Syracuse University

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iSchool, Cornell University launch eScience mentorship program

October 01, 2010

Josh Kitlas

The Syracuse University School of Information Studies’ eScience Mentorship program officially launched on Sept. 17 with a trip to Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. The eight SU eScience fellows, along with associate professor Jian Qin, director of the iSchool’s Certificate of Advanced Study in Digital Libraries and head of the eScience Fellowship Program, met up with several science librarians at Cornell who will serve as the students’ mentors throughout the two-year program.

The day started off with “lightning talks” by several Cornell staff members who discussed topics ranging from electronic publishing to library consolidation to information competencies. The program then moved on to collaborative sessions that were designed to help develop the program. Ideas included identifying group opportunities for publication and presentations, developing IT projects in the library and leading panel discussions at various universities.

After a quick lunch, the participants engaged in a multi-step exercise culminating in a pairing of fellows and mentors who will be working together throughout the course of the program. The program concluded with tours of Mann Library and the Weill Hall Life Sciences building.

“The amount of energy in the room was impressive,” says Gail Steinhart G’05, an eScience mentor, an iSchool M.S. in library and information science alumna, and research data and environmental sciences librarian at Cornell’s Albert R. Mann Library. “Conversation was lively and never flagged, and the students had great questions for each of the lightning presenters. It’s a very impressive group of students.”

This cooperative effort is aimed at developing a curriculum to adequately train eScience professionals and to give them the real-world support they need to succeed in the field. This landmark program will pioneer the creation and growth of the burgeoning eScience discipline.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to see the Cornell campus and learn about the current research being done by the librarians,” says eScience Fellow Cliff Snellgrove G’12, an M.S. in library and information science student.

The iSchool’s eScience fellows are Thea Atwood, Trisha Adamus, Christopher Turner, Kayleigh Bohémier, Susan Borda, Alison Miner, Snellgrove and Gisella Stalloch. All fellows are enrolled in the M.S. in library and information science program, receive full tuition, a $15,000 stipend/paid work experience, paid summer internship opportunity and conference travel to various eScience-related conferences and events.

Cornell University’s mentors are Steinhart, Kathy Chiang, Dianne Dietrich, Leah Solla, Jim Morris-Knower, Jeremy Cusker, Mary Ochs and Jill Powell.

The program is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to prepare the next generation of science librarians with the capability to manage new and different types of digital resources, at amounts previously unimagined, for long-term access and use by scientists in the course of their research.

More information about the program, fellows, and mentors can be found at

The program members also keep a “Day in the Life” blog located at

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