The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) recently awarded $1,000 scholarships to three information science majors: Solomon Duncan, Laura Haller, and Rachael Head. SILS annually confers the merit-based scholarships to recently admitted Bachelor of Science in Information Science (BSIS) students who have demonstrated high scholastic achievement and written outstanding application essays.
Duncan, Haller, and Head are all combining information science with a second major. Duncan, a senior who is pairing information science and biology, said he wanted a major that helped him comprehend both the “how” and “why” of emerging technologies.
“This program creates an understanding of the tools used to gather, share, and display information and then asks us to think critically about both the positive and negative implications of those tools and their utilization,” Duncan said. “I connect with the material and always want to learn more.”
Duncan didn’t take his first information science course until his junior year, so he’s still exploring possible career opportunities. Working in information security or for the IT division of a large organization sounds appealing, as does working with professional sports organizations in some capacity.
Haller, a junior double majoring in information science and mathematics, said she fell in love with information science after an internship related to digital forensics. She can envision a career in digital forensics working with law enforcement, but like Duncan, she is also considering other options.
“SILS has opened my eyes to so many different possible paths,” she said.
Head is combining information science with interactive multimedia and a minor in entrepreneurship. An interest in user experience (UX) brought her to SILS. Since then, she has enjoyed being part of the “incredibly tight-knit community” at the achool and helping others learn more about careers in UX with the Future Leaders in User Experience (FLUX) organization.
“I am extremely grateful to receive the education I have alongside brilliant students who inspire me,” she said. “It is this empowering, motivating environment that means so much to me,”
After graduation, Head will be a UX Designer for Accenture Federal Services in Washington, D.C. She is excited for this chance to combine her skills in UX design with her goal to create positive society change.
All three students expressed appreciation for the scholarship and what it represents.
“Receiving this award is a reminder there are people who believe in what I'm doing and why I'm doing it,” Duncan said. “I also see it a challenge to keep pushing myself and keep working hard to justify the investment the school made in me.”