Tolkien on my lap and, I lie barefoot in the big fisherman’s hammock, watching the morning light trickle, loving the way the ripples in the pond play underneath the ash and weeping willow, listening to the wind in the trees. Instead of my book, I read the reflecting leaves that vary in color from the shade to the sun, ponder the years ahead, and think how lucky we are to be back in my mother’s home state so many miles from Chicago. If I cast my eyes far enough, I can just about see dragonflies shimmering above the pink and white lily pads, their fragile wings brightly, steadily beating at speeds that defy the glorious leisure of a Maine summer and sudden passing of my young father.
It’s the beginning of August and school seems as far away as the midnight moon. My three brothers and I hook catfish for breakfast, race bullfrogs at the shore, swing like Tarzan into the leech-y watery deep, cannonball from the dock, skyrocket from construction sand, collect little bund...
Abdoulie is a Senior at Wabash College in Indiana, where he is majoring in political science and minoring in religion and architecture. He is also a member of the mens soccer team at Wabash. He aspires to become a diplomat. At Wabash, Abdoulie is member of several student organizations such as the Malcom X Institute of Black Studies, Investment Club, Muslim Student Association, and African Student Association. He has a deep interest in diplomacy, international relations, and politics.
Samba Doukhansy is a Junior at Keuka College in upstate New York. He is majoring in business management and minoring in finance. At EdLab, he works with the Digitization Queue team to archive Teachers College’s historical documents to enhance opportunities for staff, students, and faculty research. A big soccer fan, he played club for South Bronx United and is currently a member of the Keuka College mens soccer team.
I used to make architectural models. It is a small but essential industry that is devoted entirely to making people who cannot read technical drawings understand what the building they depict looks like. I made tiny versions of office buildings, commercial spaces and landscapes. For some reason it is much easier for someone to accept a very small building on a table and project all of their hopes and intentions onto it, than a two-dimensional technical drawing.
My job was not so much to make the most realistic version of a miniature office tower, it was to connect a person to a future reality so that they could make decisions, and for some reason everyone seemed to understand models.
What I found was that those Ah Ha! moments were very satisfying to create. Anyone who’s ever tried to explain a concept knows the distress of being met with glazed or frustrated expressions and, hopefully, the spark o...
Lorraine LaPrade can best be described as a “Jack(ie) of all trades.” She is a newby librarian, performance artist, and self-defense instructor. She holds a M.S. in Library Science from Long Island University, CW Post, and a M.A. in Women’s Studies from Claremont Graduate University.
Back in 2004, I was the only student in my high school who had the permission to borrow more than one book from my school’s library at a time.
Libraries played an important role in my life, and over time, the definition of this “library” changed in my mind to represent large repositories of knowledge in general. I believe that, with the rapid growth of information technology, traditional libraries need to evolve to embody this more generalized definition. And this implies development of online tools, easy access to information across the globe, and enabling learners to learn smoothly and efficiently.
My role at EdLab, Gottesman Libraries is to enable this transformation through my work in the development and research team.
During my high school years at Eagle Academy in the Bronx, becoming a leader was instilled into us since the first day of school. Every action was geared towards us becoming leaders. The goal was to serve as role models for our younger colleagues. We were trained to be confident and voice our opinions. My experience at Eagle Academy was instrumental in bringing me out of my shell. It provided me with the confidence to thrive in any environment. My name is Saleem Sallah and I am currently a sophomore at Monroe College majoring in Computer Information Systems. I was born in Kumasi, Ghana and spent half of my early childhood growing up between Kumasi and The Bronx. At EdLab, I am part of the Digi Q team and charged with digitally archiving Teachers College’s historical materials.
Kalliopi Mathios has a BSEd in Elementary Education from Loyola University Chicago with middle school endorsements in history and English. She taught in the Chicagoland area for four years before completing her MLIS at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2014. Before joining Teachers College, Kalli worked as a MyLibraryNYC school outreach and supervising librarian, and as a collection development librarian specializing in the curation of K-12 classroom and school libraries. Through previous work with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and in collaboration with Brooklyn Public Library's award-winning Teacher Lab, Kalli developed an online module introducing teachers to digital archives, with best practices for classroom use. She has presented at the DPLA national conference as well as the K-12 Archives Education Institute at the National Archives in New York. Currently, she is the Acquisitions and Mat...
