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Faculty of One Overview

The iSchool has a balanced commitment to scholarship, teaching, and research that attracts the finest scholars in the world. Our interdisciplinary faculty of 53 full-time members collaborate with colleagues across fields of study and readily partner with global communities of experts to expand the boundaries of exploration in the information field.

Faculty members consider themselves a “faculty of one,” with no traditional departments dividing their interactions or their teaching and research activities. The school's collegial atmosphere encourages intellectual inquiry and lifelong learning among faculty and students. Our faculty serve as role models for students and challenge them to develop into independent thinkers, problem solvers, and architects of a better world.

Three Recent Focuses at Syracuse's iSchool

Information Entrepreneurship

The culture at the School of Information Studies is steeped in entrepreneurship, which at the iSchool encompasses both the traditional goal of creating startups and the forward-thinking skills to implement social change. From entrepreneurial faculty to student startups, the environment encourages students to explore their entrepreneurial spirit through several programs and curriculum opportunities.

In the classroom, two courses, What's the Big Idea and Idea to Startup, provide a framework for students to acquire the basic knowledge and skills required to run a successful business. Students also learn how to develop and refine new ideas—and turn those ideas into a viable venture.

The iSchool is a sponsor of the Syracuse Student Sandbox, a unique business incubator that gives aspiring student entrepreneurs the resources to make their visions a reality. The Sandbox's goal is to accelerate the process of ideation, development, and deployment through mentoring and coaching. Through a 12-week, experientialbased program, participants are expected to reach an end goal of producing revenue generating entities or investment-ready firms. Culminating in a “Demo Day,” the Student Sandbox Program provides coaching, mentoring, educational programming, physical space, access to subject matter experts, and investors. A full-time entrepreneur-in-residence guides teams through the program and serves as a coach and conduit to the entrepreneurship community.

Data Science

As the amount of data in the world grows in variety, volume, and velocity, organizations need professionals who can collect, manage, curate, analyze, and visualize data to make better decisions and add value to their organizations. Experts predict a major skills gap over the next five to 10 years in data science and the Syracuse iSchool is preparing students to meet this critical, professional demand.

In 2011, the iSchool began offering the first New York State-approved Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Data Science. The iSchool's interdisciplinary faculty developed an industry-relevant curriculum that allows graduate students from a wide array of educational and professional backgrounds to learn to bridge the gap between technical specialists who work directly with IT infrastructure and senior leadership who use data to lead organizations.

With a foundation in information management, digital curation, visualization, and analytics, the certificate in Data Science provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the full data lifecycle. While technical skills are an important component of the curriculum, graduates are also equipped with communication and leadership skills that will carry them far beyond the rise and fall of any one data analysis technology.

Social Media/Emerging Technologies

Social media and emerging technologies (such as Internet-connected devices and location-based technology) make it possible for people to access and share information in real time with their networks. This development has shifted how organizations of all types leverage information internally and externally. In some cases, this reality has introduced entirely new information challenges, thereby creating a need for professionals who understand social media technologies, their capabilities, and their applications in the enterprise.

Through new coursework and the development of the New Explorations in Information and Science (NEXIS) laboratory at the iSchool, students have the opportunity to learn first-hand how to manage information in the enterprise, and build tools and solutions to curate information and data from various sources, in real time.

Conclusion

As can be seen from the details above, both the status of the iSchools Organization as a whole, and the iSchool at Syracuse University in particular, our professional field has flourished and is poised for even greater growth and prominence—particularly as our international partnerships increase. As many have said, for a good number of years now, this is the Information Age, and the iSchools stand ready to lead in both the research essential for the advancement of the field, and in the education of information professionals to provide leadership.

 
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