By Naidelly Coelho
Asst. News Editor
What is your educational and career background?
I'm a first-generation student. I graduated a long time ago, but I have to say I'm the sixth of seven children and I was the first to graduate from high school. So, that was an achievement for me. A couple years later, I got my [Licensed Practical Nurse] LPN. And I worked as an LPN for two years in a urology office, and then I went on, and I got married to a man in the military. So, we traveled around quite a bit and I had my family and I had my children. So, I didn't go back to school to get my master's or bachelor's degree until I was in my 30s. I had five kids at home and my husband was military, like I said, and he was assigned to work at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. So, we got free tuition. I figured that was a good opportunity for me to finish school, and I wanted to set an example to my kids that it was worth going to college even though it was hard. At first, I was going to go back and get my nursing degree, and I worked for a semester at the hospital there and didn't care for it anymore. It was just not a very positive atmosphere. So I decided to get my degree in English and I minored in history.
Why did you choose FSU and how did you end up working with periodicals?
My husband was in the army and transferred to Kuwait unaccompanied for a year back in 1993, so I moved with my children from Layton, Utah to Hopkinton. Right now, I'm a periodical supervisor, and I also work in tech services. I do the processing for the books, for the general collection, and for reference.
Can you tell me a little bit about your work at the library?
When I first started working periodicals, we had hundreds of journals coming in and print and over the years, everything became more electronic. So, the periodicals department that I was first hired for is no longer really functioning. We have just a few journals that we currently get in print, and most of our journals are online through databases. That's where students mostly get their information from.
How did you receive the RAM award?
I hesitate to get awards like these - it makes me feel uncomfortable. But it's a recognition for achievement and merit. And it's through the professional development days that they do it every year. I had a couple of people nominate me, and at first I felt, “Oh no, not me,” because there are so many people that were better qualified, but afterward, I felt really grateful. I was humbled and I felt grateful because a lot of my co-workers were very supportive and that's a good feeling.
Do you have any more goals for your career?
As far as my career, I'm toward the end of mine. I'm looking forward to retirement, but once I retire, I'd like to travel. I think everybody wants to travel. But my main career goal is to write a book on my family history. I'm a very big fan of doing family history - my ancestors helped settle this area. So, I can go back into the 1600s and before, but I'd really like to write a history of the family from the time they came to the Americas in the 1600s to the present.
Do you have any hobbies?
I do like to travel. And of course, I like to read genealogy. Those are my main hobbies. And I also like to do puzzles and stay with my grandchildren.
Do you have any advice for students?
Well, one of my grandchildren is going to go to college next year. So, my advice I can relate specifically to him. I would like him to find a school where he feels that he belongs and that he feels like he's part of the campus. I'd like him to find something where he can develop his natural abilities and that he can find himself. I think that it's really good for a student to come in and feel they can belong to the university and develop their own personal qualities that they can basically follow their heart and have opportunities to grow and develop. I think that I'm a very big proponent of reading and studying on your own. It's not just a matter of getting a degree - it's a matter of developing your own personality through education. That's what I'd like to see students do.