Laura (Westmoreland) Gariepy (MSLS '09) has been appointed assistant head of Instructional Services at Virginia Commonwealth University's (VCU) James Branch Cabell Library.
In her new position, Gariepy will lead efforts to create an integrated program that teaches research skills to undergraduates and graduate students, promotes information literacy and enhances the student experience at VCU. Gariepy will supervise a team of five to lead the design, delivery and assessment of teaching activities. Within the library, the Research and Instructional Services Division creates educational experiences, coaches individuals working on specific projects, advises students on research methods and best practices and answers thousands of questions each year.
Gariepy is entering an incredibly busy division that last fiscal year managed thousands of one-on-one, face-to-face sessions with patrons. These included some 530 individual consultations for in-depth research coaching, 300 attendees at walk-in research and writing clinics and nearly 4,000 phone or e-mail inquiries. Librarians conducted 607 classroom sessions attended by more than 23,000 students.
She brings a foundation of experience and academic preparation to her new role. As undergraduate student programs librarian since 2009, she has been in the forefront of efforts by the VCU Libraries to strengthen its engagement with undergraduate teaching and improve the student experience.
"University and college faculty increasingly expect librarians to deliver top-tier teaching programs that advance student success in the classroom," said John Ulmschneider, University Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University and SILS distinguished alumnus. "Laura has developed just such first-in-class programs at VCU, distinguished by both high levels of student engagement and by strong relationships with University faculty. We are delighted that she has accepted this new role at VCU, where her talented, informed and energetic leadership will further advance our instructional program and help VCU students succeed in their academic work."
Prior to her arrival at VCU, she was a graduate assistant at House Undergraduate Library at The University of North Carolina at Chapel HIll and a reference assistant in Davis Library at UNC at Chapel Hill. She worked as an intern for two years at the Environmental Protection Agency Library in the Research Triangle Park, N.C. She was also a recipient of the UNC at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science Dean's Achievement Award in 2008/2009.
She holds a B.A. in sociology from Appalachian State University and the M.S. in library science from UNC at Chapel Hill.