SJSU SLIS News: Congratulations to the First Student to Complete the San Jose Gateway PhD Program

Diana Wakimoto is the first individual to complete the San Jose Gateway PhD Program, an innovative doctoral program that spans two continents in a partnership between the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University (SJSU SLIS) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT), one of Australia’s top research institutions. QUT conferred the degree to Wakimoto during July, and Wakimoto celebrated her accomplishments with doctoral program students and supervisors during the program’s annual residency in San Jose, California, held on July 30-August 3, 2012.

“I’m excited to have completed the program and look forward to seeing others finish the program shortly,” said Wakimoto. Four other doctoral students are poised to complete the San Jose Gateway PhD Program soon. They’ve already completed their dissertations and presented their findings to supervisory panels.

Wakimoto’s research focused on community-based archives in an effort to understand how their practices differ from traditional institutions. Wakimoto conducted oral history interviews with community archivists and volunteers at three community archives. Her analysis sheds light on the history of community archives and provides a detailed account of community archives’ staffing models, circulation policies, and descriptive practices. Wakimoto’s work suggests new ways in which archivists can build collaborative partnerships with their communities to preserve the experiences of diverse groups.

“I’ll be presenting part of my research at a conference in Melbourne during late November,” said Wakimoto, “and then attending the graduation ceremony at QUT.”

Wakimoto currently works as a librarian at California State University, East Bay, where she manages the university archives. She also serves as a liaison to several science departments and teaches information literacy courses.

Although Wakimoto has completed the doctoral program, she intends to stay involved. “I want to help mentor new students and create an alumni group for the San Jose Gateway PhD Program,” she said. Four new doctoral students attended the recent residency in San Jose, California, and are eager to start their research.

The other San Jose Gateway PhD students who have completed their research and presented their findings in recent months include Cheryl Stenström, who examined library funding decisions by public officials; Mary Ann Harlan, who studied the information practices of teen content creators; Tina Inzerilla, who explored the teaching social networks of community college faculty and their implications for librarians; and Virginia Tucker, who studied the learning experiences of searchers to better understand the acquisition of search expertise.

The San Jose Gateway PhD Program admitted its first students in 2008 and uses a distance education model to serve students who work part time and full time while earning their degrees. They receive guidance and one-on-one mentoring from SJSU SLIS and QUT faculty.

For more information about the San Jose Gateway PhD Program students and their original research, please visit: http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/programs/gateway-phd

The San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science offers two fully online master’s degrees, a fully online certificate program, and a doctoral program: Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS), Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA), Post-Master’s Certificate in Library and Information Science, and the San Jose Gateway PhD Program. Let the learning begin: http://slisweb.sjsu.edu

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