Farraj Alsaeedi is a Ph.D. student in the School of Library and Information Science Simmons College with extensive academic, professional, and voluntary experiences. As a librarian, Alsaeedi worked at the Central Library of Kuwait University for three years, during which he engaged in various instructional and research activities with both students and faculty mainly from the Schools of Education and Social Science. Collaborating closely with both schools, he developed a workshop for graduate students entitled How to Start Your Research. He also collaborated with two faculty members on a research project aimed at evaluating the role of knowledge management in school administration. Alsaeedi holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the College of Education in Kuwait, a master’s degree in education from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, and a master of science in LIS from Simmons College.
At Simmons, Alsaeedi has worked as a research assistant in the usability lab since the spring of 2016. As result of this work, he was able to contribute to two usability projects at the websites of the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science and the Blanche Castleman Digital Scrapbook, as well as help in training SLIS students to conduct usability studies using the usability lab resources
Zakiya Collier is a second-year dual degree student in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and Library and Information Science at Long Island University. She is honored to be a 2017-2019 ARL Diversity Scholar. Her research interests include the intersections of black studies, social media, spatio-temporal practices, cultural memory, oral cultures, and the politics of the archival practices. She is currently a Reference Adjunct and Graduate Assistant at New York University and an Oral History Intern at the Weeksville Heritage Center.
Nicole T. Cunha graduated from the Children’s Literature and Library Science dual Master’s program at Simmons College in 2016. Their interests include: improving disability/ accessibility consciousness in libraries and educational institutions; STEM education; storytelling; and much more. They work as a Public Service Assistant at Wheelock College’s Earl Center for Learning and Innovation, where Nicole and their colleagues kicked off the Massachusetts Library System’s programing and webinar series 1 in 5: Disability Essentials in Your Library through an all day experiential and design thinking workshop. They also serve on the Membership Committee for the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) and the Special Library Association (SLA). Nicole seeks to encourage those in public service to own their marginalized identities, and be an advocate for and work with underserved communities.
Sandy Enriquez is a first-year dual degree student in Latin American Studies at New York University & Library Science at Long Island University. She studied Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles and her research interests include the intersections of race, culture, heritage studies, indigenous languages, social justice, tourism, and archives. She is currently a Collections Assistant at Bobst Library at NYU.
Cristal Fiel is an online MLIS student at University of Washington Information School and aspires to work in youth services librarianship supporting historically marginalized communities of color. She received bachelor degrees in Ethnic Studies and Sociology from U.C. Berkeley. In 2017, Cristal participated in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), where she has trained in racial equity analysis and application tools, adaptive leadership, results-based accountability, and intensive train-the-trainer structural racism curriculum, with the goal to support implementation of racial equity strategies for San Francisco government agencies. Cristal has served as circulation supervisor for the U.C. Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library; operations and development director and later board member of the Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA); and currently works as a cultural equity grants senior program associate with the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC), a government agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. In her spare time, Cristal enjoys writing and being part of the creative community in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a 2017-2018 American Library Association Spectrum Scholar.
Joyce Gabiola is a PhD student at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Information Studies. To disrupt power structures in archives and higher education, Joyce seeks to identify, explore, and be mindful of what is erased, obscured, or pushed into the margins, while simultaneously bringing to light what seems to be considered “acceptable” institutional harm. Their current research is significantly influenced by their lived experiences as a queer Filipinx American who is curious about LGBTQ+ Asian American representation in Texas archives as well as a queer doctoral student of color navigating institutional silence in response to racism against the backdrop of productivity. As part of an academic community, Joyce acknowledges their inescapable complicity in perpetuating whiteness and is motivated by somehow making the empire of academia less shitty for fellow students and future students.
Lena Gluck is the Fall 2016 – Spring 2018 SLIS Diversity & Inclusion Fellow. She serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Council at Simmons, and is Webmaster for Spectra and LISSA. She entered the world of librarianship through public libraries and intends on returning to work in public libraries after graduation. Her main interests are in socially responsible, radical, subversive, anti-racist, and anti-fascist librarianship.
