Research Training Institute Participants

The 2024 Research Training Institute (RTI) is offered in a virtual format from May 2024 to June 2025. The institute provides high-quality advanced research methods curriculum and learning model, with mentoring and support for one year while participants complete their research projects.

Jules Bailey,, is the health sciences librarian at Florida State University with a master’s in library science from Florida State University (2014) and previous experience at a community college library and a public library. Additionally, Jules is the current co-chair of the programming committee of the ACRL Health Sciences Interest Group (HSIG) and the incoming HSIG convener starting July 1, 2024. Jules’ research interests include librarian involvement in student success, the connection between digital literacy, information literacy, and health literacy, and the use of automation tools and AI in systematic reviews.

Karla Barreiro,, is a graduate student in the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at San Jose State University. She has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Since then, she has worked in neurological human development research at University of California, Los Angeles, and Stanford University. Her professional journey also includes working as a Library assistant at the San Mateo County Library system. Her research interests focus on healthcare disparities, particular interest is understanding the intersectionality of class and race and its impact on women’s healthcare experiences.
Mallory Blankenship,, is a graduate student in the University of North Texas’ MS-LS program, where she is pursuing a degree in archival studies and imaging technologies, alongside a graduate academic certification in health data science. She received a B.A. in English from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi in May 2023. Her research interests include the knowledge economy, the intersections between emergent technologies and under-researched health conditions, information accessibility and the digital divide, and information-seeking behaviors.

Mallory Blasingame,, is an Information Scientist and Assistant Director for Evidence Provision at the Center for Knowledge Management (CKM) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Mallory has spent the last ten years working on a variety of Knowledge Management projects, including coordinating CKM’s EHR-linked Evidence Basket service, and providing synthesized evidence to support clinical and research efforts. She is also a regular contributor to CKM’s research initiatives. Mallory earned her master’s in information sciences from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her current research interest focuses on investigating methods and current practices for incorporating artificial intelligence into the evidence update process.

Heather Brown,, is an Associate Professor serving as the Scholarly Communications Librarian and Head of Access Services at the McGoogan Health Sciences Library, University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). She received her Master of Arts in Information Science and Learning Technology with an emphasis in Library Science from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Health Sciences Librarianship from the University of Pittsburgh. She is an active member of MLA and the Midcontinental Chapter of the Medical Library Association. Her research interests are in the areas of interlibrary loan, institutional repositories, and scholarly communications.

Sabrina M. Brown,, is a Medical Librarian at Maine Health where she serves ten hospital campuses across Maine and New Hampshire. Her primary responsibilities are in electronic resource management, but her work also includes research, document delivery, instruction, and DEIA efforts. She has previously worked in academic libraries and on grant-funded project teams developing open databases and curriculum. She obtained her MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons University and holds a BA in English Text, Business Writing, & Digital Studies from the University of New Hampshire. Sabrina’s research interests include AI, Open Science, and the idea of “Archives as Data”. During the RTI program, she will be investigating the impact of library-provided active living and outdoor recreation resources on community health.

Veronica Cruz,, is a graduate student pursuing an MS-IS with a concentration in Health Librarianship/Health Informatics at the University of North Texas (UNT). She holds a B.A. in English and American Literature and an M.A. in Rhetoric and Writing Studies from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor at UTEP, and she assists the UTEP School of Pharmacy as a grader during their admissions cycles. She plans to become a medical librarian after obtaining her MS-IS degree. Her research interests include health literacy education in healthcare-related schools (i.e., medical, nursing, pharmacy, etc.), the integration of digital health resources in medical training, and the role medical librarians play in supporting evidence-based practices to enhance accessibility and usability of health information.

Jill Daby, AHIP,, has been the Regional Medical Librarian at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (UVMHN) since 2018. As a solo librarian who now works remotely from Florida, she serves three hospitals in northeastern New York State, managing all aspects of the medical library – website, collections, and budget, while providing reference services, literature searches, document delivery/ILL, and EBP instruction. Having graduated from the University at Buffalo with her MLS, Jill has over 20 years of experience primarily in academic settings and is a Senior Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals. Her research interests include rural hospital libraries, remote service delivery, collection management and health literacy.

Chris Eaton,, is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Florida working at the Borland Library in Jacksonville. Chris has worked in libraries for more than 20 years. In 2003 he earned an MLS at Indiana University. His first role as a professional librarian was at the Jacksonville Public Library system in Jacksonville, Florida where he primarily worked in the departments that provided service to those library users that had accessibility needs and those requesting interlibrary loans. He joined the University of Florida in 2023. His research interests are in providing library services to those with accessibility needs.

Maghen Farris (she/her),, is a graduate student in the MLS program at Emporia State University. She has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Psychology from University of Missouri – Kansas City and a Master of Science in Health Informatics from University of South Florida – Morsani College of Medicine. She currently works as a clinical research professional, with experiences in academic, hospital, and pharmaceutical science settings. Her research interests include neurodiversity, accessibility and instructional design, health information literacy, health informatics, and medical science librarianship.

