The Mindfulness Sessions in the morning are only available for in-person Fall Forum attendees. The afternoon programming will be delivered in-person and on Zoom. Zoom information will be shared with registered attendees.
All times listed are eastern daylight time (EDT).
Wednesday, October 19
Our partners at EBSCO Information Services will host a reception for in-person attendees of the Fall Forum.
Thursday, October 20
Mindfulness Session 1: Fostering Community Health and Well-Being: Developing a Mindfulness Program, Meditation Space, and Employee Collective at the University of Miami Libraries
Attendees will learn from a founding member about the inspiration for and development of the Mindfulness Program and practice collective at the University of Miami Libraries, how it is integrated into the library, and its relationship in collaboration with other faculty members and departments at the university. This session will cover how the program works in practice, how employees join or access the program, and how it is managed. Attendees will learn about the program’s benefits for participants and the resources needed to deliver and sustain the program.
Kelly Miller, Associate Dean, Learning and Research Services, University of Miami Libraries
Kelly E. Miller is a certified mindfulness meditation teacher and associate dean of Learning and Research Services at the University of Miami Libraries, where she has developed a mindfulness program in partnership with the University of Miami School of Law’s Mindfulness in Law Program. A graduate of the Leading Change Institute and a former Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow, she has also worked at UCLA Library and University of Virginia Library. Her writing about libraries has been published in EDUCAUSE Review, portal: Libraries and the Academy, Urban Library Journal, Archive Journal, and others, and she has presented on library projects at such conferences as the International Association of University Libraries, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, and Designing Libraries. She earned a PhD and MA in Slavic languages and literatures at the University of Michigan, and a BA in Russian and English from Stetson University.
Mindfulness Session II: Experiential Mindfulness Practices for Library Leaders
Brief instruction and practice of several mindfulness exercises will be offered in real time to participants in this segment of the program. These short low-barrier exercises offer an opportunity to personally experience and take away a few introductory mindfulness practices without extensive instruction or skill as a barrier to entry. This is meant simply as an introduction to the mental health benefits of this work in support of mindfulness and self-care. Information on where and how to learn more, including where to look for mindfulness practice leaders in your area, will be available.
Kelly Miller, Associate Dean, Learning and Research Services, University of Miami Libraries
11:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Welcome and Land Acknowledgment
Julia C. Blixrud Keynote Speech
Professor Ono will speak about how university life is not always “just a walk in the park.” Students, faculty, and staff all have their own unique mental health struggles, and isolation during the active period of the COVID pandemic introduced added stress that has worsened these pressures. In this presentation, he will share how his own experience facing mental health challenges as a student and a young academic led him to speak up in an effort to break the stigma and shame around mental health issues. That stigma has been one of the most significant barriers that keeps people from getting help. Professor Ono will speak about his efforts as a university president to create programs and devote significant resources to provide that help. He also emphasizes the importance of universities’ focus on equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism as a formidable and essential strength in supporting the mental health of our university communities. Calling on all of us to help break down the stigma of mental illness, Professor Ono offers a persuasive message of hope, and sets the stage for the following speakers to share their work and experience.
Santa Ono, President, University of Michigan
Santa Ono is the 15th president of the University of Michigan, as of October 2022, and recently completed his term as the 15th president & vice-chancellor of The University of British Columbia. He serves as leader of the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) and as chair of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities. A molecular immunologist, Ono has taught at Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, and University College London. He holds honorary doctorates from Chiba University and the Vancouver School of Theology and is a recipient of the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council on Education. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Mental Health and the Community: New York Public Library Lessons Learned
Engage on the “why,” “what,” and lessons learned from the New York Public Library’s (NYPL) initiatives in the societal context of mental health crises. NYPL human resources leadership will share how NYPL supported and continues to learn how to support its staff through wellness, self-care, and skills development.
Terry Neal, Vice President of Human Resources, New York Public Library
Terrance “Terry” Neal was appointed Vice President of Human Resources in October 2018. Neal has been tasked with championing, collaborating, and innovating on a broad range of Human Resources disciplines, including talent acquisition, employee relations, labor relations, performance management, compensation management, employee engagement, learning, benefits and wellness management, and information systems. He works closely with leaders on aligning the Library’s strategy of More People Reading More Working Together to the HR vision and ensuring this alignment extends to all aspects of people management.
Neal began his journey at the Library in March 1994 as a page in the Human Resources Department. Since that time, he has progressed through the ranks serving as a labor relations assistant, human resources associate, senior human resources manager, and director of employee/labor relations and talent acquisition. Throughout his career, Neal has had the opportunity to grow, learn, and refine his craft as a respected, knowledgeable, and trusted HR professional. He has successfully negotiated numerous union contracts, counseled all levels of staff on countless HR matters, developed a solid team of HR business partners and talent acquisition partners, and most recently created and launched the popular Dialogue on Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Identity series.
Neal is also an Adjunct Professor at his alma mater—Baruch College, where he earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Executive Masters in Industrial Labor Relations/Human Resources. Lastly, he is an active mentor with the National Association for African Americans in Human Resources.
