Dr. Michele Villagran Honored for Leadership in Social Justice and Equality

Dr. Michele Villagran

Assistant Professor Michele Villagran is the recipient of the 2023 Herb Biblo Outstanding Leadership Award for Social Justice and Equality presented by The Social Responsibilities Round Table. The award recognizes individuals who are leaders and advocates for social justice and equality within the library profession. “Everything I do is for diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice,” says Villagran.

The Social Responsibilities Round Table is a division of the American Library Association and “works to make ALA more democratic and to establish progressive priorities not only for the Association but also for the entire profession.” The award was presented virtually at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference and is “given in recognition of an individual’s specific projects or programs or for lifelong accomplishment.”

Villagran states that receiving the award “further validates the work I have done for so many years and is an award in itself that should be elevated as our profession continues to develop and grow in this space.”  

Villagran teaches courses in the fully online Master of Library and Information Science degree program at the San José State University School of Information. Her research focuses on diversity and social justice in library and information science and cultural intelligence phenomena within libraries. She is currently a partner on a multi-year Institute of Museum and Library Services grant project aimed at introducing undergraduate BIPOC students to careers in library and information science. She also serves as the faculty advisor for the REFORMA Student and Alumni Group and is involved with several university DEI-related committees.

Villagran earned her Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership and her Master of Dispute Resolution and Certificate of Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University. In addition to her contributions to the SJSU School of Information, she is also the CEO of CulturalCo, LLC. CulturalCo, LLC. works with different organizations to develop cultural competency and assist with conflict management.