Meet Your Faculty Advisors

Published: Monday, March 26, 2018 by Priscilla Ameneyro

You’re bound to have questions as you navigate through your program at the School of Information. Thankfully, the iSchool has plenty of resources to help you along the way. One of those is the faculty advisor team, who are available to answer your questions about course selections and career pathways based on their areas of expertise. Now you can watch a quick one to two minute welcome video to get to know each advisor and determine the right person to reach out to for assistance. With 50 advisors to choose from, you are sure to find your perfect match.

The introductory videos created by each advisor offer a brief snapshot of their background and experiences, what courses they teach at the iSchool and their research interests. Interested in academic librarianship? You might want to reach out to Vicki Steiner or Dr. Johanna Tunon. Or perhaps your interests are more aligned with web development, in which case I recommend you contact Raymond Dean. This nifty tool allows you to filter the list of advisors by career pathway. If you aren’t sure what career direction you are leaning towards yet, that’s okay too, reach out to any of the advisors to learn more about their specialty field. Alternatively, several faculty members are designated as generalist advisors with a broad knowledge of the MLIS curriculum and offerings including Dr. Linda Main, Debbie Faires, Dr. Debbie Hansen, Beth Wren-Estes and Dr. Sue Alman

There are many reasons why you would seek the guidance of a faculty advisor. They can discuss what skill sets are needed to move into a particular area of LIS, as well as suggest courses you might take to develop those skills. You might also ask for help deciding between classes or just ask for more information about what they do. Don’t be afraid to ask! The faculty advisors welcome your questions. You don’t have to wait to be assigned someone, you can immediately send them an email as soon as you need help. You can reach out anytime and to as many advisors as you like.

You’ll probably want to reach out to faculty advisors multiple times throughout your program, and that’s perfectly normal. They are here to assist you in narrowing down your career interests and building a customized class schedule to help you get the most out of your time at the iSchool. You also have access to the student services team for any administrative related questions. This video will give you an idea of the types of questions you can ask the student services team, separate from what you might ask your advisor. Check out the Advising Toolkit to explore all the support resources available to you including the iSchool Student Success Planner and Unit Planning Tool. Here’s another neat tool that points you to the right resource for your advising question. Enjoy getting to know your friendly faculty advisors a little better by watching their welcome videos and don’t hesitate to contact any of them with your questions.


Hi, My name is Matthew Tate. I have recently been accepted into the program and I am excited and nervous about going back to school and being 100% online. I have been going through the New Student Checklist and trying to find out what area to go into. I am a Transitional Kindergarten teacher and I am a Library Aide at my Library, at which I help with doing story times. I do like working with children because that is what I am familiar with, but I am interested in working with different ages and different parts of the library. I am not sure if I need to make sure I take all of my core classes first or if I take some electives too. What do you advise?
Hi Matthew, Welcome to iSchool! All new students start out by taking the core courses in their first semester or two, (depending on how many units are taken per semester). Once these prerequisite classes are met, students move on to their first elective classes. You may want to start by reading through the detailed Career Pathways for: Teacher Librarian Credential, Youth Services or Public Libraries. Some recommended electives are even in common to these pathways, such as: INFO 210 Reference and Information Services, INFO 266 Collection Management or INFO 275 Library Services for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities. When you have any questions, please fill out our Student Services help form: so that we may provide you with personalized information. And you will, of course, be able to choose from our faculty advisors when you have specific course planning questions: I look forward to working with you soon. Sheila iSchool Student Services
Hello my name is Glenn and I was recently accepted into the program and he a question about the orientation. If we are distance learning do we have to travel to San Jose for the orientation?
Hi Glenn. Welcome to the iSchool. Any time you have questions such as this, please reach out to me via our Student Services Contact Us button, accessible here: You should have received a Welcome / Next Steps email from our iSchool Student Services Coordinator, Gina Lee. And I believe in that message it is noted that the university does offer an on-campus Graduate student orientation to new students. However, this is geared toward students who live in the area and attend SJSU grad programs in a face-to-face format, on our campus. Our program is 100% online. Our iSchool New Student Orientation will be held online in Zoom (our web conferencing platform), in early August. All Fall 2018 admitted iSchool students will be messaged with the information on how to join the online orientation webinar. The online orientation is also recorded so that those who cannot attend that day are able to listen to the program at their convenience. iSchool Student Services also be offering an online "Registration Tips for Success" webinar in June, (which will also be recorded), so please keep watch for a message about that program.

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