Skip to content

Past Information Literacy Award Recipients

The Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award is given to a St. John Fisher College faculty member who actively supports information literacy.

  • 2016 - Dr. Joellen Maples
  • 2015 - Dr. Michelle Erklenz-Watts
  • 2014 - Dr. Mona Gandhi
  • 2013 - Dr. Michael Boller
  • 2012 - Dr. Stephen Brauer
  • 2011 - Dr. Susan Schultz
  • 2010 - Dr. Kristin Picardo

Dr. Kristin Picardo

The 2010 recipient of the Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award is Dr. Kristen Picardo.

Dr. Kristin Picardo

Dr. Kristin Picardo

As course director for the introductory biology experience and Biology Department library representative, Dr. Picardo has been committed to developing the information literacy skills of students in the General Biology laboratory course. Dr. Picardo instills these skills early in the students’ college careers, ensuring that students understand their value for life-long learning.

Working closely with her library liaison, Michelle Price, Dr. Picardo redesigned the information literacy lab for the BIOL 127 course. Together they identified the goals the department felt were essential to the course: 1) Analyze the purpose and format of primary, secondary and tertiary resources, and 2) Describe the different forums for the dissemination of scientific information. Michelle was provided with the opportunity to teach the labs, creating a bond between librarian and students, making it comfortable for students to seek out Michelle’s assistance throughout their time at Fisher.

Dr. Picardo participated in the team charged with defining departmental information literacy goals, and led the mapping of these goals to the course curriculum. Biology faculty are better able to evaluate whether the learning goals are achieved by students, and to make changes to the curricula to ensure consistent expectations and methods for working with the scientific literature. Dr. Picardo and librarian Michelle Price have since partnered to further develop and revise the information literacy lab in order to more effectively meet the learning goals articulated by the Biology Department.

Lavery Library and the Library Committee are please to honor Dr. Kristin Picardo as this year’s Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award recipient.


Dr. Susan Schultz

The 2011 recipient of the Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award is Dr. Susan Schultz.

Dr. Susan Schultz

Dr. Susan Schultz

Dr. Schultz has embraced information literacy (IL) as a way to develop teacher candidates to be efficient and effective educators contributing to student learning in their own practices. She is committed to the purposeful integration of IL standards across the program curriculum. As a frequent presenter at professional associations at the national, state, and local levels, she notably includes IL as a component in each presentation. Nominated by Dr. Wendy Paterson, our award recipient is described as a visible and enthusiastic champion of IL on campus and in the teaching profession. For all these reasons, Lavery Library and the Library Committee have chosen to honor Dr. Susan Schultz, the Second Annual Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award recipient.

Dr. Schultz has selected the children’s book Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin along with the accompanying toy for inclusion in the library’s curriculum center collection.


Dr. Stephen Brauer

The 2012 recipient of the Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award is Dr. Stephen Brauer.

Dr. Stephen Brauer

Dr. Stephen Brauer

As Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and Director of First Year Programs, Dr. Brauer has been instrumental in providing new students with a firm foundation in information literacy throughout the First Year Program. By developing, facilitating, and promoting Information Literacy in Learning Communities, Department 199 courses, and in revisions of the Core Curriculum within the Core Curriculum Committee, Dr. Brauer supports IL as central to the development of college students as critical thinkers. For the past eight years, Dr. Brauer has fostered stronger working relationships between First Year Program faculty and librarians, and assisted faculty and librarians in reaching their IL learning goals through intentional pedagogy. For all these reasons, Lavery Library and the Library Committee have chosen to honor Dr. Stephen Brauer as this year’s Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award recipient.


Dr. Michael Boller

Lavery Library and the Library Committee honor the 2013 recipient of the Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award Recipient, Dr. Michael L. Boller.

Dr. Michael Boller

Dr. Michael Boller

Dr. Boller has been a dedicated advocate for advancing the information literacy skills of his biology students, and in shaping the evolution of information literacy in the Biology Department of St. John Fisher College. He places a high value on information literacy at all levels of his teaching: freshmen to seniors, and majors and non-majors alike. Dr. Boller firmly believes that “navigating the ocean of information is one of the most critical skills a student should obtain from their college education.” Working in collaboration with his liaison librarian, Michelle Price, Dr. Boller took his BIOL213 students to the next level by developing partnerships with local and environmental conservation organizations to have students apply IL skills to a literature review of invasive plants. He has made a concerted effort to incorporate projects that utilize higher order information literacy skills in all his courses.


Dr. Mona Gandhi

Drug Information Specialist in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy 2014 Recipient of the Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award

Dr. Mona Gandhi

Dr. Mona Gandhi

As the Drug Information Specialist in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, Dr. Gandhi is committed to developing information literacy skills in her students and encouraging the practice of these skills throughout the Pharm.D. curriculum. She has restructured the Drug Information course to incorporate demonstration and practice of fundamental information literacy skills including "lab" time with the science librarian, increased exposure to referencing techniques that discourage plagiarism, assignments that emphasize a variety of literature, and exposing students to the variety, reliability, and disparity of information.

Dr. Gandhi has developed a close connection with her science librarian, Michelle Price, where each brings their respective strengths into the classroom and beyond. Their mutual respect for each others' specialized skills, proficiencies and limitations has led to a growing collaboration, benefiting student learning and resulting in a scholarship project that integrates each of their disciplines.

Additionally, Dr. Gandhi has supported the library by serving as chair of the Wegmans School of Pharmacy Library and Learning Resources Committee and as a member of the Lavery Library Committee. She has also extended the conversation in regard to pharmacy-related information literacy by presenting on the topic at various pharmacy association conferences including several poster sessions, two manuscript presentations, and a roundtable discussion.

