Our First Information Studies Graduates!

From “Meet the Class of 2019“:

Richie Gamiño, Abbe Blank, and Mary Christensen are the first students to graduate with the new minor in information studies. Their service learning project involved reviewing grant applications with the City of Seattle, which helped distribute $320,000 to organizations trying to address underserved populations and the “digital divide.”

Discussing Digital Equity and Inclusion in Seattle

Earlier this week the SPU Information Studies program, with support from the Friends of the SPU Library, hosted a conversation about digital equity and inclusion in Seattle.

The panel emerged out of the program’s Information and Society class, taught by Kristen Hoffman and Liz Gruchala-Gilbert, which provided students with the opportunity to review applications to Seattle’s Technology Matching Fund.

SPU’s student newspaper, The Falcon, reported on the panel and quoted one of our students: “This is what we have been discussing all year. Digital equity and how A.I. is effecting people who can’t afford technology … how it targets them more than people who are middle class.”

In addition to engaging an important conversation for our community, the panel provided a nice glimpse into the Information Studies program at SPU.

Information Studies Program Sponsors Panel on Digital Equity and Inclusion in Seattle

Seattle is known as a place of technological innovation, but many residents do not have access to the technology or skills needed to participate fully in our digital society. Come hear what the City of Seattle and other organizations are doing to close divides related to digital access and digital literacy.

Panel members:

David Keyes
Digital Equity Program Manager, City of Seattle

Steven Maheshwary
Chair of the Seattle Community Technology Advisory Board and Board Advisor for DemocracyLab

Minh-Duc Nguyen
Executive Director, Helping Link

Marcellus Turner
Executive Director and Chief Librarian, The Seattle Public Library

Stacey Wedlake
Research Coordinator and Analyst, Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington Information School

Moderated by Michael Paulus
University Librarian, Assistant Provost for Educational Technology, and Director of Information Studies, Seattle Pacific University

This panel emerged out of service-learning work instructors and students in INF 3500 Information and Society are doing with Seattle’s digital equity program.

New Digital Wisdom Blog

SPU professors Michael Paulus (Library and Information Studies), Bruce Baker (School of Business, Government, and Economics), and Mike Langford (School of Theology) have launched a new Patheos blog called Digital Wisdom.

Their first post explains how they hope with this blog to bring technology into conversation with theology so that our lives may be enhanced by both.

Paulus’s first post explores how the information revolution reveals the importance of information and information technologies for understanding who we are and what constitutes reality.

Information Studies Minor Announcement

As information and communication technologies (ICTs) continue to change our lives and world, the study of information is becoming increasingly important. To further respond to the need for more reflective, critical, and ethical engagement with information and ICTs, the Library will begin offering a minor in Information Studies next year. Information Studies explores the creation, dynamics, management, and use of information and ICTs and examines the relationships between people, information, and technology. This new minor provides a foundation for information-related professions, as well as relevant knowledge and skills for careers in a variety of fields, and will help prepare students to thrive academically, professionally, and spiritually in our information society.

This minor, designed to support and supplement related programs in the arts, sciences, and professions, creates a new curricular space at SPU for understanding and shaping our present information age. The program consists of three core courses: “Information and Attention,” which considers the nature of information, attention, and agency; “Digital Literacy and Life,” which explores the digital dimension of our lives; and “Information and Society,” a service-learning course examining information challenges in Seattle. The minor also includes electives drawn from other disciplines such as art, computer science, history, and philosophy and an integrative independent research project or internship. While there are similar programs at other schools, this will be a unique offering for a Christian university.