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Diversity Scholars Program

Information about the OSUL Diversity Scholars Program.

Meet the DSP Scholars!

Presentations and publications about and by our Scholars! 

Diversity Scholar #5 - CJ Garcia

CJ GarciaCJ Garcia

Diversity Scholar: October 2021 - May 2022

My name is CJ Garcia, and I am incredibly excited for the chance to learn and develop more skills as the new OSUL Diversity Scholar. I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, but have lived in the Phoenix Metro area for the past 5 years. I have a BA in Classics from Arizona State University, and am currently in the second year of the MLIS program at the University of Arizona, where I am also pursuing a graduate certificate in Teaching and Instruction. I currently also work for the UA as Library Services Associate in the Arizona Health Sciences Library - Phoenix. I am also the current Scholarly Communication Intern for the Arizona State University Library.

My first library “job” was actually helping out at the circulation desk at my elementary school, and I continued to volunteer in my school libraries throughout my K-12 education. Following that, I got a job as a page at my local public library after graduating high school, which I worked at while going to community college. When I left to go to ASU for my undergraduate degree, I continued the trend and secured 2 different jobs with ASU Library as a student worker, one working the circulation desk and another working on the community-driven archives project, where I worked on a variety of different projects. This included digitizing materials, working with digital collection software, doing community outreach, and more. I loved this work, and found it to be a perfect blend of librarianship, historical work, and community activism that I was thrilled to be a part of! After these diverse experiences in libraries, getting my MLIS degree and becoming a librarian felt like a natural next step towards a career I would love.

I applied to the Diversity Scholar position not only to develop my overall librarian skills, but because it offered me the opportunity to come back to archival work, specifically working with multicultural collections and underserved communities, which is work I know and love, and would be interested in doing as a lifelong career. I hope that the experience will hone my skills, deepen my archival knowledge, and prepare me for a career in archives and librarianship that I can enjoy and be proud of.

More about me:

  • I started off as a creative writing major during my undergrad, and have published a few poems in different literary journals.
  • I can read Latin (well) and Ancient Greek (poorly), and have even self-studied some Ancient Norse.
  • My favorite color is purple.
  • I collect Peanuts memorabilia, especially Japanese stationery supplies like limited-edition pens and pen cases.

In May 2022, CJ began his first post-MLIS job as the Liaison and Communications Librarian at A.T. Still University in Arizona.

Diversity Scholar #4 - Alexandria "Ally" Fripp

Ally Fripp

Diversity Scholar: October 2020 - June 2022

My name is Ally Fripp and I am overjoyed at the opportunity to learn and grow as a Diversity Scholar at the Valley Library. I was born and raised in South Carolina. I attained a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Colorado College, in Colorado Springs, in 2018. Currently, I am in my last year of my MLIS program at the University of Arizona where I also work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the School of Information.

I grew up in public libraries and would not be where I am today without them. But, my interest lies in academic librarianship. As an undergraduate, I was a federal work study student worker at my college library. I began my journey in Circulation and branched out to other departments, like Gov’t Documents and occasionally Periodicals and Special Collections. There, I became interested in how information systems work in academia and how librarians work with the campus community to facilitate scholarship. Moreover, I noted how vital library services were to my peers as mostly first generation, low income students, and/or students of color. Thus, I was inspired to pursue my MLIS and learn how to be a critical and culturally competent steward of information in academia. At my core, my goal is to work at the intersection of individuals and information and empower people of color in information environments. There is much inequality in higher education and academic librarians can help combat it by working with students and their informational needs. I am dedicated to making a difference.

I applied for the Diversity Scholars Program because it is a unique, impactful opportunity. The goals of the program align with my goals of librarianship, including creating a diverse and inclusive information environment. I am interested in the library as a system and being able to work with and learn from multiple departments in the library satisfies my curiosity about the field. The staff at the Valley Library have been extremely supportive and grant me many learning and growing opportunities. I am privileged to be doing work in this capacity moving from the student worker side of things to the librarianship aspects. I plan on incorporating this experience moving forward into my future practice as an academic librarian that centers the information needs of marginalized students.

