iSchool GSAC Community Circles

GSAC is launching a new social initiative to connect students within the iSchool. We are in the early stages of piloting Community Circles, where iSchool students can come together to share ideas, advice, and experiences. 

Community Circles will be launched through private communities created in Google Currents and Google Meet. If you are interested in participating in one of our test groups this summer or recommending Circles for the future, please fill out this form (while logged into your KSU Gmail account). We look forward to helping you meet others within the program!

iSchool Virtual Yearbook – Spring 2021

GSAC would like to congratulate all students who completed the program this spring. To celebrate, we’ve partnered with the ALA Student Chapter to compile a Virtual Yearbook. To watch the video, please click here or below. PDF slides (with links to professional profiles) are also available.

Please join us in wishing all graduating students the very best in their next chapter. We can’t wait to see how you all shape the world of information! (Be sure to connect with other iSchool colleagues in the Alumni Network Facebook group.)

Miriam Matteson, Ph.D. – Faculty Spotlight

Tell us a little bit about your professional background and areas of focus.

After a 10 year career working mostly in academic libraries in Indiana, Caracas, Venezuela, and Maryland, I returned to school to earn a PhD in LIS from the University of Maryland. My primary area of research looks at how concepts from the field of organizational behavior like emotional labor, emotional intelligence, work engagement, etc. are enacted in the context of libraries. I also do research in information literacy in student populations and in public library settings.

Describe recent projects or research that you’ve been working on.

One project I’m working on right now is an exploration of how different aspects of cognition may predict information literacy (IL) ability. This is based on theory that suggests students develop deeper epistemic capacity over time, moving from a more simple, dualistic view of knowledge, through several stages, to a worldview that acknowledges multiple truths. Since IL requires an understanding of different kinds of authority of information for different kinds of information needs, I want to explore how students who are in that developmental process can best understand the nuances of ideas within IL. 

What is your favorite part of teaching?

I really enjoy teaching in seminar style where we read up on a topic and then discuss it together in real time. I find that kind of interactive, social-constructed understanding really energizing and I always take away new information from the conversation.  

How have your professional experiences influenced your teaching?

I sometimes make the joke that my pet peeves from my library work experience became my dissertation topic. It’s not exactly true, but I was definitely drawn to my research area based on my observations from work experience. Management is hard work and fortunately, the field of organizational behavior offers us lots of theory and empirical research to help us understand workplace phenomena. I think it’s important to bring that theory together with real life experiences to help organizations function in positive, affirming ways. 

What issues related to information interest you most?

Information literacy is one of my main research areas. I’m really interested in helping folks understand and use information most effectively, whether that is for a school assignment, a work query, or a hobby interest. But one of my first jobs was as a sound recordings cataloger, so I also hold a soft spot for high quality metadata. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time cataloging my personal music collection. And it’s still not perfect yet. 🙂 

Are there any websites, apps, podcasts or other resources you’d recommend students explore?

I pick up a lot of current information about the LIS field from library Twitter. Librarians are incredibly generous with their willingness to share experiences and help out others. I see folks make meaningful connections via Twitter all the time. I also recommend students explore joining professional associations at the local, state or national level. There are many ways, large and small, to get involved in the field through volunteering, attending conferences or webinars, or through social events.

How do you like to spend time outside of work?

I go to a lot of classical music concerts and sing in the Columbus Symphony Chorus. I’m also a huge fan of the Columbus Crew soccer team. From April to July you’ll find me most weekends digging in my flower beds and vegetable garden. 

Do you have any advice for students?

I always encourage students to engage as mindfully and meaningfully as possible with course materials and try not to stress about deadlines, grades, etc. I know it sounds easy to say, but I think freeing yourself to be curious and explore new ideas, or even verify and confirm things you were pretty sure you already knew, is the real value of being in school. That’s where the learning occurs.   

Flat Flash

In an effort to see more faces of the Kent State University iSchool family, GSAC is inviting all iSchool students, faculty and alumni to print out a “Flat Flash” and share a photo of it on social media using the hashtag #iSchoolFlashes. We’d love to see your smiling face at home, work or beyond!

If you’d prefer not to post the photo to your account, feel free to send it to GSAC VP of Communication Olivia Wood, and we’ll post it from the GSAC account. (Let us know if you’d like us to include your full name or first name).

Be sure to follow and tag @KentGSAC on Twitter or Instagram (students, alumni and faculty), or join our LinkedIn (students, faculty and alumni) or Facebook group (students only) to join the fun!

You can choose from two versions:

Ready to print OR Ready to color (add your own flair)




Artwork courtesy of the KSU Flashes Forever Hub

Introducing Your New GSAC Officers

The iSchool Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) held elections during our December meeting, and we are pleased to introduce several new officers and representatives.

GSAC serves as a bridge between iSchool students, administration, and faculty. Our mission is to enhance graduate student life through social events and professional development opportunities. All iSchool students are automatically members and welcome to attend any of our events. If you are interested in getting involved with GSAC, please reach out to GSAC President Lauren Zollinger at

Olivia Wood

Olivia Wood, Vice President of Communications

My name is Olivia Wood and I am a second semester student focusing on archival and cultural heritage preservation studies. I currently reside in Mansfield, OH, although I hail from Lima, OH. I earned my BA in History with a minor in Education from Ohio State University in 2017. Currently, I am a member of the KSU ALA Student Chapter and the Ohio Library Council.

I am a full time MLIS student as of late and I intend to focus on cultivating meaningful relationships with my fellow peers. I was introduced to GSAC during my first semester and had the pleasure of meeting some amazing and talented people. While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted my life in many ways, I’m spending my time focusing on my studies while dedicating myself to bettering the educational experience for every student. When I’m not working on extracurriculars or schoolwork, I enjoy spending time with my dog, Emmy, and my cat, Baz; I also love to read, write, paint, bake, and cook. I try to make time for the little things as often as I can. I hope to serve the GSAC with your best interests in mind and I am thankful for this incredible experience!


Kathryn Taylor

Kathryn Taylor, Secretary

My name is Kathryn Taylor and I am beginning my third semester in the iSchool, pursuing the K-12 Library/Media Licensure. I went to Magnificat High School in Rocky River, graduated with my BS in Business Administration from The Ohio State University in 2004, and completed my initial teaching coursework at the University of Toledo.

I live in Cleveland with my partner Moe and our Boston Terrier Larry. During the day, I am a Title I Math teacher at Westpark Community Middle School, a charter school managed by Constellation Schools. I also enjoyed living and working in Keystone, Colorado in the hospitality industry, both in lodging and food service. These days have me reminiscing on some favorite childhood experiences including being slimed at Nickelodeon Studios, going to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, and being part of a sailing race team for Put-in-Bay Yacht Club. When the world opens back up I look forward to spending spare time with my many relatives, going to comedy shows, and traveling the world.

I am already grateful for the connections made through GSAC and look forward to serving as its secretary.


Jessica Black

Jessica Black, UXD Representative

My name is Jessica Black and I am in my third semester of the User Experience Design (UXD) program. I have a particular interest in how user experience principles can be applied to the health care field. I believe there is a need for UX professionals to focus on solving design problems that threaten the safety of patients and health care providers. I am very passionate about my UXD coursework and I am proud to represent the interests of UXD students within GSAC.

I have a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in digital advertising from Louisiana State University. I’m from Slidell, Louisiana, and live for crawfish season. When I have free time, you can find me meditating, journaling, listening to music, or spending time with friends and family.


To see our full slate of officers, please go here.