Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Where is your next best idea coming from?"

One of the most successful events for the University of Washington's School of Information is each year's Capstone event, where both selected undergraduates and the graduate students completing their master's degrees present first in short 30 second teasers, and then make themselves available for questions from the audience in a large hall afterward.  Tonight there were 69 such presentations.  Leroy was kind enough to photograph me with three graduates whom I respect highly.

Emily Oxenford has spent this past academic year with me. She took her undergraduate degree with high honors from American University, with a concentration in Peace & Conflict Resolution. She is the author of nine ASA research notes, whose topics include social media and communicating crisis management value. She is interested generally in solving local and global problems through improving information.

Her ASA responsibilities including editing each month's newsletter, writing 8-9 research notes, and participating in several client projects.  She chose to do an information audit of ASA as her Capstone.  How does a shop that is essentially one person move to an information architecture that will support growth? [I suggested that she redraw my photo as Medusa, with information streams as the snakes coming out of my head, but no such luck.]  The poster showing her project is behind us in this photo.

 Her maternal grandparents also attended this evening's capstone presentations. 

This is a bit out of focus but I wanted to use it because it shows the Capstone project undertaken by Shirish Munshi, ASA's 2010 summer research associate, and Swarnika Mehta, where they investigated a complex set of options involving health information data that is bound by privacy laws, with an eye to hosting Campus Health Services in the cloud. 

Norah Abokhodair first introduced herself to me when I guest lectured in an information security course at the UW.  I have followed her progress with great interest since that time.  She will be admitted to the graduate program at the Information School this fall, and she will go far. Her Capstone, conducted with two other students, looked at another record management system in the health care area, with a significant emphasis on interviews conducted with stakeholders.

One last note -- here's Harry Bruce, the dean of the School of Information, whose unfailingly positive outlook and keen dedication to students and faculty alike make its programs a joy to be affiliated with.  Tonight was not commencement, but for me it was the outward manifestation -- the culmination of the work itself -- for awarding the degrees that are to come.

No comments: