[This post is part of a series on Mentors and Heroes]
Louis Rosenfeld is an independent information architecture consultant, and founder and publisher of Rosenfeld Media, a publishing house focused on user experience books. He is the co-author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web. Follow him on Twitter @louisrosenfeld.
Lou Rosenfeld’s mentor is…
Miranda Pao, professor
How long have you known each other and how did you first meet?
We knew each other for about five years; she was on the faculty of the University of Michigan’s School of Information for many years. She passed away while I was a doctoral student.
How would you describe how you relate to your mentor?
Student, protege, and I think it’s fair to say friend.
How formal or structured was the mentorship? Did Miranda know you consider her a mentor?
Yes, I imagine she did.
What is one piece of advice your mentor gave you that has stuck with you the most?
Nothing specific; the difference she made for me was in doing something so basic that I found many other faculty seemed to not bother: she was supportive, encouraging, always felt I could do better, and most of all, she was a model of how to act in a humane fashion. She didn’t engage in some of the dog-eat-dog silliness that many academics do in doctoral programs. She didn’t see the point, and thank goodness for that.
What else do you want the world to know about your mentor?
She was a fantastic musician. And though she wrote a wonderfully useful introductory book on information science, she wasn’t flashy or someone to grab headlines. If she wasn’t felled before her time by cancer, I imagine she’d quietly have become famous. I really found her to be a wonderful person, as well as a mentor, and I miss her.
Thank you Lou for sharing your mentor with us!