Jordan Ford,, is an Outreach Services Librarian at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). She earned her MLIS in 2023 through Louisiana State University. A few of her job duties include providing liaison services to UAMS’s student-run free clinic, teaching her community about consumer health information resources, and conducting outreach to health care professionals and their organizations across the state. Jordan has an interest in researching the information needs of community health workers and examining how health sciences libraries can work to meet them.

Elizabeth Frakes,, is an Associate Librarian for Clinical Services at Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah. She specializes in providing evidence-based information to support research, patient care, and clinical decision support. In her decade of experience, her duties have included providing evidence packets to support complex reference requests received during inpatient rounds or through the electronic health record. Elizabeth also leverages her background as a certified pharmacy technician and case manager as a foundation for her work in biomedical information science. Her current research interest is analyzing the impact of librarian support during inpatient rounds.

Becca Gates,, is a Research Librarian for Health Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. In her role she liaises with the School of Nursing and supports UCI Health nurses through instruction, research support, and collection development. She earned her MLIS from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2021, and she has a background in museum work, special collections, and archives. She also has her BA in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a minor in History. Her current research interests include critical disability studies in health sciences and medical humanities.

Aisha Grant,, is a graduate student in the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from North Carolina State University and currently works as a library technician at their Library of Veterinary Medicine. Her research interests include placemaking, well-being, and animal assisted intervention in the library.

Jodi Hall,, is pursuing her MLS with a concentration in Health Information Professionals at Emporia State University while working as the Patient Support Coordinator for the Vasculitis Foundation. Incredibly passionate about social justice and health equity, she received her BA in Political Science from UMKC in 2018 and began working for the Social Security Administration in 2019 adjudicating medical disability for claimants in Missouri. Her research interests focus on public policy and rare diseases, namely how prior authorization requirements effect those battling a rare disease.

Christina Heinrich,, is a Research & Instruction Librarian at Hirsh Health Sciences Library at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. As a liaison librarian to the Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM), she supports disciplinary research conducted by medical students and their mentors and coordinates librarian-led, evidence-based practice instruction in TUSM’s problem-based learning course. Christina is interested in how medical students grapple with philosophical aspects of determining best evidence to develop information literacy and clinical reasoning skills.

Ari Hilliard,, works as a library technician at the National Library of Medicine in the Rare Books and Early Manuscripts Section, formerly housed within the History of Medicine Division. Relatedly, she will explore the diversity of resources within the rare books and special collections of library departments. Ari holds two master’s degrees, having earned her MSLIS in January form Catholic University with a focus in data science and another in education from Harvard. She lives in an old and rambling Victorian home in Maryland with her husband, her three “devil dogs – Mephistopheles, Lucifer, and Pazuzu” and an unending private library.

Nina Ivey Ishokir,, has been a professional librarian for over 17 years. Nina has worked in K-12 Public School Media and Technology Centers, HBCU Libraries, Research University Libraries, Public Libraries, and a Non-Profit Organization’s Library. She has also worked as a Digital Asset Manager, Digital Archivist and Data Analyst. Nina received my B.A. in Political Science/Public Administration from Augusta University and her M.S. in Library and Information Studies/Knowledge Management from Florida State University. Currently, she is pursuing my M.S. in Information Technology with an emphasis in Health Informatics and Data Analytics from Middle Georgia State University. Her interests include social justice, bridging the digital divide, data acquisition, data management, data analysis, data warehousing, public health informatics, knowledge discovery, metadata, and website development.

Christine Wamunyima Kanyengo,, is a Senior Librarian at the University of Zambia. She holds a master’s and PhD in Library and Information Science from the University of Cape Town and a BA from University of Zambia. She oversees Research Coordination in the University Library: fostering research culture, research innovation, research quality and publication, promoting awareness of university policies and strategies concerning research and publication; and coordinating the library’s research support services. Christine is former US National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow during the years 2004-2005.

Kathleen Konno,, is a graduate student at the University of North Texas pursuing a master’s in information science with a concentration in Health Informatics/Librarianship. They received their bachelor’s in political science from Vassar College and have worked in public libraries for over a decade, most recently as a Library Associate at DC Public Library in Washington, DC, where they offer consumer health programs for adults. Kathleen’s research interests include health literacy, misinformation, and consumer health information-seeking behavior.

Allison Piazza, AHIP,, is a Clinical Medical Librarian at the Samuel J. Wood Library at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, New York. At Weill Cornell, she provides information services and resources to clinical departments, develops, and promotes consumer health educational seminars, and participates on the library’s systematic review service. Allison received her BA from Fordham University, her MLIS from Pratt Institute, and her Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) from Seton Hall University. Her current research interest is in professional recruitment, especially how to encourage current MLIS students and new MLIS graduates to pursue medical librarianship.

