Candidate for 2022-2024 Director: JonLuc Christensen
JonLuc Christensen (he/him/his) has been a member of SLA since 2017 and was a 2020 James M. Matarazzo Rising Star. He currently serves as chair of the Recruitment Task Force and president of the Southern California (SoCal) Community. Previously, he served as the SoCal membership director and as the president and assistant programming director of the SLA San Jose State University (SJSU) student group. He has also contributed content to Information Outlook. He lives in Logan, Utah, with his husband and two mini-Australian Shepherds.
He is the technical group lead and lead FOIA liaison for the Records & Archives Group and the information/configuration management engineer for the Cold Atom Laboratory project onboard the ISS at the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He was elected to, and serves on, the Inclusion Advisory Committee and leads or serves on several other professional committees.
JonLuc is a lecturer at SJSU in the new B.S. program in information science and data analytics, where he developed and teaches “Technology, Society, & Culture: The social, political, legal, and ethical implications of data and information.”
JonLuc holds a master’s degree in library and information science and an advanced certificate in digital asset management from SJSU. He was the founder of the iSchool’s First Generation Students Group and the 2019 Ken Haycock Award recipient and convocation speaker. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in anthropology from California State University, Fullerton. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Phi Mu, Phi Alpha Theta, and Lambda Alpha honor societies.
Question #1: Why are you a member of SLA? What has kept you a member throughout the years?
While a new graduate student, SLA 2017 Phoenix was my first professional conference, and my attendance was funded by the SoCal Community. I was excited, but mostly nervous and scared. That changed as the members of SLA pulled me in tight and welcomed me without hesitation. They provide guidance and direction, but more importantly allowed me a platform, support, and encouragement to speak and share ideas. People genuinely listened, and I was not pushed down or ignored because I was young and inexperienced (and maybe a bit radical)—like in many other organizations.
SLA has provided me the ability to grow and learn as a professional and leader, surrounded by passionate and supportive individuals. Its network provided me the opportunity for my career, and its faith in me has allowed leadership roles I never would have imagined, like chairing an association task force less than two years out of school.
SLA is a place where people truly care about you and are dedicated to your personal and professional success. I believe that our profession is fundamentally one of service. To me, SLA embodies that wholeheartedly.
Question #2: Why are you running for the SLA Board of Directors? What do you bring to the table? How do you plan to help support other SLA members, if elected?
“Don’t criticize if you are not ready to provide a solution, accept when you are wrong, adapt your perspective, and strategically execute the change that is necessary.” (Me.)
I love SLA, but I am not afraid to see its truth. We are struggling to adapt to changes in the professional landscape, while decades of attempts (even radical ones) have been slow or ineffectively executed. Factionalism has run rampant and lines have been drawn, I don’t play that game. I believe there is a path forward to course-correct and make SLA successful!
My career has proven that I have a talent for strategic planning and execution, change management, compromise, and results.
3-point focus for SLA with a history of providing strategic solutions to:
1. Governance and Transparency
- Robust, strategic (S.M.A.R.T.), and clearly documented plans for governing the association.
- Open to feedback at all stages and based on member-driven, bottom-up leadership strategies, not top-down dictation.
2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- We need a willingness to step outside of our comfort zones, critically assess our current state and failures, and then actionably invest to make change.
3. Growth and Membership Investment
- We cannot survive without our members, but our members can survive without us.
- Change our priorities (including labor and finances) to be member investments and growth.
- Stop being about “the association” and start being about “the members.”
Question #3: SLA is a leader in its commitment to diversity and inclusion and the importance of civil discourse. Share how you have demonstrated leadership or action in these areas, and how your own experiences will inform your contribution as an SLA board member.
I am a gay, multi-racial, recent graduate and new professional who is cognizant of my male perspective in a primarily female profession that struggles with white male-dominated leadership structures. I am willing to bring all of my experience and perspective to the table while being open to new and changing perspectives that create positive, effective change for a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable association.
From middle school through graduate school, I have been an outspoken leader in the areas of DEI. Currently, I am elected to my employer’s Inclusion Advisory Committee and teach the subject at a university level.
I champion LGBTQ+ rights, first-generation issues, intergenerational conflict resolution, the gender gap, disability rights, racial justice, anti-bullying, and more. I have never had a leadership responsibility where this was not a core function of my role. Professionally and personally, I have been praised, rewarded, and promoted for my emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and general abilities to effect changes in these areas.
Nothing is black and white. I am outspoken against any form of oppression or exclusion, including when it comes from those trying to effect positive change. I believe in radical, strategic, and pragmatic resolution to the issues.