Leep program, scholarship help student realize goal of LIS degree

Erica Halpern

As a young professional working to advance her career, Leep student Erica Halpern appreciates the flexibility and convenience of the iSchool's online MS/LIS program. She also is grateful for the George Bonn Scholarship that she received from the School, which removed a "huge financial burden" and has allowed her to focus on her studies.

Halpern works full time as the development director for the YMCA of Greater New Orleans. Once a week, she volunteers at The Historic New Orleans Collection, and she will soon start volunteer projects at The Jazz and Heritage Foundation Archive and Loyola University New Orleans Special Collections and Archives.

"Thanks to my scholarship, I can continue spending one day a week focusing on internship and volunteer opportunities," Halpern said. "In the future, I would like to work in archives or rare books, perhaps within an academic setting. Right now, I am open to all possibilities and enjoy finding opportunities around New Orleans to put my learning to good use! I figure any experience is good experience, so I am open to them all as I work to build up my professional resume."

Halpern graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English and creative writing. During her undergraduate years, she worked at Penn's Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, where she grew to understand and appreciate what librarians, archivists, and other information professionals do.

"After that experience, I always knew I would pursue my LIS degree. Life did take me down another path for about seven years before I decided to return to school, but this goal was in the back of my mind the whole time," she said.

Halpern values the variety of course offerings offered by the iSchool and the synchronous online learning environment in the Leep program.

"Being in class ‘live’ with fellow students and an instructor makes class more enjoyable and personally helps to keep me accountable to myself and my peers," Halpern said.

On top of her full-time job, volunteer work, and MS/LIS coursework, Halpern is busy planning her April wedding. In her limited free time, she enjoys reading, catching up on favorite TV shows, and baking seasonal treats to share with friends and coworkers.

Thank you to our alumni and friends who contribute to iSchool funds that support our students.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Barbosa and Wang receive Facebook grant to design privacy controls for ad targeting

iSchool PhD student Natã Barbosa and his advisor Associate Professor Yang Wang have received a $65,053 grant from Facebook for their project, "In-Situ Privacy Controls of Profiling and Ad-Targeting." The goal of the project is to design a privacy control framework that makes profiling and ad-targeting more transparent to ordinary Internet users.

Yang Wang

Student award recipients announced

Each year, the School recognizes a group of outstanding students for their achievement in academics as well as a number of attributes that contribute to professional success. Congratulations to this year's honorees!

Diesner joins Science Advances editorial board

Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner is a new associate editor on the editorial board of Science Advances, the open access multidisciplinary journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The journal supports the AAAS mission by extending the capacity of Science magazine to identify and promote significant advances in science and engineering across a wide range of areas. Science Advances editors not only have stellar reputations in their disciplines but also have acknowledged breadth in recognizing and promoting interdisciplinary collaborations. Diesner brings to this role her expertise in computational social science, human-centered data science, network analysis, natural language processing, machine learning, and responsible computing.

Assistant Professor Jana Diesner

La Barre recognized for diversity work

Associate Professor Kathryn La Barre received an Honorable Mention in the category of Outstanding Faculty/Staff at the 8th annual Diversity and Social Justice Education Awards. The awards recognize undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and student organizations "that have sought to address marginalization, oppression, and/or privilege in their communities." La Barre serves as chair of the iSchool's Diversity Committee.

Kathryn La Barre

Three alumni and MS student named 2020 Movers and Shakers

Three iSchool alumni and a current student are included in Library Journal's 2020 class of Movers & Shakers, an annual list that recognizes fifty professionals who are transforming what it means to be a librarian. Thomas Padilla (MS '13) and Nicholas Weber (MS '10, PhD '15) were honored in the Digital Developers category; Haley Samuelson (MS '08) was honored in the Educators category; and MS/LIS student Edward Kristan was honored in the Community Builders category.

Movers & Shakers 2020