Professional Immersion Day Moves Online

The UW-Milwaukee, School Information Studies, Professional Immersion Day looked a little different this Fall as it moved into the virtual environment.

On Friday, August 28, 2020 the UW-Milwaukee, School of Information Studies (SOIS) held its Fall 2020 Professional Immersion Day. New and current graduate students from the MLIS & MSIST programs logged in for an afternoon networking event that provided an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of a career in the information professions.

The agenda included a keynote presentation from Youth Services Supervisor, Molly Scheibler and a “Steps to Success” panel discussion with representatives from libraries, businesses and internship sites. A fabulous line-up of Alums & Information Professionals from across the U.S., shared their advice and career experiences with participants along with tips on how to make the most of their time in graduate school.

Presenters Included:

Caroline Coward profileCaroline M. Coward

Library Group Supervisor, Enterprise & Information Systems Engineering Section
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA

Caroline Coward supervises the daily operations of the Library at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, collaborating with and supporting the work of scientists, engineers, and mission specialists across the organization in areas such as information curation, knowledge management, and data engineering. Caroline holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from San Jose State University, and she spent the majority of her 25-year career as a tenured faculty member in higher education primarily in information literacy and High Impact Practices initiatives. At JPL, Caroline leads efforts in organizing the Lab’s vast information stores, from physical processing and access, to metadata, taxonomy, and ontology development, to developing new information initiatives Labwide.


Sam Goerke

Adversarial Security Testing Engineer
Northwestern Mutual
Milwaukee, WI

Sam is an Adversarial Security Testing Engineer for Northwestern Mutual in Milwaukee. His team is charged with acting as the “bad guys” for the organization to confirm security controls are effective. Their responsibilities include ethical hacking, red teaming, purple teaming, penetration testing, threat simulations, and other offensive security activities.

Sam has his GPEN, GWAPT, and Security+ certifications. He received both his Bachelor’s Degree (2017) and Master’s Degree (2018) from UW-Milwaukee in the School of Information Studies (SOIS).

In addition to his full-time job, he also is an Adjunct Lecturer for UW-Milwaukee SOIS, teaching courses that cover information security and web application development. He recently developed a new elective titled Web Application Penetration Testing in which he teaches the hands-on skill set of conducting penetration tests of modern web applications.


Brittany KhatibBrittany Khatib

Library Media Specialist
Whitefish Bay Middle School,
Whitefish Bay, WI

Brittany Khatib is the Library Media Specialist at Whitefish Bay Middle school, where she helps students find a love for reading and teachers the resources and support they need. While libraries are her passion, she also teaches computer science. Brittany started at the Hales Corners Public Library as the Youth Services Librarian. Then made the move to public schools by serving the ten elementary libraries in the Wauwatosa School District. She loves exploring resources, supporting a diverse and safe space, and creating STEAM opportunities in the library and community.


Carole LaRochelleCarole LaRochelle

Senior Information Governance & Records Administrator
PGA Tour
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Since my studies at UWM, I was hired by the PGA TOUR as Legal Librarian, appropriately developed the position into Corporate Archivist, which further evolved into my current position Senior Information Governance & Records Administrator. I am ever so thankful for the course work studied at UWM SOIS as I have been able to apply concepts and practices of librarianship, archives, and records management. A perfect trifecta!I have also become a Certified Information Privacy Manager through the International Association of Privacy Professionals, and I was a panelist at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit last May, co-presenter “Building Your Foundation: Strategies & Tools for Managing Retention & Personal Data Risks.


Juliana Lisser

Data Scientist
Bader Rutter
Milwaukee, WI

Juliana has substantial field experience in analytics, business intelligence and data science since graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in Mathematics. Her primary focus in Mathematics included data modeling and optimization using computer algorithms.

After completing her undergraduate program, Juliana returned to UW-M to complete the new MSIST program and focus on honing her skills in data science and data management. Since completing this program she has facilitated large data migrations, architecture overhauls, and non-structured big data pipeline development. In the ever changing landscape of data, Juliana has chosen to focus her time on automated cleaning systems for pre-pipeline ingestion using data science techniques and principles.


