Professor’s ties reach worldwide

Rabab Al-Sharif

Bedford sees value of global connections

Denise Bedford joins the School of Library Information Science as the Goodyear professor in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management, to develop and expand the online master’s program.

Bedford, whose position is funded partially by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, said part of knowledge management is helping companies organize internal documents so they are easier for people to find, but there is also another side.

Bedford said the economic environment is shifting from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy.

“In the knowledge economy it is important to worry about financial capital, but it’s really important to manage your people so that they are constantly thinking, coming up with ideas and making you more competitive in the market place,” Bedford said.

She will be teaching courses helping develop the curriculum and the program in general by making contacts locally, nationally and even internationally.

Working at the World Bank as senior information officer in enterprise architecture allowed Bedford to establish relationships with people from all over the world. She said she hopes to bring these relationships to Kent State to expand the program internationally with collaborations on research projects and teaching.

Richard Rubin, director of the School of Library Science Information, is optimistic Bedford’s international connections will be an asset.

“Given her international context in the business community, and working at the World Bank, we are hopeful that we will be able to expand our program significantly,” Rubin said.

In addition to her international ties, Rubin said she “is a wonderful teacher.” Bedford has already worked with the school teaching Kent State online courses from afar.

Bedford was born and raised in Michigan, but is no stranger to Kent State University. She lived here for a brief time when she was an infant while her father attended Kent State to receive his master’s degree.

She has her bachelor’s degree in Russian, German and history, her first master’s degree in Librarianship, a second in Russian History and a doctorate in Information Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Bedford, who comes from a family of teachers, said she loves to teach and is excited to have an opportunity to do that at Kent State.

“Kent emphasizes teaching,” she said. “There are a lot of universities that I could go to do research, but they wouldn’t really care about me being a good teacher per say.”

Knowledge management is a rapidly growing field as industries realize the importance of it.

“There are not many programs that are devoted to knowledge management. There are isolated courses,” Bedford said. “This is a real opportunity to develop a program to meet the need, and the need is really obvious.”

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Rabab Al-Sharif

at [email protected].