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Andrew Dillon to Receive the Association for Information Science and Technology 2023 Award of Merit 

The Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) is delighted to announce that Andrew Dillon is the recipient of the 2023 ASIS&T Award of Merit, the highest honor presented by the Association. The award’s purpose is to recognize an individual who has made particularly noteworthy and sustained contributions to the information science field. The award is based on 3 criteria: impact on theory, scholarship, and practice; exemplary leadership and sustained involvement; and education and mentoring.

Dillon is the V.M. Daniel Professor of Information in the School of Information, University of Texas at Austin, where he also holds appointments in the Dept. of Psychology and the School of Business. He served as dean of the school from 2002-2017 leading the program through a transition to a leading information school. As president of ASIS&T in 2013 he oversaw the renaming of the society to increase international representation. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Information and Culture and serves or has served on the editorial boards of numerous journals, including JASIST, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Journal of Documentation, and Interacting with Computers.

He earned his B.A. and M.A. (first class) in Psychology from University College Cork in Ireland before completing his Ph.D. from the Dept. of Human Sciences at Loughborough University in the UK. After working at the Human Sciences and Advanced Technology (HUSAT) Institute in Loughborough as a research fellow, he spent seven years at Indiana University where he served as a faculty member in SLIS, Cognitive Science and as a founding faculty member of the new School of Informatics before joining UT-Austin in 2002.

Dillon’s research examines the human experience of information space with a focus on the application of psychological theories and methods to the design of technologies to augment human capabilities. Over the course of his career he has examined how digital documents alter structural and genre cues that impact reader comprehension, positing shape as a property of information that reflects the cognitive and cultural dynamics underlying written communication, has studied the process of adoption and use of new technologies, and has critically examined the efficacy of current user-centered methods and education in improving the quality of user experience design. Author of more than one hundred publications, his most recent work, Understanding Users: Designing Experience through Layers of Meaning (Routledge, 2023) argues that the historical division of social science into specialized temporal disciplines hampers our ability to marshal its benefits in design practice, and offers an alternative framing that encourages a view of users as holistic beings with physiological, cognitive, social and cultural dispositions that combine seamlessly across our behavior and thoughts.

In nominating Dillon for the award, Kenneth R. Fleischmann, Professor of Information Science, University of Texas, Austin, stated, “Dr. Dillon has made noteworthy scholarly contributions to the advancement of the field of Information Science and Technology, particularly in his anticipation of the transition of the experience of reading from being primarily paper-based to primarily screen-based, his theoretical and empirical research on comparing these modalities of reading and optimizing the screen based reading experience, and his emphasis on humanizing usability research."

Dr. Dillon has also made outstanding contributions to the field of information science, as reflected by his tenure as ASIS&T president in 2013, as Dean of the Texas iSchool from 2002-2017, and scholarship around the research, teaching, and social missions of the information field. Dr. Dillon has published more than one hundred books, articles, and papers on various aspects of human information behavior and design. He served as a member of the Board of Directors for Patient Privacy Rights and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Austin Jazz Society. He advocates a view of information science as a means of accelerating discovery and shaping a more democratic world, and he is committed to applying the principles of user-centered design to real world information issues. He received the Teaching Excellence Recognition Award at IU three years in a row, the Rudolph J. Joenk, Jr. Award for the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication in 2006, and the North American Conference on Knowledge Organization Best Paper Award in 2019.

As Dean of the Texas iSchool for 15 years, Dr. Dillon transformed the research and teaching mission of the School. Early in his deanship, he presided over a transition to a School of Information in 2003. In 2017-2018 he held the Follett Chair at Dominican University, described as an honor ‘bestowed upon a master scholar and researcher who has achieved renown in the profession’. Upon completion of his term as dean, friends and donors to the iSchool created the Andrew Dillon Endowed Award for Education and Research in Social Justice at the University of Texas.

Upon learning of his selection as winner of the ASIS&T Award of Merit, Dillon responded, "Wow, thank you, recognition by one’s peers is truly the highest honor. But I am not done yet!"

Dillon will receive his award during the 2023 meeting of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) which will be held 27-31 October in London, UK.