SLIS Professor Receives "President's Faculty Excellence Award"
Kent State University President Beverly Warren recently named School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) Professor Marcia Lei Zeng, Ph.D., a recipient of the President’s Faculty Excellence Award.
Zeng, who joined the Kent State faculty in the early 1990s, was recognized for her “exceptional performance that [led] to the achievement of national or international recognition,” according to the university.
“I am humbled to be chosen as a recipient of the President’s Faculty Excellence Award,” Zeng said. “It is a great honor. […] This honor is not just a recognition of my research and scholarship, it is also a recognition of our school, the School of Library and Information Science, and of our College of Communication and Information.”
Zeng adds this honor to her growing list of accolades: she was a 2016 Fulbright Scholar Award winner to Taiwan; she has published 90 journal articles and five books; she has delivered nearly 200 national and international conference presentations; and she has received more than $1 million in funding for her research from various institutions. Zeng was elected as the inaugural chair of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) Advisory Board, director-at-large of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASI&T) and an executive board member of the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO).
Research That Makes a Difference
“Our efforts in research and teaching make great differences in and impact on the resources, methods, tools and workforce in the digital era. Initiatives in digital humanities have demonstrated a paradigm shift in how cultural heritage materials can be searched, mined, displayed, taught and analyzed utilizing digital technologies,” Zeng said. “These are the driving forces that motivate me to conduct research in the field of data and information science.”
Zeng has partnered with other leaders and organizations in the field to conduct her research and to produce standards and reports, including World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations and the Getty Research Institute.
“Our efforts have led to the production of influential research products and international standards,” Zeng said. “I have been propelled by these exciting real-world outcomes from my scholarship and feeling fortunate and gratifying by the opportunities I have had.”
Zeng was nominated for the award by her SLIS colleagues: Professor Yin Zhang, Ph.D., Associate Professor Athena Salaba, Ph.D., and former Interim Director Jeff Fruit.
"Dr. Zeng is an internationally renowned scholar in knowledge organization systems, metadata, linked data, and digital humanities,” Fruit said. “Her prolific research has had a profound impact in her fields of study, as has her international leadership in a variety of organizations, including a just-completed 2016 Senior Fulbright Scholar appointment in Taiwan."
A Supportive Environment
Zeng said the university has not only provided the resources, but also the atmosphere and support she needs to conduct her research.
“Kent State provides a very supportive environment and collaborative atmosphere,” Zeng said. “The Division of Research and Sponsored Programs always provided timely support and guidance. Our school and College of Communication and Information have a wonderful collaborative and collegial culture where faculty members work together and support each other. The SLIS directors, interim directors and our college deans of the past 20-plus years have given me full support and recognition of my research and teaching. Without their support, guidance, trust and encouragement, I would not have been able to accomplish what I did.”
Zeng is proud that her work is seen as a credit to the university.
“I believe research accomplishments can raise an institution’s intellectual profile, and everything I do, including all the publications, conference presentations, keynote speeches, and international-level standards, can contribute to this institutional intellectual profile,” Zeng said. “As a member of the Kent State community, my research accomplishments will bear not only my name, but also my institution’s.”
Zeng was named Kent State Scholar of the Month in March of 2014, and was one of three recipients of the Kent State 2014 Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award.
“SLIS faculty are really proud of Dr. Zeng’s achievements,” Zhang said. “She is an inspiration to all of us. It is a great honor to work with her.”
Zeng was one of 110 faculty members nominated for the 2016 Faculty Excellence Award. Of those 110, only 14 were selected to earn the award.