School of Information Sciences

iSchool celebrates Alumni Awards winners and 2014 Legacy Laureate Debra King


The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences celebrated our 2014 Alumni Award winners on Friday, October 24 at 6:00 p.m. at the Information Sciences Building.

After a brief reception during which award winners met current faculty, staff and students, iSchool alumnus and representative to the Pitt Alumni Association Sam Srinivas opened the ceremony. Sam introduced Dean Ronald Larsen who presented awards to Debra D. King (Distinguished Alumni Award) and Dr. Douglas C. Sicker (Professional Achievement Award). Dr. Yang Xu, the recipient of our Young Alumni Award, was unable to attend the festivities but Dean Larsen gave a brief review of Dr. Xu’s accomplishments to the assembled audience.

Distinguished Alumni Award winner Debra King (MSIS’85) received her B. S. in Child Development/Child Care and Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1983 and a M. S. in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1985.  She received her International Business Management diploma from Georgetown University in 2013. In September 2013, Debra was appointed Manager, Retail Fuels Marketing – Americas responsible for market strategy development, program development and implementation for Loyalty, Card Payment Offers, as well as integrated marketing communications for TV, Radio, Digital and on site advertising.

On Thursday, October 23, Debra was named a Legacy Laureate during the official Homecoming 2014 celebration. That same afternoon she generously donated her time at a Q&A session with iSchool students where she gave insight and advice on building a career, balancing personal and professional commitments, and her definition of success.

Dr. Douglas C. Sicker (MST’92, PhD’01), our Professional Achievement Award winner, has held various positions in academia, industry and government. Doug is currently the Department Head and Professor of Engineering and Public Policy with a joint appointment in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Young Alumni Award winner Dr. Yang Xu (PhD’07) received a Master of Automation, with honors, from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China and a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences in 2007. After completing his doctoral studies, he joined the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008 and in 2010 he became the Head of the Computer Science Department.

Congratulations to each of our Alumni Award winners who continue to inspire the current cohort of iSchool students. Learn more about the 2014 Awards and previous winners.

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