Graduating Student Felicity Murphy Recognized for Exceptional Professional Promise


The San José State University School of Information has chosen Master of Library and Information Science student Felicity Murphy for the prestigious 2018 Ken Haycock Award for Exceptional Promise. Murphy is graduating with her MLIS degree in May 2018.

In addition to being a graduate student, Murphy works as the head of student services at the James E. Faust Law Library at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where she teaches legal research to first-year law students and provides faculty research support. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Teaching from Brigham Young University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah.

“Felicity was the unanimous choice of the committee for this award. She has been both a strong student and community member during her time at the iSchool,” said Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom, head of the scholarship committee.

Murphy also received the Global Impact and the Robert Ellett scholarships in 2017, but said she was shocked to have won the Ken Haycock award.

“My graduating class is full of amazing and deserving students, and I know the competition must have been fierce. In the end, I am humbled and honored the committee felt that I was a worthy recipient of such a prestigious award,” she said.

While taking INFO 210 Reference and Information Services with Dr. Johanna Tunon, Murphy was inspired to observe the reference assistants at the Faust Law Library, which led to the idea for “The Reference Assistant,” a co-authored piece about the reference model used there. The paper later won the American Association of Law Libraries/LexisNexus Call for Papers Award: New Member Division, and will be published this year in the Law Library Journal. She also presented the paper with her co-author at the 2017 AALL National Convention in Austin, Texas.

As the Ken Haycock award winner, Murphy receives $1,000 and will serve as the graduating student speaker during the iSchool’s virtual convocation celebration on May 19. “I am really excited about the opportunity to speak at convocation. It will be a unique opportunity to participate in an important life event with my classmates,” she said.

Murphy acknowledges completing an MLIS degree will help as she approaches her tenure review next year at the University of Utah, but having completed a law degree and a master’s degree within the last six years, she wants to take a break from formal education. However, pursuing a PhD in the future is not out of the question.

“I am a huge proponent of professional development. I will continue to attend conferences and publish in the field. I also hope to be an ambassador for law librarianship. The field needs bright new talent,” she said.

To learn more about awards for excellence for graduating students, see the description page. For more information on the spring 2018 graduation events, visit the graduation web page.


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