Five Named SLA Rising Stars – 18 March 2013

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John Walsh
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Five Named SLA Rising Stars for Early Career Accomplishments

Alexandria, Va., 18 March 2013 –  Information professionals add value to their organizations and clients by improving the quality of decisions and helping turn information into intelligence, and the 2013 class of SLA Rising Stars is proof that even those who are new to the profession can make a significant impact.

Alyson Avery, Kendra K. Levine, Aileen Marshall, Amy Sarola, and Rachel Bates Wilfahrt will be recognized as Rising Stars at the Special Libraries Association’s 2013 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO on 9 June 2013 in San Diego, California.

The SLA Rising Star Award is presented annually to information professionals who show exceptional promise of leadership and contribution to their profession and to SLA. All award recipients have fewer than five years of professional experience.

“SLA’s support of the information profession today generates lasting stability for the future,” said Janice Lachance, SLA’s chief executive officer. “The Rising Star Award is our platform for recognizing the future of our profession and encouraging its stability. This year’s class is exemplary, and they will be key information providers for years to come. We’re so pleased to be able to recognize them at our upcoming conference in San Diego!”

More about the 2013 SLA Rising Stars

Alyson Avery
Alyson is information management specialist at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She works in the Advancement Department of the museum, which is responsible for raising funds and soliciting support to further the museum’s goal of preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting the art and cultural heritage of the Bucks County region of Pennsylvania. She is the first information professional to take on this role with the museum, and focuses on streamlining processes, building reports to enable staff to extract accurate information from the donor database, and creating a list of standards for staff who have access to the database to ensure consistent knowledge management.

Alyson started as a volunteer with the museum, transitioned to a part-time job as data coordinator, and eventually was hired full-time. She has been actively involved in SLA since becoming a student member of the Illinois Chapter while earning her library degree at Dominican University. She co-chaired the chapter’s Hospitality Committee for two years, during which time she helped ensure that attendees of the SLA 2012 Annual Conference in Chicago had the information and resources necessary for a successful meeting. In this role, Alyson directed more than 100 volunteers while working from Philadelphia, where she moved after receiving her degree.

For her contributions to the Illinois Chapter and her willingness to get involved, Alyson was awarded the chapter’s Up and Comer Award in 2011. She is now working with SLA staff to provide guidance to future Local Arrangements Committees; she is also serving as Website content editor for the SLA Philadelphia Chapter.

Kendra K. Levine
Kendra is research, outreach, and Web services librarian at the Institute of Transportation Studies Library at the University of California, Berkeley. Hired in 2008 after earning her library degree from Drexel University, she has since supported a variety of initiatives: revamping bibliographic instruction sessions for Berkeley students, redesigning the library’s Website, and creating an information portal that serves as a model for the next generation of subject guides.

Within SLA, Kendra is most involved with the Transportation Division and has shown remarkable initiative in engaging its members in digital technologies and next-generation library services. She has planned conference programming at the annual Government Transportation Research Information Committee’s day-long workshop, which takes place during the SLA Annual Conference, and she completely redesigned the Transportation Division’s Website in 2011. With her colleague Rita Evans, she co-authored the chapter on transportation in the highly regarded Using the Engineering Literature, edited by Bonnie Osif (CRC Press 2012).

Her achievements extend beyond SLA and have resulted in an elevated profile for information professionals within the field of transportation in general. She regularly participates in the Western Transportation Knowledge Network (WTKN), setting up its Website and serving as chair in 2010-2011. She developed  WTKN’s strategic plan and delivered several presentations for its Transportation Librarians Roundtable. She was appointed to the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies’ Committee on Library and Information Science for Technology in 2009, and continues to promote the value of information professionals to the broader transportation Industry.

Aileen Marshall
Just a few years into the information profession, Aileen has already compiled an impressive résumé. She recently finished a stint at the National Agriculture Library, where she worked as both a Web development specialist and reference librarian. She previously worked as an information specialist on behalf of HeiTech Services, Inc. at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Transportation Library.  As a student, she interned at the Library of Congress’ Business Reference Section.

Aileen chairs SLA’s Government Information Division and is the membership chair for SLA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter. She has also immersed herself in a variety of other SLA roles, serving on the Virtual Worlds Advisory Council, the Council for Emergency Preparedness, and the D.C. Chapter’s International Relations and Make-A-Connection Committees. She also contributes articles to Information Outlook, SLA’s magazine, and to FreePint.

In 2010, Aileen received the D.C. Chapter’s Catherine A. Jones Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded annually to an accomplished student-member who has great professional
potential.  In 2011, SLA’s Business & Finance Division awarded her a student stipend to attend the association’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia. The University of South Carolina awarded her its 2010/2011 Chesterfield Manufacturing Corporation Scholarship.

Aileen earned a master’s of library and information science from the University of South Carolina and a master’s of arts in linguistics from the Westfaelische Wilhelms-University in Muenster, Germany. She is a member of Beta Phi Mu, the international library and information studies honor society.

Amy Sarola
Amy is a senior researcher in the Health and Life Sciences practice group of Oliver Wyman, a leading global management consulting firm that is part of the Marsh McLennan family of companies. She specializes in biopharmaceutical and European and emerging market health systems research, and also has significant experience in contract negotiations, vendor management, and information center marketing and outreach efforts.

Since joining SLA in 2009, Amy has supported the New York Chapter by innovatively filling volunteer and leadership roles. She is currently a member of the chapter’s executive board and is in her second year as its director of communications. She developed and continues to maintain a highly successful workflow that organizes and enhances the timely distribution of chapter communications through various channels, including social media networks and chapter and local library school discussion lists. Her efforts have been well received by the chapter’s members and have resulted in a pronounced increase in traffic to its Website.

Amy is a 2012 recipient of the New York Chapter’s President’s Award and, in conjunction with the chapter’s Communications Committee, was presented with the Mergent Outstanding Achievement Award as well. She earned her library degree from Saint John’s University in 2011, during which time she interned at the United Nations Legal Library and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Library.  Amy also holds a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and practiced intellectual property law prior to pursuing a career as
an information professional.

Rachel Bates Wilfahrt
Rachel is the owner of Rachel Bates Wilfahrt LLC, which specializes in competitive intelligence and information management. She also works as a research analyst for the University of Denver and an information analyst with Social Information Group. Rachel is a newly minted information professional, having received her library degree in 2012 from the University of Denver.

A member of SLA since her student days, Rachel was quick to volunteer as president of the University of Denver SLA Student Chapter. In this role, she helped ensure that chapter members were involved in international SLA networking and professional development events.  For her efforts, she received the SLA Business & Finance Division student stipend to attend the SLA 2010 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO.

After graduating, Rachel continued her involvement in SLA by volunteering as Rocky Mountain Chapter president for 2013. As president, she leads her chapter’s vibrant communication and professional development initiatives, which include the increasingly popular Rocky Mountain Chapter Virtual Lunch series. The series, which has enhanced member engagement in the Rocky Mountain Chapter and local SLA student chapters, was recently honored by SLA’s Information Technology Division with the division’s Programming Award.  Rachel also writes for Searcher and FreePint, two leading publications of the information industry.

By bolstering engagement and serving as a key point of contact for student members, Rachel serves as a model for many aspiring information professionals who will soon be transitioning into their own careers.

About SLA
The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit global organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves 9,000 members in 75 countries in the information profession, including corporate, academic and government information specialists. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy and networking initiatives.

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