i3 News

i3 Project Brings Diverse Perspectives into the Field

The inaugural iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from June 6-30, 2011. The Project is designed to encourage undergraduate students from underrepresented groups to consider graduate study in the Information Sciences disciplines. The i3 project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and hosted by the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, partnering with iSchools at Drexel University and Pennsylvania State University. All three schools are members of the iSchools Caucus, a consortium of universities that offer degrees and research programs in the Information Sciences; additional members of the iSchools Caucus are also supporting this program.

i3 seeks to identify promising undergraduate students and help them to explore the Information Field through a series of events and projects. Accepted students will attend a four-week summer institute in Year One; participate in a year-long research project; and come back for a two-week concluding institute in Year Two. All courses and workshops will be taught by a team of iSchool faculty, doctoral students, and professionals. The year-long research project will be mentored by a team of faculty and staff from iSchools across the United States. A complete description of the i3 program and the 2011 Institutes is available at www.ischool-inclusion.org. As part of the program, the i3 Scholars will learn about the various educational and research opportunities offered at the 31 institutions in eight countries that comprise the iSchools organization. Dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century, each individual member of the iSchools has its own strengths and specializations; together they share a fundamental interest in the relationships between information, people, and technology.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Supports iSchool Initiative to Increase Diversity in Graduate Studies


The School of Information Sciences is pleased to announce that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given the iSchool a grant of $100,000 to support the planning of initiatives to increase diversity in graduate programs at Information Schools. The Mellon grant will be used to design and develop a series of summer institutes, an annual program to be administered by the iSchool to recruit graduate students and faculty members from underrepresented groups to the field of information sciences. The institutes will focus on promising juniors and seniors in college who demonstrate strong potential to eventually earn doctoral degrees and become faculty members in the Information Sciences.

Master's and PhD students from minority populations continue to be underrepresented in the nation's Information Schools, including the iSchool. "The nation's information professions need a workforce representative of its diversity. Development of this workforce requires faculty who, likewise, reflect the nation's diversity," explains Ronald L. Larsen, Dean of the iSchool. "With this grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, our School is poised to launch a long-term program designed to educate the next generation of scholars, leaders, and researchers to bring the diversity of culture, experience, and perspective to the education of information professionals."