Spring 2017 Blog Series 5 of 10: School of Information – Magical and Whimsical Pinterest Boards Earn Scholarships for Incoming iSchool Students

The San José State University School of Information has awarded five incoming students the Director’s Scholarship for Excellence for demonstrating enthusiasm for the information profession.

Using creativity and research skills, Mary Barnett, Kimberly Cole, Theresa Berger, Farima Kafai, and Lauren Abel were awarded $1,000 each for creating Pinterest boards that reflect their specific career interests. The Director’s Scholarship for Excellence “recognizes the potential of new students to serve as information professionals and take a leading role in shaping our profession.”

Mary BarnettBarnett considers herself a “pretty hardcore Pinterest user,” but she wasn’t satisfied with her original board before curating the one she submitted for review, “My Magical Library (link is external).”

“My [Pinterest board] is an expression of who I like to imagine myself as when I close my eyes and go to my mind palace,” she said. “I wanted to create a place where your eyes can wander, you can sip a cup of tea beside a crackling fire, and you can explore gorgeous pins that represent both who I am as a person and as a future information professional.”

Barnett said she’s the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree and “my masters is a great undertaking.” The Director’s Scholarship for Excellence will help her cover the cost of tuition.

“I am so excited to continue my journey toward my goal of becoming a librarian, and this scholarship from SJSU will help immensely. I found out that I had been awarded the scholarship on my birthday when I was in Scotland, and it made my birthday trip so much more amazing,” she said.

Kimberly ColeAs an active member of the Harry Potter fandom, Cole had no trouble deciding what the theme of her Pinterest board, aptly named “The Hogwarts Library School (link is external),” would be.

“The Hogwarts houses are an instinctive way for me to think about personality traits and social behaviors, and I knew I could come up with something valuable to say using those terms,” she said. “I wanted my board to include a balance of pins about what libraries can do in their communities, my experiences in the library world so far, and pins related to the Harry Potter theme.”

Cole, who manages the teen and graphic novel collections at a public library in Denver, said she would like to continue working in public libraries but hasn’t made her mind up about where she’d like to specialize.

“I love the large-scale creative events of children’s programming and the relationships you develop with kids and their families. But I also love the challenge of a difficult reader’s advisory question from a lifelong reader, and I’m curious to know more about Makerspaces. There are so many possibilities to explore,” she said.

Theresa Berger

A running joke among family and friends over Berger’s love of history and desire to become an archivist inspired her new student scholarship Pinterest board, “An Archivist? So you’re gonna steal the Declaration of Independence? (link is external)

“I want to be Nicolas Cage’s character in ‘National Treasure.’ I thought about the film, its plot, and how much fun it is to watch, and I realized my experiences with archival science and volunteering in archives have been just as, if not more exciting,” she said. “So, I decided to run with the idea that indeed, I do want to have a career much like the adventure portrayed in the film, and there was my board: use images and quotes from the movie that embody what I love about archives.”

Berger said it was “humbling” and “validating” to be awarded the scholarship. She looks forward to refining her library science and archival studies skills, learning news ones such as coding, and making new connections while at SJSU.

“Not only did [the scholarship] relieve some of the financial stress I was experiencing as I geared up to start my first semester of graduate school, it also boosted my confidence in making the right choice to pursue a degree in library science. I am so glad my passions and commitment to the field were recognized,” she said.

Farima KafaiKafai spent several months casually perusing the Internet and collecting pins that caught her eye. As the application period approached, she decided she wanted to showcase the many services available at public libraries.

“I wanted to guide viewers through a day of discovery spent at the library, and that’s where ‘Let’s Play ‘I Spy’ at the Library! (link is external)‘ came into play,” she said. “What better way to stimulate the senses and spark curiosity than with an engaging game that invites exploration? I gathered programs and design elements from libraries around the world, and with the added twist of what you might hear, smell and feel, I created my own version of ‘I Spy,’ at the library.”

Kafai said she was “thrilled” to receive the scholarship, noting that it was a relief to have part of her tuition covered for her first semester at SJSU.

“I can focus more on my classes and less on finances. I’m really excited about the range of electives offered at the iSchool. I hope to try a bit of everything, from courses on library services for diverse communities to web design for improving the usability of information retrieval systems. I’m especially looking forward to learning about archives, records and preservation management and trying out different internships,” she said.

Using 29 pins organized by chapters, Abel’s board, “The Librarian Awakens (link is external),” follows the hero’s journey from “Padawan to “full-fledged Jedi.” In chapter 3 (link is external), she explains, “No padawan could ever progress to the Jedi trials without knowing a thing or two about coding. I was inspired to start a computer coding program for children after attending a training. This helps introduce youngsters to the ever evolving world of computer science. I hope to use my formal training to improve how I conduct such programs.”

Abel became interested in librarianship in her “schooldays” when she assisted a librarian. She now “eagerly awaits the start of her formal training to become a full-fledged librarian; a custodian of knowledge and information that aids others as they seek guidance through a galaxy of information known as the Internet.”

