Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information
Associate Professor of Library and Information Science Rebecca Reynolds has been named the chair of the Library and Information Science Department at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information, effective July 1, 2023, succeeding Professor Marie L. Radford.
“I am happy to share with you that Rebecca Reynolds was voted as the new Chair of the Department of LIS,” SC&I Interim Dean Dafna Lemish wrote in an email to the SC&I community. “Rebecca is a scholar of human learning in formal and informal educational settings. She also studies and engages in evidence-based, participatory, and community-based educational technology design, development, and evaluation. Rebecca is the co-founder and co-editor of the journal, Information and Learning Sciences, published by Emerald.”
Reynolds, who joined the SC&I faculty in 2010, has undertaken recent work exploring educational technology applications of remote teaching and learning at the K-12 level and their implications under crisis scenarios such as COVID-19; socio-technical systems and critical informatics research perspectives on e-learning system platform application in higher education given privacy and surveillance concerns; and cultural studies, neuroscientific and cognitive science perspectives on mindfulness meditation as a practice to complement teaching and learning, and design and management to mitigate information overload.
"I am excited to take on this new and challenging role, while I step into big shoes and on giant shoulders,” Reynolds said. “Dr. Marie Radford's leadership, service and keen insight as Chair have been integral to the department's positive hiring, growth, and development across several terms in the last 15 years. I hope to continue in her footsteps, as we all work closely together as a faculty to advance Rutgers' scholarly research impact, teaching excellence at all levels, and contributions to the field as a leading iSchool."
Radford, who has served as chair of the SC&I Library and Information Science Department twice, from 2019 –2023, and 2012–2014, said, "I'm delighted that Dr. Rebecca Reynolds will be the next Chair of the LIS Department. As I step down as Chair to return to the teaching faculty, Dr. Reynolds and I are already working closely on transition. She brings abundant talent, enthusiasm, energy, and vision for the Department's future, so I'm confident that the Department will continue to flourish under her leadership."
Reynolds teaches courses in the Ph.D. Program such as the required "Seminar in Information Studies" for first year cohorts, and special topics classes related to her research agenda. She also teaches Master of Information (MI) courses including “Social Informatics,” "Research Methods," and “Learning Theory, Inquiry and Instructional Design”, and undergraduate Information Technology and Informatics (ITI) courses including “IT and Learning” and “Gender and Technology.”
Reynolds had an early career development grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) from 2012-2016 to engage in research on computer science education among K-12 public school students as part of a non-profit collaborative project (Globaloria) involving Constructionist game design activities for students in classes taken daily, for credit and a grade for entire semesters and school years. After over a decade of research and development, the online learning system and enriched blended learning curriculum was acquired and commercialized into Carnegie Learning's current CS education product offering, Zulama. Further building from work in the IMLS grant, Reynolds then co-founded the journal, Information and Learning Sciences and continues to co-edit the journal in cultivation of scholarly research agendas at this integral disciplinary nexus.
Reynolds has served as a Rutgers AAUP-AFT union department representative and co-rep from 2018-present and expresses her solidarity with the Rutgers union's efforts to develop and transform solidarity and labor rights and interests for constituents across units and field-wide.
“Please join me in expressing our gratitude to Marie for her dedicated leadership; and in congratulating Rebecca for stepping up to the challenging role of chair and wishing her much success!” Lemish said.