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SLIS Honors Alum & Friends of the Year, plus Student Scholars & Recent Graduates

Posted Jun. 14, 2013

The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University honored 10 of its top alumni and dozens of outstanding students at events in Kent and Columbus this past spring.

The Celebration of Alumni and Student Success took place on Tuesday, April 30, at the SLIS site in the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, and on Wednesday, May 1, at the Kent Student Center on the Kent Campus.

Sue PolankaAmong those being honored were Sue Polanka, M.L.S. '95, LIS Alumnus of the Year, and Don W. Barlow and Michael O. Bice, SLIS Friends of the Year.

Polanka is head of Reference and Instruction at Wright State University Libraries and serves as president of the Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO). She was elected to American Library Association Council in 2012 and was named a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker" in 2011, tagged as the "Ebook Guru." Polanka is editor of the American Library Association series "No Shelf Required," which also is the name of her award-winning blog on issues related to ebooks and electronic reference interfaces.Don Barlow

Barlow is executive director of Westerville Public Library, Westerville, Ohio. Barlow has been a frequent lecturer in SLIS Columbus classes, taught Library Management as a SLIS adjunct instructor for many years and hosted numerous practicum students. He also spearheads a tuition reimbursement program that has enticed many of his staff to enroll in SLIS. A long-time SLIS supporter, Barlow was honored for his visionary library leadership and the transformational impact he has had on the lives of many students, alumni and other library professionals. 

hi-biceBice, a former hospital executive, joined SLIS in 2010 to launch a new concentration in health informatics as a concentration in the school's Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM) program. He developed the curriculum, established an advisory board of health care IT professionals, recruited adjunct instructors and established partnerships with other institutions that have helped make the concentration a success. Bice retired at the end of 2012.

Also recognized at the events were recipients of six additional alumni awards and graduates from August 2012, December 2012 and May 2013. Student honorees included scholarship winners, Beta Phi Mu inductees, graduate assistants and student employees. 

Information on the honorees can be found at http://www.kent.edu/slis/news/celebration2013-honorees.cfm.

The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University has the only American Library Association-accredited Master of Library and Information Science degree program in Ohio, offering courses in Kent, Columbus (State Library of Ohio) and through a fully online option. SLIS also offers a Master of Science in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management and participates in an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the College of Communication and Information. The school is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top 20 LIS graduate programs, with a youth librarianship program that is ranked 10th. It is one of the largest library schools in the country, with more than 650 students enrolled. For more information, visit www.kent.edu/slis.