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Melissa Cardenas-Dow's picture

Intros for 2012/2013 MPDR

Hello there! I am Melissa Cardenas-Dow, one of the 2 co-chairs for this committee this year. Welcome to the NMRT MPDR! I work as the Outreach/Behavioral Sciences Librarian at Armacost Library, University of Redlands in Southern California. I am also a resident of the city of Redlands, along with my spouse and our two daughters. I graduated from San Jose State University’s MLIS program in 2008. I have lived in the United States for over 22 years now. I was born and raised in the Philippines and have managed to retain my fluency of Filipino (Tagalog-based national language).

In addition to this committee, I work with the Newsletter and Publications Committee of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). This is my first time serving on NMRT’s MPDR Committee, however, so I feel I have lots to become acquainted with. I am still searching for a professional niche that pulls together my interests in multicultural higher education, social justice, digital fluency, and online life.

I look forward to reading your introductions, getting to know each of you a little better, and working together on this committee.



Annie Pho's picture

Hi everyone! I'm Annie Pho. I recently graduated with my MLS from Indiana University - Indianapolis this past May. I am working as a reference and instruction librarian at a community college in Indy. I live here with my partner and our 2 cats. I'm also on twitter as @catladylib so feel free to follow me and I will follow back. I lived in CA before I moved out to Indiana for school so yay for the west coast!

This is my first year serving on committees but I look forward to the work that we do. I'm on the NMRT Mentorship committee, and 2 RUSA committees. Nice to "meet" everyone and hopefully we will meet soon at a conference.



Laura Wilson's picture

It's nice to meet everyone.  My name is Laura Wilson.  I am a reference and instruction librarian at Westfield State University, which located in western MA.  I've been here almost one year, and this is my first full-time library job.  I graduated with a MLIS from Simmons College in 2009. 

This is my first time serving on an ALA committee. At my library, I am the chair of our newly formed Diversity Committee as well as the library liaison to the campus Office of Multicultural Affairs.  I am very interested in outreach as well as diversity.   

I look forward to working with all of you this upcoming year!

Amanda Grundmann's picture

Hi everyone. My name is Amanda Grundmann and I currently work as an Interlibrary Loan Specialist at UC Santa Barbara. I received my MLIS from San Jose State University and am interested in working as a reference and instruction librarian in an academic library. I was actually on this committee last year as part of the Recruitment subcommittee, and decided I wanted to stay on the committee for another year to continue the work we started last year. I am also co-chairing the Student Chapter of the Year Award Committee. Along with my involvement with NMRT, I am the co-Social Media Manager for SJSU's joint student and alumni organization, SLISConnect. I live in Santa Barbara, CA with my husband and two birds and when I'm not in the library I knit, bike, and sing with a local community choir. I'm looking forward to working with you all this year!

Elizabeth DeCoster's picture

Hi all,

I'm Liz DeCoster, and I work as the User Services Librarian at the Goucher College Library in Baltimore, MD, where I also live. I graduated from the University of Maryalnd's iSchool in 2011 with a concentration in Information & Diverse Populations. Despite these Maryland connections, I'm originally from Illinois and have spent a number of years in Massachusetts. I'm looking forward especially to ALA in my hometown of Chicago!

In addition to this committee, I am on the Membership Promotion Committee for the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender) RT. I look forward to working with you all!


Rebecca Van Kniest (non-member)'s picture

Hi there! My name is Rebecca van Kniest and I am a Reference Librarian at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO. I am sorry it has taken me so long to get here -- we moved the last week of July and had to wait eleven days for intenet and phone (!). Anyway, I'm getting settled in our fantastic new house with my partner, our four-year-old son, my eighty-six-year-old grandmother, and two cats (the least settled of the lot, I think).

I graduated from the University of Missouri just this past May. I have been active in our state organization for a couple years, but this my first adventure with ALA. I'm also gearing up to teach a two or three sections of our required one-hour information literacy course later this Fall and I'm really excited about that. My background is in writing and literature, and I'm a little nervous about the shift to teaching in a field that seems so much bigger and somehow less my own. I am really looking forward to working with all of you this year.  

I really want to learn to knit some time soon...

Rebecca Van Kniest (non-member)'s picture

And Annie -- your twitter invitation has finally inspired me to check it out. It's the third push I've gotten this week, and I've been meaning to for a while...



Annie Pho's picture

I love the community of professionals I've connected with through Twitter! I hope you enjoy it!



Aurora Vega's picture


I am Aurora Vega.  I work at Tulane University as Latin American Catalog Librarian.  I have been here for the last 5.5 years.  Prior to this job I worked as Library Specialist (7 years-Gov. Docs.) and Student Assistant (2 years-Serials Unit) at Texas A&M University.  I got my MLIS from University of North Texas in 2005.  

This is my first year working on a ALA committee and I got appointed to two committees (the NMRT MPDR and the ALCTS International Relations Committee).  This will be exciting, = )

We have 3 kids and one pet (Precious-my dear 10 yr old cocker spaniel)

I look forward to meeting each of you in ALA-Midwinter!


Tiffany Bradford-Oldham's picture

Hello, I am Tiffany L. Bradford-Oldham the other chair for this MPDR committee for 2012-2013. I work for the American Printing House for the Blind as Librarian in the National Instructional Materials Access Center department working with digital materials. I currently live in Louisville, Kentucky with my husband and small dog. I am a graduate from the University of Kentucky School of Library Science (Go Wildcats!) and a technophile. 


This is my first time serving with NMRT, but I look forward to the challenge and working with you.