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2017–2018 SIG-USE Officers

We are pleased to announce our 2017 – 2018 SIG-USE officers:

Beth St. Jean, Chair, is an Assistant Professor in the College of Information Studies (, the Assistant Director of the Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC) (, and an affiliate faculty member of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy (, all at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA ( She holds an MLS and a PhD in Information from the University of Michigan School of Information ( Beth’s research aims to improve people’s long-term health outlooks by exploring the important interrelationships between their health-related information behaviors, their health literacy, their health-related self-efficacy, and their health behaviors. She has worked with both adults and children over the past several years. Working with her colleague, Mega Subramaniam, Beth co-developed the NLM-funded HackHealth after-school program ( to help improve disadvantaged middle school students’ health-related self-efficacy and their digital health literacy skills. Beth’s most current research focuses on the concept of health justice, particularly aiming to identify the information-related causes of, and potential solutions to, health disparities.


Heather O’Brien, Immediate Past Chair, is Associate Professor at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies in Vancouver, BC. She is Past Chair of SIGUSE, and also serves as Director-at-Large for ASIS&T and the Editorial Board of the Journal for the Association of Information Science and Technology (JASIS&T). Dr. O’Brien’s teaching and research interests are in the area of human information interaction, where she explores user engagement with information technology. Recent publications include the edited book, Why Engagement Matters: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives and Innovations on User Engagement with Digital Media (2016, Springer), and articles, “Antecedents and learning outcomes of online news engagement” (JASIS&T, 2017), “A scoping review of individual differences in information search research” (Library and Information Science Research, 2017), and “Measuring User Engagement with the User Engagement Scale (UES): A Shortened and Improved Version” (International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 2018).


Heather O’Brien, PhD

Sue Yeon Syn, Chair Elect, is an associate professor of Department of Library and Information Science at the Catholic University of America. Her research interests focus on user information behavior in the aspect of users’ involvement in information creation and sharing on social web. She uses social media as a channel for users to participate in creating information, and applies various methods to make the best use of user generated information for different purposes such as information organization, information seeking, and information sharing. Her current projects include investigating health information behavior on social media, personal history archiving behaviors, and use of folksonomy in relation to linked data. In terms of teaching, she has been teaching courses such as “Information Systems,” “Organization of Information,” “Information Architecture,” “User Interface Design,” “Programming for Web Applications,” and “Healthcare Information Systems” at CUA. In this semester, she is teaching a newly developed course, “Introduction to Data Science.”


Jonathan Pulliza, Secretary, is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. He works in the InfoSeeking lab on projects related to how individuals use large collections of documents for decision making.


Ophelia Morey, Treasurer, is an associate librarian in the University Libraries at the University at Buffalo where her primary duties are community outreach. She is the recipient of several National Network of Libraries of Medicine funding awards for health information outreach projects with community collaborators. She has a research interest in the information needs, seeking and use of the underserved in their everyday lives including the related roles of ICTs.

Jiqun Liu, Communications Officer, is a second-year Ph.D. student majoring in information science at School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University. His previous work on information behavior theory, task-based information retrieval, and information seeking intention were published/presented on Journal of Documentation, ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR), ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR), Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), and iConference. Before joining the Ph.D. program, as a master student at Peking University (Beijing, China), he served as the co-Chair of student volunteers for the 6th International Conference on Information Capital, Property, and Ethics (ICPE). Besides, he also served as social media manager and official logo designer for the Chinese National Doctoral Symposium in Information Science.

Bebe Chang, Recruitment/Membership Officer, joined the Arts & Humanities Department in the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries as a temporary faculty in October 2015. She has been performing various library liaison functions, including providing information literacy instruction, to support the College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to coming to UCB, Bebe was a permanent faculty at Florida Atlantic University where she had completed her Bachelor’s in Public Management with honors. Bebe has her Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida and was a former member of Phi Kappa Phi. Prior to entering librarianship, Bebe was a practicing journalist in Guyana where she was born. She also has a CELTA certificate and taught ESL in Vietnam. Bebe serves on various committees and groups in the University Libraries, and nationally and internationally, including as a Member of the American Library Association’s Committee on Literacy, Membership Officer of the Association of Information Science & Technology, and Co-coordinator of the CU inter-campus Publish, not Perish! Development Team. She’s also a reviewer for The Reference Librarian, a Taylor & Francis journal. Bebe follows cricket and Formula 1.


Tim Gorichanaz, Webmaster, is a PhD candidate in information studies in the College of Computing & Informatics at Drexel University. Tim investigates how people experience information in personally-meaningful activities, including art-making, athletics and religion. In his dissertation, Understanding Self-Documentation, Tim is researching how fine artists use information in their work, and what the artistic genre of the self-portrait means today. This project combines a deep philosophical grounding and conceptual research with an empirical study of contemporary local artists. In 2017, he received the Litwin Books Award for Ongoing Dissertation Research in Information Studies for his dissertation proposal. Drawing from human information behavior, document theory and philosophy of information, this work aims to link conversations within information science to those in other fields and open us up new questions and ways of questioning. Tim’s professional experience includes advertising and teaching English as a second language, and his educational background includes Spanish literature and linguistics. When he is not working, he enjoys running very long distances and learning classical guitar.


Sanghee Oh, Awards Committee Chair, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, Chungnam National University, South Korea. She obtained her Ph.D. in Information & Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of California at Los Angeles. Prior to joining the faculty in March 2017, she served as Assistant Professor in the School of Information, Florida State University, from 2010 to 2017. Her areas of research interest are health information behaviors, social informatics, and big social data analysis. She is studying people’s motivations and usages of social media/social Q&A for seeking and sharing information about health as well as other topics. She has taught courses in health informatics, human information behaviors, information retrieval, information architecture, databases management, and digital libraries.


Sarah Barriage, Awards Committee Member, is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers University. Her research interests include information practices in early childhood, the use of visual research methods in investigating children’s everyday life experiences, and issues of social justice as they relate to research and practice in this area. Sarah’s dissertation examines young children’s information needs, seeking, and use in the context of their individual interests, placing emphasis on children’s perspectives of their engagement with information by using child-centered research methods. She is also currently a graduate fellow on a youth media literacy project funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Xiaojun (Jenny) Yuan, Awards Committee Member, is Associate Professor of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany, SUNY. She earned her Ph.D. in Information Science and a Master in Statistics from Rutgers University, and a Ph.D. in Computer Application from Chinese Academy of Sciences in China. Her teaching and research interests include both Human Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval, with the focus on user interface design and evaluation and human information behavior. Professor Yuan has worked on federal and state funded grants as well as university funded projects. Her most recent research funded by the IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) federal funding agency focuses on investigating the effectiveness of a spoken language and gesture input interface to information systems. Her research has been published in journals in information retrieval and human computer interaction, and conferences in computer science and information science. She serves as committee members and reviewers in various professional conferences such as ASIST, iConference, SIGIR, SIGCHI, CHIIR (the ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval), IIix (the Information Interaction in Context Symposium), and ChineseCHI. She serves as reviewers for professional journals including JASIST, IP&M, Journal of Documentation, and ACM Transactions on Information Systems, etc. She is currently serving as the chair of workshops and tutorials in the committee of CHIIR 2018. In 2010, she served as the proceedings chair of the IIix conference. She has been serving as the executive board member of the International Chinese Association of Human Computer Interaction since 2012. In 2012, she served as the award committee co-chair for the First Symposium of Chinese Human Computer Interaction. She was the planning committee member of the SIG USE Research Symposium in 2011 and 2013.