I am a Research and Instruction Librarian focused on user experience and instructional design. I received my Masters in Library and Information Science in May 2010 from Dominican University. My interest in librarianship is rooted in my passion and curiosity for learning and sharing, bolstered by knowledge, experience, and skills gained through my studies, employment and practicum in academic libraries, and work in the fields of education, research, and social justice.
I bring an unconditional presence to library services, with experience in reference support, instruction, liaison and outreach, web services development, web publishing, assessment, collection development, library programming, and intercultural communication. Through previous positions and education, I've developed subject liaison expertise in the fields of Computer Science, English as a Second Language, English Literature, Communication Studies, Nursing, and Health Sciences.
If you are interested in correspondence, please contact me.
Statement on Diversity
Diversity is one of society’s greatest assets toward achieving a shared understanding and, ultimately, peace. As a white male American, I recognize this truth from a position of enormous privilege. I reflect on Robert Francis Kennedy’s words as a reminder that with my enormous privilege comes an enormous responsibility:
You can use your enormous privilege and opportunity to seek purely private pleasure and gain. But history will judge you, and, as the years pass, you will ultimately judge yourself, on the extent to which you have used your gifts to lighten and enrich the lives of your fellow man. (A Speech on Race, 1966)
While reading this quote for the first time in college, I felt it resonate and imprint on my psyche. I understood that not only would I be lightening and enriching the lives of my fellow humans, but that they would be doing the same for me with their own gifts and unique insights. At that point in my young life, I had already seen examples of what was possible, and some challenges faced, in achieving a shared understanding through diversity.
I grew up the son of an Army officer, and lived in several places amongst various cultures, including four years in Germany. Overseas, fellow American children and myself recognized that our skin colors were often not alike, and we argued in different vernaculars about sports and music. We also shared an understanding as Americans adventuring in a foreign land. Likewise, German children and myself recognized that our languages and cultures were not alike, but we also shared an understanding as international allies curious about each other’s cultures. Through embracing our diversity we shared an understanding as classmates, teammates, neighbors, and friends, all joyous when East and West Germany peacefully reunited.
Living in Korea felt somewhat similar, though I was more globalized and an adult by then. With Kennedy’s words in mind, I bonded with other Americans and native English speakers over our shared heritages, and enjoyed celebrating our differences with friendly humor while discussing our native states and countries. I also made friends with Koreans over shared interests in arts and culture, making a point to be present, to listen first and then speak, and to always be kind and cheerful. One friend confessed that before she met me, she had a negative view of Americans. Again, through embracing our diversity, we achieved a shared understanding as friends. The Koreas did not reunite during my time there, unfortunately.
While working in South Chicago as a librarian at a community college named after Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., I again sought to lighten and enrich the lives of my fellow humans while they did the same for me. I attended meetings with a black men's group and a Muslim students' group, where we shared perspectives on education, family, and society. My coworkers would experience trauma at home, and as a privileged white male, I wondered how they could even try to come into work the next day. The college was in a rough neighborhood, but I maintained my presence for the students as their librarian, with the privilege of knowing that I had someplace comfortable to return home to at the day’s end. Similar to what my friend in Korea said, a student one day told me that she felt joy seeing my positive energy with everyone even though things were often busy at the reference desk.
Holding true to Kennedy’s words, as an educator I will address the unique needs of students and maintain my presence as a dynamic equitable teacher. By keeping current on educational, cultural, and societal issues, especially those relevant to minority and LGBTQIA+ student demographics, I can best ensure the safety, privacy, respect, and fairness all students deserve. Working together, our various backgrounds and abilities allow us to dynamically address problems from multiple perspectives. The better we embrace our diversity, focus on inclusion, and develop a shared understanding, the greater peace we will achieve.