Leslie Granillo is a residential MLIS student at the University of Washington Information School, focusing her studies on cataloging, metadata, and taxonomy design. She comes from a background in Los Angeles-area public libraries including Commerce Public Library, Arcadia Public Library, and Crowell Public Library, where she served a diverse patron base with their circulation and reference needs. Most recently Leslie has had positions as Junior Fellow at the Library of Congress, Remote Metadata Intern for the Law Library of Congress, and she currently works as Cataloging and Metadata Student Specialist at University of Washington Libraries. In the future she hopes to find a position that combines her passion for technology with her desire to serve underrepresented populations, and aspires to work as a Cataloging and Metadata Librarian.
Whitney Lee is a first-year dual degree student working toward a Master of Arts in Costume Studies at New York University and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science at Long Island University. Her first professional experience in the field of librarianship was working as a researcher in the editorial library of a newspaper. Whitney is interested in examining how identity is constructed and expressed through costume and body adornment. She currently supports the development staff of NYU’s Division of Libraries and works as a researcher for the New York Daily News.
Quincy Knapp is finishing up her second year at SLIS in the general program. She is interested in accessibility and social justice in libraries. Aside from working with the awesome planning crew, she was Event Chair for PLG, the Progressive Librarians Guild, and is a Co-Chair for SoCS, Students of Color at SLIS. She currently works at Wellesley Free Library, planning children’s programs, playing with robots, and creating displays. When she’s not planning anything, she’s playing board games or reading YA lit on the couch with her roommate’s cats. The cats are looking forward to finishing the Raven Cycle.
Puck Malamud (pronouns: ve/ver/vis/verself) is a MLIS student at Simmons College with an expected graduation date of Spring 2019. Ve is currently secretary of Spectra and treasurer of SLA@Simmons. Before coming to the Boston area, ve was an organizing team member of Open Love NY and a volunteer at Bluestockings Bookstore, Café, and Activist Center in New York City. Puck is genderqueer, chronically ill, and an immigrant from Ukraine. Ve is particularly interested in green library spaces, prison librarianship, and undoing societal biases in subject headings.
Usage guide for Puck’s pronouns: It’s like he, her, his, herself, but with the letter V instead of the letter H.
I am a half-Japanese, half-Australian library science student who is pursuing the archives track. I have written about matters of race since my college days and I hope to work in an academic library (preferably for a women’s college).
Samantha Mairson, Sara Kern, & Allison Keough (Pictured below from left to right)
Samantha [moderator], Sara [against the motion], and Allison [for the motion] are current students in the Syracuse University MLIS program. Samantha has a background in Digital Media and Design and Spanish, and enjoys biking in winter weather. She’s focusing her studies on Information Security Management. Sara has a background in History and enjoys swing dancing. She’s focusing her studies on Instruction with a side of Digital Humanities. Allison has a background in English and spent four years teaching ESL in South Korea and enjoys making kombucha and cooking. She’s focusing her studies on becoming a NY-state certified school media specialist.
Maria Mejia is a dual degree student in the History of Women and Gender program at New York University and the Library and Information Science program at Long Island University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History from Swarthmore College. She currently works at the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives coordinating public programming and providing reference services. Her interests include social movements in the late-twentieth century, the African diaspora in Latin America, public history, and archives.
Leia Pellot is a first-year dual degree student studying Library and Information Science and Costume Studies at New York University and Long Island University. Her interests include the intersections between costume and culture in film, fashion, and literature. She currently works as a teaching artist in an after-school program with a curriculum focused on literacy and textile art.
Treshani Perera is the Music and Fine Arts Cataloging Librarian at the University of Kentucky Little Fine Arts Library. Treshani received a dual masters degree in Library and Information Studies and Musicology from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in August 2017. Treshani’s professional interests include Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in LIS, Music and Art Cataloging, and Access Issues in Archival Digital Collections.
Laura Schmidt is working towards MA degrees in Library Science and Art History at the University of Wisconsin Madison. She holds numerous library jobs and she is currently a research assistant at the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture. Her research not only focuses on book history and material culture, but also on how these topics can relate to affect, social justice and critical librarianship.