Petrella defends dissertation

Julia Burns Petrella
Julia Burns Petrella

Doctoral candidate Julia Burns Petrella successfully defended her dissertation, "Educating Pre-Service School Librarians about Race, Racism, and Whiteness," on December 4.

Her committee included Associate Professor Carol Tilley (chair); Associate Professor Kyungwon Koh; Assistant Professor Rachel M. Magee; and Sandra Hughes-Hassell, professor of information and library science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Abstract: The racial makeup of the field of school librarianship is overwhelmingly white, standing in stark contrast to the racial demographics of today's K-12 student population in our nation. Studies of white educators working with racially minoritized students show many detrimental effects, including deficits-based thinking and lowered academic expectations, highlighting how vital it is that pre-service school librarians learn about topics of race, racism, and the effects of whiteness in their school library preparation programs. Set within a framework of Critical whiteness Studies, this study investigates the structural and individual factors that influence the ways that today's pre-service school librarians are taught about topics of race, racism, and whiteness. The methodology includes interviews with school library program coordinators, course instructors, current school librarianship students, and recent graduates of school library programs, as well as document analysis of several educational standards. This study serves to inform the field of LIS education with descriptions of current pedagogical practices, perceptions, challenges, and successful strategies related to educating pre-service school librarians about race, racism, and whiteness.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Mattson authors new book on digital citizenship

Adjunct Lecturer Kristen Mattson has authored a second edition of her book, Digital Citizenship in Action: Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities, which was recently released by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). In the new book, Mattson provides additional history and context to the digital citizenship conversation as well as opportunities to bring digital citizenship into the classroom.

Kristen Mattson

Wang group to present at computational linguistics conference

Members of Associate Professor Dong Wang's research group, the Social Sensing and Intelligence Lab, will present their research at the 2024 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL 2024), which will be held from June 16-21 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Zhao selected as 2024 Beckman Institute Undergraduate Fellow

Zifan Zhao, who is pursuing dual degrees in information sciences + data science and psychology with a concentration in cognitive neuroscience, has been selected as a 2024 Beckman Institute Undergraduate Fellow. The program provides undergraduate students with a $3,000 award to pursue interdisciplinary research at the Beckman Institute during the summer. 

Zifan Zhao

New grant to increase financial literacy among older adults

PhD student Abhinav Choudhry has received a 2024-2026 Institute for Information Literacy at Purdue research award for his project, "Gamified Finance Simulator for Older Adults: A Financial Literacy and Vulnerability Intervention." The $4,000 award is intended for research that enables people to navigate and contribute to today's information environment. Associate Professor Rachel Adler and PhD student Kyrie Zhixuan Zhou will serve as co-principal investigators on the project, which aims to create a gamified simulation of digital banking. 

Abhinav Choudhry