Category: SLIS News

SLIS Students, Faculty, and Alumni Present at 10th Annual Diversity Symposium

SLIS was well represented at the 10th Annual Discerning Diverse Voices Symposium. This symposium featured a number of speakers, on such topics as: diversity and politics, diversity and reputation, and engaging diversity. The theme of this year was sports, with a keynote panel on the activist athlete and a keynote discussion with Justin Ching, founder of j-school. Several SLIS faculty members are members of the College of Communication and Information Studies Diversity Forum.

Many current students shared their research during the symposium. Sammi Bryan presented her paper, “Surviving the Catalog: Organizing and Representing Sexual Trauma and Violence in Public Library Collections.” Yvette Joyner presented her poster, entitled, “Library Relevance Literature and the Digital Divide: Critiquing Future-Proofing Trends for Rural Communities.” Hannah Hurdle presented her poster, “Examining Challenges to Access of Information: Services and Technologies for People with Disabilities.” Chism Lien also presented a poster on “The Representation of Diverse Creators in Art Museums’ Digital Collections.”

Dr. Bharat Mehra, EBSCO Endowed Chair in Social Justice at SLIS, presented during the “Engaging Diversity” panel, which was moderated by Assistant Professor Dr. John Burgess. Dr. Mehra’s paper, “Diversifying Engaged Scholarship to Further Social Justice in the Rural Southern and Central Appalachian Region,” highlighted initiatives implemented in diversifying engaged scholarship in communication and information professions to further social justice and social equity in this region. Assistant Professor Dr. Miriam Sweeney served as a member of the 2019 Symposium Planning Committee.

Several SLIS Alumni also took part in the symposium. Ellie Campbell (MLIS ’14) presented “Tupelo Pride,” a short documentary film about the first ever LBGTQ Pride event held in Tupelo, Mississippi, as part of the “Engaging Diversity” panel. She also presented a paper titled “Promoting Diversity in the Law Library.” Joi Mahand (MLIS ’18) presented her poster, “Black Girl Magic: The Diverse Voices of Black Girls in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.” Michael Fitts (MLIS ’01) and Sylvia McAphee (MLIS ’01) co-presented their research, “3D: Discerning Diversifying Deliberately,” during the poster session as well.

Congratulations to all the participants who represented SLIS at the 10th Annual Discerning Diverse Voices Symposium.

Pictured below (L to R): Current SLIS students Sammi Bryan, Yvette Joyner, Hannah Hurdle, Chism Lien.

Pictured below (L to R): SLIS Professor Dr. Bharat Mehra; SLIS Alumni Ellie Campbell, Joi Mahand, Sylvia McAphee, and Michael Fitts.

Student Accolades: February 2019

Samuel Edge, a current MLIS student, was recently published in The Serials Librarian. His article, “A Subject ‘Queer’-y: A Literature Review on Subject Access to LGBTIQ Materials” was first created as an assignment in Dr. Miriam Sweeney’s Race, Gender, and Sexuality in LIS class. Edge is interested in promoting equitable and community-driven access to information and is currently employed by the Mayo Clinic as a prospect development analyst.

Jillian Sico, a current MFA Book Arts student, was recognized by both the University of Alabama Graduate School, the College of Communication & Information Sciences, and SLIS for Outstanding Research by a Master’s Student for her highly significant research in the field of book arts which has regional, national and international impact. Read more about Jillian’s research here.

Kyle Holland Joins the MFA Book Arts Faculty at SLIS

The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies is pleased to announce the appointment of Kyle Holland as an Instructor and Studio Manager in the MFA Book Arts program. Kyle is a book artist and printer with strong interest and knowledge in hand papermaking. His work draws on his experiences growing up in the South and examines his identity within the context of a masculine subculture. His work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nevada Museum of Art, The Center for Book Arts, Yale University, Rhode Island School of Design, and UC Berkeley among others. Holland has a BFA in Fine Arts from the Memphis College of Art, and is a candidate for an MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA (expected May 2019). He has taught papermaking, printing, and book arts courses for the University of the Arts, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and numerous book art centers and studios in the United States. You can learn more about Kyle and his work by visiting his website:


Alumni Accolades, January-February 2019

Kate E. Britt (MLIS ‘17)

Kate E. Britt (MLIS ‘17) is a reference librarian at the University of Michigan Law Library. She published an article detailing “Research Resources for Criminal Law” in the Michigan Bar Journal this January. Read it here.

Jason Byrd (MLIS ’08)

Jason Byrd (MLIS ’08) is the new Associate Dean of Libraries for Research and Academic Services at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York.  He has previously held positions at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Jina DuVernay (MLIS ‘17)

Jina DuVernay (MLIS ‘17) was recently named Visiting Archivist for African American Collections at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University.

April Wallace (MLIS ’08) (pictured on right above with Dr. Justin Hefner)

April Wallace (MLIS ’08) was recognized as Pelham Park Middle School’s (AL) Teacher of the Year in only her second year as a school librarian. She is pictured here with Pelham Park Middle School Principal Dr. Justin Hefner.

Congratulations December 2018 Graduates!











As we begin a new semester and a new year, SLIS would like to take a moment to acknowledge our wonderful December 2018 graduates.

Elizabeth Abramson

Kristen Adams

Wendy Anderson

Jordan Broadwell

Haley Bryant

Kaitlyn Burnett

Cristina Castor

Virginia Collins

Amina Divoll

Ashley Eaton

Pamela Ewing

Stefanie Falco

Jay Fee

Holly Flores

Mary Garner

Davina Harrison

Cassidy Hood

Katie Hottell

Priscilla Humphrey

Albert Lipscomb

Laura Loffler

Willandra Mahand

Christine Moynihan

Wendi O’Kelley

Amanda Ostaszewski

Kaitlin Poole

Nathan Pulliam

Holly Ragland

Melanie Simms

Alexandra Smith

Laken Smith

Dan Tang

John Taylor

Kate Thompson

Kristen Timoteo

Kristen Watts

Julianna Waynick

Congratulations on commencement and we look forward to seeing the great things you accomplish!