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Innovative Donors Provide Research Support

Dean Wirth, Gloria and Dave SharrarA gift to CCI from Gloria Sharrar (MS/IS ’82), retired senior vice president of technology & operations for Bank of America, and her husband Dave (MAC ’79), provides the funding to establish the Sharrar iPro Intern Program for Information Science master’s students to obtain real world information professional experience.

Sharrar, who is also a member of CCI’s Board of Visitors, and her husband wanted to support CCI faculty research while also introducing information science students to the exciting world of information consultancy. As a result, they worked with CCI Associate Dean for Research Suzie Allard to craft a unique semester-long internship during which the Sharrar iPro will assist a number of CCI faculty researchers by providing ten to thirty hours of information consulting for each faculty researcher.

The inaugural Sharrar iPro is Rob Anderson, a current IS master’s student. CCI faculty have been submitting requests for a portion of his time by defining the assistance and hours needed and the expected outcome.

A list of Anderson’s skills/capabilities, available for CCI faculty to utilize through the Sharrar iPro internship include:

  • Expertise with current technologies, platforms and products that support information technology including UNIX, Windows and Apple computer and server operating systems;
  • Experience with researching and writing literature reviews;
  • Experience conducting formal and informal interviews and focus groups;
  • Experience with compiling and assessing survey data;
  • Experience with Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP (LAMP), as well as database management systems;
  • Website design and development, including markup and scripting languages (CMS, JavaScript, HTML and CSS);
  • Experience with digitization and preservation;
  • Experience working with open source software;
  • Knowledge of current trends in scholarly communication.

“We provided Gloria and Dave with a tour of CCI and explained the goals, achievements and needs of several key areas within the college,” explained CCI Director of Development Patrick Powell. “She immediately honed in on the opportunity IS students could have by encouraging them to develop entrepreneurial solutions to faculty research constraints. Associate Dean of Research and IS Professor Suzie Allard was a creative partner in the design of how this fund could be used to further ‘popcorn’ research projects.”  

“When alumni learn about the great things happening in CCI, they are often amazed at the intensity of academic research conducted by our faculty,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “I am very grateful to the Sharrar’s for coming up with a creative way to invest in our graduate students and the research being conducted by our faculty in support of CCI’s Top 25 initiatives.”