Information Institute Research Team to present studies at ALISE ’15 and iConference 2015

Jisue LeeLaura Spears, and Chandra Ambavarapu will present, Between the IT Curricula and Job Posting Ads: Comparative Analysis of IT Job Competencies for IT Professionals in Northwest Florida, a poster that examines the alignment of desired IT job competencies derived from curricula learning outcomes at local two and four-year colleges compared to entry-level IT position advertisements in northwest Florida. This study reports the preliminary findings of the National Science Foundation Advance Technological Education (NSF ATE) project; the project abstract is available at The NSF ATE focus includes an in-depth look at specific a four-year college in northwest Florida and illustrates the details that two and four year schools in Florida face in aligning curricula with IT employers needs, especially in clarifying the value of certifications and obtaining meaningful experiential learning opportunities for students as they manage their education and career pathways.  

The study design and preliminary findings of the Florida Information Technology Career Alliance (FITC) assessment is an innovative approach to support the recruitment, retention and employment of Florida’s future technology workforce funded by the State University System of Florida Board of Governors. The research design that focuses on the technology and computing efforts in North Florida will be presented in a poster by Laura Spears, Jenny Ma and Chandra Ambavarapu entitled Early Results of an Assessment Study of Promoting Rural North Florida Information Technology Education to Career Pathways in Newport Beach, California, March 2015. The complete FITC project description is available at

Spears, Lee, Chandra Ambavarapu team up again to present a paper titled, Meeting the Needs of IT Stakeholders in a Northwest Florida State College at the 2015 iConference in Newport Beach.  In an examination of one Florida Panhandle community college delivering its intended IT education goals to meet the needs of local employers, the researchers performed five comparative analyses that stemmed from the overarching research question, “How do IT program learning outcomes compare to the requirements of IT job postings as well as to IT student and faculty perceptions of what is learned and what is taught?”

Institute director Charles R. McClure, Ph.D. and associate director, Marcia A. Mardis, Ed.D. serve as co-Principal Investigators on both the NSF ATE study and the FITC Assessment.

Institute Researchers present Individual Research studies

Laura I Spears, Research Coordinator of Information Institute, will present posters at both ALISE 2015 and the 2015 iConference focusing on her dissertation research examining the use of social media to advocate for public library funding efforts.  She will present a pilot study design work in progress at ALISE 2015, Library Funding Advocacy on Facebook and Twitter: Discovering What The Public Values, that examines the beginnings efforts of the Save the Miami-Dade Public Libraries social media campaign. Spears’ iConference 2015 poster presentation will feature the full dissertation study design entitled Using Social Networks for Library Funding Advocacy: A Discourse Analysis of the Save the Miami-Dade Public Libraries Facebook Campaign that includes a discussion of the analytical framework that includes the public management theory, Creating Public Value (Benington & Moore, 2011).

Jisue Lee, with co-authors Ahn and Oh, will also present a paper describing political communication using Twitter entitled Mysterious Influential Users in Political Communication on Twitter: Users’ Occupation Information and Its Impact on Retweetability at the iConference. Lee will also present her doctoral research on political opinion leader use of Twitter, From Tweets to Twitterers: Semi-structured Interviews with South Korean Opinion Leaders on Twitter at ALISE 2015.

Nicole D. Alemanne, a post-doctoral researcher at the Information Institute, will present a poster about her dissertation research in the ALISE Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Doctoral Student Poster Competition. Alemanne’s dissertation, Mapping the Social World Boundaries of Interdisciplinary Teams: Processes for Working Across Disciplines, explored the processes that an interdisciplinary research team used to collaborate across domain boundaries while developing digital tools used by elementary school children to conduct scientific investigations at a nature center and in the classroom.  She will also participate in the Doctoral Colloquium at the 2015 iConference.