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Alumni Using Information Educations in Unique Careers Around the World

By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

Around the globe, School of Information Studies (iSchool) alumni are leading unique information initiatives and pursuing an array of specialized careers in interest areas that began while they were students at Syracuse University.

Updates regarding their recent endeavors and new roles illustrate the breadth of career applications four alumni have undertaken.

Chhavi Gupta, ’11, MS, Information Management, a senior software engineer for EMC, Boston, presented her paper, “Leadership Qualities for Inspiring Culturally Diverse Teams,” to the Society of Women Engineers in the fall.  

Gupta’s talk focused on assessing communication in culturally diverse teams to ensure a cohesive work environment. She said it is important to understand the qualities that are required to lead culturally-diverse teams, which “differ from homogeneous teams,” she said. “It is advisable to develop new ways of thinking to succeed in the longer run. Organizations that can foster an open and diverse environment generate the best ideas and earn more money. Therefore, what is good for humankind is good for business,” she suggested.

Gupta is involved in many professional initiatives for EMC. She is a committee member for Women in Technology; professional development co-chair for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) in Boston; an asset manager for the Project Management Institute (PMI) in Boston; and VP of Membership for the EMC Hopkinton Toastmasters Club. Prior to her work with EMC, Chhavi worked with remote culturally diverse teams in the United States and the United Kingdom. During her time at the iSchool, Chhavi served as a program assistant for the Information Management Program; as a teaching assistant for Enterprise Technologies; and as a technology intern for JPMorgan Chase.

Ilona Koti, ’01 MLIS, ’04 MS, Information Management, remains in Italy. She has worked there for the past year as head of information management and research for the World Food Programme. This year, she said, she expects to shift her focus and role from certified records management to performing due-diligence functions for the entire World Food Programme. Koti called that “a huge undertaking, to run an entire function for a branch of the UN,” but said it is “something that I know that my team and I will succeed in.”

Koti is an independent consultant with an extensive history working in in libraries, records and information management and project management for Fortune 500 companies. Prior to her position with the World Food Programme, she was an honorary teaching fellow at the University of Dundee, Scotland; and director of ARMA International. She remains as a Board Member/Records Management Representative for the California Historical Records Advisory Board, and as principal consultant of her firm, Crystal View Consulting Group. The company specializes in records and information management, corporate compliance, data restructuring services and end-user electronic document management system implementation and training.

Of her work for an international organization, Koti writes, “The hours are long, but seeing the pictures of smiling healthy children that are so thankful for the time that we give reminds me daily of how the work that we do is saving lives.  I can truly say that I have changed the world, or at least written a few policies and procedures to help govern it.”

Trisha Adamus ’12 MLIS, also received a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Digital Libraries. She accepted her first job after her iSchool graduation at the University of Wisconsin’s Ebling Library. There, she works as a data, network and translational research librarian, a newly created position. Adamus said that her role in UW’s library in Madison supports the University’s School of Medicine and Public Health. Among her duties are providing research data services, clinical and translational research evaluative support and services, scholarly communication and NIH public access policy services, and information architecture support.

Before enrolling in the iSchool, Trisha had worked as a science teacher and a corporate scientist at Bausch and Lomb in western New York. Now, she believes “the sky is the limit” where her chances to contribute to scientific research efforts are concerned. “I think that I will make a difference because when I think of how science progresses, it builds upon the information that exists now. If scientists have better access to research data and they share their data, then science is going to move forward that much faster. I think that is what I really like about this field, especially to be at medical center and hospital. I think I’m going to be able to help them make better medical discoveries,” she enthused.

Fred Stoss ’82, MLIS, is the associate librarian at the SUNY University at Buffalo. His work typically focuses on his role as librarian for the area of Biological Sciences, Ecology/Environmental Science and Studies, Geology, and Mathematics. However, he also has adopted a second vocation as the iCoach (information coach), personal librarian for the University at Buffalo’s NCAA Division I student-athletes.

Stoss also recently was selected as a mentor by former Vice President Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project. In August, he assisted in the training of international students for that initiative, assisting in preparing more than 950 individuals from 47 U.S. states and 56 countries.

Following that service, Stoss presented to more than 2,000 Aruba High School and post-high school science and technology students at the first Green Education Aruba 2012 Symposium. He described efforts in creating the Caribbean Energy, Environmental and Sustainability Education (CEESEd) Program in Aruba and its outreach to Aruba’s students. Stoss also was an invited guest to the Green Aruba III Conference held in October 2012 in Oranjestad, he reported. He has been working for more than a year in creating CEESEd as a program within the National Library of Aruba, which is planning a major Caribbean region Symposium for teachers, educators, advisors, and administrators.                    

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