New Staff Members Support iSchool Students Behind the Scenes
Two new staff members joined the School of Information at San José State University at the beginning of the spring 2021 semester. Taryn Reiner started as student support specialist January 25, and Bethany Winslow arrived on February 8 as the new e-learning specialist. Winslow will take on Debbie Faires’ non-faculty responsibilities when Faires retires at the end of this semester.
Although currently based in Hawai’i, Reiner is a California State University graduate twice over, with an MA in Counseling from Sonoma State University and a BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences from California State University, Monterey Bay. She spent 20 years as a high school counselor in California, New Mexico and Hawai’i, developing a passion for advocating for students. She and her new colleagues Sheila Gurtu and Gina Lee now make up the Student Services team.
“Supporting students to achieve their goals motivates me,” Reiner says. In her new role, Reiner will advise and advocate for graduate students enrolled in the fully online master’s degree and certificate programs.
“I feel like a graduate student again,” she say after her first month on the job, during which she has been taking notes on all the behind-the-scenes support the iSchool offers. “What? The first month has passed already?”
Winslow works on another facet of behind-the-scenes support: her job is to ensure the online learning environment runs smoothly and to search constantly for ways to improve the process for teachers and students. She comes to the iSchool from a position as instructional designer at eCampus, which serves all of SJSU.
“In a way, I’ve just moved from one eCampus to another version of eCampus specific just to the iSchool,” Winslow says, noting, however, that the iSchool is unique and her work there more challenging. “I am so thankful to have Debbie Faires to help me acclimate!”
Winslow has an MS in Education, with a concentration in Online Teaching and Learning, from the California State University, East Bay and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Since 2018 Winslow has been working with faculty members and alumni from the iSchool’s Virtual Center for Archives and Records Administration. “I almost feel like I was fated to be at iSchool!” she says.
When she’s not pursuing her enthusiasm for emerging technologies, Winslow confesses that her fascination with virtual worlds dominates other hobbies. “My collaborations with iSchool faculty, as well as librarians and educators from other institutions in virtual worlds is an example of purposeful tinkering,” she says. “We are living the practice of exploring how teaching and learning relationships are built and sustained remotely in virtual environments.”
The iSchool welcomes both of these talented and skilled staff members and wishes them well on their respective professional journeys!