LaVerne Gray and Joshua Introne are joining the faculty as assistant professors of information science in tenure-track positions. John Jordan is coming on board as a visiting professor of practice and to serve as program director for the school’s Doctorate of Professional Studies degree program.
The School of Information Studies (iSchool) is pleased to welcome three new faculty members this fall.
Gray’s research interests include social justice in library and information science, Black feminism, intersectionality, community engagement and information spaces, and qualitative research methods.
She was an American Library Association Ph.D. Spectrum doctoral fellow, an Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded position designed to increase racial and ethnic diversity among the library information science leadership and professorate. Her dissertation, “In a Collective Voice: Uncovering the Black Feminist Information Community of Activist-Mothers in Chicago Public Housing, 1955-1970,” won the 2019 University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Communication and Information Outstanding Dissertation Award. The dissertation explores Black feminist agency in community development within constructed urban spaces. The study employs qualitative analyses of archival documents, to reveal a Black Feminist Information Community(BFIC) framework. It introduces the complexity of information environment, culture, and community engagement. Her research was supported through the 2017 Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) Fellowship, where she used archives throughout the city of Chicago to explore evidence for her research.
She previously earned a master’s degree in library information science (2005) from Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science, a master’s degree in education (2000) from Northern Illinois University, and a bachelor’s degree (1993) from Wilberforce University. Gray previously served as the learning and outreach librarian at Texas A&M University.
Gray says she was drawn to the iSchool because of its research reputation and the reputations of its library professionals. “I wanted to see it for myself, and I was pleasantly surprised not only with the reputation but how wonderful the environment is across the school,” she says. “I felt like this would be a good fit for me, given the research being done and the teaching support, and socially, in the whole environment of the iSchool. With my focus in cultural studies, feminist research, and community information structures, I also feel like I can contribute something new to the program; we are living in a time of social justice.”
Joshua Introne comes to the iSchool from Michigan State University, where he was an assistant professor in media and information. He also served as a research scientist at MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence. At MIT, he was the chief architect for the MIT Climate CoLab, a platform designed to crowdsource solutions to climate change.
In his work and research, Introne analyzes online activity and builds socio-computational platforms. He examines collective intelligence in new media and how systems can be built that improve creativity of an online community, and how those interfaces can help large groups make good decisions.
He holds a master’s degree (1999) and doctorate (2008) from the Computer Science Department at Brandeis University and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from Bowdoin College (1995).
Though he’s been at Michigan State University for six years, Introne has been collaborating for the past few years on research with iSchool faculty members Steven Sawyer, Ingrid Erickson, and Bryan Semaan through the Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems Researchers.
Introne grew up in Manlius, a suburb of Syracuse, and his appointment is a homecoming. He notes, “Among my reasons for coming to the iSchool, it’s one of the best iSchools in the country, and they’re doing great work in an area where I find myself feeling very comfortable. This is a homecoming in that I’m coming back to Manlius, but there’s also something about the iSchool there that feels like a family.
I got such a warm welcome from all the faculty, staff, and students. My talks there were well received and it really feels very comfortable.”
Jordan has substantial experience with executive education and master’s-level teaching and a career that has bridged industry and academia. He has consulted with both multinational and startup companies in nearly every industry on four continents regarding strategic implications of emerging technologies and online commerce.
He most recently taught at Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business as a clinical professor specializing in supply chain and information systems. He previously taught at Kalamazoo College, Michigan State, and Harvard University. He also spent a decade in management consulting at Computer Sciences Corporation, Ernst & Young’s Center for Business Innovation, and Capgemini’s Office of the Chief Technologist. He has addressed major conferences, including the Wall Street Journal Technology Summit, Internet World, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Jordan earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a master of arts in religion degree from Yale, and master’s and doctorate degrees in American Studies from the University of Michigan. He has earned teaching awards from Penn State’s Smeal MBA program, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan.
Jordan has had insights into and interest in the iSchool community for some time. It’s funny how lives intersect,” he says. “[Professor] Steve Sawyer was a colleague at Penn State, we stayed loosely in touch, and when I came to a career crossroads, I asked him about the iSchool. From afar, everything looked promising, and on my visit, I really liked the people and the intellectual directions they are heading. It’s great to be joining such a diverse and vigorous body of inquiry and teaching, plus I’m really enjoying all the area has to offer,” Jordan adds.