Courtney Pyche,, is a Public Health Liaison Librarian at the University of Florida Health Science Center Library. Her job responsibilities include providing instruction, reference, and liaison services to departments in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine. She received her Master of Science in Information from Florida State University. Her research interests include librarian career transitions and development, international librarianship, evidence synthesis, and library partnerships. Her RTI project seeks to contextualize health sciences librarianship within the framework of library diplomacy.

Jamie Quinn,, is the Director of the Learning Resource Center at Baylor University, Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas, Texas. With eighteen years of experience in academic and health science libraries, she is the current chair of HealthLINE, a group of Dallas/Fort Worth Health Science Librarians. She serves on the South-Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association, 2024 Local Arrangements Committee, and is incoming Chair of the Grants and Scholarship Committee with the Medical Library Association. Her research interests include health literacy to rural and Spanish speaking communities, systematic review support, improving personal Spanish fluency, and poetry.

Divya Ramesh (she/her),, holds an MSc. in Disability Design & Innovation from the University College London and is completing her MLIS at the University of Arizona School of Information with specializations in instruction and teaching, health information, and human rights practice. She is a research specialist with the Spectacle Prescribing in Early Childhood (SPEC) Study and is interested in pediatric vision and early childhood outcomes. She is separately curious about how librarians can improve assistive technology and health information access for individuals with severe and multiple acquired disabilities from rare and chronic illnesses. Divya is also a poet.

Jennifer Smith, AHIP,, serves as Head Librarian of Public Services at the David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. In this role, her duties include staff supervision, circulation, reference, instruction, collection development and systematic searching. She currently serves as the secretary/treasurer for the Iowa Health Sciences Library Association. Jen’s research interests include predatory publishing and library support for faculty research.

Sara Ann Stinson,, is the Medical Electronic Resources Librarian at the Burnett School of Medicine at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2022 she created an entirely new medical library collection for this brand-new medical school, and her research interests include collection development strategies and practices in newly established medical libraries. Sara Ann earned her MLIS at San Jose State University. She serves as co-chair of the fundraising committee of the South-Central Chapter (SCC) of MLA and organizes the chapter-wide group quilt project every year.

Sarah Villere,, is a graduate student in the Master of Library Science program at Emporia State University, expecting to graduate December 2024 with a Health Information Professionals Concentration. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialty in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northeastern University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Global Health Certificate from Duke University. After working for over 10 years in direct clinical care as a Nurse Practitioner, she hopes to match her nursing background with information science to serve health sciences students, clinicians, and researchers. Her current research interests include how free online resources can inform nursing students’ clinical practice.

Regina Vitiello,, is a Librarian for the Northwell Health system, serving the North Shore University Hospital, Glen Cove Hospital and Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research locations. She received her BS from University of Vermont and her MLS from Queens College. Regina is passionate about measuring the impact of libraries.

Jeffery Wagner,, is the Collection Development & Digital Resource Management Librarian at the Harrell Health Sciences Library with Penn State’s College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. Jeff has been a librarian for over seven years and has worked in both public and academic libraries. Jeff is a member of the Pennsylvania Library Association and a committee member of the association’s public relations and marketing committee. His formal education includes a B.A. in History from Penn State and a MSLIS from Drexel University. His research interests include Open Access, its implications on library collections, Graphic Medicine, and curating diverse collections for his library’s users. Through graphic medicine he believes that representation of diverse narratives of all those involved in health, medicine, and healthcare can be more easily achieved, and should be collected and shared in efforts to improve humanity.

Dylan Ward,, is nearing completion of his MLS at East Carolina University and holds a BA in Film Studies from North Carolina State University. As he explores potential careers in health librarianship, he seeks to combine a love of research with his diverse experiences and interests through the RTI program. His interdisciplinary research interests include disability and accessibility and the health humanities. He also has interests in the history of medicine and medical library special collections and archives.

Kim Whalen,, is an Assistant Professor and librarian for public health and community engagement at the University of Illinois Chicago’s Library of the Health Sciences. Kim works to engage students, faculty, staff, and community members in identifying, evaluating, accessing, and utilizing information. She has a master’s in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh and an undergraduate degree in business from Illinois Institute of Technology. Before becoming a librarian, Kim had a career in non-profit marketing, communications, and fund-raising. Her research interests include health information literacy, information literacy teaching strategies, and assessment.

Karen Williams,, is a first-generation Hispanic graduate student pursuing a second Master of Science in Information Science with a concentration in health librarianship from the University of North Texas with a graduate certificate in Health Information. She holds a Master of Library Science from Sam Houston State University and a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University. She is pursuing a career shift after 28 years in public education and library services to health sciences librarianship. Her research interests are education, research methodologies, leadership, consumer health information, and public health information. Her perseverance has led to an internship at Texas A&M University Medical Sciences Library in College Station, Texas.