The LGBTQIA student group at University of Michigan School of Information

Posts tagged ‘13-14’

October is LGBT History Month!

In honor of LGBT History Month, IAS will be spotlighting an LGBT person that influenced information science each day of the month on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.  If you have an idea for a blog post this month, please let us know by using the contact form on this site.  We want to hear from you!  Who do you think are the most influential LGBT persons in Information Science?

The first person we are highlighting this month is Alan Turing.  Widely considered to be one of the fathers of computer science and modern cryptanalysis, Turing was prosecuted for homosexual acts in the UK in 1952.

Day two is related to Health Informatics and takes a look at S. Josephine Baker.  A turn of the century public health doctor who traced several typhoid outbreaks to one healthy person, Mary Mallon (aka Typhoid Mary).

Jeannettte Howard Foster is a librarian and groundbreaking lesbian researcher.  She published Sex Variant Women in Literature in the 1950s (although it would not gain recognition until the 1970s) and paved the as a pioneer of literary analysis in regard to lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes.

Daniel C. Tsang, UM MLS Alum, Data Scientist, Asian American and LGBT activist. Find out more about him and his work on his Faculty Profile page at UC Irvine

Lynn Conway is a transgender woman who worked at Xerox PARC in the 1960s and at U of M. She is credited for developing VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) design for microchips. Read her autobiographical article about VLSI and digital design

Barbara Grier, one of the founders of Naiad publishing, Grier donated the 14,000 volumes of lesbian books she had been collecting since the age of 16 to the San Francisco Public Library. Learn more about her here

Our LGBT History Month Information Icon today is Jon “maddog” Hall, Executive Director at Linux

Ann Allen Shockley, librarian and author, this ally has written extensively about interracial and lesbian relationships

Next is Maurice Oldfield, a British Intelligence Officer and head of MI6 from 1973-1978

Today’s LGBT History Month Icon is Ruth Ellis. She was the first woman to run a printing business in the city of Detroit and a strong LGBT activist. The Ruth Ellis Center is named in her honor.

Next up is Audre Lorde. Librarian, writer and activist.

More tangential today, Virginia Prince was a publisher, but better known for popularizing the term transgender

Katherine Bement Davis, social scientist and economist, she was not only an LGBT activist, but also a prison reformer

J. Edgar Hoover, a potentially controversial pick, was Director of the FBI and created the first centralized fingerprint database

Pearl Hart, born in Traverse City Michigan, she was a lesbian, lawyer and social justice advocate

Carl Van Vechten, bisexual writer and archivist

Dorr Legg, Ann Arbor native, this gay man was the founder and editor of ONE, Inc. as well as an interracial activist

Chris Hughes, one of the founders of Facebook

Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal known for his controversial Fellowships that encourage young entrepreneurs to skip college,

Dana (Contreras) McCallum, also known as Dana Danger is transgender and an engineer for Twitter

Frank Kameny, another who is only tangentially related to information science, Frank was an astronomer in the Army’s Map Service and became a leading LGBT activist in the 1960s

Sophie Wilson, transgender computer scientist

Sir Frances Bacon, 17th century English philosopher of science; called “the high priest of modern science” for elucidating principles of the scientific method

Sonja Kovalevskaya, the first major Russian female mathemetician was also the first woman to work as an editor for a scientific journal

Joel Spolsky, gay man and co-founder of Stack Overflow, who also worked for some time at Microsoft on the Excel team,

Jennifer Diane Reitz, trans woman, webcomic author, and programmer, she founded the site

Tim Gill, computer scientist, software entrepreneur and LGBT rights activist

Ric Weiland was lead programmer and developer and one of the first 5 employees at Microsoft; his philanthropy was centered around LGBT activism including $65 million to HIV/AIDS and gay rights organization following his death

Marshall McKusick and Eric Allman are both computer programmers and have been partners for over 30 years,

Tom Coats, technologist, blogger, LGBT activist and e-community developer has worked for the likes of Yahoo!

