University of Central Missouri: UCM Ed Specialist Student Selected as 2022 ALA Emerging Leader

University of Central Missouri graduate student Stephanie Goh has been selected by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) as a participant in the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2022 Emerging Leaders program. Goh, who plans to graduate from UCM in May 2022 with an Education Specialist in Professional Leadership: Librarianship, is a resident of Kirkwood, Missouri, who works professionally in the St. Louis area.

The ALA Emerging Leaders program provides library employees from across the United States the opportunity to gain experience in professional leadership by engaging in problem-solving work groups and networking with their peers. Goh is one of two individuals AASL is sponsoring for this program, which also involves 47 other participants from across the country. All of these individuals will participate in their first training session during ALA’s LibLearnX Conference on Jan. 21, 2022.

“I am beyond thrilled that the American Library Association has chosen me to be a part of the 2022 class of Emerging Leaders,” said Goh, who is serving her fourth year as a library media specialist in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. “I am also tremendously grateful to be one of the two librarians that the American Association of School Librarians has chosen to sponsor to be a part of the 2022 class of Emerging Leaders. The ALA selecting me to be part of the 2022 class of Emerging Leaders means to me that ALA sees leadership potential in me which is a huge honor that I do not take lightly.”

After the Emerging Leaders kickoff session in January, Goh and other participants in the program from across the U.S. and Canada will collaborate in an online learning and networking environment. Their work will conclude with a presentation during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. in June 2022.
Goh expects her participation in the ALA program to help her grow in her profession. She is looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with individuals who share the same interest.

“The ALA Emerging Leader program will allow me to learn from librarians across the country,” she said. “The program will allow me to be a better librarian and to help me be a leader with other librarians across the state of Missouri.”

In her current role as a librarian, she has helped foster students’ growth through efforts that include implementing a One School, One Book program. She incorporated into the learning experience “Sulwe,” a book by Lupita Nyong’o designed to provide meaningful and honest conversations with students and school employees about topics such as colorism, racism, and prejudice. Additionally, she has been involved in book purchases at her school to support equity, diversity and inclusion and in leading discussions that help students understand and appreciate their world.

Having served as a teacher, tutor and reading specialist, Goh has been nominated for the teacher of the year award in her building three times and has received this award once. It is based on criteria that include the demonstration of leadership qualities and making a measureable impact on students’ lives.

In preparation for the completion of her degree at UCM, Goh said she is working on a thesis that seeks to determine if explicit e-book instruction has an effect on e-book interest and circulation. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in May 2002 and her Master of Science in Education in May 2006, both at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis.

Dr. Jenna Kammer, assistant professor of LIS and Goh’s advisor , said, “We’re excited that Stephanie will have the opportunity to participate in ALA’s Emerging Leader Program. It comes at a great time as Stephanie finishes her thesis on expanding access to ebooks for students. This is a chance for Stephanie to contribute to the profession and learn with other librarians who are also enriching the lives of students through their libraries.”

Also commenting on Goh’s recent accomplishment, Dr. Rene Burress, associate professor and program coordinator of LIS at UCM, said, “Being accepted as an ALA emerging leader is a huge accomplishment and we are so honored that one of our Education Specialist students has been selected.”

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