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Scholarship named for Dialog founder Roger K. Summit aims to fill information profession pipeline with promising students

ProQuest, an information firm central to global research, has awarded the 2013 Roger K. Summit Scholarship to Allana Mayer, an MLIS student at McGill University in Montreal. The scholarship – named in honor of Dialog founder Roger K. Summit, a pioneer in developing online information retrieval services – will be presented June 9 at the Special Libraries Association's annual conference in San Diego.

"We're so inspired by Allana's imaginative application of the principles of information science to advance the preservation of art and cultural history," said Maria Ziemer, Global Manager of the ProQuest Graduate Education Program. "It's an honor for us to help her continue her education."

Ms. Mayer is focusing her graduate work on archiving, with plans to apply her skills in art and media, particularly digitization, born-digital content, and the maintenance of archival context for artistic works in digital environments. Ms. Mayer would like to develop systems that can collect and preserve the reviews, discussion and references to other works that are generated by public art experiences. Ms. Mayer is also interested in methods of information retrieval, especially the ways verbal and non-verbal searching and browsing can occur. Image-searching by color, audio similarity retrieval, and natural language processing are examples of areas she believes will markedly improve with new technologies, changing the ways people intuitively look for materials.

"I have an affinity for the systems thinking and methods of organization and access that come with the digital age, and I'm excited to be, if not an instrument, at least a witness to coming changes in the librarian and archival communities," said Ms. Mayer. "The value of this scholarship is more than just money: it's the prestige of being recognized as having the potential to change the industry."

Ms. Mayer received her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts Cultural Studies from York University in Toronto. The program was a mix of art theory and criticism, aesthetic philosophy, and studio courses that explored digital art and interactivity.

The Roger K. Summit Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduate student enrolled in an accredited library or information sciences program. Scholarship winners must demonstrate understanding of digital information services, academic achievement, and interest in the field of electronic information services. The Scholarship is part of ProQuest's Graduate Education Program for Library and Information Sciences. The GEP program encompasses the full range of ProQuest products, including Dialog and the new ProQuest research environment, and provides free access for classroom use by qualifying programs.

For more information about the Roger K. Summit scholarship, including past winners, visit

About ProQuest (
ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company has forged a 70-year reputation as a gateway to the world's knowledge — from dissertations to governmental and cultural archives to news, in all its forms. Its role is essential to libraries and other organizations whose missions depend on the delivery of complete, trustworthy information.

ProQuest's massive information pool is made accessible in research environments that accelerate productivity, empowering users to discover, create, and share knowledge.

An energetic, fast-growing organization, ProQuest includes the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, ebrary®, and Serials Solutions® businesses and notable research tools such as the RefWorks®, and Pivot services, as well as its' Summon® web-scale discovery service. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.

07 June 2013

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