More About Me:

  • The Private Life of Mrs. Sharma (by Ratika Kapur) is one of my favorite books
  • I took Russian in college and can read and write the Russian alphabet
  •  Hedgehogs are my favorite animal (Hedgehog in the Fog is my favorite Russian cartoon)
  • I worked in a public library in Denver for a year between undergrad and grad school
  • A personal goal of mine is to read more fiction by women of color

Diversity Scholar Intern - Amir R El-Chidiac

Amir R El-Chidiac

Diversity Scholar Intern: January - June 2021

My name is Amir, and I am thrilled to be here at Oregon State University as a Diversity Scholar Intern. I received my BA in Women and Gender Studies (with a focus on literature by women of color) from Portland State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the New College of California. I currently am finishing up my MLS degree at North Carolina Central University, with an anticipated graduation date of August 2021.

While in school for my undergraduate and graduate studies in Creative Writing, I worked with different at-risk populations, mostly youth and young adults in homeless shelters, and transitional housing facilities. This work taught me a lot about the failure of institutional systems to provide care and support for vulnerable people. My scholarship while in school has been centered around the information and user needs of BIPOC, LGBTQ folks, and people with disabilities. I believe that libraries, whether academic or public, have a responsibility to be role models of inclusion and accessibility, not just in terms of collections, but also in their staffing, policies and practices.

I applied to the Diversity Scholars Program, because I am new to the field of library and information science. I was struggling with getting a job because many positions require experience, and although I had related experience, I hadn’t yet worked in a library. I also knew that as someone who is multiply marginalized, getting that experience was more difficult. I wanted to be mentored by information professionals of color who understood the challenges with working in a predominantly white field. I wanted to have the freedom to explore different departments in an academic library, and to receive support along the way. My experience in the DSP at OSU has been really positive. I feel more confident in my ability to be a successful librarian, and my mentor was there for me every step of the way. In addition, I was able to chat with many different librarians to learn more about what their roles are, what they enjoy about their work, and what difficulties they face. I know I will take what I learned here from OSU, at my next job, as a Diversity Resident and Research and Instruction Librarian at Susquehanna University, beginning in August of 2021.

Diversity Scholar #3 - Valeria Dávila

Valeria Dávila

Diversity Scholar: October 2019 - June 2021

My name is Valeria Dávila and I am a first-generation college graduate from Argentina. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Film at Fundación Universidad del Cine in October of 2018, I am currently pursuing a Master of Library Science degree with an Archives Studies concentration at Emporia State University, having started my first semester in August 2019.

Back in my home country, I worked in film production, co-producing and co-directing “Mamadua: Born into Awareness,” a documentary on women’s rights during childbirth, selected by the 30th Mar del Plata International Film Festival for its Work in Progress Competition, and internationally premiered at the 4th Mzansi Women's Film Festival in 2017, and in digital film restoration, helping restore Argentina’s film heritage as a part of the National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA) TV Program for the Recovery of Audiovisual Heritage and the RECAM-EU Audiovisual Mercosur Program. It was during this time that I became interested in film preservation and archiving, and pursuing a career as a moving image archivist.

Moving to Oregon in 2016, I found in the Oregon State University Libraries and Press (OSULP) a home where to jumpstart my professional journey. Working for almost two years at the Special Collections & Archives Research Center (SCARC) digitizing photographic and paper-based materials for digital preservation and access, after attending the Film Preservation & Restoration School Latin America in 2017, I was entrusted to preserve the “In Our Care” series from the KOAC TV Film Collection, documenting Oregonian schools, hospitals, and prisons for the handicapped and the delinquent, a historically vulnerable and underserved population.

Understanding the archive practice as an agent of change, now I am rejoining OSULP as a Diversity Scholar after interning at Yale University’s Film Study Center, I am eager to help SCARC to better preserve and provide access to its audiovisual collections and to empower the Latino community in Oregon by helping preserve and provide access to the Latino materials at the Valley Library, safeguarded by the Oregon Multicultural Archives (OMA).