Molly Mathias

User Experience Librarian
UWM Libraries
Milwaukee, WI

Molly Mathias is the team lead for the User Experiences department at the UWM Libraries. In her current position she mentors and supervises User Services graduate students and fieldworkers. She has worked at Marquette University, the Milwaukee, Area Technical College, Alverno College, and the University of Northern Colorado. Molly is the subject specialist for the School of Information Studies, Department of Communication, English Department, and the Journalism And Media Studies Department at UWM.


Amy Melchoirs-Kemp Amy Melchiors-Kemp

Principal PM/TPM for Networking CX/UX/UI
Oracle Cloud
Seattle, Washington

Amy Kemp is a Principal Product Manager for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. She works on customer experience and feature development for the Virtual Networking product suite, working across the organization on UX, UI, design, and usability. She began her career as a medical librarian at Aurora Health Care Libraries. She got her start in high tech working on a data collection projects for various search engines, moving into program management to measure search relevance and information retrieval at Microsoft Bing, where she worked for 8 years on multiple search features and internationalization. Amy joined Oracle Cloud in 2017 as product owner for the User & Developer Experience team. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Information Resources and a Master’s degree in Information Science from UWM. She lives outside of Seattle with her husband, 3 dogs, and a menagerie of farm animals.


Treshani PereraTreshani Perer

Music & Fine Arts Cataloging Librarian
Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library, University of Kentucky Libraries
Lexington, Kentucky

Treshani Perera is the Music and Fine Arts Cataloging Librarian at the University of Kentucky, and also serves as the Unit Head for the Fine Arts Cataloging Unit. Treshani provides cataloging for all formats in the Fine Arts Library, and oversees operations related to preservation, cataloging, and special projects in the Fine Arts Library. Treshani received her MLIS and Master of Music in Music History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Karen PundsackKaren Pundsack

Executive Director
Great River Regional Library
St. Cloud, Minnesota

Karen Pundsack is Executive Director at Great River Regional Library, a six-county consolidated regional public library system headquartered in St. Cloud. She has worked in Minnesota public libraries for over 20 years and in library administration for 11 years. She is a St. Cloud State University mass communications alumna and holds an MLIS from the School of Information Studies at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.


Molly ScheiblerMolly Scheibler

Youth Services Supervisor
Indian Trails Public Library District
Wheeling, Illinois

Molly Scheibler is a Youth Services Supervisor at the Indian Trails Public Library District in Wheeling, Illinois. Molly is a 2017 MLIS graduate from UWM-SOIS where she is now an adjunct instructor in SOIS. During her time in graduate school, Molly was a Star Scholarship recipient and Star Scholarship speaker in 2016. Molly was a conference speaker for the Illinois Library Association annual conference in 2018 and 2019 and is currently the GLBTQ ALA News and Reviews round table co-chair for 2019-2020. She lives in northern Illinois with her 4 four-legged friends, her one-legged husband and her three children. When Molly is not helping patrons or teaching, she is running, gardening or reading.


Reagen ThalackerReagen Thalacker

Public Library Consultant
The Library of Virginia
Richmond, Virginia

Reagen Thalacker wants to live in a world filled with unlimited library funds, books that come bundled with salted caramel hot chocolate, and a personal teleportation device which guarantees that she can travel as much as she’d like without the time spent getting there.

She has had a varied career in her dozen years of librarianship. In that time, she’s worked in government documents and reference at a large university, as a solo librarian at a federal wildlife research facility, in circulation at a small rural public library, as the Executive Director of a regional multitype system, the Regional Librarian at public library system, and now newly serves as the Public Library Consultant for the Library of Virginia.

In this role, she consults on and supports the development of Public Library Directors, Trustees, Friends, and Foundations across the entire state of Virginia. She assists with the onboarding of new directors, provides continuing education opportunities, produces timely research on relevant topics, and builds new programs to benefit public library stakeholders.

When she’s not planning a new project down to the last perfect detail or learning more about the library world in her new state, you can find her whipping up delicious baked goods, tweaking her home décor for the umpteenth time, and of course…reading.