University at Albany - 137th Annual Commencement, May 24, 1981
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Mary K. Van Ullen, Associate Librarian, is the 2010 – 2011 recipient of the President’s and Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Librarianship.
Ms. Van Ullen has been with the University at Albany/SUNY Libraries since 1997. Her primary responsibility is to serve as the University’s bibliographer in the areas of business, economics, geography, urban planning, and law. She works with UAlbany faculty and students in those fields, provides general reference service for all library patrons, develops research guides in her subject areas, and teaches components of several courses, including a course in our geography department that she helped develop with a faculty member from that department. In each of these roles, Ms. Van Ullen carries out her responsibilities with professionalism, generosity, and skill. She is respected by her peers, is appreciated by our faculty, and well-liked by our students.
In her thirteen years at the University, she has performed an outstanding job in serving our community. Her nomination packet contained letters from faculty and colleagues that testify to her passion for her job. She is a skilled bibliographer whose research guides are notable for their usefulness and thoroughness. She gives generously of her time to our faculty and students, frequently staying extra hours or preparing extra documents to assist clients with their information needs. As with many library faculty, she teaches on information literacy topics in a number of our courses, but Ms. Van Ullen takes this a step further in teaching a geography course that builds on her knowledge of and interest in China. In this latter course, an undergraduate general education course, she is a co-instructor and brings her scholarly expertise in such topics as China’s “one child” policies and the comparative status of women in China vs. other countries to our students. In 2005 she accompanied two faculty members and 23 students on a study tour of China, and then brought that experience back to our students in the classroom. Finally, she is an accomplished scholar, with seven peer-reviewed articles, five book reviews, and numerous professional presentations.
The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship recognizes consistently superior professional achievement in the field of librarianship. There must be positive evidence that the candidate performs superbly in fulfilling his or her librarianship duties. Consideration should be given to the candidate's ability to perform this function in a creative and innovative fashion that is of outstanding quality. In providing librarianship services, the candidate must be generous with personal time and easily accessible. The individual must be flexible and adapt readily to the needs of the library, the institution and the constituents served. The candidate must keep abreast of developments in the field and use relevant contemporary data in relation to that person’s work situation. Evidence in this category should include references to publications, membership and work in professional organizations, attendance at meetings, seminars, etc.
Candidates must hold full-time appointment as a librarian of any rank and must possess an MLS degree and must have completed at least three academic years in full-time appointment immediately prior to the year of nomination.