2018 Graduate Student Fellowship Recipients

On Wednesday, September 26, 2018 the UW-Milwaukee, Graduate School recognized the recipients of the 2018 Graduate Student Fellowship. Among the awardees were four School of Information Studies students. You can read their profiles below.

For a complete list of recipients, please see the 2018 Graduate Fellowship Program.


Xin Cai, Information Studies PhD Program

MA: Central China Normal University, 2014 • BA: Shenyang Normal University, 2011

“This award is a big honor for me. It allows me to finish my dissertation without worrying about my financial situation.”

Xin is working to build a health portal navigation guidance system. He has analyzed the online subject directory portal HealthLink, used by the Medical College of Wisconsin, which arranges content within a three-level hierarchy. Xin will use a Markov chain—a model describing a sequence of possible events based on the previous event—to better predict a user’s next move. Always curious about how sites like Google customize ads for users, Xin began studying mechanisms behind the recommendation systems when he joined the School of Information Studies in 2014.


Tia Stenson, Coordinated Library & Information Science MLIS and Anthropology MS Program; and Museum Studies Certificate Program

MLIS: UW-Milwaukee, 2019 • BA: Luther College, 2016

“This fellowship means I can continue to pursue my career goals and dreams when I thought my health and financial situations were going to put a stop to it.”

Tia is exploring the gravestone as material culture, examining different gravestone design features in relation to different ethnic groups in Milwaukee County before 1920. Visiting museums when she was younger, “I was fascinated by all the objects and all the history I was able to see,” she says. “I didn’t really care about who ruled who, or who fought who. I wanted to know how people lived and acted in the past.”


Sunstar Moukongmeng Vue, Information Studies PhD Program

UW-Milwaukee: MS, 2018 • BS: University of Washington, 2011

“AOP opens doors for students like myself who would otherwise not have the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree.”

Sunstar’s primary research areas are information retrieval and access, mobile technology, social commerce, policy formation and privacy. His dissertation examines the digital phenomena of mobile technology and social commerce in Southeast Asia. “I am fascinated that people of developing countries have clashed and assimilated with mobile technology, that their entrepreneurship abilities have created a growing social commerce market, and that mobile technology can sustain their dying culture through the lens of digital libraries,” he says.


Samantha Brown, Library and Information Science MLIS Program

BA: University of Wyoming, 2017

Samantha presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists Committee on Diversity Undergraduate Research Symposium and was a McNair Scholar.