SILS Ph.D. Students

Sumayya Ahmed

ELIME-21 Fellow


B.A., Sociology and African American Studies, Wesleyan University; M.A., Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University
Historical issues in librarianship in Morocco, digital cultural heritage, information and authority in North Africa and the Middle East.

Advisors: Barbara Moran and Christopher (Cal) Lee

Sandeep Avula

B. Tech, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT), Gandhinagar, India; MS, Information Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Information Retrieval, Recommender Systems

Advisors: Jaime Arguello and Diane Kelly

Earl Bailey

B.S., Mathematics Education, North Carolina State University; M.S., Information Science, UNC-Chapel Hill

Research interests: the effects of bias on information retrieval and use, cognitive aspects to information design and retrieval, and examination of personalization from a cognitive perspective 

Advisor: Diane Kelly

Heather L. Barnes

B.A., Sociology, Smith College; M.S., Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill

Community archives, social informatics, digital curation, organizational & cultural memory-making/memorialization processes

Advisor: Helen Tibbo

Kathy BrennanKathy Brennen

kbrennan at unc dot edu


B.A., English, Messiah College;  M.B.A., Johns Hopkins University; M.S., Library Science, Catholic University

Impact of cognitive load on information search and retrieval; measures of mental effort; human-computer interaction (HCI); research methods.

Advisor: Diane Kelly 

Jeff Calcaterra

B.A., Psychology, North Carolina State University; M.S., Human Factors and Industrial Organizational Psychology, Wright State University

User interface design and evaluation, visualization, IT management, computer-supported cooperative work.

Advisor: Brad Hemminger 

Leo L. Cao

B.S., Information Management and Technology, Syracuse University; M.S., Information, University of Michigan

Homepage and Vita

Games and Learning; Information, Communication, and Technology Literacy; Information Seeking Behavior and Use; Libraries and the 21st Century Challenge of Shifting Demographics.

Advisor: Stephanie Haas

Alexandra (Alex) Chassanoff


B.A., Sociology, Brandeis University; M.S., Information Science, UNC-Chapel Hill

Information behavior of digital archive users, digital humanities, curation and preservation environments

Advisor:Christopher (Cal) Lee

 Annie Chen


B.A., Psychology, Harvard University; M.S., Information Science, UNC at Chapel Hill

Research interests: information behaviors, text mining and information retrieval, particularly concerning health/medicine; information needs/use in various cultural contexts; research methods

Advisor: Claudia Gollop and Barbara Wildemuth

Thu-Mai Christian

Advisor: Helen Tibbo


Rachael Clemens

photo of Rachel Clemens


B.A. Philosophy, Concord College; M.L.S., Texas Woman's University

Research: Information behavior and decision making during a personal crisis; affective and cognitive influences on information seeking; information seeking and avoidance as a coping / therapeutic activity; user education


 Amanda ClickAmanda Click

B.S., Science, Technology & Culture, Georgia Institute of Technology; M.L.I.S, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Information literacy in the Arab world, library services for non-native English speakers

Advisors -Barbara Moran and Javed Mostafa

Kaitlin Light Costello

Kaitlyn Light


B.A., Film, Vassar College; MSLIS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research: Personal health information seeking and disclosure online.

Advisors: Barbara Wildemuth

Jon CrabtreeJonathan Crabtree 

B.A. Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; MSIS, archives and records management concentration, UNC at Chapel Hill; Geography: GIS & Geomorphology Master's Studies, UNC at Chapel Hill

Digital curation, archives, and preservation

Advisor: Helen Tibbo 

Anita Crescenzi


B.S. Secondary Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, MSIS, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, SILS

Human-computer interactions, interactive information retrieval, collaboration, and information seeking and behavior especially with regard to health

Advisors:  Rob Capra and Barbara Wildemuth

Ashlee Edwards

aedwards [ at ]

B.S. Information Science, B.A. English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Mobile interface design, mobile usability, faceted search

Advisor: Diane Kelly 

Nina ExnerNina Exner

BS Biology, UNC-Chapel Hill; MLS, NCCU; MA, Liberal & Global Studies, UNC-Greensboro 

Academic libraries, mentoring of faculty-librarians, library organizational behavior, popular materials