Finally, we’ll end the month with Megan Smith, CEO for Planet Out, she later went on to become a Vice President at Google


Fall Events

We had several members in attendance for the first meeting of the Fall semester.  We reviewed the constitution and talked about events for the upcoming semester.  IAS will be sponsoring the following:

October is LGBT History Month.  Keep an eye on our social media accounts which will feature well known LGBT persons in Information Science each day of the month!

October 14, in honor of National Coming Out Day, the UMSI Career Development Office will be presenting a session focused on LGBT issues during the job search.  Topics discussed will include how to talk about Equal Opportunity Employment, partner benefits, and how best to present your advocacy work to prospective employers.  Join us at 4:00 p.m. on October 14, 2013 in North Quad room 2185.

November 20, IAS will sponsor an event for International Transgender Day of Rememberance.  The planning committee will be meeting via Google Hangout on Tuesday, October 1 at 7:15 p.m. to discuss ideas for the event as well as develop an application for the Space 2435 Fall semester grant.

All members are encouraged to participate on the ALA planning committee for Quasi-Con which will be happening early in the Winter semester!

Finally, the constitution is currently being voted for ratification.  Please submit your vote by submitting a Google form at  Full notes from the meeting were e-mailed to members.  If you did not receive a copy, please let Chris Bulin know.  You can request a copy by e-mailing IASOfficers[at]umich[dot]edu.

Kick Off Meeting

We are starting the new year off with a full agenda.  Please join us!

September 23, 2013 4-5 p.m. in room 1255 of North Quad will be our kick off meeting.  Agenda items will include:

  • Constitution review and ratification
  • Results of officer elections
  • Nominations and voting for events in the Fall semester
There are classes in that room directly before and after our meeting, so please be ready to discuss these items quickly and efficiently.
Communications and Logistics Officers Nominations are now being accepted.  Please fill out this very short form ( to nominate yourself or others for these positions.  Position descriptions are in the constitution, on the website, and available on the form itself.  If you volunteer or accept a nomination, please prepare one paragraph describing why you want to be an officer (keep it short and sweet).  These will be available on the election ballot you’ll receive next week.

One of the goals of this organization is to teach leaders, so if you feel that officership may be too much for you, please consider chairing or volunteering for an event committee.  Committees will be determined at the first meeting.  Some important dates to keep in mind for possible event suggestions this fall include:

  • October is LGBT history month
  • National Coming Out Day, October 12
  • National Ally Week, October 21-25
  • Intersex Awareness Day, October 26
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20
  • World AIDS Day, December 1

Start thinking about events in which you would most like to participate and bring all of your great ideas to our first meeting!


A New Year, A New Name

I hope everyone enjoyed their summer.  Now it’s time to get back to work at UMSI.  This year, in an attempt to update the branding of our group and encourage participation from all specializations, the group formerly known as Lavendar Information and Library Association (LILA) is now, Information Across the Spectrum (IAS).  I’m very excited for the opportunity to lead the group in a new direction and increase the membership.

Our mission is to explore strange new worlds… Well, not exactly, but as part of the re-invention of LILA, I am working on a constitution for the group.  This is required in order to become a recognized student group.  Once we are officially recognized, then we are eligible for seed money to cover costs of events or seed fundraisers.  If you have any suggestions for the direction of the group, please feel free to share them in the comments.  The constitution will be open for comments and updates during the fall semester.  Keep an eye on the Constitution page of this site for a completed document by the end of August.

One goal for this year is to identify and nurture partnerships with other LGBTQIA graduate student groups on campus.  I have added them to the Blogroll that you can see in the right hand side bar.  Our brethren include Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (oSTEM), Outlaws, the Law School group, OutMD, the Medical School group, and Ross Out For Business (Ross OFB) the b-school group.  If you have contacts in any of these groups, please let them know we would love to partner with them.

I hope we are able to collaborate within UMSI as well as in the greater framework of the university and community to talk about issues involving Information Science and LGBTQIA awareness this year.  Let me know what you think about our redesign and come visit us during the Ice Cream Social at the UMSI orientation on August 29, 2013.