Meet the 2020-2021 Piternick Student Research Award recipients

Congratulations to UBC iSchool doctoral students Amelia Cole and  Vanessa Figueiredo on receiving the 2020-2021 Anne and George Piternick Student Research Award for supporting doctoral research activities.


Amelia Cole (left) and Vanessa Figueiredo (right), 2020-2021 Piternick Award recipients


Vanessa is a Ph.D. Candidate in her fourth year of studies at the iSchool. Her research focuses on how young people shape their interactions with information and information systems in the school context. The relationship between youth’s agency and the opportunities and limitations youth encounter when seeking and retrieving information to complete homework is the focus of her study. Her goal is to provide recommendations to better support youth’s interactions with information and information systems. She has worked as a graduate research assistant at the UBC Department of Psychology’s Child and Teen Studies Lab. As a member of the Child and Teen Studies Lab, she has explored new techniques to collect contextual data from youth via video conferencing software (e.g., Zoom). She is also co-founder and team member of Tagbly, a start-up developing a technology that removes the burden of creating interactive multimedia content by synchronizing audio with any other media with just a few clicks.

Amelia is a Ph.D. Candidate in her fourth year at UBC’s School of Information. Her research explores how working adults learn using search. Amelia’s goal is to empower learners with the capabilities and skills to learn, as well as bring personal meaning to their journey. Her passion for learning is evident in her research collaborations and service commitments. She contributed to investigating expertise and learning using search, reimagined web history tools by incorporating memory cues during critical re-finding moments and designed how affective agents can support children who experience difficulty reading. A highly engaged community member, Amelia served on the ACM-W leadership team, launched a community writing group, and is currently partnering with industry colleagues to create a learning platform that aligns with her doctoral research.


About the Piternick Student Research Award

This award has been endowed by family and friends in honour of Professors Anne and George Piternick. They taught at the School for a combined total of 48 years during which they provided, through their teaching and personal research projects, a stimulating scholarly atmosphere for library and information science research.

The School of Information would like to take this opportunity to thank all our donors for their continued support of the Ph.D. program and congratulate Amelia and Vanessa on receiving this distinguished award!

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