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.
Kent State alumna Courtney Flickinger, ’20, has been using communication skills to advocate for aging populations since her senior year of college. In 2019, she was a communications intern with Direction Home Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities, and has since began her career there as a Communication Specialist. This semester, she’s sharing her knowledge and experiences with students in two Communication Studies courses.
Peter Bobkowski will join the School of Media and Journalism this fall as Kent State University’s second Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism, dedicated to leading national efforts to revitalize journalism in the nation's high schools. He replaces retired chair Mark Goodman, who held the role since it was established in 2007.
The Kent State School of Media and Journalism (MDJ) welcomed Mizell Stewart III, award winning reporter, corporate news executive and president and CEO of Emerging Leaders LLC, to give the third annual Dix Media Ethics Lecture, “Journalism as a Civic Good,” on March 1, 2023.