2016 Vanita Scholars Announced
The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University has awarded $1,000 “Vanita Scholars” scholarships to four aspiring youth librarians.
Psyche Zoamary Castro, of Athens, Ohio; and Robin Clancy of Brecksville, Ohio, Ashley Paris-Hansen of Fairbanks, Alaska; Katy Wagner, of Livonia, Michigan; and each received $1,000, thanks to a generous gift from VanitaBooks of Akron, Ohio. All four students are pursuing the Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) degree in the School of Library and Information Science, with aspirations of becoming children’s, young adult or school librarians.
The scholarship is awarded to current students who best demonstrate a program of study in children’s, young adult or school librarianship, good academic standing and an interest in working with children and/or young adults who face cultural, personal and/or environmental challenges in today’s society.
Psyche Zoamary Castro says she aspires to work as a children or young adult librarian in a public library. She holds an undergraduate degree in women and gender studies from Ohio University. She is pursuing the M.L.I.S. with a specialization in children and youth librarianship and is working as a graduate assistant at the School.
Robin Clancy currently works at NatureBridge and holds an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Toledo. She is currently pursuing her M.L.I.S. with a specialization in youth adult librarianship. She hopes to continue serving children and young adults by providing access to information in a library setting.
Ashley Paris-Hansen currently works as an independent consultant for Usborne Books & More. She holds an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and is currently pursuing her M.L.I.S. She said she aspires to be a children’s librarian in a public library or international school in the future.
Katy Wagner works as an elementary school teacher at a local school district. She obtained her undergraduate degree in elementary education from the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing her M.L.I.S. with a specialization in children’s librarianship and museum studies. She said that she hopes to work as a children’s librarian in a public library after getting her degree.
VanitaBooks publishes books for children ages 4 through 8. Each book presents a dilemma or fear that a child may have, and resolves those issues through the loving and reassuring guidance of a parent, or through the plot of the story itself. VanitaBooks was named 2014 Friend of the Year by the School of Library and Information Science, in recognition of the company’s ongoing support of the youth services program.
The School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University offers a Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) and Master of Science in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM). In addition, the school participates in an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the College of Communication and Information. With more than 700 students enrolled, SLIS has the largest graduate program at Kent State. Its M.L.I.S. is the only American Library Association-accredited master’s program in Ohio and is recognized by U.S. News and World Report among the nation’s top 20 LIS programs, with a youth services program that is ranked 10th.
Before he graduated in December 2022, digital media production alumnus Sam Teyssier had already racked up some impressive credits: He’d worked on television shows including “American Rust” and “A League of Their Own” (among others), as well as Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award winner “Cha Cha Real Smooth.” These experiences — which he began seeking out in his hometown of Pittsburgh during the summer of 2021 — have prepared him for post-graduation life.
Laura Gordon, '87, had such a fulfilling experience as a Kent State University student, that she now gives back so that others may find their way t
In March 2021, Lacy Starling, '02, got a call from a community organization in northern Kentucky looking for a CEO for a start-up news organization. They knew Starling only for her business background; after earning her Bachelor of Science in journalism from Kent State University, she went on to earn her M.B.A. For 20 years, she had been an entrepreneur.