Doctoral Students Invited to Present Research at Conferences


San José Gateway PhD program students Africa Hands and Karen Kaufmann were recently accepted to present their research progress project posters on education at professional conferences.

Two San José Gateway PhD candidates were recently accepted to present their research progress project posters on education at professional conferences.

Africa Hands will be presenting her work-in-progress during a poster session highlighting the pilot study and methodology of her doctoral thesis at the Association for Library and Information Science Education conference in January 2017. Her two-phase mixed methods study seeks to understand why individuals pursue doctoral degrees in library and information science.

Hands, who started in the San José Gateway PhD program in the 2014 cohort, said reasons for earning a doctoral degree in LIS have been explored anecdotally but not systematically or theoretically through focused research study. “Anecdotal evidence points to a misalignment between a student’s reason for the degree and the expectations of faculty advisers,” she said. Hands intends to offer an understanding of student motivation that may impact recruitment, curriculum, and support services, as well as provide insight on the future of graduate LIS education.

“The study is extremely relevant to the ALISE community because the organization focuses on educating library and information professionals at both the graduate and doctoral level and LIS research in general,” she said. “This will be my first time at an ALISE conference; I look forward to receiving feedback from and being in conversation with those directly impacted by my research.”

Karen Kaufmann’s poster Socio-Cognitive Relevance of Information Literacy: The impact on student academic success was presented in August 2016 at the International Federation of Libraries Association conference in Columbus, Ohio. More than 200 posters were presented over two days with two-hour time slots each day. Kaufmann’s poster and abstract reflected some of the preliminary findings of her research and outlined the theory, methods and scope of the study, which seeks to explore student perceptions of the relevance of information literacy competencies to undergraduate student academic work.

“The opportunity to interact with and engage in conversations with colleagues from around the world on the topic of and surrounding information literacy and its impact on student academic work was enlightening,” she said. “I learned the global perspectives on this topic and interestingly found that we share many of the same challenges of pedagogical and integration of ILC instruction.”

Kaufmann noted she had interactions with colleagues from Norway, Croatia, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Canada, Costa Rica, Thailand, Uganda, Nigeria, and Kenya.

“The venue also offers conference attendees the chance to have informal conversations mitigating language barrier challenges,” she said. “One of the significant values of presenting a poster at this stage of my research was to talk about the research, take questions and learn of inquiries visitors had surrounding my research. These inquiries assisted in better refining how to talk about the research, identifying what areas need to be highlighted, and determining what specifically needs to be refined in the presentation.”

The San José Gateway PhD program is offered in a partnership between the San José State University School of Information and Queensland University of Technology, one of Australia’s top research institutions. For a complete listing of student publications, please visit the program web page.