I vividly recall memories of my mother teaching me a language considered foreign to my native Ghana. I wondered why I had to learn several native languages but my mother constantly reminded me of how important it is to see learning as a path that leads to different avenues of opportunities. With this principle in mind since childhood, I have developed a lifelong interest in learning. I have also discovered that sometimes the best form of learning starts by simply identifying the opportunities around you and using that as a means of growth and development. As an aspiring educator, I am inspired by the work I do, which revolves around innovating new ideas and technology to create a more collaborative and inspiring space for lear...
For more than a decade, I performed cabaret, choral, and a cappella music. About two years into the cabarets, I first experienced performance anxiety. My right leg shook uncontrollably from the knee down. It was as if it wasn’t part of me. I firmly anchored my foot and soldiered on. To my surprise, no one was the wiser, but I wondered how I would manage, going forward.
The experience unnerved me. I considered keeping it to myself. Instead, I talked to my peers. At the next show, months later, I steeled myself. Nothing happened. In fact, I never again experienced performance anxiety. I credit that to not having kept my problem a secret.
Simone believes in the power of reinvention.
Simone Schloss graduated from Simmons College in 2017 with an MLIS, and honors from Beta Phi Mu, the International Lib...
Barry is part of the DigiQ team at EdLab. As part of his duties, he is responsible for fulfilling all patron requests through Docdel. Additionally, he works on archiving over 100+ years of Teachers College material to enhance research opportunities for members of the community. He played club soccer at South Bronx United where he captained his team during his last two seasons. He's a big fan of the Spanish giants Real Madrid and dreams of experiencing a European match on their home turf. Barry is currently a rising senior at Saint Lawrence University double majoring in Government and French. During his spare time, Barry enjoys listening and making music.
Jacqueline (Jackie) Heltz is a Vermont-born filmmaker proudly residing in Queens, New York. She studied at McGill University before completing her graduate degree in Media Studies at The New School. As an Innovation Fellow at the Gottesman Libraries and five-year-fixture of EdLab’s video team, Jackie has cherished the opportunity to speak to current trends and national conversations through her work; utilizing media in order to address issues that matter like immigration, inclusion, social justice, the environment, and women’s voices. Various web series such as Seen in NY, Learning Theater Spotlights, The Voice, Changemakers, Art at the Library, and Strange Prize produced alongside her talented teammates serve to highlight unique educational opportunities and innovative educators in locations as seemingly distant as the Rikers Island Prison Complex or as close as the college’s very own Smith Learning Theater. Jackie is passionate about issue-driven documentaries and narratives; hopi...
Before I started high school I ask myself, “are you planning to go to college after high school ?” My immediate and initial response was “no”. College sounded so far and felt like a dream. Throughout my two years of high school, I seldom thought about college. I just didn’t see the end goal. I wanted to complete high school and figure the rest out. However, like most things in my life, it came back to soccer. I’ve been playing the game ever since I could walk. It has taught me so many life lessons such as collaboration (it is the world’s game), discipline, and commitment, among others. I saw some of my club teammates visiting colleges and excited about the prospect. This, along with conversations with my coaches, parents, and teachers, got me excited about college. I worked harder than ever before to make sure I become the first in my family to finish college. I am currently a freshman at Monroe College on a full scholarship. I am also on the men’s soccer team and majoring in Comput...
One of my earliest memories in life is traveling with my grandmother back in my native Ghana. As a self-made woman who didn’t receive a formal education, she never missed an opportunity to remind me about the importance of learning. She informed me that she “learned” everything she knew about running a business by always listening to others, questioning when she didn’t understand, and helping those in need. Though she passed away over 20 years ago, these principles have stayed with me all these years. It forms the cornerstone of all the work that I do at EdLab and beyond.
As head of recruiting, I am constantly learning new ways to make the process easier for the organization and prospective employees. As a researcher and a member of publishing team, I seek feedback and advice on my work from colleagues to improve my research and writing skills. All of this also requires me to ask tons of questions. The process of learning is a lifelong adventure—an adventure that...
Emily is a musician, audio engineer and artist from Orlando, FL. She's spent most of the last decade in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Boston, Montreal, or on tour. In addition to music making, she loves mixing and mastering audio, baking, shooting film photography, video collaging, graphic designing and painting (when space allows). She's spent time working with books and technology in various retail environments, as well as cataloguing media as a DJ. She's always found comfort in the quiet and inspiring environments of libraries and all of the aforementioned interests and experiences have brought her here to EdLab. Emily is a mother of two cats and she hopes that number grows in the future.
