Distinguished iSchool Instructor Receives Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor
Congratulations to Dr. Michele Villagran on her Tenure and New Role

Dr. Michele Villagran

Dr. Michele Villagran, a distinguished member of the San José State University School of Information faculty, has been awarded tenure and promoted from assistant professor to associate professor, effective this fall. Villagran has been a vital part of the university since joining the iSchool faculty in 2018.

Villagran teaches INFO 281: Cultural Competence for Information Professionals, a course she developed to address a gap in the curriculum and across American Library Association-accredited master’s degree programs. She has also taught INFO 200: Information Communities for graduate students enrolled in the iSchool’s fully online Master of Library and Information Science degree program.

Her dedication to education extends beyond the classroom, as she serves as an advisor for the REFORMA SJSU iSchool Student and Alumni Group, which she founded in 2020. Villagran’s leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion are evident through her roles in various committees, including the SJSU Campus Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and the College of Professional and Global Education Academic Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Committee.

In addition to her teaching and advisory roles, Villagran has been involved in numerous grant projects. Notable grants include the 2024 Vice President for Research and Innovation Teaming grant for “Legally, Algorithmically, and Culturally Aware Systems of Accountability” and the 2023 Mozilla Foundation grant for “Cross-campus Interdisciplinary Responsible Computing Learning Experiences.” She has also contributed to the “BIPOC Become Librarians” initiative funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Villagran’s achievements have been recognized with several awards and honors, such as the Assigned Time for Exceptional Levels of Service to Students Award in 2024-2025 and 2022-2023 for the projects “SAYV: Students Amplifying Your Voices” and “Your Voices: Learning, Listening & Sharing,” respectfully. She also received the American Library Association Social Responsibilities Round Table Herb Biblo Outstanding Leadership Award for Social Justice and Equality 2023-2024, the REFORMA Librarian of the Year award in 2021, and the Association for Library and Information Science Education Norman Horrocks Leadership Award in the same year.

Villagran’s tenure and promotion to associate professor is a testament to her dedication and hard work. Reflecting on her career in academia, she shared a poignant moment: “This past May, I sat at the Barcelona airport with my husband before he headed home to Los Angeles, and I went to France for a conference. I read the notification letter from the university of my tenure and promotion decision. It felt surreal as May was a huge month—just like the Friday before when we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in the same place where we married 10 years ago in Spain. It is difficult to capture what it means to receive tenure and promotion in words as a female Latina. The process to get to this point is a real beast but also a rewarding journey. It feels like yesterday that I was just joining this wonderful organization,” Villagran said.

This significant milestone in her academic career isn’t just about climbing the career ladder. Villagran explained, “What it means to me is a permanent accomplishment that offers hope for the future and a shift to make sure my unique contributions continue to make a lasting impact.”

Congratulations to Dr. Villagran!