Three Info Pros Named 2015 SLA Rising Stars

Chakraborty, Coughlan and Lehman Honored for ‘Exceptional Promise’

Alexandria, Virginia, 17 March 2015—Two academic librarians and an information architect at a design firm will be honored as Rising Stars by the Special Libraries Association (SLA) at the organization’s 2015 Annual Conference in June.

Susmita Chakraborty, Christine Coughlan, and Kathleen Lehman are the latest recipients of the Rising Star Award, which is presented annually to recognize outstanding new SLA members who show exceptional promise of leadership and contribution to the association and the information profession. Nominees must have one to five years of professional experience as an information professional and have been an SLA member for five years or less. They must also have met at least one of the following criteria:

  • Performed outstanding work and professional activities on behalf of SLA;
  • Developed notable innovations on the job;
  • Actively participated in SLA units and association programs; and
  • Promoted the visibility of SLA or the value of information professionals.

The three Rising Stars will be recognized at the opening session of the SLA 2015 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO, to be held June 14-16 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The conference is expected to draw 2,000-plus information industry professionals and will include more than 200 sessions, business meetings, networking events, and other activities.

About Susmita Chakraborty
Susmita Chakraborty is an assistant professor in the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Calcutta in India. Since joining SLA in 2011, she has served as a director and secretary of the association’s Asia Chapter, co-presented a poster at the SLA 2014 Annual Conference, and contributed articles to the Sci-Tech News, the newsletter of SLA’s Science-Technology Division. She will be speaking about knowledge management at SLA 2015 as part of a panel discussion about transforming international science and technology librarianship.

In addition to her master’s degree in library science, Susmita holds a master’s degree in digital library management, a master’s in English literature, and a doctorate in medical informatics. She has presented numerous papers at conferences, written several articles for journals, edited two books and three annual literary collections, and contributed chapters to a few books. She is also the editor of the SET Bulletin, which is published by the Education and Training Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). During the course of her career, she has visited more than 20 countries to discuss her research and further the advancement of the information and library profession.

About Christine Coughlan
Chris Coughlan is an information architect with the Aten Design Group in Denver, Colorado. After joining SLA in February 2012 while in library school at the University of Denver, she quickly distinguished herself as a leader, serving as president-elect of the SLA Rocky Mountain Chapter in 2013 and president in 2014. While president, she took the lead in planning the Western States Chapters Reception at the SLA 2014 Annual Conference in Vancouver, Canada, making arrangements with vendors, recruiting and assigning volunteers, and coordinating the event with presidents of other SLA chapters. She will be helping with the reception again this year at SLA 2015.

Chris is a member of SLA’s Information Technology Division and User Experience Caucus, reflecting her interests in information architecture and user-centered design. She has presented on these topics at several events. Through her work at Aten Design, she has led projects for clients such as Human Rights Watch and the World Wildlife Fund.

About Kathleen Lehman
The head of the Physics Library at the University of Arkansas, Kathleen Lehman joined SLA in 2010 and quickly made her mark, receiving a travel scholarship to attend the association’s 2011 Annual Conference in Philadelphia. The scholarship was sponsored in part by SLA’s Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics (PAM) Division, of which Kathleen is secretary this year, having previously chaired its Awards Committee and Nominations and Elections Committee.

Kathleen has presented several conference papers on topics ranging from open access to QR codes. She has also submitted articles for publication in library journals; her article “Reviews of Science for Science Libraries: Graphene,” published in the February 2011 issue of Science & Technology Libraries, was one of the most downloaded articles from S&TL that year.

About SLA
The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit international organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves information professionals in more than 60 countries and in a range of working environments, including business, academia and government agencies. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy and networking initiatives. For more information, visit

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