Rachel Newlin, recipient of the 2017 Helen Cohen Outstanding Student Award

The School of Information Studies has a long and proud history of offering a rigorous academic experience to future library and information leaders who will make a positive change in the service to their patrons. We’re honored to prepare our graduates for an exciting, challenging and ever-changing career through inventive theory and proven practice. We also benefit from a long tradition of supportive alumnae/i—prominent leaders in the field of information. Here we recognize students, faculty and alumnae/i who demonstrate strong leadership, academic excellence, and passion for the field of libraries and information.

Helen Cohen Outstanding Student Award
The Follett Corporation Excellence in Teaching Award
Alumnae/i Award for Professional Achievement
Graduate Outstanding Student Award
SOIS Young Mazzuchelli Model (special)
C. Berger Entrepreneurial Promise Award (history)

Helen Cohen Outstanding Student Award

The award is given each year during spring commencement activities to an MLIS student who is enrolled in the spring semester and has completed at least 12 credits or who has graduated within the last two semesters (i.e., fall or summer). The award amount is $500. The SOIS Honors and Awards Committee selects the student to receive the award based on a combination of the following criteria:

  • Academic excellence
  • Caritas et veritas
  • Commitment to the profession
  • Service orientation
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Collaborative spirit
2017 Cohen Award Winner: Rachel Newlin

Rachel Newlin exemplifies the award criteria through her high academic achievement and outstanding work in Dominican's own Rebecca Crown Library as an undergraduate, and now, a graduate student. "My post-graduation plans are to find a position in either a public or academic library where I can facilitate collaboration between public-facing and technical services departments," says Newlin. "I would love to continue my passion for carving out spaces of advocacy for the queer community in libraries, both through professional organizations such as ALA and ILA, and through staff training, outreach, and programming at whatever institution I end up."

Newlin's nomination cited her ability to balance coursework with her work in the library, along with significant professional involvement and service commitment, including volunteering with freshman orientation, serving on the executive board of Common Ground where she planned and executed diversity programming for the LGBTQIA+ community, winning Dominican University Student Involvement's Outstanding Student Organization Program for Study award for her panel on diversity at Dominican's annual Caritas Veritas Symposium, and creating content as a student blogger for the university.

Specifically, the nomination stated, "Rachel Newlin truly personifies what it means to be an outstanding student. Her passion for the library profession, her commitment to social justice, her dedication to academic excellence, and her desire to serve the community, made her an excellent candidate for this award.” Karen Snow, associate professor, and Mary Pat Fallon, associate professor, served on the committee.

Year Winner
2016 Michelle Decker
2015 Rose Hopkins-LaRocco
2014 Valeria Hunter
2011 Brendan Hubbs
2009 Kyle Jones
2008 James MacDonald
2007 Stephanie Gray
2006 Inger Krueger
2005 Joel Hahn
2004 Patrice Foerster
2003 Carol Gulyas
2000 Students of Beta Phi Mu, accepted by Leslie Anne Warren, President, Beta Phi Mu
1997 Anne Thompson
The Follett Corporation Excellence in Teaching Award

On a rotating basis, both SOIS students along with recent alumnae/i are encouraged to vote for a recipient of the Follett Excellence in Teaching Award. Generously sponsored by the Follett Corporation the award includes an honorarium of $1,000; the recipient also speaks at the Spring Commencement ceremony.

2016 Follett Excellence in Teaching Award: Dr. Karen Snow

Dr. Karen Snow was the winner of the 2016 Follett Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is given based on voting by student and recent alumnae/i, which makes it especially meaningful to the faculty member who wins. The award rotates among Dominican's graduate schools, and 2016 was SOIS's turn. Dr. Snow received a $1,000 honorarium from the Follett endowment, and gave an address at the spring University commencement ceremony. 

Year Winner
2012 Janice Del Negro
2008 Mary Pat Fallon
2005 Kate Marek
2002 Karen Brown
1999 Ann Carlson
1996 Kenneth Blac
Alumnae/i Award for Professional Achievement

This award rotates among Dominican's graduate schools. Past recipients have made contributions to publications and served in leadership roles in associations and other service positions. Winners display a philosophy of professionalism and promotion of ethical responsibilities.

Year Winner
2014 Jan Chindlund MALIS ’89   
2010 Alice Calabrese Berry ’70, MALS ’71    
2007 Jane Burke MALS ’70    
2004 Liz Bishoff MALS ’74  
2001 Margaret Kimmel ’60, MALS ’63
1998 Darlene Weingand MALS ’73
1995 Dorothy In-Lan Wang Li MALS ’68, MBA ’81
Graduate Outstanding Student Award

The opportunity to name the Dominican University Outstanding Graduate Award rotates among the university’s graduate schools; the full-time faculty of SOIS chose a student based on their unique blend of Caritas and Veritas. Examples include committee membership, service and stellar academic records.

Year Winner
2015 Elizabeth Hamilton, Class of 2015
2011 Brendan Hubbs, Class of 2012
2006 Inger Krueger, Class of 2006
2003 Carol Gulyas, Class of 2003
2000 Students of Beta Phi Mu, accepted by Leslie Anne Warren, President, Beta Phi Mu
SOIS Young Mazzuchelli Model (special)

In 2014, Dominican University marked the 150th anniversary of the death of Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, the founder of the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation and the institution that would become Dominican University. “Father Sam” was a native of Italy and a true American pioneer, benefiting untold numbers of people through his life's work. In this commemorative year, each school in the university, including SOIS recognized one young alumnae/i (under 40) who exemplifies the character, spirit and vocation of Father Mazzuchelli.

Year Winner
2014 Allison Schein, MLIS ‘12
C. Berger Entrepreneurial Promise Award (history)

The C. Berger Award was presented to a SOIS student who exhibited “unusual creativity, reflected an innovative spirit and showed the most promise for an outstanding career in a special library, non-traditional setting, or as an entrepreneur.” A clear indication of the students’ entrepreneurial leadership potential along with the prospect for innovative and scholarly research should have been evident.

Year Winner
2008 Daniel Braun
2007 Kelly Quinn
2006 Patricia Smolin
2005 Lauren Collen
2004 Catherine Saum
2003 Karen Miller