I am a Service Associate here at Gottesman Libraries. Though I am originally from Albany, I live here in the city because I am currently studying to get my master's degree in economics at The New School. Though I got my undergraduate degree in history, I find that the trajectory of history revolves primarily around economic conditions and therefore it is useful to study economics in order to examine the raw mechanisms that shape the past, present, and future. After reading Robert Heilbroner's famous work, The Worldly Philosophers, I knew that The New School, with its heterodox approach to the study of economics, was the place for me.
Before working here I had worked at plenty of other places, including a wine and liquor store, a Dunkin' Donuts, and Party City. None of those jobs compare to the work I do here. Both my fellow staff members and the patrons that regularly visit the library couldn't be nicer and I genuinely enjoy the work that I do.
On a September night in Atlanta, I was robbed at gunpoint by a handful of Atlanta local teens, the youngest 15 and the oldest 18. They stole my friend’s car, my phone, and my apathy towards education. The experience did not leave me empty or scared but passionate to find a way to serve every student's beaming and sometimes flickering, potential. Since then I have been on a mission to create educational programs and artistic devices that teach students the importance of life skills and pathways to success rather than mere rote memorization.
My robbery experience propelled me to use my knowledge of maker labs and art to facilitate workshops for adolescents to develop programs that revolve around making, creative technologies, and the relationship between inquiry-based projects and career development.
JOHN C. HUME. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in performing arts, John moved to Boston Massachusetts where he worked at both the Rotch Library for Architecture and Urban Planning and the Barker Engineering Library at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2004, he moved to New York where he decide to pursue his dream of working in professional theater and he held numerous positions at several notable Off Broadway theaters in the intervening years. In the summer of 2014, John returned to his first love, the libraries, and he is thrilled to be part of the services team at The Teachers College Library. As a performer John has appeared in numerous stage productions including: Vera, or The Nihilists (Prince Paul Maraloffski), The Bacchae (Tiresias) and Oscar Wilde’s Salome (Herodias) all with Femme Fatale Theater. He’s also known to New York audiences for his high-octane cabaret shows which have been presented at Feinstein's/54Below, The Duplex, T...
Lauren is a science and tech journalist by day and a Gottesman Library Services Associate by night. She likes to write about a lot of things, but mostly covers how technology affects our health, behavior, education and culture. She attended NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program and received a Master's degree in journalism. For fun, she collects comic books and browses digital library archives.
Dominic Wright is currently a freshman at Binghamton University. He plans to eventually major in mechanical engineering and in the near future hopes to become an aeronautical engineer. In order to pursue this career path upon completion of his under-graduate degree he hopes to attend grad school and study in-depth where aerospace technology is concerned. Dominic has also been a player for South Bronx United soccer club. For the past three years he played as a winger, his most recent achievement includes being a part of the 2018/19 premier league winning team. He also plays soccer on the high school level where he has been a part of a City winning team and state runner ups. During high school he was also a part of the National Honors Society. At EdLab, he works with the Digitization Queue team to archive Teachers College’s historical documents to enhance research opportunities for members of the community.
Kim Kefgen creates and produces new learning projects in The Smith Learning Theater, and leads the services team and education program at the Gottesman Libraries, both at Teachers College. Before coming to TC, she was the Director of the Samberg Institute for Teaching Excellence at Columbia Business School where she worked on teaching and curriculum development, and led the initiative for effective and appropriate adoption of technologies for successful teaching. She also worked in New York as a professional theater producer, director and production manager for over fifteen years. As a parent of a daughter in the NYC public school system, she has served on School Leadership Teams and PA Executive Boards. Ms. Kefgen holds a BFA in Theatre from Otterbein University, an M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University. She is an enthusiastic participant in our times.
Well, there’s the hazy childhood memory of sitting in the back seat of the car in the library parking lot, nestled between what seemed like stacks of books as tall as me on either side. I remember sunlight and the absence of the outer layers I’d have to wear for three quarters of the year (there’s an aphorism about my corner of Central New York, “There are only two seasons: winter and the fourth of July”), so it must have been summer, and those books were probably propelling me through that year’s summer reading contest. My people hail from warmer climes, and both of my parents teach, so that may have something to do with why that sunny, impromptu book fort stands out among my earliest memories.
There’s meeting, as a fresh college grad, with some of the folks who became my longest, closest friends (also in one case, an enemy) to send books to people in prison. For the rest of our time in that building, our space overlapped with a zine library that has since spawned ...
