consultant combined with a reputation as a digital library pioneer earned when he led Indiana University’s Cook Music Library. In 2013, Fenske was instrumental in creating the College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), which joined together Drexel’s offerings of IST, computer science and computing and security technology. Fenske began a two-year term as executive director of the iSchools organization in July 2015, where he oversees the administrative operations for the worldwide association of information schools dedicated to advancing the information field. Fenske also recently served as co-chair (with Alice B. Kroeger Professor Jane Greenberg) of iConference 2016, the annual information conference presented by the iSchools. The 2016 iConference, which is the eleventh in the series, was hosted by Drexel CCI and took place March 20-23, 2016 in Philadelphia. Fenske earned a bachelor’s degree in music education and a doctorate in musicology (with a minor in library science), both from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.  

Lewis arrived at CCI in 2004 as an adjunct instructor, becoming full-time assistant teaching professor in 2007, and an associate teaching professor in 2013. Prior to Drexel, Davis spent over 20 years working in specialized, research, and academic libraries. Lewis’ main research interests include ethical issues within librarianship and library services to humanists and social scientists. Lewis taught a wide variety of courses at CCI, such as Social Context of Information Professions, Information Access and Resources, Resources in the Humanities, and Resources in the Social Sciences, among others. In 2012, she took the helm of the Beta Phi Mu as executive director, bringing the International Library & Information Studies Honor Society’s headquarters to Drexel’s University City Campus. Lewis has published three books: Questioning Library Neutrality: essays from Progressive Librarian (Library Juice Press, 2008), Literary Research and British Modernism: Strategies and Resources (Scarecrow Press, 2010), and A Nurse’s Story: Medical Missionary in Korea and Siberia (2013). Lewis is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Drexel University Outstanding Online Instructor Award, iSchool Most Outstanding Instructor—Honorable Mention in 2008 and 2011. In addition, she contributed to the service experience at CCI and Drexel University by being part of organizations such as Drexel University Student Life Committee, Provost’s Council on Academic Sustainability, CCI’s Teaching Excellence Committee, CCI’s Profess Improvement Committee, to name a few. She earned a master’s degree in library science and a master’s degree in English literature from Florida State University, and completed her doctoral program in English literature from Temple University.

Neuman, an associate professor at CCI since 2008, taught courses in topics such as school library programs and services, and the instructional role of the information specialist. Upon her retirement this year, Neuman will become professor emeritus and will remain as an emeritus affiliate with CCI’s Center of the Study of Libraries, Information, & Society. Her primary research interest is in how people, especially students, use information as a tool for learning. Her career in information science began at the University of Maryland in College Park, where she served on faculty of the College of Information Studies for over 20 years, and also served as the coordinator of the School Library Media Program for eight years. At Drexel, Neuman directed the College’s School Library Media program, earning national recognition in 2014 when the program placed in U.S. News and World Report’s top ten school library media programs. Neuman is also a recipient of multiple grants, fellowships, prizes and awards, such as the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services grant in 2003, the Distinguished Service Award by the Association for Education Communications and Technology in 2005, and the ETR&D Research Reviewer Award in 2004, and the Carroll Preston Baber Research Award from the American Library Association in 1991. In addition to publishing numerous book chapters, articles in refereed journals, reports, and book reviews, she published three books: Learning in Information-Rich Environments: I-LEARN and the Construction of Knowledge (Springer, 2011), Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning (ALA Editions, 1998), and Computers: An introduction. Instructor’s manual (Merrill Publishing Company, 1986). She has served on a number of editorial boards, including those for Educational Technology Research and Development (ETRD), Journal of Education for Library and Information Science (JELIS), School Library Media Research, and the Journal of Computing in Higher Education. She was also instrumental in educating hundreds of students training to become school library media specialists both here at Drexel and beyond, including teachers based in New York City and Washington, DC. Neuman earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Chestnut Hill College, a master’s degree in English from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a doctorate in education from the Ohio State University, Columbus.