Mental Health and Students
Students’ mental health support and resource needs have emerged as a significant issue in recent years, and this has only grown more acute with the COVID-19 pandemic. What mental health stressors do students experience, and how has this become a significant challenge for schools, colleges, and universities? How can this affect students’ personal and academic success? What role do libraries and librarians play in helping students through mental health challenges? This session will provide perspective from a professor who educates counselors and who is also a practitioner experienced in working with diverse clients across a mental health continuum, in a variety of settings. Participants will take away information and useful tools for contributing to support students’ mental health.
Caroline Brackette, Associate Professor of Counseling at Mercer University
Caroline Brackette is a licensed professional counselor and associate professor of counseling at Mercer University. She earned her doctor of philosophy in counselor education and supervision, master of education in counseling, bachelor of arts in psychology, and bachelor of arts in communication with a concentration in broadcast journalism, all from the University of Toledo. She completed a diversity and inclusion certificate from Cornell University. Brackette has clinical experience working with a diverse population of clients across the mental health continuum and in a variety of clinical settings. She specializes in the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy with her clients. Her teaching and research include a focus on mental health and wellness. She has published and presented nationally, regionally, and internationally on her scholarship. She has been interviewed by NPR, the Washington Post, Newsy, and NBC News on aspects of mental health.
Brackette is a Fulbright Specialist Roster Candidate (2017–2022) and founding member and past-president of the American Counseling Association of Georgia (ACA of GA). She currently serves on the United Way North Fulton County Advisory Board in the state of Georgia where she is the team lead for mental health projects.
Mental Health and Equity-Deserving Groups
This session will cover how our disrupted environment—which includes the effects of the pandemic, the need to address and advance social justice, as well as the broader impact of public perception of higher education—has negatively impacted senior higher education leaders and ways that leaders can address their own well-being and that of their teams. Speakers will also examine mental health from an Indigenous point of view, including the four domains of person, and address how terms like “mental health” and “equity-deserving groups”—while simple on the surface—are layered and complex. Moving beyond ticking boxes, participants will take away fresh perspectives and learn useful strategies to advance mental health initiatives for equity-deserving groups.
Margaret Moss, Professor and Director, First Nations House of Learning, The University of British Columbia
Margaret P. Moss, Hidatsa/Dakhóta is director of the First Nations House of Learning at The University of British Columbia and a professor in the Faculty of Applied Science in the School of Nursing. She is the only American Indian to hold both nursing & juris doctorates and has published an award winning, first-ever nursing textbook, American Indian Health and Nursing (2015), and a second text, Health Equity and Nursing (2020), both from Springer Publishing. She was elected to the American Academy of Nursing Board of Directors (2021) and was appointed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice (2021). She is a committee member for a NASEM study—Review of Federal Policies that Contribute to Racial and Ethnic Health Inequities. Due to her work she was nominated to the inaugural Forbes “50 over 50 Impact List” (2021).
Melissa Woo, Executive Vice President for Administration and CIO, Michigan State University
Melissa Woo is the executive vice president for administration at Michigan State University (MSU), providing leadership for enterprise-wide administrative services, including university facilities, human resources, procurement, sustainability, and information technology. Additionally, Woo serves as MSU’s chief information officer, and president of the MSU Foundation.
Woo has held IT leadership roles at Stony Brook University, University of Oregon, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned her PhD in biophysics. She received her bachelor’s degree in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley.
In 2019, Woo won the inaugural EDUCAUSE DEI Leadership Award for her actions leading to improved diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the higher education IT community, as well as the 2012 EDUCAUSE Rising Star Award, recognizing her as an emerging leader in higher education IT. She is actively engaged with higher education professional organizations and is passionate in her support of aspiring leaders from diverse backgrounds.
Mental Health and the Workplace
Academic and research libraries are workplaces in every sense of the word. They are subject to the strains, difficult interactions, and challenges to mental health that impact organizations across many fields, but also present some unique issues. This panel of librarians and managers will present perspectives on the importance of understanding staff needs and look at tools and approaches to addressing mental health and well-being at work.
Max Bowman, Assistant Director for Public Services, Colby College Libraries
Max Bowman is the assistant director for Public Services at Colby College Libraries. In this role they lead a great group of Public Services colleagues who are responsible for essential library services, including staffing service points, stacks maintenance, and resource sharing. After 17 years as a library staff member, Bowman earned their MLS, and has sought out positions that offered opportunities to lead, particularly in areas where labor is consistently devalued. Their research and general interests include knowledge sharing, peer support, staff morale, resource sharing, and celebrating their colleagues.
Nicollette Davis, Assistant Librarian, Louisiana State University
Nicollette M. Davis (she/her) is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is an assistant librarian at Louisiana State University. She spent several years working in public libraries as a supervising Reference librarian and Circulation head. Her interests include critical librarianship, BIPOC community building, community engagement, and person-centered practices in LIS.
Siân Evans, Information Literacy & Instructional Design Librarian, Maryland Institute College of Art
Siân Evans is a Baltimore-based writer and the information literacy and instructional design librarian at Maryland Institute College of Art. Her writing can be found in edited volumes from MIT Press and Litwin Press, as well as journals such as Art Documentation and Vol. 1 Brooklyn. She is the co-founder of Art+Feminism, a global campaign committed to closing information gaps related to gender, feminism, and the arts, beginning with Wikipedia. This work has been covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ARTnews, and more.