Dr. Lisa Kelsay
Dr. Lisa Kelsay is a current SLIS student and Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois . She was recently named an American College Personnel Association (ACPA) 2017 Diamond Honoree.
What is your name? What degree are you seeking? What semester/year do you expect to graduate?
My name is Lisa Kelsay and I am seeking a Master of Library and Information Science degree and a Graduate Certificate in Public Library Services to Children and Young Adults. I began classes part-time in Fall 2015 and hope to complete and graduate in the 2019-20 academic year.
Where do you currently reside? If you moved to metro Detroit to attend SLIS, where did you move from?
I currently reside in Chicago, Illinois.
What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
I have a Certificate in Women’s Studies from The University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH), Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from The University of Akron (Akron, OH), Master of Arts in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from Ball State University (Muncie, IN), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Why did you choose Wayne State School of Library and Information Science?
To maintain my valid teaching license, I need to continuously take classes, either in my subject area or with classes that will help me in teaching methods. I decided to start taking courses that worked towards a degree related to youth and looked at 100% online options. I conducted informational interviews with librarians to learn where they went, what they had heard about other schools, their experiences, etc. In the end, I chose Wayne State University because of the classes offered, the focus on youth, what I had heard from alumni of the program, and that there were many online course offerings which works better with my life obligations.
What area are you specializing in? Why?
I am specializing in Public Library Services to Children and Young Adults. The courses I am taking will allow me to maintain my elementary education teaching license, and also provide me with the needed graduate credits to teach children’s literature courses at the college level.
Where/What format do you take most of your classes? Why?
100% on-line is the format I have chosen. With my work and life schedule, this works best for me. I do work full-time, I am an active volunteer in a professional organization and in my community, and for about 5 months each year I am training for a triathlon. I also travel so my schedule is never the same from week to week. The on-line environment allows me to engage in my classes from wherever and whenever.
Are you active in any student organizations?
I have taken on officer roles in two student organizations while at Wayne State University. I was the Distance Liaison for ALA@Wayne in 2015-2016 and the Outreach Coordinator for the Aspiring Youth and School Librarians in 2016-2017.
How has your involvement in student organizations impacted your SLIS experience?
Getting involved in student organizations allowed me to see a different perspective of library services, engage with other SLIS students, and become more connected to Wayne State University.
Are you currently doing any library, DCM, Archives or Information Management related work? If so, how has the program prepared you for it?
Not directly. However, through my job, I am a part of the Copyright Committee at my college and have engaged with the college library staff on programming when I co-chaired The Democracy Commitment committee on my campus. The Democracy Commitment committee collaborated with the Library on the One Book One College program and on creating a Human Library.
What are you most proud of in your time as a student at SLIS?
Probably the fact I have been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA for the first time ever for consecutive semesters, while juggling a full-time job, part-time job, training, and life.
Is there a professor who has really impacted your journey into becoming a librarian or information professional?
I have learned a lot from many of the professors in the MLIS program. Each brings a different component to my learning.
Since joining the program, what do you feel is the most important or surprising thing you’ve learned about the library and information science profession?
For me, it has been the technology side. Through this program, I have learned many various technology programs that I had never used before. Now I use many of them in my full-time job.
How has SLIS helped you in your preparation for your future career?
The MLIS program is allowing me to maintain an active teaching license and to gain the credits I need to teach Children’s Literature at the college level.
What are your long-term professional goals?
I have worked in higher education for 20 years so I have met many of my long-term professional goals by this time. This program allows me to maintain my teaching license as well as teach children’s literature classes. Down the road, I would like to become a Dean at a college or university setting.
What advice would you give to someone considering SLIS as their LIS school?
I am not your traditional age, traditional route student into the MLIS program. My first career was as an elementary education teacher. Since then, I have worked in higher education for 20 years. It is never too late to learn something new, to explore additional avenues, and be open to possibilities. I have found this program to be flexible, the professors accommodating, and fellow students open to group engagement on various assignments. I chose to do this program on-line. The best advice would be that if one choose the on-line path, to be very self-motivated, check on-line at least once every other day, and to schedule time in your calendar to work on readings and homework.