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MLA 2023 Fellowship Recipients

Fellows of the Medical Library Association are chosen for their outstanding contributions to health sciences librarianship and to the advancement of MLA’s purposes.

With the Murray Gottlieb Prize Jury in 2006, Julia Esparza, AHIP, FMLA started her national service for MLA. Since that time, she has served on the Section Council in different roles and been appointed to numerous positions including: the Hospital Libraries Professional Development Grant Award Jury, the Books Panel, the Communities of Practice Task Force, the National Program Planning Committee, and the Ad Hoc Committee to Review Core Clinical Journals.

Esparza served on the Board of Directors from 2012 to 2015. Most importantly, Julia was the MLA 2019-2020 President, where she calmed fears and guided the association through the most challenging days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Esparza is a three-time recipient of the President’s Award, for her work as part of the Education Steering Committee, the Communities Transition Team, and as part of the Hospital Library Advocacy Team. She has been recognized with the Lucretia W. McClure Excellence in Education Award, and the Estelle Brodman Award for the Health Sciences Librarian of the Year. The South Central Chapter of MLA also honored Julia with the Librarian of the Year Award for outstanding contributions in health sciences librarianship. Esparza serves as an excellent role model for junior librarians who wish to join scholarship and service in their careers.

Stephanie Fulton, AHIP, FMLA joined MLA in 1993 and has been active with many progressive leadership roles in MLA and MLA chapters. Her elected and appointed leadership positions with MLA and sections/caucuses or chapters include Chair of the Cancer Section, Chair of the Section Project of the Year Jury, Section Council Liaison for National Program Committee, Member of the MLA Board of Directors, Co-Chair of Community Transition Team. Throughout her involvement with MLA and its chapters, Fulton has significantly contributed to the strategic goals of the association. She has been active in over 35 committees and task forces that helped with the advancement and improvement of the health information profession.

In 2020, to strengthen MLA’s sections and SIGs, the Transition Team analyzed and recommended changes to increase the effectiveness of these communities and maximize members’ engagement. In her role as the co-chair of this task force, Fulton supported the goals of the association and MLA programs while empowering the members of each section and SIG. The MLA Communities Transition Team received the Presidential Award in 2020 for their outstanding contribution to the strategic goal of Communities. Fulton is a proven leader, scholar, and mentor.

Gale G. Hannigan, AHIP, FMLA has served as a leader in MLA since 1982 when she organized a “How to…” session at the 1982 MLA Annual Conference. Since then, she has been elected or appointed to serve in leadership roles on committees, sections/caucuses, and chapters. Perhaps most telling about Gale’s reputation is the awards she’s received. Not only has she been a Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals since 1990, but she has also been awarded the Estelle Brodman Award for Academic Medical Librarian of the Year, the Lucretia W. McClure Excellence in Education Award, and the MLA President's Award. In addition, she received the 1996 Medical Library Association/Institute for Scientific Information Doctoral Fellowship Award.

More recently, Hannigan was recognized by her colleagues at the Health Sciences Library & Informatics Center with an Exemplary Service Award and her alma mater, the University of North Texas' Department of Information Science, with its Outstanding Alumni Award, both in 2021. A special highlight was her role as the Co-Chair for the MLA Task Force to Review MLA’s Competencies for Lifelong Learning and Professional Success. This Task Force, which in 2017 released the MLA Competencies, directly led to the current learning objectives of MLA course structure, as well as the professional development opportunities afforded by the association.

MLA is now accepting nominations for the 2024 Fellows and Honorary Membership Awards. Consider nominating a colleague who has provided outstanding contributions to the health sciences library and information profession.

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