By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

The doctoral dissertation of a School of Information Studies (iSchool) Ph.D. recipient and current Syracuse University iSchool post-doctoral research fellow has won a fourth round of prestigious honors in information-field academic research.

Dr. Jaime Snyder is being recognized at the 2013 iConference this week as one of two winners selected to receive the conference’s 2013 iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award. 

Titled, “Image-Enabled Discourse; Investigating the Creation of Visual Information as Communicative Practice,” her work examines the creation of visual representations of information as a form of social interaction and engagement. Her dissertation previously was recognized with the 2012 Syracuse University Doctoral Award; the 2012 ASIST Proquest Doctoral Dissertation award; and the 2010 ASIST Thomson Reuters Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Award. 

Dr. Snyder’s research focuses on image making in collaborative contexts, from napkin drawings to complex data analytics, as an information-driven, communicative practice. The goal of her work, she said, is to “expand the ways that information and communication technologies support the creation and use of visual information.” Her dissertation was chosen based on the criteria of its significance per today’s challenges and opportunities; its scholarly contribution to information literature; its application and rigor of research methods; and the clarity and organization of the presentation, according to the iSchools conference selection committee. She is one of two winners selected from 16 dissertations submitted for consideration. The award provides a $2,500 prize. 

“I am honored to be one of two recipients of the iCaucus dissertation award because this community is comprised of such high caliber scholars from very diverse research disciplines,” Dr. Snyder said. “It means a lot to have my work rise to the top in the very competitive pool of recently graduated iSchool doctorates. I am passionate about my research and am having a great time bringing insights from my dissertation research into new collaborations with colleagues working in areas across the information field.”

School Dean Elizabeth Liddy, who has served as Dr. Snyder’s dissertation advisor, said she believes Jaime stands out as someone who is “most likely to establish a new research direction for her areas of focus, beginning with her excellent dissertation.  Hers is an aspect of the information cycle on which the least research has been conducted, and in fact is barely considered.  As information technologies improve in terms of their interactivity, immediateness, graphic capabilities, and ability to contribute real conversational benefits, I believe that the model and understanding that Jaime’s research has developed will lead to important, currently unchartered directions,” Dean Liddy added.

Dr. Steve Sawyer, who submitted Jaime’s dissertation for the award, added, “Jaime’s dissertation is rightly recognized for its inter-disciplinarity – bringing together work on collaboration, visualizations, and discourse while advancing these concepts in each of their distinct intellectual communities.”

Dr. Snyder currently is working with iSchool faculty members Sawyer and Dr. Carsten Oesterlund on their NSF-funded VOSS project, “Documents and Doing Science,” a cyber-infrastructure investigation of documenting practices of social scientists. She also is working with Dr. Oesterlund on a related study examining the documenting practices of student entrepreneurs. The projects provide a platform for extending her dissertation research by viewing collaborative visualization and other visually oriented documenting activities as sociotechnical practice, she said.  Dr. Snyder also serves as a research consultant at Cornell University’s Interaction Design Lab.

Prior to earning her Ph.D. in information science and technology in 2012 from Syracuse, she received an MFA in painting in 1997 from Stanford University’s Department of Art and Art History. She also earned a BFA in painting and glass in June 1993 from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.

Submissions were received from iSchools at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin;  Drexel University; University of Glasgow; Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne;  Indiana University School of Library and Information Science; University of Michigan; The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of North Texas; University of Pittsburgh; Rutgers University; University of Tempere, Finland;  University of Texas, Austin; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Irvine; University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; and Syracuse University.