NISO Celebrates Contributions by Industry Professionals: NISO Plus 2021

Information Community Honors Achievements and Service

The winners of the National Information Standards Organization’s 2021 awards and scholarships were announced on February 25 during the NISO Plus 2021 conference

NISO awards recognize leadership in and contributions to the information community. As previously announced, the recipient of this year’s prestigious Miles Conrad Award for lifetime achievement is Heather Joseph, Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). Heather was recognized for her achievements in advancing open sharing of resources, including open access articles, books, data, and open educational resources.  A well-known and highly respected member of the global information community, Heather joins a long list of industry leaders, innovators, and opinion-makers who have received this award. She delivered the Miles Conrad Lecture on February 24 at the NISO Plus conference; it can be publicly viewed on the NISO Plus Video Platform, hosted by Cadmore Media.

NISO also recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the organization by honoring them with lifetime membership, as NISO Fellows. This year’s NISO Fellow is George Kerscher, CIO of the DAISY Consortium and Senior Advisor, Global Literacy, Benetech, for his invaluable work on information standards for accessibility and content distribution. George has been a leader not just for accessible content, but also in the development of electronic book publishing of all types. Serving as the chair of a variety of standards initiatives, Geroge has led standards work related to file formats, metadata structures, and web accessibility. He has also been engaged in policy support for the right of all people for access to information both nationally, in the USA, and internationally. 

The Ann Marie Cunningham Award honors NISO volunteers who routinely go above and beyond the normal call of duty to serve the organization. This year’s recipients are Athena Hoeppner of the University of Central Florida, and Julie Zhu of the IEEE.  Athena was recognized for her work as Co-Chair of the NISO Content Platform Migrations working group, as Co-Chair of the NISO Information Policy and Analysis Topic Committee, and on the NISO Architecture leadership committees  Julie was recognized for her service on the NISO Information Discovery and Delivery Topic Committee, her involvement in the KBART initiative and several other discovery-related working groups. 

As part of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, NISO also offers a number of scholarships to support and amplify those whose voices are typically excluded from conversations in the information community. As well as attending the NISO Plus conference, scholarship winners have the opportunity to engage with NISO staff and leadership during the year, including serving on committees, attending educational events, additional training, and more. As previously announced, thanks to the support of Digital Science, 15 scholarships have been awarded in 2021, to information professionals and students in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, Romania, Uganda, and the USA.