Dr. Hughes’ educational research focuses on media and social infrastructure. As a philosopher, he writes about how conceptions of excellence influence creative practices and artistic traditions. He holds a B.A....
I moved to Brooklyn, New York two years ago after graduating from Berklee College of Music, where I studied drum set performance and music business.
I've wanted to work at a library again ever since my experience working for the Berklee Library and Media Center. I love reading, playing and seeing music (of course), biking, cooking, and am always interested in acquiring new skills and hobbies. I'm here helping library patrons by day and out playing shows at night.
When Joann was a kid, she was all about nature documentaries. She spent Saturday mornings with Jack Hanna, PBS, and the Discovery Channel. Her most sought-after subject was, for some reason, birds. Any type of bird was her jam: songbirds, wild birds, birds of prey. She frequently checked out a bird documentary from her elementary school library that was unsurprisingly always available. While watching a program one morning, the narrator, in her lilting English accent, informed Joann that the common parakeet may be more special than she thought: they could learn to talk, just like people! Sort of. More like parrots. But worse. And males are better at it. But Joann didn’t know these limitations and so she set forth to teach her quiet, aging, female parakeet to speak like Oprah Winfrey (her favorite person at the time).
As a User Experience Engineer, Sabarish is helping redesign and implement the various digital products of EdLab and the Gottesman Libraries, including the Library website and Library mobile app, PocketKnowledge, the EdLab website, Rhizr, and Vialogues, among others. He is helping unify the look and design of these products to give a consistent experience for our users.
Sabarish has a Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan, School of Information (Ann Arbor, MI) and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University (Bangalore, India). He has nearly ten years of technology experience spread across a creative agency, i...
I was very slow at speaking when I was young. Most times conversations had moved to the next topic before words finally got to my mouth. And what’s worse, no matter how hard I tried I’m always very bad at remembering others’ names and faces while I have impressively good memories of everything else, which made conversations even harder for me.
So unlike other kids playing and interacting with each other, I spent most of my childhood painting at different places, sitting for hours and drawing people at hair salons, garages and temples. I was kind of forced to do that practice in the beginning and didn’t enjoy it that much. However, it did teach me how to observe the world, how people are different and have their own different stories. And gradually, it did help me find my own way interacting with others, through those paintings. It helped me build a connection with my “models” . I probably wouldn’t have ...
Hui Soo Chae is Senior Director for Research, Development, and Strategy at the Gottesman Libraries. In that capacity he leads the consulting, research, publishing, and software product development initiatives. As a co-founder of the EdLab, he has played a key role in creating the context for cross-disciplinary collaboration as the foundation for the EdLab innovation agenda.
Dr. Chae has led the development of a number of learning applications, including the Vialogues (www.vialogues.com) video discussion tool and the Rhizr (www.rhizr.com) content curation environment. His publishing initiatives have included development of the mobile publishing platform for the New Learning Times (www.newlearningtimes.com).
He has also pioneered an accelerated model to speed the delivery of ...
I was born and raised in Thailand. I grew up in a family that strictly emphasized and passed on an important set of values: generosity, honesty, integrity and kindness
and, more importantly, the value of education because we believe that having these values helps us to improve our lives and it is an investment in our future.
In order to get a better education, I moved from my hometown, Sikiu, in the northeast (Isan), to study in Bangkok, where most of the highest quality educational institutions are located.
After my high school years, I went to Srinakharinwirot University and earned a bachelor's degree in Teaching English. I started my first career as a teacher of English at Vajiravudh College in Bangkok. After three years of teaching students grades 9-12 at Vajiravudh, I realized that te...
Allen is Senior Librarian, Library Services. He provides in-class (and in-library) library information sessions for a variety of College courses; one-on-one research consultations; and email and in-person reference service. Allen compiles and maintains research guides specific to the College’s departments, programs, and courses; these are posted on the Learning at the Library blog on the Gottesman website.
Allen received a BA and an MA in English literature from Cornell University, and an MS in library Services from Columbia University. He is interested in promoting and supporting research mastery among students and researchers (a few steps beyond “information literacy”), and he finds contributing to library users’ fluency in the use of rich resources very gratifying.
Here is his story:
In graduate school, I gradually realized that the price of being able to immers...
When I was young, I spent whole afternoons looking at the world map. With the pencil in my hand, I never tired of drawing the outline of the unknown land and imaging the bottomless pit on the ocean floor or the past civilization lost in the rainforest.