LEAP II graduates celebrate completion of their MLS degree

On Friday, May 4, 2018, a recognition ceremony was held for the LEAP (Library Education for the U.S. Affiliated Pacific) II scholars, who earned their Master's in Library Science degree from UNT.  More than 100 family members, colleagues, and friends attended the ceremony held at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Hamilton Library. The graduation of these LEAP II students is pivotal as they now join the graduates from the LEAP I cohort as the only indigenous librarians in the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands.

The University of North Texas students and faculty were welcomed to the University of Hawaii by Monica Ghosh, Interim University Librarian for the University of Hawaii Libraries. Dr. Herman L. Totten, former College of Information Dean and Regents Professor Emeritus gave an inspirational and rousing challenge to these new UNT Department of Information Science graduates.  Video messages were sent to the students by their UNT professors who taught them at the Institutes: Dr. Ana Cleveland, Dr. Larry Enoch, and Dr. Daniel Alemneh.  Julius Jefferson, ALA Executive Board member who presented two workshops to the cohort about ALA and professionalism at the Institute in 2016, also sent a wonderful video message to the graduates. Two students – Shelley Remengesau who spoke on “Success Isn’t a Destination But a Work in Progress” and Loring Faiivae who spoke on “Prayer” were elected by their classmates to give the graduating student address. 

Three LEAP II graduates, Belen Busby, Loring Faiivae, and Omar Manacop were elected by the faculty to the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society

Graduates from the LEAP I cohort participated in the program including Justin Maga, Territorial  Librarian and Director; Feleti Barstow, Public Library, American Samoa; Jennifer Helieisar, Director, Learning Resources Center, College of Micronesia-Federated States of Micronesia; and Roland San Nicholas, Head Librarian of Reference Services and Information Literacy Instruction, University of Guam.  Dr. Andrew Wertheimer, Associate Professor, Department of Information & Computer Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa and ALA Representative for Hawaii and the Pacific Islands welcomed these new professional librarians to the information profession. Closing remarks were also given by Michael Aldrich, University Librarian, Brigham Young University, Hawaii and partner in the LEAP II cohort, and Jane Barnwell, LEAP II Cohort Mentor. 

A celebration dinner honoring the graduates and their families was held at the Side Street Inn in Honolulu. For photos, visit the IS Flickr page.

Congratulations to the LEAP II graduating class of 2018 named below: 

  1. Gloryana Akapo – American Samoa
  2. Belen Busby – Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands - Saipan
  3. Kelsey Dela Cruz - Guam
  4. Loring Faiive – American Samoa
  5. Rhea Francisco - Guam
  6. Pamela Sue Legdesog - Guam
  7. Omar Manacop – Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands - Saipan
  8. Shelley Remengesau - Palau
  9. Karleen Samuel – Federated States of Micronesia - Pohnpei
  10. Lola Schutz – Republic of the Marshall Islands
  11. Ryan Shook  - Guam