University Libraries’ Staff Honored at Annual Recognition Ceremony

The University Libraries’ annual Staff Recognition Ceremony was held on May 4, 2023. At this ceremony seven library staff were honored for years of service and two were selected for the Libraries’ annual Staff Achievement and Recognition (StAR) Award. The StAR award is a peer recognition program designed to honor excellence among library staff through individual awards. The Friends of the Libraries provide financial support for the awards.

Library Staff Years of Service Awards – 30 Years

Karen Wilhoit, University Librarian

Image of Karen Wilhoit
Karen Wilhoit, University Librarian

Karen Wilhoit came to Wright State in March 1992. Before coming here she had worked at the Music Library at the University of Louisville; the Indiana State Library; and the Law Library at the University of Dayton. She began here as head of the department then known as Bibliographic Control. Later in the 1990s her department absorbed the Acquisitions functions and she became Head of Technical Services. In 2004 she was promoted to Associate University Librarian for Collections and Technical Services. In 2004 she was promoted to Associate University Librarian for Collections and Technical Services, and in 2021 was named University Librarian.

She has been an outstanding mentor, supporter, advocate, and friend to her colleagues. There are many admirable qualities in Karen. One mentioned in particular is that she never wastes a conference presentation. No matter what the session, Karen will find something instructive to take away from it. That’s a real gift!

Karen exemplifies what a webinar promotion recently described as quiet leadership. She doesn’t make big splashes or flex her status, but she is an eloquent and powerful advocate for the Libraries on campus. She continues to work hard to effectively serve the Libraries’ staff and the campus as a whole.

Congratulations to Karen on her 30 years of service to Wright State.

Marty Jenkins, Head of Content Acquisitions and Management

Image of Marty Jenkins
Marty Jenkins, Head of Content & Acquisitions Management

Marty is the head of the Libraries’ Content Acquisitions and Management Department which is responsible for purchasing and making available all of the materials (both print and online) in the Libraries’ collections. If you check out a book, look at a newspaper, search a database, watch a video or download a journal article, Marty has played a part in getting that material to you. Marty came to the Libraries in 1992 as the music librarian and has served as Electronic Resources Librarian and Humanities Team Leader before assuming his current role. He has continued to maintain his close ties to music, both by selecting music materials for the collection and by professional affiliation with the Music Library Association. As a long-term member and current chair of OhioLINK’s Database Improvement and Discoverability Policy Team, Marty’s expertise is shared with academic libraries throughout the state of Ohio.

Thank you, Marty for your 30 years of service to the Libraries, the University and OhioLINK.

Library Staff Years of Service Awards – 25 Years

Leigh Duncan, Head of Library Technology Services

Leigh Duncan, Head of Library Technology Services

As the Head of Library Technology Services, Leigh’s work enables everyone in the library to do their jobs. Leigh is collaborative and forward-thinking. She is persistent and patient. The term “team player” gets used a lot but Leigh truly embodies that ideal. There are countless examples of Leigh pitching in to help, or suggesting a solution to a problem, or just letting her colleagues know she’s available for whatever was needed. With all of the work on her plate, Leigh is incredibly good at prioritizing and adapting.

Leigh has a great sense of humor, is supportive, and is a wonderful person to be around. Leigh, thank you for 25 years of making the library a great place to be.

Brian Olesko, Psychology and Social Sciences Librarian

Psychology & Social Sciences Librarian

Brian is the Psychology and Social Sciences librarian. Colleagues comment on his patience and generosity. In addition to his liaison, instruction, and collection responsibilities, Brian is an active member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which includes conducting literature reviews for best or humane practices and participating in or writing up site reviews.

Brian can often be found working with students individually in the group study room or appointment station, guiding them through the research process. Those around him have described his remarkable ability to give students space and to think through complex research problems, gently guiding them through the process of learning to do research.

Brian, thank you for your 25 years of expertise and service to the Wright State Community.

Edward Trentman, Library Associate

Ed Trentman
Ed Trentman, Library Associate

Ed is our billing specialist, and a vital member of our night and weekend staff. He often goes well beyond basic customer service to spend sometimes up to an hour helping a single student get what they need. Over the years, Ed has been involved with the centralization of library holdings as well as library staff. He was one of the first staff members back in the building during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ed has been a reliable presence, a connection to the tried-and-true ways of providing services in RDS, and a willing partner in adjusting to the new normals. Those around him appreciate Ed’s collaboration on countless projects from shifting physical materials, to collecting data for reports, and partnering with Special Collections and Archives on accessibility. 

Congratulations to Ed on 25 years!

Library Staff Years of Service Awards – 15 Years

Barbara Conklin, Office Assistant

Image of Barb Conklin
Barb Conklin, Office Assistant

Barb is the first face to greet visitors to the Libraries Administration Office and she always does so with her smiling face and professional demeanor. She is a vital part of keeping the office and the Libraries as a whole operating efficiently. Barb oversees our student employment processes by posting vacancies, working with students to ensure all paperwork is completed and processed correctly, and working with student supervisors on their student employees start dates. She also keeps the supervisors informed on work study status and works with them on all aspects of student employment.

She also keeps the Libraries in supplies. Placing and distributing orders and researching for the best deal for the Libraries.

Barb has served on the Libraries Social Committee since its inception. She has been the Chair of the committee for many years and has worked with the committee to provide fun activities for staff to participate in, i.e. Dragons games, staff game nights, Cinco De Mayo celebrations, Pi Day, and so much more!

Thank you, Barb for your 15 years of service to the Libraries and your commitment to Wright State University.

Library Staff Years of Service Awards – 10 Years

Lisa Rickey, Archivist and Collections Manager

Image of Lisa Rickey
Lisa Rickey, Archivist and Collections Manager

Congratulations to Lisa Rickey on 10 years at Wright State.  Lisa serves as an archivist and collections manager for Special Collections and Archives. In this role, she has many responsibilities including social media manager, working with donors, processing collections, answering reference requests, helping to manage our e-archives and ArchivesSpace, and so much more.  Lisa is also an excellent project manager guiding student workers, graduate interns, and staff on projects. Lisa has served her profession well by being on the Society of Ohio Archivist Council, Chair of the Miami Valley Archives Roundtable, and a member of the Society of American Archivists Committees.  She has also written a number of articles and book chapters and has presented at conferences. Lisa also serves as an adjunct professor for the Public History Program teaching Archival Arrangement and Description guiding many current and future archivists. Lisa is truly an asset to Special Collections and Archives, the Libraries, and Wright State University. 

2023 StAR Award Recipients

Donna Bobb, Administrative Specialist

Image of Karen Wilhoit and Donna Bobb
Karen Wilhoit and Donna Bobb

After working in our Administration office for many years, Donna Bobb transitioned to the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room when they reopened with new hours and an appointment-based schedule. Donna’s stellar organization provides continuity at the Reading Room desk and gives patrons a consistently positive experience. She’s worked hard to learn the ins-and-outs of a new department and quickly made herself indispensable. In addition, Donna readily assists with special projects and helps student assistants learn how to manage tasks at the desk. Donna is the perfect fit for Special Collections and Archives and she is deserving of a StAR Award.

Phil Flynn, Engineering, and Science and Mathematics Librarian

Image of Karen Wilhoit and Phil Flynn
Karen Wilhoit and Phil Flynn

Phil always goes out of his way to help Wright State students, faculty, and staff as well as his library colleagues. Since the subject reorganization in Instruction & