We want to give special recognition to the outstanding students who went above and beyond to further their educations and strengthen the iSchool community. These students have not only maintained academic excellence but have also involved themselves in extracurriculars such as clubs, internships, research, and more.

Please join us in congratulating the following students who received awards to celebrate their accomplishments during their time at the iSchool.

Undergraduate Awards

Megan Nguyen received the Katie Bennett Undergraduate Leadership Award. This award is for students who demonstrate all-around excellence as a student. This winner acts as a role model to students and makes contributions to the school through service.

Nguyen is a highly motivated individual who has shown outstanding leadership at the iSchool. She was the President of BeIT and Club Swim. She also worked as an iSchool Peer Advisor, Research Assistant Internship for the illuminating Project, and a Streaming Support Specialist for SIDEARM Sports.

Nguyen says she’s honored to be awarded the Leadership Award. She says she sees Katie Bennett as a leader and role model who contributed to the iSchool and maintained strong academics. “Being an embodiment of Katie Bennett made me realize the impact I had on the iSchool,” says Nguyen. “All the students I taught, the iSchool friends I made, the classmates I studied with, I was just a ‘helping hand’ when they needed me. I was someone who wanted to succeed but also help others succeed. Knowing that my classmates and iSchool faculty and staff see me as a leader makes my heart happy. My involvement and research were to gain experience and impact scholarship and research at the university. I hope to continue being a leader to the community as I graduate.”

Bobbi Whitney won the John R. Weitzel Memorial Award for Information Systems Research. This honor goes to a student for their excellence in information systems through research.

Whitney is a member of the Renee Crown honors program and a Syracuse University Scholar. She also works as the lead peer advisor for the iSchool, is a Streaming Support Specialist for SIDEARM Sports, and member of Greek Life. Post-graduation, Whitney will be working as a tech consultant at IBM.

Shawn Gaetano was honored with the Undergraduate Award for Excellence in IM&T Professional Practice. The award goes to an undergraduate student who demonstrates excellence in professional practice in information management and technology. This student takes on a leadership role with ideas for change in their workplace.

Gaetano works as the Director of NEXIS; a student-run research organization focused on emerging technologies. He joined NEXIS his sophomore year. Within his first semester, he started Solace Vision, a project using Unreal Engine and an HTC VIV Virtual Reality headset to help people overcome phobias. He presented this project at the 2019 iConference, where he wowed visiting students, faculty, and the Board of Advisors with his innovation.

Throughout his years with NEXIS, Gaetano has helped redefine the organization’s mission statement and structure. He has served as a mentor to dozens of Nexis members and has helped them fine-tune their projects into award-winning designs.

Shriya Rawal received the Adam Levitt ’03 Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Innovation. This award goes to an outstanding student who has demonstrated excellence in information management and technology innovation. In particular, this student works on innovative projects or startup ventures and solves challenging problems or makes notable contributions to the information management and technology field.

Rawal worked as a volunteer business data analyst with iConsult and the startup ProphetLogic. She spent time gathering and analyzing data to help the organizations understand what was and wasn’t working in their business. She also spent time as a TA for a database management course which she credits for building her interest in pursuing an analyst career. However, Rawal feels her most significant contribution was working as a peer advisor. Through this role, she shared her passion and provided first-year students and potential transfer students insight into all the iSchool offers.

Emily Harrington received the iSchool Undergraduate Service Award for a student who performed service to the campus and global community.

Harrington dedicated her time at the iSchool to shining a light on the school by leveraging the information field’s future and assisting students in finding opportunities. Harrington is an iSchool Peer Advisor, Women in Technology President, and a Kappa Theta Pi member. Through these positions, she’s participated in many projects. Harrington says being a contributing member of these organizations has meant a lot to her. She enjoys working toward the common good, utilizing technology for emerging issues in society and personal research, as well as striving to make every voice heard and acknowledged.

Harrington works with first-year students to help them understand the curriculum and possible avenues. She visits nearby community schools to host technology workshops, putting together successful panels and events to help students visualize the endless possibilities with an iSchool degree.

Paige Koss won the Donald & Joyce Marchand Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. This award is for a graduating student with the best overall academic achievements.

Koss is a Syracuse University Scholar and Senior Class Marshal. She also worked as a Resident Advisor and is a member of the professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and the social entrepreneurship club Enactus. During her time at Syracuse, Koss held two internships; one with Crowe LLP as a Financial Services Consulting intern and another with General Electric and a Financial Management Program intern. After graduation, Koss has accepted a position as an Applications and Programs analyst at Deloitte in Philadelphia.

“It’s nice to see four years of hard work pay off,” says Koss. “The iSchool has been such a treasured part of my experience. I am happy I decided to add it and be recognized by a school that’s given so much to me. I also feel like whenever I’m awarded something, it’s not just my award; it’s all of the people who helped me get to that point. I did this because I had all of these people supporting me and all of these people that believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.”

Graduate Awards

We understand the hard work and dedication it takes to maintain academic excellence while contributing to the iSchool community through extracurricular activities and research. Join us in celebrating the great master’s and doctoral students who received awards recognizing their academic and professional accomplishments.

Yimin Xiao received the Master’s Degree Award for the Applied Data Science Program.

Through her studies, Xiao developed an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and analyzing data, achieved academic excellence, participated in research, and contributed to the iSchool community. Xiao’s interest lies in analyzing language to understand a person’s communication and social behavior online. She studied natural language processing and text mining along with data management, processing, analysis, and a master’s in Linguistics to fully understand people, their language, and social behavior.

Xiao strives for academic excellence. She maintained a 4.0 GPA for ADS courses and an overall 3.982 GPA for two programs. She also worked as a research assistant at the iSchool and participated in multiple research projects on natural language processing, persuasion, and human-computer interaction. She also first-authored two papers published in the Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference and the Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Natural Language Processing and Computational Social Science. She also presented a short paper at the 11th International Conference on Social Media and Society.

In addition to class and research, Xiao worked as a program assistant for iSchool graduate enrollment in 2019. She helped new domestic and international graduate students to learn about the iSchool, find communities, and navigate through the early stages of their SU journey. She has formed close relationships with many students in the program and provided support for their academic and non-academic life at the iSchool.

Rebecca Williams was honored with the Amy E. Everett Memorial Award for Ethics in Information Management.

Williams studies the security breaches conducted by Private Chelsea (Bradley) Manning and Mr. Edward Snowden and how their actions led to the exposure of millions of intelligence cables being released to the public and how it continues to affect how the United States Department of Defense operates. Her research demonstrates how information management’s responsibility shifted from the IT and Security community to the entire workforce’s responsibility.

“This topic is important to me as an Information Management professional because it is a constant battle explaining how our workforce is the first line of defense against insider threat and other related cybersecurity breaches,” says Williams.

Rand Kato was awarded the Master’s Degree Award for the Information Management Program.

Kato works as a senior manager with more than 20 years of experience in IT and consulting. For the last two years, he’s been Head of Information Technology for Acorn Paper Products Co. His work involves strategy and tactical level discussions, planning, and presenting objectives. He aims to tackle issues affecting profitability, strategize business impact and continuity with technology, and addresses cyber risks with pandemics, cyber ransom, data breaches, new growth, and technology implementations.

Rand took three 2U security courses from Joon Park, who said, “Rand never missed the class and always on time for the class attendance and assignment submissions. He was involved in three research projects in information security, including Sony Security Breach Case, Autonomous Vehicle Security, and Security Analysis on 5G. Throughout the courses, I was impressed by his quality work and deliverables and presentation skills. He was always willing to help other classmates with his expertise and findings. He also received very positive feedback from his peers.”

Patrick Prioletti won the John R. Weitzel Memorial Award for Information Systems Research.

Patrick has contributed significantly to the research and data analysis work of four iSchool faculty members.  He is a co-author of two articles under review by prestigious conferences.  He is a faculty assistant and beloved mentor.  As a WiTec leader, Prioletti actively draws students into extra-curricular research and engagement opportunities.  He contributed in his WiTec role to the public good by helping draft the section on ‘Secure Cloud Architecture,’ which will be identified as a key ‘Strategic Consideration’ for smart cities in the forthcoming US government publication (2021).

Huichuan Xia received the Doctoral Prize, which recognizes the outstanding academic contributions of a Ph.D. student.

Xia was the first UX research intern in the Privacy Research Team at Facebook. His research focused on human-computer interaction (HCI) and Computer-Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW). He also worked in Marketing Intelligence at Renault, as a Research Project Manager at BusinessWing Consulting, and as a Senior Management Trainee for Bester Media.

Additional work included research interviewing people’s perceptions of drones. He talked to smartphone users’ about their understanding of mobile privacy. He learned about college students’ concerns about a campus safety reporting system (LiveSafe). And librarians’ shared their attitudes toward the digital and “human” library. He’s published his research in top-tier conferences and journals, including CSCW, JCSCW, CHI, PETS, IJHCS, HICSS, and SOUPS.

Chanda Briggs and Danielle Bertolini received the Master’s Degree Award for Library & Information Science, which recognizes outstanding academic achievement for graduate students in library science.

Briggs graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from UCLA in 2012 before going on to work for the RAND Corporation as a survey administrator. She currently works as a community manager for the National Novel Writing Month, while completing her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the iSchool.

Bertolini received her undergraduate from Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences in English and Textual Studies before coming to the iSchool for her graduate studies. She is a research assistant focusing work on social justice in library and information sciences and also works for the James Prendergast Library Association as a librarian.

Karissa O’Reilly received the Master’s Degree Award for Library & Information Science – School Media Specialization.

O’Reilly completed her LIS degree with a specialization in School Media in 2020 and now works for Carmel High School in Carmel, New York as a Library Media Specialist. Prior to joining the iSchool, she attended the College of New Jersey and worked for Conde Nast and Reader’s Digest as an editor, and did her own freelance work as well.

Tyler Youngman received the Graduate Leadership Award. This is the most prestigious award given by the iSchool to an outstanding graduate student who demonstrates all-around excellence as a student, has made contributions to the school through service on committees or in student organizations, and serves as a role model for other students.

Youngman received his Bachelor’s degree in Information Management and Technology in 2020 and then went on to pursue his Master’s in Library and Information Science which he will complete this spring. Outside of his coursework, he is a research assistant and works as an archivist for The Daily Orange. He also completed an internship as a Junior Fellow at the Library of Congress last summer. After graduation, he will begin working toward his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the iSchool.