Employer of SJSU SLIS Student Praises MLIS Program


The training in leadership and innovative thinking that students receive at the San José State University School of Library and Information Science gave one soon-to-be graduate an edge over the competition with her new employer.

Stephanie Gritz, a current student in the fully online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree program at SJSU SLIS, who will graduate in spring 2013, is the new director of the Learning Resource Center at Ashworth College, an online learning program based in Norcross, Georgia. Besides managing the Center, Gritz oversees all library resources and provides academic research and writing support to students, faculty, and staff.

Along with a news release from Ashworth announcing Gritz’s hiring, SJSU SLIS received a letter from the college’s chief academic officer, Dr. Leslie Gargiulo, explaining why she chose a student from the SJSU information school over all other library science programs in the nation.

“Thanks for a great program that really prepares future professionals in information science,” Gargiulo wrote. “Stephanie is a perfect fit for our online college. She has the skills, knowledge and understanding on how to integrate our academic research and academic support resources into our social community.”

Gargiulo also attached a narrative she used in Ashworth’s recent five-year re-accreditation process that explains why SJSU SLIS “was the only logical choice from which to hire a graduate or alumni.”

In the narrative, Gargiulo mentioned the information school’s Catalyst Project and Center for Information Research and Innovation (CIRI) as examples of its commitment to prepare library leaders for the 21st Century. She also cited the joint city/university structure of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library as evidence of San José State University’s leadership in library practices.

“The rare model of joining the physical public space with the physical academic space serves as a springboard into Ashworth’s online presence,” Gargiulo wrote. “We want to create a joint social/academic space where the library becomes a focal point to bring our community members and students together. Thus, it was an obvious choice to hire someone from SJSU SLIS who has been groomed for library leadership in rethinking information and library innovation.”

In further explaining why Gritz was selected for the position, Gargiulo added, “Because our social community is a vibrant and integral part of our student learning experience, we needed someone who could understand our online model, who could be a leader in creating a social/academic space, and who has the technical and social skills that would allow for fluid integration between our social community and our academic expectations.”