For all these reasons, Lavery Library and the Library Committee have chosen to honor Dr. Mona Gandhi as this year's Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award recipient.


Dr. Michelle Erklenz-Watts

Director for Student Academic Support and Associate Professor of Education 2015 Recipient of the Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award

Dr. Michelle Erklenz-Watts

Dr. Michelle Erklenz-Watts

Dr. Erklenz-Watts is recognized as a strong voice for information literacy by her colleagues, her students, and by Lavery librarians. As director for Student Academic Support and associate professor of education, Dr. Erklenz-Watts embraces an ongoing collaborative relation with her library liaison, Kathi Sigler, as on essential component of her teaching, and expects that each pre-service teacher is prepared to teach information literacy in the K12 environment.

Dr. Erklenz-Watts looks for ways to incorporate information literacy and library resources into each of her courses. She often uses the library’s Lower Level Gallery adjacent to the Curriculum Center as a classroom space, in order to have library resources readily available to the students. Dr. Erklenz-Watts designed a course in which the education librarian co-teaches in five class periods, and students are required to work independently with Ms. Sigler on two additional occasions. Students’ end of semester debriefing for this courses indicates that students acquire a deeper understanding and appreciation for the importance of information literacy.

Over the past year, Dr. Erklenz-Watts’ interactions with the education librarian has been more purposeful as they completed a research project together. The project’s main purpose was to increase pre-service teachers’ information literacy skills as well as give them the skills to enhance grades 1-6 students’ abilities with information literacy through social studies content. Dr. Erklenz-Watts and Ms. Sigler are writing a professional article and hope to present their findings at the Northeastern Educational Research Association conference.

For all these reasons, Lavery Library and the Library Committee have chosen to honor Dr. Michelle Erklenz-Watts as this year’s Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award recipient.


Dr. Joellen Maples

Associate Professor of Education 2016 Recipient of the Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award

Dr. Joellen Maples

Dr. Joellen Maples

Dr. Joellen Maples, Associate Professor in Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education's Literacy Department, has exhibited an ongoing and ever increasing commitment to information literacy. Kathi Sigler, Lavery Librarian to the School of Education, describes Dr. Maples as setting "the gold standard as an advocate for information literacy."

Dr. Maples' collaboration with the education librarian is extensive, with over 14 session within 12 courses. The online literacy capstone, which includes 11 research skills modules designed by Dr. Maples and Ms. Sigler, has been held up as an exemplar of faculty/librarian collaboration in an online course, resulting in campus invitations to present on the project, most notable at a First Friday lecture. In order to share this unique teaching collaboration beyond the Fisher community, the two plan to co-author a series of papers on their experiences for publication in both academic and practitioner publications.

Dr. Maples' work with information literacy extends far beyond collaborating with her Lavery Library liaison librarian. Her efforts to advance information literacy are deeply intertwined throughout her professional experience, including work with both graduate and undergraduate students, face-to-face and online classes, pre-service teachers’ field experience in school libraries, curriculum mapping of information literacy skills, membership on the Faculty Assembly Library Committee, and adjudicating the Rochester City School District annual Story Telling Festival.

For all these reasons, Lavery Library and the Library Committee have chosen to honor Dr. Joellen Maples as this year's Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award recipient.


Dr. Barbara Lowe

The 2017 recipient of the Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award is Dr. Barbara Lowe.

Barbara Lowe

Barbara Lowe

Lavery Library is pleased to present the 8th Annual Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award. This award is given to a St. John Fisher College faculty member who actively supports information literacy.

Dr. Barbara Lowe, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, has been deepening the logical connections between first-year writing and information literacy for the past five years. Dr. Jill Swiencicki describes Dr. Lowe's commitment to information literacy and faculty, student, and librarian collaboration as "never a token nod to this work, but a full and robust partnership and sharing of expertise."

As a professor and Director of Learning Community and Research-based Writing (199) Programs, Dr. Lowe seeks to advance information literacy skills in her students, in the faculty that teach in the First Year Program (FYP), and in the scholarship she presents within her field. In all these efforts, she develops meaningful partnerships with Lavery librarians. Keeping information literacy as central to her work at Fisher, Dr. Lowe explains, "to be a good writer, to be a good reader, and, ultimately, to be a good citizen, an individual must be versed and practiced in information literacy."

Given this philosophy, Dr. Lowe approaches information literacy and her collaboration with library professionals in a variety of ways. She includes librarians on the FYP Advisory Team, and the Learning Community and 199 Research Writing Assessment Committees, allowing librarians to contribute their expertise toward programmatic revisions. Librarians are invited to participate in faculty development opportunities alongside the FYP faculty, and as frequent presenters on emerging information literacy pedagogy and standards in higher education. She and liaison librarian, Melissa Jadlos, attended AAC&U Problem-based Learning (PBL) workshops in order to best utilize this teaching strategy together in her classes. Dr. Lowe and Ms. Jadlos are currently working on a paper to share their experience using PBL to advance information literacy in the classroom. In the spring, Dr. Lowe and First Year Program Librarian, Stacia Maiorani co-presented at the High School and College Librarians: Collaborating for Student Success Conference. Their poster, entitled "College Freshmen, FYP Faculty, & Librarians" offered high school and college librarians a model for faculty partnership.

These examples highlight a few of the ways Dr. Lowe exemplifies leadership in advancing information literacy at St. John Fisher College. Lavery Library and the Library Committee are pleased to honor Dr. Barbara Lowe as this year's Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award recipient.