William from San Antonio, Texas

1. Please tell us in 2-3 sentences why your nominee should win this award.  What sets him/her apart?
She has led the establishment of a new university library from scratch for a Hispanic-serving university in South San Antonio. With few resources, she has built a respectable collection and provided crucial services to a non-traditional student population. Her work has been heroic and merits recognition.

2. Please discuss how the nominee has helped you and/or others and made your experience of the library a more positive one. For instance, did the nominee assist you in a research project or enhance your students' learning experience?
Our university could not be more fortunate to have Stefanie. She is incredibly responsive to the needs of students and faculty, and has contributed crucially to introducing an academic culture to an institution that previously has lacked such a culture.

In fact, the latter has almost certainly been her greatest contribution. Meticulous and unfailingly patient with students, Stefanie has been instrumental in standing up for core values of higher education: academic freedom, access to information, and the fundamental importance of the library to the quality of any university.

When Stefanie arrived at TAMU-SA in winter 2009/2010, there was no library here at all. The institution functioned as an extension program of the A&M system, operating out of a retrofitted elementary school, and prior to that, out of trailers located on the grounds of a local community college. For the previous 8 years, the institution had relied on interlibrary services from a sister A&M campus and the local community colleges. Stefanie brought some three decades of experience from the University of Texas and University of California state systems. But more importantly, she brought a tough-minded, can-do attitude that allowed her to overcome the major challenges that came with starting a library from nothing. She also brought the necessary experience to help foster a more academic culture as we transition to an independent, 4-year university that the Texas A&M System predicts will be its second-largest campus by 2025.

As we prepare to relocate to a brand-new campus with a more appropriate library facility, we all are extremely proud of Stefanie's superb work. She has positioned our library services not only to accommodate our rapid growth but also to stand as a model for university libraries in the region.

3. How does the nominee make the college, community college, or university a better place?
Stefanie established the library from scratch, transforming a storage room into the library in a day and a half, and it’s been operational since, with over 14,000 library patrons to date (10 ½ months).  Over the last year, she has added staff and increased library hours to 7 days a week.  Under her direction, the library has extended personal, one-on-one assistance to everyone, including online, with live, online chat service for troubleshooting during off-hours.  Since Spring 2010, the library's first full semester of operation, Stefanie has provided library instruction to over 900 students. She works tirelessly with faculty throughout the university to provide instruction and purchase materials. It is not uncommon for a faculty request, whether for a book, film, or other item, to be filled in less than two days.

Thanks to Stefanie, the library's collection has grown 300% in less than a year through gifts and active purchasing to support the university’s programs.  She has been very forward-looking to the trend away from physical stacks, establishing an electronic-preferred collection development policy as the first step in a larger plan for a cutting edge library system that will maximize our limited space as we move into a new campus facility in the 2011/12 academic year.

In addition to running and developing the library, Stefanie participates in campus activities (new student orientation and the Student Media board), and maintains numerous committee assignments (administrative and faculty searches, Provost's advisory board).

4. How has the library, and the nominee in particular, had an impact on students and faculty and the teaching and learning process?
Please see above statements.

5. How has the individual demonstrated leadership in the campus community?
Stefanie serves on practically every important committee on campus. She has played a pivotal role in shaping our academic, information technology, and financial policies. Her expertise on academic regulations and policies has been indispensible to our development as a university.