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I Am MLA: Stephanie Fulton, AHIP

Submitted by Stephanie Fulton, AHIP; edited by JJ Pionke
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Institution: Texas A&M University

Title: Associate Dean and Director, Medical Sciences Library

Brief description of responsibilities:

Responsible for six library locations that serve as the primary library for the undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the colleges of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, School of Public Health, Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, and the Department of Health & Kinesiology. Includes strategic planning, financial oversight, and organizational development.

Why is MLA important to you?

MLA is my professional home and has provided me with opportunities to grow, both personally and professionally.

Why did you become a librarian?

I come from a long line of librarians including my mother and great aunts. I still feel fortunate that I listened to my mother's advice to get my MLS. In doing so, I learned about diverse roles available to information professionals and specifically those in the health sciences.

What was your first library job or first professional position?

Clinical librarian at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas. I was excited to see this position posted as I finished my degree as I had become enamored of the idea being embedded after reading an article by Gertrude Lamb about clinical librarians for class.

What is your advice to someone taking on a new role in leadership in MLA or in some other capacity?

Ask questions, understand what is expected, be vulnerable, and accept help.

What has been the most interesting project you have worked on?

Serving as the co-chair for MLA's Communities Transition Team (CTT). Along with co-chair, Keith Cogdill, and numerous colleagues, it was challenging and rewarding to see the evolution of our organization unfold. The work of the CTT was based on the hard work of colleagues to re-imagine our organization and we had the opportunity to see it through the initial transition.

What do you consider to be the most pressing issues or trends in librarianship?

Working on racial and social justice issues both in our institutions and our organizations.

Bucket list:

Attending the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup set for Australia and New Zealand.

What do you do in your spare time?

Yoga, run, read, hike, watch British TV crime shows, and hopefully playing soccer again

What is the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently?

The podcast, Phoebe Reads a Mystery. During the pandemic Phoebe Judge (also hosts the podcast Criminal) has read mysteries, starting with Agatha Christie's A Mysterious Affair at Styles.

Five words to describe you:

Caring, Friendly, Sporty, Diplomatic, Sense of Humor.

What are you most proud of?

Serving on the MLA Board is a career highlight for me. I value the professional support and educational opportunities that MLA has provided to me throughout my career and I was grateful to give back.

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