Member Spotlight- Leili Seifi
In each issue of Inside ASIS&T, we ask a different member questions about their perspectives, advice, and experiences in the field of information science and technology. If you would like to be a featured member, email Pamela Yonker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long have you been an ASIS&T member?
I have been an ASIS&T member since June 2021.
Why did you decide to join ASIS&T?
For my professional development and to expand my network internationally, I have always been looking for a way to join ASIS&T. However because of sanctions in Iran, it was impossible to transfer the membership fee. I was very fortunate, I came across the InfoShare Award and won it in June 2021.
How have you benefitted from being an ASIS&T member?
I have been actively involved in ASIS&T over the past two years. Since then, I have been experiencing the wide benefits of a large, international association which includes the ability to connect to professionals who I never imagined that I would have a chance to meet. Joining SIG-III and the Middle East Chapter helped me build my regional networks with peers, helped me to expand my leadership experience, stay up-to-date through JASIST, attend informative webinars with exposure to new ideas and research. ASIS&T is also the most welcoming and engaging space; I could easily communicate with the president or a member of the board of directors. They were so responsive and eager to help. ASIS&T has been a great platform for promoting my international activities. I have connected with so many reputed professionals, including those whom I invited to give a keynote at our international conference in Iran (May 2022). ASIS&T has provided me with countless benefits. Being from a developing country, ASIS&T has given me an intellectual, professional, and social context in which to participate and develop.
Do you have any advice for new ASIS&T members?
ASIS&T is a very welcoming community. I strongly recommend getting involved by volunteering for a SIG or chapter activities. Volunteering activities are great opportunities to enhance your professional development and foster community. You can also make connections with like-minded peers who wish to exchange ideas, share research experiences, and collaborate on research projects and event organization.
What is a project you are working on right now that excites you?
I am one of the team members of the SIG-III Special Project Fund which will hold a Winter School. Through this project, SIG-III will offer a series of six workshops to train information science professionals from developing countries to enhance their research skills. We will be enrolling doctoral scholars, post-doctoral scholars, and early career professionals from developing countries. I strongly believe enhancing the research skills of scholars and early career professionals is a vital part of what we can do. Being from a developing country I faced many challenges in my early career. I recommend all Ph.D. scholars, Postdoctoral, and early careers not miss this great learning opportunity.
We will start registration and keep posted on the SIG-III Webpage and iConnect shortly.
Who has inspired you in your career?
When I was doing my master's in LIS in 2004, our professor for the Foundations of Information Science course recommended a paper entitled “Information as Thing," by Michael Buckland. I remember I spent almost one month to find the full text of the paper. Exploring and reading this paper was amazing, how the author within 10 pages introduces many of the central concepts of information science. I believe Michael Buckland is a dedicated thinker about the foundation of information science and never imagined one day I could meet him. Finally at the 2023 Mid-Year Conference, I could meet and listen to him virtually. Thank you ASIS&T.