Lauren Abel Pin Description

The Director’s Scholarship for Excellence is open to all first-time iSchool students who have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5 and is funded by donations from faculty, alumni and friends of the iSchool. To date, 20 students have been awarded the scholarship to aid them on their journey toward earning a Master of Library and Information Science degree. For students who have been admitted to the MLIS program and are starting the program in fall 2017, applications will be accepted beginning Feb. 1, and the deadline to apply for a Director’s Scholarship for Excellence is May 1.

For more information on how to apply, visit the scholarship page. To donate to the School of Information to support student scholarships, visit the iSchool donation page.

Thank you to the School of Information for this article.

Dr. Kristen Rebmann Awarded Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant

Dr. Kristen Rebmann

Dr. Kristen Rebmann

The School of Information is proud to announce that Associate Professor Dr. Kristen Rebmann has received an Institute of Museum and Library Services National (IMLS) Grant.

Dr. Rebmann received $244,998 to help libraries explore dramatically expanding internet access in their communities by using TVWhiteSpace (TVWS), a new low-cost wireless technology.

This project will be led by San Jose State University’s School of Information (iSchool). Key collaborators, including the Gigabit Libraries Network, the School, Health, & Libraries Broadband Coalition, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, and the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center will explore dramatically expanding digital access/inclusion and modes to provide connectivity as part of disaster preparedness.

According to the IMLS press release September 26, 2016, “These recipients represent the best of the best,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The grantees’ projects were selected from a competitive pool of proposals and rose to the top of our rigorous peer-review process. Their leading-edge work will provide fresh ideas for the museum and library fields and will lead to better programs and services for all served by these valued institutions.”

The National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L) program received 85 preliminary applications. Nineteen full proposals were invited, and 15 grants were made during this second 2016 cycle. The library grants total $5,017,937 and will be matched with $1,571,008 of non-federal funds.

About Dr. Kristen Rebmann:

Dr. Rebmann joined the iSchool in Fall 2007 after completing her Ph.D. in Communication at University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation research explored the design of interventions to support critical multiliteracies among children participating in community-based informal learning environments. Dr. Rebmann has worked as an academic librarian focused on web design and instructional technology. Her current research interests include studying relationships between information behavior and human development.

Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity Awards

The 2015-16 CEED Award winners were recognized on April 26, 2016, for their excellence in promoting and fostering a deeper understanding of equity and diversity.

The 2015-16 CEED Award winners were recognized on April 26, 2016, for their excellence in promoting and fostering a deeper understanding of equity and diversity.

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity (CEED) reception was held on Tuesday, April 26, honoring six recipients whose combined effort and activities have made an important contribution to enhance equity and diversity at San José State University (SJSU) and/or in the community. CEED Award categories consist of an Undergraduate Student Award, Graduate Student Award, Faculty Award, Staff Award, and Student Organization Award.

The purpose of the CEED Awards is to recognize those individuals and groups that have demonstrated excellence in promoting and fostering a deeper understanding of equity and diversity as they relate to issues of age, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion and/or sexual orientation.

The recipients for the CEED Distinguished Service Award are:

Undergraduate Student Award – Navpreet Kaur, the Valley Foundation School of Nursing

Navpreet has led or been involved in several projects that promote equity and diversity on campus. In 2015, she led the Peace Pole Monument project that helped to place an official monument on campus. The Peace Pole is a hand-crafted wooden monument that has the message “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in the 12 most frequently used languages in Santa Clara County.

Navpreet also serves on the President’s Commission on Diversity which provides “input, recommendations, and advice to the President on effective ways to create a campus environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.” She initiated this project in an effort to counteract negative publicity related to diversity issues that were occurring on campus.

Graduate Student Award – Essraa Nawar, School of Information

Essraa Nawar is pursuing her passion to be a librarian focusing on programming and outreach in bringing diverse programming to the life of the libraries and the academic institutions she serves. One of Essraa’s strengths is her ability to create an atmosphere of awareness regarding ethnicity, gender, and religious diversity across campus.

She serves on the Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Committee and developed a program on empowering Muslim women. Essraa coordinated the support of the Sikh American Community through Vaisakhi programming, an exhibition on demystifying the turban. She also spoke at a TED Talk in Munich, Germany, to further her diversity message to change the narrative of how people see Muslim women specifically and Muslim people in general.

Graduate Student Award – Cotton Stevenson, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Cotton conceived the slogan “Diversity University” as part of a class project to make a difference at SJSU. He didn’t stop there. Cotton decided to make issues surrounding diversity and acceptance on the SJSU campus the focus of his second master’s degree. Because of him, we now have an annual Diversity Day at SJSU.

As a graphic artist, Stevenson created the logo for the event as well. He is now in the final stages of a documentary about the history and importance of diversity on this campus. He’s already completed several impressive interviews for this project which include Jeanne Wakatsuki, the author of Farewell to Manzanar, Erik Grotz, the student who suggested the Tommie Smith-John Carlos sculptures as well as with the artist who created it.

He was also awarded a proclamation by Rep. Zoe Lofgren for his commitment to “Diversity University.”