"Overcoming Subtitles: Valeria Estefanía Dávila Gronros on the Importance of Diversity in Film" ProQuest interviews a MLIS student and scholarship recipient about her bourgeoning career in audiovisual preservation and archiving

Accomplishments

Diversity Scholar #2 - Bridgette Flamenco (née Garcia)

Bridgette Flamenco (née Garcia)

Diversity Scholar: October 2018 - March 2020

My name is Bridgette Flamenco (née Garcia). I am a first generation Mexican American and I grew up in Los Angeles, California. I attained my Bachelor of Arts in political science at Oregon State University in March of 2018, making me the first college graduate in my family. I am currently enrolled in San Jose State University’s Master of Library and Information Science program and started my first semester in August of 2018.

My interest in the library profession arose from a love of books. I grew up going to my public library and checking out books on a near weekly basis; once I graduated from high school, I began working as a public library page. As an employee of a public library, I realized that librarians do more than cover the reference desk. In addition to helping one find information on a particular subject, librarians constantly come up with ways to support and engage their community’s lifelong learning abilities. It became my understanding that through their programs and services, libraries in general had managed to grow into a force that worked to contribute positively towards their patrons and community as a whole. It was this realization that pushed me to strive for a career in the library sciences field. I specifically wanted to work to make the resources that libraries offered more well-known and more accessible, especially within minority groups.

I applied to the Diversity Scholars Program because I wanted to work and learn in an environment that engaged in creating a diverse and inclusive library sciences field. The staff at the Valley Library are made up of incredibly knowledgeable librarians who are consistently working to improve their services and to help students succeed in their academic studies. Being mentored by such compassionate and experienced individuals has been incredibly beneficial in terms of understanding the inner workings of academic libraries. Consequently, I hope to take this experience to one day work my way to a position within an academic or public library and collaborate with others to create change that would meet the information seeking needs and behaviors of minority groups.

More about me:

  • I have a wirehaired pointing griffon named Remus Lupin
  • I love to hike and camp throughout Oregon 
  • My favorite book is always the last book I read

Diversity Scholar #1 - Marisol Moreno Ortiz

Marisol Moreno Ortiz

Diversity Scholar: January 2018 - June 2019

My name is Marisol Moreno Ortiz and I like it when people call me Mari. I am the youngest of three daughters and I was born in Mexico. I moved with my family to Oregon in 2000. I am the first one in my family to go college. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oregon State University in 2014, a Master of Arts in English from Portland State University in 2016, and I have now finished my first year of my Master of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University with a expected graduation date of 2019. Being the first Diversity Scholar of the Diversity Scholars Program has been a great honor and has become a very important part of my education and growth. Doing my MLIS program has been a good experience but being part of the DSP program has made it great. I am learning in the physical environment that I hope to work in after I am done with my degree and this experiential learning is unquestionably very valuable. It has helped me begin to develop my identity as a librarian and reflect on what I want that to be. I believe in equality, equity, everyone's right to peace, support, fair treatment, a place to feel safe, and have access to information. As a librarian I hope to bring support and encouragement to students to help them succeed in their higher education plans through accessing library services.

I am also a writer, poet, and dreamer. I have many favorite authors, from William Shakespeare, John Milton, Robert Frost, Sarah Manguso to Mary Oliver, and many more. I connect to poetry that makes me reflect on my own life with the many sorrows and joys I have experienced throughout it, which is also reflected in my poetry.

More about me:

  • My library motto: There are no stupid questions because the answer is important to you.
  • One of my favorite quotes is: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day”
  • Hard for me to say: hypocrite, module, autumn.
  • My favorite color is navy blue.
  • Everyday Goal: Do one thing that scares me.
  • One Dream Goal: Go to London to Shakespeare’s Globe and watch a play.

Scholarship

Marisol Moreno Ortiz Final Presentation