Best boss in 14 states

Karlene Clark named Midwest Student Employee Supervisor of the Year

Karlene Clark.

Karlene Clark, a librarian at the Chester Fritz Library, has been named both the Midwest and UND Student Employment Supervisor of the Year.

In 2016, Clark was also named UND Student Employment Supervisor of the Year as well as North Dakota Student Supervisor of the Year.

She was recognized for preparing students not just for their current role, but also for their future careers via a strong focus on developing professional skills.

“I think much of it is because of the amazing student training program that Karlene created,” said Stephanie Walker, dean of libraries. “Prospective employers have gushed over how well-prepared her students are. She has shared her program across UND and presented at conferences.  She was also approached by supervisors from libraries in several other states to share her program, which she did.”

Walker continued: “She’s also written and published articles and book chapters about this. The first is available for download from our UND Scholarly Commons and was published in the Journal of Access Services.  It’s a huge service to the academic library community, and can be adapted to any student environment. She’s now working with University IT; her comprehensive program is being used to cross-train students between the Library and UIT.  She’s also worked with Holly Gabriel and Kristen Borysewicz to create our Peer Research Consultants program, and there’s a poster presentation about that in the Commons as well.

“What I do is only a success because of the amazing students I work with,” Clark said. “Having reinforcement and encouragement across all staff, librarians, and administration helps in modeling the excellence and high standards I hold the students and myself to. I don’t lead because I have to; I lead because the students let me.”

Nominations are judged based on examples of mentoring abilities, as well as the supervisor’s professionalism and leadership skills. Nominators cited the impact of her mentorship and dedication to the success of UND’s students and the library.

Clark, who earned her master’s degree in Library & Information Science from San Jose State University, has been with UND for 19 years. She is part of a team that trains UND undergraduates to provide peer mentoring in library skills to other undergraduates.

The Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators, which made the award, is made up of 14 states. The awards were established to recognize the impact student employee supervisors have on the development of students and community.