“ 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.