Champion Spotlight: Charlotte Roh

charlotte roh photo Molly MageeLet me start with something that should have been obvious: After almost ten years in New York City, I was not prepared for the reality of small town college life in the Midwest. It was far more isolating and othering than anticipated. So I reached out to the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association’s list-serv contact, Charlene Hsu Gross, who in turn put me in touch with Michelle Baildon. “Why don’t you apply to the Spectrum Scholarship program,” she said, “They have a really good reputation for building community, the alumni network is really great.”

I submitted my application that day (the due date!) and I can say without question that without the Spectrum Scholarship, I would not have made it through with my MLIS.

First, very practically, the Spectrum Scholarship helped pay for library school through a matching tuition program with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. That's a big deal!

Second, it's been an amazing professional and personal community - wherever I go in the country, even if I'm one of only a few people of color at my institution, I know I can reach out to fellow Spectrum Scholars for support. People have been incredibly generous with their time, connections, and advice.

Now that I’ve been a librarian for almost five years, I’m so grateful to be in a position to be generous as well. I always make it an effort to go to Spectrum events at conferences, because this is a family that just keeps growing. I want to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished and make sure that people know that we’re here, to support each other.

Charlotte Roh is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit university with a social justice mission. She received her bachelor’s degree in English and art history from Johns Hopkins University, her master’s in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign School of Information Sciences, and completed a scholarly communications residency with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her background is in academic publishing with companies such as Taylor & Francis and Oxford University Press, and she continues to edit freelance. Charlotte works at the intersection of scholarly communications and social justice, and has published on diversity and representation in scholarly publishing.

Charlotte is a Spectrum Champion! She has graciously volunteered to serve as a Cohort Champion working on outreach to the 2008-2009 Class of Spectrum Scholars. If you are a Scholar from this year please consider emailing Charlotte to learn more about how you can help support Spectrum’s 20th Anniversary: A Celebration of Community. Cohort Champions have also committed to organizing a networking event in their region, activism, and fundraising efforts.

Photo Credit: Molly Magee