University of Pittsburgh
October 20, 1998


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 21 -- Paul Evan Peters, who helped found the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) and served as its executive director from 1990 until his death in 1996 at age 48, will be honored posthumously with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Information Sciences (SIS) at the University of Pittsburgh.

Peters earned a master's degree in library and information science at Pitt and took courses toward a Ph.D. degree in the university's interdisciplinary department of information science. His award will be bestowed Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the Hilton Hotel and Towers during a 10:30 a.m. plenary session of the American Society of Information Science (ASIS), which is holding its national conference in Pittsburgh, Oct. 25-29. SIS Dean Toni Carbo will present the award to Peters' widow, Rosemarie Kozdron.

Known for his ability to unite people toward a common purpose, Peters helped lead CNI to an essential role in the North American dialogue to advance scholarship and intellectual productivity. Said CNI steering committee chair Richard West: "The many who had the chance to work with Paul know of his contribution and influence on our professional scholarly and technological activities."

Before founding the Coalition, Peters was systems coordinator at the New York Public Library from 1987 to 1989, and was assistant university librarian for systems at Columbia University, where he also earned a master's degree in sociology in 1986. From 1970 to 1978, Peters was a principal in a variety of research and development projects while earning his master's degree at Pitt.

"Paul's marked intelligence, probing the difficult philosophical issues facing the new discipline of Information Science, his commitment to exploring, in its fullest sense, the human dimensions of the emerging technologies, endeared him to his colleagues and particularly to me," said Tony Debons, professor emeritus of information science and telecommunications at Pitt. "His acumen and humanity will long remain in my memory."

Peters worked briefly as a retail systems engineer for the National Cash Register Corporation immediately following completion of his undergraduate studies in computer science and philosophy at the University of Dayton in 1969. He was a former president of the Library and Information Technology Association and former chair of the National Information Standards Organization. Peters also served on the Council of the American Library Association as well as the editorial boards of a number of networking, networked information and library technology journals.

Said Jim Williams, Pitt professor of information science and technology: "Paul was not only a superior student who truly enjoyed scholarship, but an outstanding researcher, writer and teacher. Paul was such a talented person that he excelled at everything he got involved with. He also had an extremely high level of quality standards for himself and his work. But most of all, Paul was a quality human being. He cared about people and involved himself with activities that he believed would make the world a better place."