Advisor: Barbara Moran

Xiangyu Fan

B.S. Environmental Science, Fudan University; M.S. Environmental Engineering, Tsinghua University; M.S., Environmental Science, UNC-Chapel Hill

Research Interests: Personalized Information Retrieval, Text Mining

Advisor: Javed Mostafa


Sheryl Grant

photo of Sheryl Grant

M.S. Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill

Research: reputation systems, technology-mediated social participation, digital badge system design, value-driven and value-sensitive design

Advisor: Sandra Hughes-Hassell

Elliott HauserElliott Hauser

Royster Fellow


B.A., Art History, Duke University; M.S., Information Science, UNC-Chapel Hill

Data provenance, research workflows, data modeling, history and theory of information science

Advisors: Brad Hemminger and Ryan Shaw

Jacob Hill


Advisor: Barbara Moran and Javed Mostafa

Chien-Yi Hou

B.S., Computer and Information Science, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan; M.S., Computer Science, University of California, San Diego

Digital preservation, Digital humanities

Advisor: Richard Marciano

Zekun Hu

B.M., Archival Science, Wuhan University

Archives, digital preservation, personally identifiable information in digital collections

Advisor: Christopher (Cal) Lee

Samantha Kaplan

B.A. Economics & Comparative Literature, University of Georgia; MLIS, University of South Carolina

Misinformation and disinformation

Advisors: Barbara Wildemuth and Ryan Shaw

Lauren E. Kearns

photo of Lauren Kearns

B.S.N., Nursing, University of Illinois; M.S.N., Nursing/Healthcare Systems and Informatics, UNC-Chapel Hill; Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing Education, UNC-Chapel Hill

Development and use of standardized terminologies for clinical software applications; healthcare informatics; asynchronous learning (web-based education); systems analysis and administration

Advisor: Stephanie Haas


Heejun KimHeejun Kim


B.S., Electrical Engineering, Yonsei University; M.S., Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests: Credibility assessment in participatory environments, dynamics of social and information networks, Geographic Information Science and Big data analysis

Advisors: Reagan Moore and Jaime Arguello

Elisabeth Leonard


B.A., German and Management, Salem College; M.S., Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill; M.B.A., Wake Forest University

Innovation, marketing, professional development for staff and librarians, pedagogy

Advisor: Claudia Gollop

Heather Davidson Maneiro

B.S., Elementary Education, Concordia College; MSLIS, Syracuse University

Information Literacy

Advisors: Sandra Hughes-Hassell

John D, MartinJohn D. Martin III

ELIME-21 Fellow

B.A., Latin, Western Michigan University; M.A., Islamic Studies, American University in Cairo

Computation and the Humanities, Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS), digital libraries in the Islamic World, pedagogy of technologies, Internet media piracy

Advisors: Barbara Moran and Javed Mostafa


Debbie MaronDeborah (Debbie) Maron

maron (at) live (dot) unc (dot) edu

BA, Rutgers University, Journalism and Media and English;  MA, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London; MSLIS, GSLIS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests: metadata and mark-up pedagogy, racial ephemera, mental health information systems, genealogy

Advisor: Jane Greenberg

 Angela Murillo

DigCCurr Fellow

B.A., Geoscience, English, and Spanish; M.L.I.S., University of Iowa

Digital curation and preservation, scientific data, and information seeking behavior/use

Advisor: Jane Greenberg 

Sarah Beth Nelson

B.A., Latin and English, University of Georgia; MLIS, University of Alabama; EdS in School Library Media, University of Georgia

Orality and literacy, True personal storytelling, Contemporary oral tradition

Advisor: Brian Strum

Danny Anh Nguyen

B.S. Information Science,  B.S. Mathematical Sciences (Computer Science) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.S. Computer Information Systems – Boston University; M.B.A. – North Carolina State University

Scholarly communications, Information retrieval, Human-Computer interaction, Social media, Evidence-based practice

Advisor: Dr. Bradley (Brad) Hemminger

Ericka Patillo

B.A., Music History, Old Dominion University; M.S. in Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill

Interests: Academic libraries, organizational effectiveness, middle management

Advisor: Barbara Moran

Alex PooleAlexander Hoyt Poole


B.A., History, Williams College; M.A., History, Brown University; M.S., Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill

Advisor: Helen Tibbo

Martha Preddie

B.A., Sociology; M.B.A., University of the West Indies; M.S., Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Information needs/seeking behavior, health information, health literacy and user education

Advisor: Claudia Gollop

Jason Priem


B.A., History; M.Ed., Social Studies Education, University of Florida

Research: Scholarly communication, social media, Web-based metrics of scholarly impact, open-access publishing, information visualization 

Advisor: Brad Hemminger 

 Sarah Ramdeen

photo of Sarah

B.A., Humanities, Florida State University; B.S., Geology, Florida State University; M.S., Library and Information Science, Florida State University

Information seeking behavior of Geologist when searching for physical sample sets and how this effects collection curation and user access.

Advisor: Claudia Gollop 

Casey Rawson

B.S., Biology, Duke University; M.A.T., Middle Grades Education, University of Louisville; M.S., Library Science, UNC Chapel Hill

Information needs and behaviors of adolescents; adolescents' responses to information overload; diversity in young adult literature

Advisor: Sandra Hughes-Hassell 

Emily RoscoeEmily E. Roscoe

Project Manager, Educating Stewards of Public Information Infrastructure (ESOPI2)

B.A., Political Science, UNC-Chapel Hill; M.S., Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill; M.P.A., UNC-Chapel Hill

Public information and records especially: 
•    government officials' legal and societal obligations for information management
•    legal foundations of public information in a representative government
Effective use of information for problem-solving

Advisor:  Christopher (Cal) Lee

 Cynthia (Cindy) Schmidt

B.A. in History (Secondary Teaching Endorsement), Longwood University; M.S. in Education (School Library Media Endorsement), Longwood University

School library media, marketing/PR for libraries, professional advocacy/recruitment, library 2.0

Advisor: Sandra Hughes-Hassell


Grace Shin

B.S., Computer Science, Sookmyung Women's University; M.S., Computer Science, Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Interests
Health Information,Information seeking and behavior especially with regard to health, and Human-Computer Interaction

Bradley Hemminger and Javed Mostafa

Elnora Kelly Tayag

ALA Spectrum Doctoral Fellow

B.A., Art History, University of California Irvine; M.A., Religion, Claremont School of Theology; M.L.I.S., University of California Los Angeles

Research Interests:  Community-Based Collections; Digital Humanities

Advisor: Dr. Richard Marciano


 Leslie Thomson

Leslie ThomsonRoyster Fellow

Hons. B.A., English; MISt., Library&Information Science, Archives & Records Management, University of Toronto

Research interests: home offices, information behaviour, personal information management, research methods

Advisors: Barbara Wildemuth and Rob Capra

Timur Uckun

B.A., Computer Science, Thomas Edison State College; M.B.A., CUNY-Baruch College

Information risk and assurance, data curation and digital preservation.

Advisor: Helen Tibbo


Emily Vardell

Emily VardellLouis Round Wilson Fellow

B.A., Biological Chemistry, B.A., German Studies, Wellesley College; M.L.S., Texas Woman's University

Research interests: Health information behavior; health insurance literacy and decision-making

Advisor: Claudia Gollop

Jewel Ward

photo of Jewel

A.B., International Studies and History; M.S.I.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The transfer, management, preservation, and curation of (usually "big") data and information for use and re-use.

Advisor: Reagan Moore

 Wan-Ching Wu

B.S., Psychology, National Taiwan University; M.A., Library and Information Science, National Taiwan University

Human-information interaction, system design and evaluation and information seeking behavior

Advisor: Diane Kelly

Shenmeng-XuShenmeng Xu

B.A., Broadcast and Television Journalism, Dalian University of Technology;
M.S., Regional Economics, Dalian University of Technology

Research Interests: Scientometrics, Scholarly communications, Altmetrics and related areas.

Advisor: Brad Hemminger

Ayoung Yoon

ayyoon@email.unc.eduAyoung Yoon

B.A., History, Ewha Women's University; M.S.I., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Digital curation, Personal Digital Collections on the Web, End-user trust on data and repository

Advisor: Helen Tibbo