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Professional Development

MLA Rising Stars

The MLA Rising Star program has been developed to give members the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge, and personal characteristics needed to  become a leader in MLA.  The yearly leadership development program matches each Rising Star with a mentor in a curriculum that includes:

  • Monthly classes led by MLA member leaders.
  • Experiences and training to develop self-awareness of skills and dispositions as a leader.
  • Opportunities to discuss, reflect upon, and apply concepts from classic leadership texts.
  • Opportunities to gain a comprehensive, intimate view of all aspects of MLA, from Board meetings to MLA history, with a focus on strategic planning.
  • Individualized projects that contribute materially to improving MLA.
  • Structured exercises to give and receive the gift of effective feedback.
  • Structured exercises to gain skills in effective and persuasive communication.
  • Guidance in finding and working with a career mentor.

Rising Star Criteria

  • The applicant must be a MLA member throughout the duration of the program.
  • The applicant is considered ineligible if they have held a national level MLA position as chair of a committee, jury, or task force; elected officer of a section; or have served on the MLA Board of Directors.
  • The applicant must have attended at least one national MLA annual meeting.
  • The applicant must have demonstrated interest and commitment to professional service through participation in activities or conferences related to medical librarianship.

Rising Star Program Requirements

  • To fully participate in the one year program, complete all assignments, and participate in 10-12 virtual meetings (90 minutes each).
  • An estimated time commitment of 8-12 hours per month.
  • Attendance at MLA'19 in Chicago, IL to meet program members and fellow Rising Stars is encouraged, but optional.
  • Attendance at MLA'20 in Portland, OR to present your achievements is required.
  • The recipient assumes all costs of attending the annual meetings (funding may be available to arrive early to the MLA Annual Meeting, if Rising Stars present their work to the Board of Directors).

Rising Star Applications

  • Online application form, including all supporting documentation, must be completed no later than November 1. 
  • A brief (one page) personal statement describing the applicant’s background, previous professional service, goals for MLA involvement, how applicant would benefit from the program, and potentially contribute to the group’s learning;
  • A current curriculum vitae or resume;
  • A letter of support from the applicant’s library director indicating support for time to participate in all aspects of the program and attendance at the annual meetings;
  • A current photo for promotional purposes.  Uploaded to applicant's MLA profile or attached to application. (optional)

The recipients will be notified in March before the annual meeting at which the project announcements will be made.  If there are no appropriate applicants, the association may elect not to run the program in a given year.

Ready to Submit an Application for the Program?

  • The Rising Star application process is closed. 
  • Applications will open next in August 2019 for the 2020-2021 Rising Star Program. 

2018-2019 Rising Stars Leadership Team

  • Program Director, Linné Girouard, AHIP
  • Project Director, Elizabeth Hinton, AHIP
  • Assessment Director, Emily Hurst, AHIP
  • Education & Management Curriculum Committee Chair, Gail Kouame
  • MLA Education Director, Barry Grant

Rising Stars


  • Kelsa Bartley
  • Kathryn Houk, AHIP
  • Jane Morgan-Daniel, AHIP
  • Elaina Vitale


  • Rising Star: Alexandria Leigh Brackett, AHIP 
    Mentor: Kristine Alpi, AHIP
  • Rising Star: Rachel Helbing, AHIP
    Mentor: Neville Prendergast
  • Rising Star: Liz Kellermeyer
    Mentor: Rikke Ogawa, AHIP
  • Rising Star:Terry Kit Selfe, AHIP 
    Mentor: Michael Kronenfeld, AHIP, FMLA


  • Rising Star: Rachel Keiko Stark, AHIP 
    Mentor: Gail Yokote, AHIP, FMLA
  • Rising Star: Laura Menard
    Mentor: Michael Kronenfeld, AHIP, FMLA
  • Rising Star: Hanna Lee Schmillen
    Mentor: Ruth Holst, AHIP, FMLA
  • Rising Star: Nicole Theis-Mahon
    Mentor: Derek Halling, AHIP


  • Rising Star: Phill Jo 
    Mentor: Linné Girouard, AHIP
  • Rising Star: Rachel Charlotte Lerner
    Mentor: Karen Liljequist, AHIP
  • Rising Star: Tony Nguyen, AHIP
    Mentor: April Schweikhard, AHIP
  • Rising Star: Gregg A. Stevens, AHIP
    Mentor: Michael Kronenfeld, AHIP, FMLA


  • Rising Star: Roy Eugene Brown, AHIP
    Mentor: Helen-Ann Brown Epstein, AHIP and the Hospital Libraries Section leadership team
    Project: Hospital Libraries Section VALUES@ Initiative
  • Rising Star: Lisa Huang
    Mentor: Laurie L. Thompson, AHIP, FMLA
    Project: MLANews Feasibility Study
  • Rising Star: April Joy Schweikhard
    Mentor: Angela Dixon, AHIP
    Project: Chapter Council Roundtables
  • Rising Star: Debra Werner
    Mentor: Linné Girouard and Linda Hasman
    Project: Public Policy Toolkit for Members, Sections, and Chapters


2012–2013 MLA Rising Stars were hosted by MLA Board of Directors.


Host: MLA Board of Directors

Have a question?

Contact MLA's awards coordinator

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