Get to know Thomas Mukonde, MS student

This week the University of Illinois celebrates both Graduate Student Appreciation Week and International Week. At GSLIS, we are proud of all our students and our international connections, including faculty, research fellows, scholars-in-residence, and students like Thomas Mukonde, who hails from Zambia.

ThomasM_150dpi.jpg?itok=Lfgiz5KQ Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?

I decided to do an LIS degree because I have always been interested in helping people. My first job out of college was elementary school teaching. While I enjoyed this greatly, I wanted to pursue a profession that has broader application to the education and empowerment of young people in various contexts. This led me to working for a nonprofit that develops libraries for children in African countries. I'm currently working toward a youth services certificate.

Why did you choose GSLIS?

I chose to come to GSLIS at the suggestion of my boss and mentor at my previous job. GSLIS has a reputation for excellent LIS scholarship and particular strengths in youth services. It has also consistently been the top-ranked LIS school in the United States.

What particular LIS topics interest you most?

I like thinking about information behavior, in particular among the youth. Additionally, I'm interested in media literacy and library instruction.

What do you do outside of class?

I like relaxing with a group of friends after a busy week and attending musical shows around Urbana-Champaign.

What career plans or goals do you have?

I'd like to work to strengthen youth services librarianship in Africa following my work at GSLIS.

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