Haycock Award Winner Christensen Will Deliver Graduation Speech


Graduating Master of Library and Information Science student JonLuc Christensen has been selected to receive the Ken Haycock Award for Exceptional Professional Promise and will be the student speaker for the San José State University School of Information’s virtual graduation celebration.

Every year, the award is bestowed upon a student who, “in the opinion of the faculty, exhibits the most exceptional professional promise for leadership.” Christensen has demonstrated “flexibility in program delivery modes, excellence in academic performance, the ability to think theoretically and practically and the ability to analyze and communicate the results of knowledge gained,” the award description states.

As the award winner, Christensen will be the student speaker at the virtual graduation celebration and will also receive $1,000 and a citation. He feels “deeply honored” to have been selected.

“Professional development for myself and others has been something that I am deeply passionate about, so to have won this award validates much of the hard work that I have done over the past two and a half years in the program,” he said.

Christensen characterizes his iSchool experience as “wonderful” and his MLIS studies have provided him the necessary skills, qualities, and experience to perform exceptionally in a wide range of fields and situations, with a stable foundation for further growth and advancement.

“The courses I took provided me with invaluable skills and knowledge that have allowed me to speak and act authoritatively and accurately in my professional capacity. Meanwhile, the leadership opportunities and examples have provided the necessary skills to stand as an effective leader and manager to my peers and colleagues,” he said.

In his time at the iSchool, Christensen has served as the assistant programming director and Southern California liaison for the Special Libraries Association Student Chapter. In summer 2017, he began as president of the chapter and now functions as the immediate past-president. Additionally, he co-founded the First Generation student group with Dr. Anthony Bernier to provide resources, networking, and visibility to those who are the first in their families to attend graduate school.

While earning his MLIS degree, Christensen completed an internship, which led to his current full-time position as a records management specialist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the California Institute of Technology.  

He encourages graduate students to use resources like professors, colleagues and peers to leverage their highest potential. “Challenge yourself to be the best you can be. Know your limits but push yourself to say ‘no’ as little as possible. When an opportunity arises, don’t be afraid to take it (even if it might be uncomfortable or challenging for a time).”

In the near future, Christensen plans to continue his professional work at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and with SLA, as well as pursue certifications from the Academy of Certified Archivists, the National Archives and Records Administration’s Federal Records training, and AS91000 Auditing. In addition, he hopes to use his MLIS degree to teach information science and as a continued path to a future PhD program.

The 2018-2019 academic year iSchool virtual graduation celebration will be held May 21 at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. In addition to Christensen, speakers include iSchool Director Sandra Hirsh and Luis Herrera, who recently retired from the San Francisco Public Library after a 40-plus year career in librarianship.