What is your current job title and responsibilities?
I am the User Engagement Librarian in the Teaching & Engagement department of the UCF Libraries. I began this role in October 2014, and created my own job title! My position was redesigned to meet current trends in emerging technology and libraries. I am a liaison to the Psychology, Social Work, and Women’s & Gender Studies departments. I do a lot of work with the UCF Libraries online presence, including the website, social media, and research guides. I also love to plan library events such as open mics and film screenings.
What is your history at UCF and before UCF?
I started my UCF career in May 2013 as the Regional Campus Librarian for the Valencia Osceola campus. I was the first full-time librarian at that location, and worked hard to reach out to faculty and students. I worked with a wide range of departments, and learned a lot from being on the regional campuses.
What is your academic background?
I graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a BA in Psychology in May 2007. I worked for several years as a crisis counselor in Baltimore while I worked on my MLIS from Drexel University (2011).
What is your favorite UCF memory?
There really are so many that come to mind, but I would have to pick the Orlando Come Out With Pride parade in November 2016. I am the current President of UCF’s Pride Faculty and Staff Association, and coordinated a group of over 100 UCF students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters to march in the parade. We had matching shirts with a design of Millican Hall lit in rainbow colors, and heard a huge outpouring of support from the crowd as we marched.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be?
I would hire more faculty to have smaller classes, especially in disciplines that lend themselves to thoughtful discussion. I think it would make our students feel more connected to UCF.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
To take walks on campus as much as possible. I see something interesting almost every day, and it makes me feel more connected to the campus as a whole.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
I think I would be embarrassed by this, but if I have to pick I would say Pride Commons. My work with the students there has meant more to me than anything else in my UCF career.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
Dr. Hitt. I know that’s a cliche answer, but I’d love to have an informal discussion with him.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
Definitely my library family, but in particular my Department Head, Rachel Mulvihill. We met on the day I interviewed, and I am lucky to call her a friend. I’d also like to mention Justin Andrade for supporting me in my role as PFSA President, and for getting me involved with LGBTQ life on our campus.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Herb Dean. He taught religion at UNCW, and I took Asian Religions from him. He had no visuals or printed material, but his lectures were fascinating. His depth of knowledge and passion really stood out, and I learned a lot about myself in his class.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
I’m vegan, and Orlando has some amazing choices. Market on South is where I treat myself to Southern-style food, and the best donuts in town.
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
I have to pick one of each – Clue, Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block, and Tegan & Sara.
What is your favorite vacation destination?
My favorite so far was a trip to Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Copenhagen to trace family history with my Mom in summer 2015.