Faculty Award – Dr. William Armaline, Justice Studies

Dr. Armaline established and serves as coordinator of the Human Rights Program at SJSU. As a part of that initiative, he implemented the  popular Human Rights Minor, a program through which students gain an understanding of various human rights problems that affect their community, including racism, discrimination, and inequality. He is committed to raising awareness on campus to issues of equity and diversity.  As a part of this effort, he founded and continues to coordinate the annual human rights event.

He chairs the Human Rights Working Group, which serves as a platform for faculty to engage in issues of equity and diversity. Throughout his work, Dr. Armaline single handedly serves as a hub for students who are interested in increasing equity on campus.  He informally advises students on activism both on and off campus.

Dr. Armaline is also involved in numerous activities in the community.  He authored reports on social justice issues, served as a National Board Member in Save the Kids, a grass-roots organization dedicated to alternatives to end of the incarceration of youth, is a Council Member in the Santa Clara County Child Abuse Council. He most recently initiated a partnership with DeBug, a San José media, community organizing, and entrepreneurial collective that leads successful social justice campaigns to advance the rights of youth, workers, immigrants and those impacted by the criminal justice system.

Staff Award – Silvia La Rosa, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

In addition to providing extensive administrative support for more than 500 School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) students and 22 faculty, Silvia is a committed advocate for SJSU diversity students.

Silvia offers extraordinary time and effort to advising and mentoring all students. She connects on a powerful level with JMC School Spanish speaking students. Her translation skills combined with her knowledge of university procedures and her deep passion for helping students find their voice and express their creativity has resulted in numerous success stories that are greatly admired and appreciated in our program.

In Fall 2015, she was a leading advocate for fundraising of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts international learning initiative. She played a significant role in helping persuade a special JMC guest, CNN Correspondent Sara Sidner from Los Angeles, to donate her William Randolph Hearst honorarium to start a newly created fund and campaign to raise scholarship money to help SJSU students from poor and under-represented communities to participate. She plays an instrumental role in helping the school director create Spanish community messages and promotions that invite Bay Area business and schools to partner with JMC.

Silvia always finds the time to encourage students and faculty.

Student Organization Award – Alpha Phi Sigma Iota Chapter, Justice Studies

A team of Iota Chapter members and alumni volunteered at the Center with the Prison Education Project (PEP), teaching the 7 week Academic Orientation Course.  They met every Friday with a group of formerly incarcerated individuals currently on parole.  They created presentations about college as well as give mini-lectures based on topics in Justice Studies majors (e.g. consequences of mass incarceration and juvenile justice).  A big component of this program is engaging the program participants in discussions about the topics presented as well as their interests and needs.  In addition, Iota chapter collected and donated 100 backpacks with everyday necessities and held a clothing drive on campus for the Santa Clara County Resource Reentry Center to give to their clients.

Congratulations to all 2015-16 CEED Award winners!


Student Researcher Honored

School of Information Student to Represent SJSU at the CSU Student Research Competition

School of Information graduate student Angela Gates has been selected as a finalist to represent San José State University (SJSU) in the 30th annual California State University (CSU) Student Research Competition in April, 2016. Gates will travel to CSU Bakersfield and present “A (Blind) Woman’s Place is (Teaching) in the Home: The Life of Kate Foley (1873-1940).” Student participants will provide written abstracts and make oral presentations before juries of professional experts from major corporations, foundations, public agencies, colleges and universities in California.

Click here to read more about Gates and her story about Kate Foley.

Congratulations on being selected as a finalist to rep SJSU, Angela!

CASA Faculty Recognized for Years of Service

San José State University held its 17th Annual Faculty Service Recognition and Awards Luncheon on March 15, 2016, to celebrate faculty who have reached a significant milestone year. Honorees were given a special gift with the years of service engraved.

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA) is very grateful for its wonderful faculty and is proud to acknowledge our faculty who were recognized for 15, 20, 25, 30 and 40 years of service.

15 Years of Service

  • Antoinette Bloom, Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging
  • Richard Craig, Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Ziming Liu, School of Information
  • Jennifer Schachner, Kinesiology

20 Years of Service

  • Lisa Arieta Hayes, Social Work
  • Christine Di Salvo, Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Alice Hines, Social Work
  • Clarie Hollenbeck, Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging
  • Geoffrey Liu, School of Information
  • Lee Pate, Kinesiology
  • Diane Stuenkel, Nursing
  • Gilbert Villagran, Social Work

25 Years of Service

  • Yoko Baba, Justice Studies
  • Elizabeth Cara, Occupational Therapy
  • Gong Chen, Kinesiology
  • Buddy Gerstman, Health Science and Recreation
  • Nancy Megginson, Kinesiology
  • Fred Prochaska, Social Work
  • Bob Rucker, Journalism and Mass Communications

30 Years of Service

  • Kathy Abriam-Yago, Nursing
  • Christine Hooper, Nursing
  • Linda Main, School of Information
  • Jacquelyn McClure, Justice Studies
  • Judi Morrill, Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging
  • Kathleen Roe, Health Science and Recreation

40 Years of Service

  • William Tillinghast, Journalism and Mass Communications

Congratulations to all on reaching this service milestone with SJSU and thank you for your hard work and much dedication to the success of our students. We look forward to your ongoing contributions and a successful future!