Management and Research Teams
Ross Todd is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Information and Director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, United States. His primary teaching and research interests focus on adolescent information seeking and use. The research includes: understanding how children learn and build new knowledge from information; how school librarians and classroom teachers can more effectively empower student learning; and how the development of information and critical literacies through guided inquiry and constructivist learning approaches lead to deep knowledge and deep understanding.
Carol Gordon is Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Information and Co-Director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, United States. She has been a library media specialist in public and private schools, including elementary, middle and high school grades, in the United States and in Europe. Her consulting has taken her to Asia, Africa, and South America where she has worked with schools on curriculum, instruction, school libraries, technology, and literacy. Before her appointment at Rutgers, she was Head of the Education Library at Boston University. Dr. Gordon’s research interests include adolescent information behavior, the information-to-knowledge connection, and 21st century literacy and transliteracy
Research Consultant / Professor Emerita
Carol Collier Kuhlthau is Professor Emerita of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University where she directed the graduate program in school librarianship that is rated number on in the country by U.S. News & World Report. She was founding Director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) where she continues to serve as senior advisor. Carol is internationally known for her groundbreaking research on the information search process of students and for the ISP model of stages of learning from a variety of sources of information that is the foundation for Guided Inquiry. She has received numerous awards, including the AASL Distinguished Service Award, and is a frequent keynote speaker, lecturer and seminar leader. Carol has authored numerous articles and books, including Seeking Meaning: a Process Approach to Library and Information Services and Teaching the Library Research Process and has co-authored Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century with Leslie Maniotes and Ann Caspari and Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework for Inquiry in Your School.
Chair of Management Team
Connie Paul serves as the Chair of the Management Team. She was a high school librarian for many years before becoming the Executive Director of the Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative for 13 years until it closed in 2010. She holds an MLIS degree from Rutgers and an MA from University of Central MO, and she completed the coursework for a PhD at SCI. Much of her professional career has focused on leadership training and mentoring, and she co-founded ALA’s Emerging Leaders program with ALA President-Elect Maureen Sullivan. Awards include NJLA’s Librarian of the Year, NJASL’s President’s Award and ALA ASCLA’s Leadership Award. Currently she coordinates Rutgers SCI’s field experience program and is assisting ALA President-Elect Maureen Sullivan.
Chair of Advisory Board
Claudia Gentner has served as Chair of the CiSSL Advisory Board for several years. She was graduated in 1979 from Rutgers with an MLS in Information Science and embarked on a business career. She spent 20 years in human resources consulting, developing a reputation for innovation and creativity, first as co-founder of Seagate Associates, an outplacement firm, then as CIO and member of the Executive of Lee Hecht Harrison, a $250 million global career services firm. In this role, she conceived, launched, and championed new businesses that transformed the industry. She also owned Kannon Communications, a reseller of communication and collaboration systems primarily used by schools. She currently consults with mission-driven organizations on a variety of information, publishing, and collaboration projects, and does pro-bono job search facilitation and nonprofit fundraising.
Liaison to the School Community
Pam Chesky serves as the Liaison to the School Community. She was a social studies teacher and a high school librarian in the Woodbridge Township School district for many years before becoming the Supervisor of Libraries, Technology, Art, and Supplemental Education for 13 years until she retired in 2005. She holds a BA degree from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland (currently Notre Dame of Maryland University,) a MLS degree from Rutgers and supervisory certification from Jersey City University. While a supervisor in Woodbridge, she was instrumental in moving technology into the classrooms, libraries and guidance offices within that school district; working closely with one of the first municipal/school district partnerships in the State of New Jersey. Much of her professional career has focused on centering the school library at the hub of the school. She has facilitated and presented many workshops at NJASL, AASL, ALA, NJEA, NJSBA and NJSAA, addressing the role of the school librarian and the school library in educating today’s students. She has served as President of NJASL, Chairperson and/or member of various AASL committees. Awards include NJASL Administrator of the Year, the NJASL President’s Award, and selection to Who’s Who among American Woman. Currently she is retired from public education and is serving on the CISSL Management Team.
Chair of Friends
Elspeth Goodin serves as the Chair of the Friends group of CiSSL. She was the librarian at Kittatinny Regional High School in Newton, New Jersey for a number of years, and also during this time, an adjunct professor at Rutgers SCILS. She then became principal librarian and young adult services coordinator for the Sussex County Library System for nine years before retiring. She holds a BA and MA from Newark State College, a Sixth-Year Specialist’s Certificate in School Library Administration and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Studies from Rutgers University. She is a past-president of NJASL, and has been appointed to serve on numerous committees, including the New Jersey Task Force on Academic Library Standards, the AASL National Task Force on Information Skills, the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement for Library Career Training, and the New Jersey State Board of Examiners for Teacher and Administrator Preparation and Certification.
Mary Jane McNally
Ph.D. – Research Associate
Mary Jane McNally has been associated with CiSSL from its earliest days. Currently, she is Chair of Professional Development and organizing the Second Residential CiSSL Institute on Guided Inquiry. She holds both an M.L.S. and Ph.D. in Library and Information Studies from Rutgers. Over the years, she has enjoyed being a School Library Media Specialist at all levels K-12 and is now Director of the Library Media Center at Ridge High School, Basking Ridge, NJ. For the past seven years, she has coordinated the Field Experience Program at Rutgers for MLIS students pursuing the School Library Media area of specialization. Mary Jane serves on the State Board of Examiners at the New Jersey State Department of Education Office of Licensure and Credentials. She has been active in and chaired numerous committees for both AASL and NJASL and served as President of NJASL. She has received the NJASL President’s Award, the NJASL Outstanding Media Specialist Award, and has been selected Ridge High School’s Teacher of the Year.
Ph.D. – Faculty Researcher
Ph.D. – Faculty Researcher
Rebecca Reynolds’ work investigates social constructivist human learning in naturalistic online participatory settings including social media environments and MOOCs. She also considers instructional technology design to meet specific educational goals and objectives e.g., in schools. Rebecca explores how system design affordances can support and constrain knowledge-building, sharing and meaning-making, at individual and group levels. She conducts work in a range of knowledge domains, including computer science education, digital literacy, and game design and is starting some new work in the area of learning within spiritual / health / lifestyle practice communities such as yoga, mindfulness, meditation and ‘new shamanism.’ With colleagues, she is launching a lab to elicit design principles for e-learning, based on systematic comparison of research findings within and across varying content areas, contexts and user groups.