Two New Instructors Join SJSU iSchool’s Award-Winning Faculty


The San José State University School of Information announces the addition of two new tenure-track faculty members to its diverse and award-winning faculty.

Drs. Deborah Hicks and Michele Villagran will teach core competency courses in the iSchool’s Master of Library and Information Science degree program. They bring years of instructional experience to INFO 204 Information Professions and INFO 200 Information Communities, respectively.

Hicks (pictured left) received a Doctor of Philosophy, specializing in educational administration and leadership from the University of Alberta. She also holds a Master of Library and Information Studies from Dalhousie University and a Master of Arts in History from York University. She was previously a lecturer at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her expertise centers on identity and information professionals.

“This sheds light on how information organizations function and the role they play in the construction of information professionals’ identities,” she explained.

Hicks said she was attracted to the iSchool’s commitment to the foundational knowledge of library and information science because it matches her approach to teaching, which emphasizes both theory and practice, so students can become “critical thinkers, flexible and adaptable professionals, and leaders.”

Villagran (pictured right) earned a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership and a Master’s degree in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration in Strategic Administrative Management and a Master’s degree in Library Science in Law Librarianship and Legal Informatics from the University of North Texas. Her areas of expertise include diversity issues/cultural research, special libraries, conflict management/dispute resolution, competitive intelligence, legal information services and research, organizational leadership, and management of libraries and information agencies.

Villagran has taught at the University of North Texas, Woodbury University, and the California Institute of Advanced Management, and was drawn to the iSchool’s welcoming community.

“The majority of my work and consulting has focused on the culture of organizations and diversity of individuals. I felt the openness of the iSchool when I have interacted with faculty, students and alumni from there since I have worked in academia. I was instantly attracted before the position was even open because of this,” she said.

Hicks and Villagran will begin their new positions as assistant professors in the fall 2018 semester.