Improving UMSI

Some students stand out, even among our incredibly talented crew. Nikki Roda knocked our socks off. Not only was she a tremendous scholar, she was also a catalyzing force for her class, coordinating projects like A2DataDive, a weekend of charitable information work, which went on to become one of the core offerings of UMSI’s Initiative for Information Impact.

When it came time for her to graduate, we wanted to acknowledge her contribution to the school, and also to hold her standard up for other students, to show them what they could strive to achieve while they were here. So we created the Nikki Candelore Roda award, given each year to a master’s student who exemplifies her pursuit of scholarly greatness for the public good. That award is made possible by donations to the school’s annual fund, which also helps to support new initiatives within UMSI.

Nikki Roda

“I want to help non-profits think about and organize their data efficiently, to help them make better use of their own information. At UMSI I found a true intellectual home. I was championed by faculty and staff who inspired me to do more than just passively get a degree. Here I feel that the sky is truly the limit.“Every day I’m thankful for the opportunity that my full scholarship has afforded me. At UMSI, I’ve developed a taste for big ideas – and because of the successes I’ve had here, I’m no longer afraid to think big. UMSI has given me the skills, but more importantly, the courage and confidence to do great things.” – Nikki Roda, MSI 2013

Phyllis Simon Mirsky

“I have always credited Michigan for giving me the start on a successful career. Michigan’s excellent reputation landed me my first job at UCLA and the AMLS degree was essential as I progressed up the administrative ladder. As a library administrator for many years, I know how important the flexibility of unrestricted donations can be for any program.” – Phyllis Simon Mirsky, AMLS 1965 and annual fund donor

Every year, our UMSI alumni and friends make a difference to the school through annual gifts. These gifts help prepare our students for personal and professional success. And regardless of size, these often unrestricted gifts provide UMSI leadership with the flexibility to meet the challenges of running the school in today’s fast-changing world.

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