Paul Evan Peters Fellowship Recipients, 2014-2016:
Doctoral student Jordan Eschler and master’s student Olivia Dorsey are the 2014 recipients of the Paul Evan Peters Fellowships for graduate study in library and information sciences. The award was established to honor the memory of CNI founding executive director Paul Evan Peters; it recognizes outstanding scholarship and intellectual rigor, a commitment to civic responsibility and democratic values, and imagination. This is the first time two fellowships are being awarded in one year.
Jordan Eschler is a PhD student at the University of Washington’s Information School; she holds a BA in Economics and English from the University of Michigan and an MS in Information Management from the University of Washington. Eschler was selected for the Peters Fellowship, in part, for her research in helping to empower patients in their healthcare decisions, focusing especially on the unique circumstances of young adults with chronic disease. This segment of the population, Eschler points out, typically has fewer resources than older patients, but it is generally more inclined to seek advice and information from online communities. University of Washington iSchool professor Michael Eisenberg, who recommended Eschler for the award, wrote that she “shares the same sense of passion and commitment to using technology to improve society and services to people” as the award’s namesake.
This year’s recipient of the new award for master’s students, Olivia Dorsey, begins a program in information science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she previously received a BS in information science. Dorsey is particularly interested in using digital humanities to explore issues surrounding diversity, experience and identity. As an undergraduate research fellow, Dorsey created the digital archive FranklinMemories.com, which documents the faces and voices of the African American community in the racially diverse Appalachian town of Franklin, NC. Dorsey “has demonstrated outstanding potential for research and scholarship,” wrote University of Maryland professor Richard Marciano in a letter recommending her for the award, concluding, “she is committed to the archives profession and advancing diversity concerns within it.”
CNI executive director Clifford Lynch stated, “This year we again had a wonderful applicant pool that would have made Paul Peters both delighted and proud, and we have a great pair of awardees that honor his memory.” Commenting on this year’s change to the fellowship, “I am particularly pleased that this cycle we were able to offer a second award specifically targeted at a master’s-level student; this allows us to recognize people who are eager to move quickly into professional practice, paralleling Paul’s career trajectory.”
Selection committee members included: Ellen Borkowski, chief information officer at Union College; Clem Guthro, director of the Colby College Libraries; Jennifer Paustenbaugh, university librarian at Brigham Young University; and Joan Lippincott, associate executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information.
About the Fellowship
The Paul Evan Peters Fellowship was established to honor and perpetuate the memory of the founding executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information. Funded by donations from Peters’s colleagues, friends, and family, in 2014, the fellowship provides two two-year awards: one to a doctoral student in the amount of $5,000 per year, and one to a master’s student in the amount of $2,500 per year. Fellowships are given to students who demonstrate intellectual and personal qualities consistent with those of Peters, including:
• Commitment to the use of digital information and advanced technology to enhance scholarship, intellectual productivity, and public life
• Interest in the civic responsibilities of networked information professionals, and a commitment to democratic values and government accountability
• Positive and creative approach to overcoming personal, technological, and bureaucratic challenges
• Humor, vision, humanity, and imagination.