“ The CIS program and its professors encouraged and facilitated my pursuit of a customized academic path that resulted in a purposeful and satisfying experience.
The CIS program's flexibility allowed me to carve an eclectic road during my doctoral degree, combining disciplines both within CIS and other areas in the University. I took advantage of the communication and organizational studies that the program offers, and made it "trans-disciplinary" by adding ocean policy studies from the school of Oceanography. At all times during my studies, the CIS program and its professors encouraged and facilitated my pursuit of a customized academic path that resulted in a purposeful and satisfying experience. I worked with several professors who both challenged me to seek opportunities outside the university and assisted me in the process. As a result, I received NSF funding for my dissertation, established a solid network with people outside the university, and successfully applied to work with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington, D.C., as part of the Coral Reef Conservation Program. I am grateful that the CIS program's interdisciplinary nature allowed me to advance my interests, as varied as they were, and complete a thoroughly enjoyable doctoral degree.
“ CIS has equipped me with fundamental capabilities to cope with future challenge in teaching and research. ”
In the digital age, the converging phenomena among media, computer technology, and telecommunication infrastructure shape societies significantly that requires an interdisciplinary study to better tackle the complicated new territory. As a lecturer in Taiwan’s university who attempted to stretch her knowledge domains, I decided to attend the Interdisciplinary Communication Information Sciences doctoral program (CIS) at University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa in 2004. Honestly, it was one of the best choices that I have made in my life. With three-year rigorous training (courses, exams, proposal, dissertation), I expanded my knowledge span and scope from Communication to MIS and HCI, thanks to these excellent professors and inspiring cohorts. CIS study not only exposed me to varieties of theories and methods cross-disciplines, but also opened my mind to appreciate diversities and further curbed the tendency to embrace “paradigms” blindly. It set up a solid foundation for me to conduct research regarding evolving new communication information technologies (DTV, TV news digitalization, Weblog, mobile TV, etc.), and to collaborate with scholars from different backgrounds, as my doctoral training benefits me to quickly enter novel and unfamiliar arenas, grasp their core concepts, and communicate with people in their disciple languages. Before my dissertation defense in 2007, I obtained the assistant professor position in the Communication and Information School at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. As an academic newbie, I am not afraid of any future challenge in teaching and research, because CIS has equipped me with fundamental capabilities to cope with them. CIS and Hawaiʻi will be always in my heart and thoughts!
“ CIS allowed me the freedom to develop my research in an area that did not fit within any single discipline. ”
The flexibility available to students of the multidisciplinary approach of the doctoral program in Communication and Information Sciences was attractive to me, as it provided an opportunity to pursue my interests in the relatively new and rapidly expanding field of Computer Forensics. The program provided the opportunity to combine relevant aspects from Information Technology Management, Computer Science, Library Information Science, and Communication and allowed me the freedom to develop my research in an area that did not fit within any single discipline. While the dissertation phase of the CIS program provided a forum for the specific area of focus for my research, the earlier, qualifying phase of the program provided a challenging and rewarding experience exposing me to concepts and methods from disciplines that were new to me. The rigor of the qualifying phase also contributed to a delightful, collegial experience working with my colleagues in preparation for the comprehensive examinations that developed lasting friendships with some very talented individuals from diverse backgrounds. The CIS program also provided me with an opportunity to teach graduate and undergraduate courses while completing my dissertation, and as a result of my experiences from the program, I was able to accept a tenure-track position at Cal Poly Pomona and began teaching immediately upon completing my dissertation in August of 2006.
“ The interdisciplinary nature of the CIS program has been the stimulus and springboard for innovations in teaching, writing, and research. It’s a source I draw on surprisingly often. ”
Throughout my work as a CIS student and now from my vantage point as an associate professor in an LIS graduate program on the mainland, the interdisciplinary nature of the CIS program has been the stimulus and springboard for innovations in teaching, writing, and research. It’s a source I draw on surprisingly often. While my mind has always wandered into unlikely places, the program gave me not only a cornucopia of new ideas but also the focus and diverse methods to pursue new avenues with discipline and fortitude. I particularly value my associations with faculty and fellow students, who inspired, provoked, mentored, and wheedled me into being a clearer thinker, more responsible scholar, and intellectual risk taker. The CIS program of my experience was an uncommon gathering of diverse, intelligent, stimulating scholars and downright interesting people. May it ever be so.
“ Whether your academic future is research, teaching, or administrative the CIS program is a great foundation. ”
I came to the CIS program relatively late in my professional career and earning a doctorate was a bit of unfinished business. I didn't just want a degree for the sake of a degree but rather something that pulled together my interests and experiences while further preparing me for the higher education administrative work in which I am engaged. The CIS program was the perfect fit. The interdisciplinary approach, the blending of technology and communication, the interaction among faculty and students all contributed to a great experience.
