Columbia University Libraries Announces 2022 Outstanding Student Worker Award Winners

Columbia University Libraries is pleased to announce 16 recipients of the annual Outstanding Student Worker awards, nominated by Libraries staff from a workforce of nearly 200 students. Each year, the Libraries awards students who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to their work for the organization. Recipients of the 2022 awards are:

Yanchen Liu from the Digital Scholarship division, nominated by Head of Humanities and History Jeremiah Mercurio. Yanchen was instrumental in continuing the work of the Digital Humanities Center.

Grace Clifford from the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, nominated by Public Services Librarian Caro Bratnober. Caro described Grace as “talented and dedicated” in her work at the Burke, which began on her first day of college in 2018.

Zohar Gitlis from the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, also nominated by Caro. Zohar enthusiastically conducted outreach to the Union community on behalf of the Burke to promote library events and programs.

Joan Alice Tate from the Preservation and Digital Conversion division, nominated Director of Preservation Emily Holmes. According to Emily, “Joan has been unflagging in her efforts, always extremely flexible and efficient, and her work has been consistently excellent. … She has been one of the best student workers we’ve ever had.”

Joseph Licht from the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, nominated by Director of the C.V. Starr East Asian Library Jim Cheng. Joseph joined the East Asian Library during the COVID-19 pandemic and, according to Jim, is “very deserving” of the award.

Christine Lee from the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, also nominated by Jim. Christine also joined the East Asian Library during the COVID-19 pandemic and contributed immensely to library services.

Katrina Zhao from the Delivery Services division, nominated by Supervisor for ReCAP Access Services and Borrow Direct Jennifer Loubriel, who called Katrina “awesome and hard-working.”

Celia Bùi Lê from the Communications division, nominated by Associate Director of Communications Allison Morrow and Communications Manager Abbey Lovell. According to Allison and Abbey, Celia’s work in animation, graphic design, and illustration for the Libraries “has gone above and beyond what we expect from a student in this role.”

Stuti Shah from the Copyright Advisory Services division, nominated by Director of Copyright Advisory Services Rina Pantalony. According to Rina, Stuti is a “a remarkable and dedicated student who was able to assist me this past year with a number of projects, including her assessment of Indian copyright law for an Arcadia Foundation grant application.”

Jua (Christina) Jung from the Music & Arts Library, nominated by Music Librarian Nick Patterson. According to Nick, Christina is “is one of the most reliable and flexible people I’ve ever had working [in the Music & Arts Library], an invaluable part of the student staff.”

Joana Gjeci from the Music & Arts Library, also nominated by Nick. According to Nick, Joana was “essential” to ensuring that materials from the Music & Arts Library were available to users throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Joana also provided excellent service to patrons when the library reopened.

Kathryn (Kat) Mokrynski from Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, nominated by Head of Access Services and Collection Management Zak Rouse. According to Zak, Kat was “integral” in reopening Avery in the fall of 2021, following closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her “flexibility and her willingness to pick up extra shifts and go the extra mile” was very much appreciated by Avery staff.

Kaitlyn (Katie) Maffett from Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, also nominated by Zak. According to Zak, Katie was “was incredibly reliable, flexible, and hard-working and made reopening to [the library’s] full hours do-able” following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will Mendonsa from the Science, Engineering, and Social Science Libraries, nominated by Head of Access and User Experience Jim Crocamo and Evening & Weekend Access Supervisor Shanda Peterson. According to Shanda, Will “is willing to take on any and all tasks thrown at him” and is “instrumental” in assisting the library’s overnight staff.

Jacob Weinstein from the Science, Engineering, and Social Science Libraries, also nominated by Jim and Shanda. Shanda said that Jacob, who has worked with the Libraries since his first year at Columbia, “is hardworking and dedicated. He was a pleasure to work with and will be sorely missed” as he graduates.

Nicole Allora from the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, nominated by Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library Courtney Chartier. According to Courtney, Nicole “did an outstanding job this year, inventorying and rehousing [the library’s] papyri, epigraphy, and ostrica collections – all ancient materials that she has the languages for and the skill to handle!”

Marianna Najman-Franks assisted Norman E. Alexander Librarian for Jewish Studies Michelle Chesner with a number of important projects since they started their position in 2019, including the completion of an inventory of over 1,000 maps from the Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry (LCAAJ), preparing audio reels for digitization from the same archive, and processing the Adolph Oko papers. Michelle added that she is “grateful to celebrate Marianna’s excellent work with the Norman E. Alexander collection.”

The high caliber of services that the Libraries provides would not be possible without the contributions of such outstanding and dedicated student workers. Their work to support learning and research at Columbia and in the broader scholarly community is greatly appreciated.