Distinguished iSchool Faculty and Staff Honored for Excellence


The outstanding faculty and staff members of the San José State University School of Information were recently honored for their exceptional contributions to the school. During the awards reception, iSchool Director Dr. Sandra Hirsh highlighted the award recipients’ achievements and expressed her deep gratitude and appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

Dr. Michael Stephens received the Outstanding Professor Award for his overall excellence in his academic assignment. Consideration was given to teaching excellence as demonstrated through Student Opinion of Teaching Effectiveness scores, other student evaluations, peer evaluations, and commitment to students. Factors such as teaching a variety of courses, participating in professional and scholarly activities, and serving as a mentor to colleagues were considered as well.

Dr. Michael Stephens’ post to Instagram was met with numerous “well deserved” and “congratulations” comments.

Dr. Michelle Chen was the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award for achieving widespread recognition based on the quality of her scholarship or creative activities. Consideration was given to the recognition of Chen’s outstanding achievements by her peers and the importance of her work to the discipline and beyond.

The Distinguished Service (Faculty) Award was given to Dr. Mary Ann Harlan for her exemplary service in a leadership capacity to the university, community or profession, which brought credit to the iSchool and SJSU. The faculty recipient of this award must have had a consistent record of service and a significant effect on the campus, professional or broader communities.

Staff members Nicole Purviance and Sheila Gurtu received the Distinguished Service (Staff) Award for their extraordinary dedication to achieving the school’s goals and to enriching the lives of those associated with the iSchool. Staff members must have had a consistent record of service and a significant effect on the iSchool or broader communities. Purviance directs the iSchool’s marketing and communications initiatives, and Gurtu works with students in course planning and advising.

Recipients for the Distinguished Service (Other/Special) Award were Rob Boyd and Vicki Robison. Boyd, a lecturer in the MLIS program, and Robison, a former member of the student services team, have consistently provided exemplary service to the school beyond their normal responsibilities.

Dr. Sue Alman received the Outstanding Lecturer Award for achieving widespread recognition based on the quality of excellence in teaching, scholarship or creative activities and/or service to the iSchool. Alman has accomplishments in more than one of these four categories: Teaching Excellence, Commitment to Students, Scholarship, and Contribution to the iSchool Mission.

The Outstanding Teacher Award was given to Alyce Scott in an effort to recognize a full-time or part-time faculty member who consistently received high recognition from students based on the quality of excellence in teaching. Consideration was given to excellent teaching as demonstrated through SOTE scores, other student evaluations, peer evaluations and external reviews over time, and mentoring students regarding career and academic pursuits.

Dr. Pat Franks was the recipient of the Outreach and Collaboration Award for her outstanding contributions to developing external relationships that benefit the iSchool’s teaching, learning, and research community. Franks is currently co-leading a team of students and alumni in creating the first International Directory of National Archives to serve as a single source of information about 196 national archives around the world.

In addition to honoring faculty and staff members, special recognition was given to Ann Agee, who serves as the Martin Luther King Jr. Library liaison. Agee has created online tools such as LibGuides and tutorials, which are greatly accessed by students. She also oversees resources for faculty members such as the LIS Faculty LibGuide.

Candidates are nominated by fellow faculty and staff members and by self-nomination. This year’s Faculty and Staff Awards reception was held Feb. 27. Congratulations to all the 2017 award recipients!