Shortly after completing the program I was tasked with managing a major student information system implementation for the University. The lessons learned in the CIS program helped me immensely in working with others to bring this mission critical application to fruition on-time and under budget. Whether your academic future is research, teaching, or administrative the CIS program is a great foundation.
“ Joining the CIS doctoral program was one of the best decisions of my career. ”
Joining the Communication and Information Sciences (CIS) doctoral program at the University of Hawaiʻi on an East-West Scholarship, was one of the best decisions of my career. I came with Bachelor of Science (business) and MBA degrees, and found that I was able to build on these extensively within the CIS program. The teaching staff were fantastic, being up-to-date in their research knowledge and always willing to share that knowledge with students. The courses were rigorous and demanding. I particularly enjoyed the interdisciplinary nature of the program and quickly developed co-operative relationships with students in Communications, Library Science, and Computer Science. These lasting relationships supported and extended my study in Decision Sciences and Information Systems. Shortly before graduation, I obtained a faculty position at a major university in my home country (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand) where I used my newly acquired research skills in my own research, in supporting new research programs (honors and masters), and in supervising Ph.D. candidates. After 10 years, I have moved to a position as Assistant Dean in the College of IT at UAE University, where I continue to use and develop the skills gained in the CIS program at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa.
“ CIS provided me the perfect context for continuous scholarly development through integrating approaches, methods and theories from various information disciplines. ”
As one of the early CIS graduates (1993) and a current faculty member, my perspective on the program spans its origins to the present. It was exciting to see an interdisciplinary program come to be. I entered CIS in 1990, grounded in social theory and learning theory, with a library and information science master’s and a psychology bachelor’s. CIS represented to me a significant convergence of the “information disciplines,” those that focus research on a variety of aspects of the social utility of information within a socio-technical context. I was attracted to CIS because of the cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of the program that encouraged my lifetime interest in synthesis.
For me, one of the roots of LIS is the synthesis and integration of all knowledge, where every aspect of information structure is multiply hierarchical and taxonomic, where conceptual relationships rule. The social, biological and technological forces that shape information reception, evaluation and use have conceived these structures, and that is where my research is focused. My research path since the degree has concentrated on integrating theories from social learning, cognitive psychology, communication, affective neuroscience, human-computer interaction and affective computing, among others, to understand and predict information behavior within a socio-technical environment. The number and kinds of technological affordances have increased rapidly and have influenced how people use information.
My current research focus attempts to clarify and integrate the theoretical explanations about how emotion and cognition interact. This knowledge seems to be needed in the area of Interface design and use. Early information technology has evolved into a symbiotic social-biological technology, and research needs to figure out how ubiquitous technology will affect social practices and their evolution in society.
The CIS program structure of required courses succeeded in integrating the disciplines, and made it possible to draw elements from theories, methods and approaches in diverse disciplines, and in the process to fruitfully apply those elements in my information science research. CIS provided me the perfect context for continuous scholarly development through integrating approaches, methods and theories from various information disciplines. I am fortunate to continue to thrive within the CIS context by working with doctoral students over the years, from whom I have learned a great deal.
“ Thanks to the CIS program, I have been able to branch out to diverse areas of research. ”
I was one of the first batch of graduates from the CIS program having received my Ph.D. in 1992. I came to the University of Hawaiʻi for a MS degree in Computer Science on an East-West Center grant and promptly joined the fledgling CIS program upon receiving my masters in 1987. It was a radical approach to an information science doctoral degree, one that combined disciplines from business, computing, communications and library science. My batch was just as multicultural with scholars coming from Indonesia, India, Japan, US, Germany and the Philippines.
Although my primary area of study was quantitative methods for decision making, I came out with a more well-rounded approach to problem solving in general. I am grateful to the CIS program for grounding me in both the computing and social sciences, providing a rich learning environment, challenging scenarios and stimulating colleagues, one that fostered in me the value of lateral thinking, multidisciplinary research and open exchange of ideas.
I have since joined the CSIRO, Australia’s national research laboratory, as a research scientist initially with the Division of Manufacturing and Infrastructure Technology (CMIT), and currently with the Division of Mathematical and Information Sciences (CMIS). My CIS training provided the foundation for my current work in the development of decision support tools and models that assist government and industry solve complex problems in goods production, services and logistics. Thanks to the CIS program, I have been able to branch out to diverse areas of research including land use-transport-environment modelling, health and population exposure, spatial analysis and network optimisation, vehicle assignment and scheduling for tourism services, and retail trade area analysis.