Student Snippets


LISSA's role in GSLIS

Before I went to the NEA Spring meeting a few weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to discover that LISSA would reimburse my expenses at the conference up to $300.  This was great news for me, because money is always tight as a grad student.  LISSA has always been one of those elusive organizations on Simmons campus for me - it crops up in conversations a lot, but I've never been involved in it or really known what it was.  One of my fellow students, Joy Rodowicz, is involved with LISSA (and helping to plan this year's Graduate Symposium) and offered to write some pointers about it for everyone, because as a GSLIS student (or potential student), LISSA is a valuable tool to be aware of.

1) How did you get involved with LISSA?

I first got involved with the Library and Information Science Student Association (LISSA) after I finished my first semester here at Simmons. I wanted to find a way that I could be more involved with the GSLIS community and saw my opportunity when elections for several student officer positions were announced.

2) What do you think LISSA provides for GSLIS students?

LISSA is an umbrella student organization that exists to represent and support all students in the GSLIS program. Every active GSLIS student is automatically a member of LISSA. All students may attend meetings, choose to run for office and/or participate in LISSA sponsored events. The following are just some of the ways LISSA works with and for the GSLIS community:

  • Plans GSLIS events such as Beginning and End-of-Semester parties, tours, field trips, and guest speakers;
  • Conducts semester-end class evaluations maintained in binders outside the Student Services office in the Palace Road building;
  • Provides coffee, tea, chocolate and spring water to the Matarazzo Student Lounge (P-212G);
  • Voices student concerns to the faculty and administration through the President and Faculty Representatives;
  • Reimburses student professional development costs up to $300 per year, covering costs such as library-oriented workshop and conference attendance.

3) Why should people think about leadership positions?

Student leadership is an excellent place to start and get involved in professional organizations at the student level. Most of the GSLIS student organizations are related to local or regional chapters of the different professional organizations. Not only is it a good way to network with others in your chosen field, but it provides you with the opportunity to gain confidence in your own abilities as a leader and organizer.

4) What sort of opportunities are there?

The opportunities are really limitless. Every semester positions open up in each of the student organizations. I know that after this semester, there will be openings for several officer positions throughout the different groups, as well as one of the student representatives to the faculty meetings. I would recommend attending the many diverse and exciting activities held around campus and if a particular group interests you... inquire about how you can get involved. In addition, you can always contact the LISSA president, Lindsey Clarke, at for information about vacant positions.

5) What was involved in planning the symposium?

This is the third year GSLIS will be holding its annual Graduate Symposium and the first time we have extended it to include the entire Simmons graduate community. A core group of 10-12 student volunteers made up this year's planning committee. The process began in October when we decided on our theme for this year: Moving Forward: Transforming the Way We Think and then putting out the call for proposals. Once the proposals started coming in we reviewed them and worked out the panel assignments along with plans for catering and technology needs. The final stage of the process was marketing and gathering additional volunteers for the actual event. This year we will also be including poster presentations from the GSLIS After Dark event being held the night before.

6) What are you hoping people (both presenters and attendees) take away from it?

The goal of the symposium is to give students the opportunity to experience peer review and the professional presentation experience in a format that might be less intimidating that a regional or national conference venue. The symposium committee hopes that events like this will continue to foster a sense of community and collaboration where students can share their recent research and demonstrate how they plan to contribute to their respective fields upon graduation.