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2020 Research Training Institute Faculty

The institute faculty are recognized experts in a wide range of research areas. They will help librarians use, create, and apply research-based evidence to enhance decision-making, address evolving user needs, communicate library value, and support quality health care. The training and strong support offered by the expert faculty of scholars and practitioners will lay the foundations of evidence-based practice for the next generation of health sciences librarians.

Katherine AkersKatherine Akers is a biomedical research and data specialist at the Shiffman Medical Library, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, where her work centers on supporting scholarly publishing, research data management, and systematic reviews. Akers’ expertise spans the entire research lifecycle, including obtaining research funding, collecting and analyzing data, preparing conference presentations and manuscripts for scholarly journals, navigating the peer review process, and boosting online researcher profiles. She has an extensive publication record resulting from her present work as a health sciences librarian and her previous work as a behavioral neuroscience researcher. Akers holds master of science (MS) and doctoral (PhD) degrees in psychology from the University of New Mexico and a master of library and information science (MLIS) degree from Wayne State University. She in the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA).

Lorie KlodaLorie Kloda, AHIP, is the associate university librarian at Concordia University in Montreal. Previously, she was a health sciences librarian and later the assessment librarian at McGill University. She has a master’s of library and information science (MLIS) and a doctorate (PhD) in information studies from McGill University. Her interests include the information needs of health professionals, expert searching for systematic reviews, planning and assessment, and evidence-based practice. Her recent research includes an exploration of the value of journal club participation by academic librarians and an investigation of research output of Canadian library and information studies faculty. She has taught workshops on planning research for librarians and was a peer mentor at the Canadian Association of Research Libraries’ Librarians Research Institute. Kloda is the editor in chief of the open access journal, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice.

Mark MacEachernMark MacEachern is an informationist at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan (UM)–Ann Arbor. As an informationist, MacEachern works closely with health students and professionals on education and research projects. MacEachern teaches systematic review methods and evidence-based practice skills as part of the curricula in several of the UM health sciences schools. He has extensive experience consulting on systematic review projects and leads the Taubman Library’s flipped continuing education course Systematic Reviews: Opportunities for Librarians. MacEachern was the 2019 recipient of the Estelle Brodman Award for the Academic Medical Librarian of the Year. MacEachern received his master of library and information science (MLIS) degree from the University of Western Ontario. Prior to joining the Taubman Health Sciences Library in 2007, MacEachern interned at Mills Memorial Library at McMaster University.

Jode PhilbrickJodi Philbrick, AHIP, is a senior lecturer at the College of Information, Department of Information Science, University of North Texas (UNT)–Denton. Philbrick teaches graduate-level courses in library and information sciences and health informatics at UNT. Prior to her faculty appointment, she was the assistant director of the Houston Program for the Department of Information Science. Philbrick’s research interests include mobile technology, virtual reference services, and professional competencies in health sciences libraries, and she has conducted research, presented, and published in these areas. Philbrick and her collaborators have received multiple Elizabeth K. Eaton Research Awards from the South Central Chapter of MLA. Active in MLA, she served as the chair of Section Council and member of the Board of Directors from 2012–2017. She received the MLA President’s Award in 2017 for her service to Section Council, work on the Task Force to Review MLA’s Competencies for Lifelong Learning and Professional Success, and participation in the Rising Star’s Program.

Emily VardellEmily Vardell is assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University, Emporia, KS. Vardell is an expert instructor and researcher, specializing in qualitative research and health information behavior. She teaches courses on the foundations of library and information science, reference services, research methods, health sciences librarianship, consumer health information, and disaster preparedness in libraries. Vardell’s research interests include health insurance literacy, health-related decision-making behavior, and Affordable Care Act information needs. She has received research and teaching awards, including the Beta Phi Mu Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2017), the MLA Thomson Reuters/MLA Doctoral Fellowship (2016 to 2017), the University of North Carolina (UNC)–Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science Deborah Barreau Award for Teaching Excellence (2016), and a Fulbright Award (2005 to 2006). Vardell is also the editor of the book The Medical Library Association Guide to Answering Questions about the Affordable Care Act (Rowman & Littlefield; 2015) and the author of articles published in the Reference Librarian and Medical Reference Services Quarterly. Prior to receiving her doctorate in information science from the School of Information and Library Science at UNC–Chapel Hill, she was the director for reference, education, and community engagement at the Calder Memorial Library at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She is active in MLA and has served as a member of the Nominating Committee and the 2017 National Program Committee.

For questions regarding the institute, please contact Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA, Research Training Institute project director.

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