Chancellor’s Affirmative Action Award Announced

Issue Date: 
June 1, 2015

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher awarded the 2015 Chancellor’s Affirmative Action, Diversity and Inclusion Award to Pitt’s School of Information Sciences. The $2,500 honor was conferred in recognition of the school’s establishment and hosting of the iSchool Inclusion Institute for Information Sciences (i3). 

The i3 Program is “an important tool in ensuring that undergraduate students from underrepresented groups will have the exposure to experiences that will encourage them to pursue graduate studies in fields that have historically lacked diversity,” Gallagher noted in his award letter to Ronald Larsen, School of Information Sciences dean and professor.

The i3 Program is a collaboration among Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, Drexel, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Penn State, and Syracuse University. Each year, 20 to 25 undergraduates from across the nation are selected as i3 Scholars. Participants engage in an intensive year-long undergraduate research and leadership development program that includes two summer institutes and a team research project. Pitt has hosted the two summer institutes on its campus since the program’s 2011 inception, helping to foster strong Pitt ties among the 84 students who have participated so far.

“The fact that Pitt has sustained its position as the host school is especially impressive and was a critical factor in the Selection Committee’s recommendation that this program receive the 2015 award,” Chancellor Gallagher added. 

By the end of this year, more than 100 students will have participated in the program, becoming student ambassadors for Pitt’s School of Information Sciences and the i3 Program.

The i3 module has had considerable success in increasing  diversity among students of information sciences. Twenty-six percent of i3 Scholars are currently pursuing graduate studies in information sciences or related fields. Of those, three have received funding to continue their education here at Pitt. Demand for the program continues to rise, increasing 63 percent over the past five years.