Meet the New SLIS Faculty

October 09, 2018

Ann Graf and Danielle Pollock at reception for new Simmons faculty

Assistant Professors share research details and what they're up to outside of the classroom!

We caught up with Assistant Professors Ann Graf, Danielle Pollock, and Rachel Williams as a way to welcome our new faculty. Read on to discover who can identify dragonflies, who plays roller derby, and who will appreciate your references to Dr. Who






Ann Graf

Assistant Professor Ann Graf

What is your teaching area?

I teach information organization. Right now I'm teaching two sections of 415 in person. I will teach two more sections in the spring online.

Any research in progress?

I'm continuing research I began with my dissertation, examining the organization of graffiti art photographic collections online. I'm working on research to examine how users access the collections and how they use the organization of the websites to find what they want. This examination focuses largely on the vocabulary used to describe graffiti and street art.

What are you doing when you aren't at Simmons?

When I'm not at Simmons, I'm often taking photographs. I take lots of photos! I like to run, bike, knit, read, and spend time with my mini schnauzer, Buddy. I also chase dragonflies and damselflies, photographing them, netting and identifying species, and participating in citizen science species counts. I enjoyed the summer in Boston, visiting art museums and galleries, taking the T all over to get my bearings, and doing a lot of walking and biking. To de-stress, I love the New York Times daily crossword or a good jigsaw puzzle.

Favorite book or movie or TV show or album?

I could never pick just one of any book or movie, but I loved the book To Kill a Mockingbird and the movie Babette’s Feast, among many, many others!


Danielle Pollock

Assistant Professor Danielle Pollock

What is your teaching area?

My teaching has primarily focused on information technology and its users. This fall, I’ll be teaching LIS 488: "Technology for Information Professionals," an exciting, hands-on foundational tech course.

Any research in progress?

I recently completed my dissertation, a study examining the drivers and consequences of the adoption of new information technologies and practices at an academic medical center. Some other projects I’m working on right now include research on scholarly blogging and on the information needs and practices of multidisciplinary research teams.

What are you doing when you aren't at Simmons?

I just moved here, so right now, I’m spending my copious free time getting to know Boston. I’m always looking for recommendations for good restaurants and coffee shops to try. (I’ll also be looking for a good pair of winter boots soon.)

Favorite book or movie or TV show or album?

It’s nearly impossible for me to pick just one in any of these categories, but I do make a lot of references to Dr. Who.


Rachel Williams

Assistant Professor Rachel Williams

What is your teaching area? 

Currently, I teach introduction technology classes, including LIS 488 and LIS 458. I came to technology as a librarian, which makes teaching technology to folks who do not have that background particularly rewarding for me. The LIS 458 course is designed to introduce students to the basics of database design and management. 

Any research in progress?

My current project is in collaboration with Assistant Professor of Social Work, Lydia Ogden. We're conducting focus groups with Public library staff to explore professional challenges in providing information services to people in crisis. We received a grant from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine New England Region to support the focus groups, as well as conduct workshops around the topics that we identify through the study.

What are you doing when you aren't at Simmons? 

I'm usually writing, grading, or reading at home, playing roller derby, or going hiking. One of my favorite places to wander around is Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown, Rhode Island. The fort is covered in graffiti but is also right next to the ocean. It’s a very striking and beautiful park. 

Favorite book or movie or TV show or album?

Most recently the non-fiction book I could not put down is Evicted, by Michael Desmond. This book follows the stories of several people experiencing housing insecurity. My favorite fiction book right now is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman. The story chronicles what seems at first to be a fairly ordinary person, Eleanor, and we learn more about her as the narrative progresses. It’s very subtle and enjoyable.