Brian Sturm named McColl Professor

July 5, 2016

Brian Sturm, Associate Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), has been appointed Francis Carroll McColl Term Associate Professor. The McColl Professorship recognizes faculty who have made significant contributions to research, teaching, and service to SILS. It provides a salary supplement and funds for research and travel for a two-year term.

Dr. Brian Sturm

“Dr. Sturm has demonstrated outstanding leadership for many years in the areas of children’s services and community outreach, most notably through his innovative Story Squad project,” said Gary Marchionini, SILS Dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor. “This professorship will enable him to redouble and extend his efforts to inform and inspire the youth of North Carolina and beyond.”

A professional storyteller for over 20 years, Dr. Sturm is the founder of Story Squad, a literacy outreach initiative. He has delivered over 180 storytelling performances each year for the last two years at local schools and community venues. He is also Chair of the Chapel Hill Public Library Board of Trustees.

Dr. Sturm’s research focuses on immersion in information environments, the state of being completely engrossed in whatever you are doing, whether that’s reading, story listening, or playing video games. Most people have been “lost in a book” or deeply engaged in some form of media, and Dr. Sturm has dedicated his career to exploring the experience of immersion and the various influences that help us become immersed. 

The McColl Professorship

Hugh McColl, Jr. established the McColl Professorship in memory of his mother, Frances Carroll McColl, and sister, Frances McColl Covington. Hugh McColl said he was inspired to create the professorship by the School's needs and his mother's love of literature.
“My mother taught everyone in the family to love books, and we have prospered from having access to them and, perhaps more important, knowing where to turn to find the information we need,” McColl said.
A second McColl Term Professorship was made possible in 2005 thanks to support from Bill (BSBA '55) and Sara McCoy and Duncan Smith (MSLS '80).
Current and past McColl Professors include Dr. Arcot Rajasekar (2015-2017), Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell (2014-2016), Dr. Christopher (Cal) Lee (2013-2015), Dr. Claudia Gollop (2012-2014), Dr. Deborah Barreau (2011-2013), Dr. Diane Kelly (2010-2012), Dr. Javed Mostafa (2009-2011), Dr. Jane Greenberg (2007-2009), Dr. Paul Solomon (2007-2009), Dr. Stephanie Haas (2005-2007), Dr. Barbara Wildemuth (2004-06), Dr. Evelyn Daniel (2002-04), Dr. Helen Tibbo (2000-02), Dr. Robert M. Losee (1998-2000) and Dr. William M. Shaw Jr. (1997-98).