Community Profiles

Overview

Community Profiles

Get to know our students, alumni and instructors by reading about their backgrounds, interests, professional goals, favorite courses, accomplishments, careers, and more fascinating experiences. These stories cover a wide range of topics and showcase the talents of our vibrant global community. 

Community Profile

Organizing Archives with Junia Papas 

“I’m just so grateful to San José State University. I think they prepared me very well. That’s something I really wanted to say because there was all this vast information I didn’t know and they really got me prepared correctly so when I got on the scene, working a real job, I felt really confident that I’d be able to do it.”

Junia Papas, MARA ‘18
Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan  

Community Profile

Finding Success in Academic Libraries with Dominique Dozier

“No one has been in my position. I’m the first one. But I’m creating it. I am figuring things out. I’m using the tools that I learned in iSchool. I’m applying all this knowledge and trying to support the students and faculty the best way that I can.”

Dominique Dozier, ‘21 MLIS
Santa Clara, CA 

Community Profile

Creating Space for Indigenous Materials with Brandon Castle

Brandon Castle

“It’s really nice to identify mentors and make connections in this field because I know how isolating it can feel sometimes. It’s helpful to have people that you know you can reach out to, whether it’s professors, advisors, friends you make in the program or professionals in the field who are already doing the type of work you want to do.” 

Brandon Castle (he/they)
SJSU MLIS, Expected December 2023

Community Profile

Finding Support Through Library School with Alejandra Reyes

Alejandra Reyes

“I’ve learned that librarianship is about building relationships. Yes, we have a lot of resources. But as a librarian, it is our job to like to see which resources work for each specific person. Librarians have to be adaptable – they always tell you to have a backup plan because you never know. I feel like that’s what we are. We’re adaptable. We’re flexible. We’re ready to help.”

Alejandra Reyes, ‘20 MLIS 
Los Angeles, CA 

Community Profile

Alessandra Gonzalez on Working as a Library Communications Manager

“The degree helped, but everything outside of it just put me onto another level – all the experience, all the people I connected with, the opportunities that came from joining clubs and working is unreal. I honestly don’t think I’d have all the opportunities I have right now if I didn’t get involved or put myself out there.”

Alessandra Gonzalez, MLIS ‘21
Anaheim, CA

Community Profile

Fostering Community in Special Libraries with Max Gonzalez Burdick

“The roles that libraries or archives play in actively impacting the Hispanic or Latinx community is limitless. I have also conducted bilingual storytimes in both English and Spanish, not only to help the Hispanic community but to also help civilians who wish to speak in Spanish. It’s really a collaborative effort in trying to enrich the community with diversity; a much-needed sentiment in everyday life.”

Max Gonzalez Burdick
SJSU MLIS, Expected Spring ‘23

Community Profile

Christina Chavez Nelson On Finding Her Destiny in Library Work

“I would definitely tell my younger self, don’t get married to the idea of the traditional journey. That’s not gonna be your life. You’re gonna do it in all different kinds of ways. And you know what, that’s okay, too. Just keep going with whatever is working for you. Life really is too short and you don’t want to sit there with your what-ifs.”

Christina Chavez Nelson 
SJSU MLIS Projected ‘26

Community Profile

Empowering Communities through Digital Library Services with Kristen Chua

“A lot of my projects involve thinking about how systems and technologies can be designed or improved to better connect people to the information they need. The Informatics program has made me a better analyst, information professional, and researcher through courses focusing on human-centered design, data management, project management, and computer networking. These classes have helped me think about what solutions are not only helpful but also possible.”

Kristen Chua
Informatics MS, Spring ‘23

Community Profile

Championing Student Success with Chris Lopez

Chris Lopez

“You have to ask yourself, what’s the Counseling Center doing? What’s the Women’s Resource Center doing? What’s the LGBTQ Center doing? How can I partner with them, because they’re getting to that holistic side of the student? They’re speaking to that and that’s where I want to help them see that the library is like a co-conspirator.”

Chris Lopez, ‘21 MLIS 

Community Profile

Preserving Indigenous Latine Culture with Briana Alvino   

“Many of us are first-gen grad students, so there’s a lot of pressure to live up to the expectations of our family and peers. Don’t be afraid to explore all the different fields LIS has to offer, and keep in mind that the Latine community is proud of you no matter what.”

Briana Alvino
SJSU MLIS, Projected ‘24

Community Profile

Becoming an Instruction Librarian with Michael Stephens 

Dr. Michael Stephens

“Now I like to say it’s a class in humanism and library services masquerading as a technology class because we do a lot with technology, but it really, really is about making connections with people. And how we might help them and serve their needs to live good lives in whatever information environment these folks are in.”

Michael Stephens 
SJSU iSchool Professor 

Community Profile

Making Higher Education Accessible with Dr. Walter Butler 

“So my interest was, how are [college] libraries changing? How are Open Educational Resources impacting their structures, and what new structures are now emerging to support this new effort?”

Dr. Walter Butler 
Pasadena, CA
SJSU Ph.D. March 2022

Community Profile

Discovering Data Science with Keith Fernandez

Keith Fernandez

“Data impacts everyone. And that’s what this program is about – helping gear a person towards how to use that data and make sense of that data, protect that data, and leverage that data for health care and all kinds of industries.”

Keith Fernandez
San Diego, CA
SJSU B.S. in ISDA expected Spring 2023

Community Profile

Paving The Way In Youth Librarianship with Jane Gov 

“You need to know that you’re going to fail. I think there’s this perception that all of my programs are successful, and they’re not. That’s a misconception. It’s not that they’re failures, there’s always a learning curve.”

Jane Gov, ‘11 MLIS 
Pasadena, CA

Community Profile

Understanding Good Library Management with Tiffany Duck

Tiffany Duck

“I like being a manager. I know it can be stressful but I really like it. I think it gives you the opportunity to help shape people’s work and help them grow and get to where they want to go professionally.”

Tiffany Duck, ‘13 MLIS
Suffolk, VA

Community Profile

A Life of Libraries with Stephanie Saba

Stephanie Saba

“I love libraries. I love this profession. You just meet so many amazing people every day…I just love it. Like I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.” 

Stephanie Saba, ‘12 MLIS
Pacifica, CA 

Community Profile

Jessica Pryde On Diversifying Your Career and Your Bookshelf

“I definitely recommend trying things out – take the classes that you’re interested in, do various types of internships if you can afford it. Get certain jobs if you can’t, and just sort of let your interests take you. You could find something perfect for you that you just didn’t expect.”

Jessica Pryde, ‘09 MLIS
Tucson, AZ 

Community Profile

BSLISE International Scholar Sabrina Gunn Discovers a Love for Information Systems

“I actually do thrive really well with technology. It’s not this scary monster but I think so many of us just put up boundaries and think, ‘Oh, I’m not this way. I’m not this type of person. I can’t do this.’ I find myself saying, ‘I can’t do this’ a lot. And then I find that I actually can, and be very good at it.”

Sabrina Gunn, MLIS student (anticipated graduation Spring 2023)
Sacramento, CA