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Fiona Black: The 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award Winner

Posted by SIM on August 22, 2018 in News, Alumni & Friends

2018 OAA Photo_Fiona BlackDalhousie University’s School of Information Management (SIM) Alumni Association is pleased to recognize Dr. Fiona Black of Dalhousie University with the 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award. This annual award honours a member who has made an outstanding contribution to Library and Information Management.

Dr. Black graduated with her MLIS from Dalhousie in 1993. Subsequently, she completed her PhD at Loughborough University in the UK, graduating in 1999. After two years as an International Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida she returned to Dalhousie as a tenure stream faculty member in SIM. She was appointed Director of the School in 2003, a position she held until 2010. During her tenure as School Director, Dr. Black led the School through a period of growth and change. Most significantly, Dr. Black championed the development of a mid-career blended learning graduate degree, the Master of Information Management (MIM), which has been a significant factor in SIM’s increased national profile.

From 2008 to 2010, Dr. Black was also Associate Dean External Programs for the Faculty of Management, and in 2012 she became Associate Dean Research for the Faculty. In 2013, her leadership and administrative talents were recognized by the President and Provost, and she was appointed Associate Vice President, Academic, and became a vital member of Dalhousie University’s senior administrative team.

Dr Black’s research has consistently involved two distinct threads: the history of print culture, for which she was awarded several team and individual research awards by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; and, professional issues for librarians and other information professionals. With both of these threads, Dr Black speaks of her joy in working with, and learning from, many superb graduate research assistants and thesis students.

In addition to her demanding role at Dalhousie, Dr. Black has been an active contributor to professional associations, including service to the accreditation arm of ALA. Prior to her career as an academic, Dr. Black was a reference librarian at Regina Public Library, specializing in business and in Prairie History. She often credits this experience with developing her service-oriented approach to collaboration, her patience, and her sense of humour when dealing with challenging circumstances.

In the words of one of her supporters, “Fiona is a gifted instructor who is able to empower students to achieve high academic standards, while at the same time imbuing them with a strong appreciation of the importance of professional competencies for the variety of career paths that the information management field offers.”

Many of her nominators and supporters spoke of Dr. Black’s “generosity with time and advice, even when busy with her administrative duties for the university,” and remembered how she inspired them with her trademark statement, “information managers are going to take over the world.”

SIMAA invites you to join us in congratulating Fiona on her award at the SIMAA Welcome Reception on September 24th, 2018 at the Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building, Rm 3087/3089. An invitation with RSVP will follow.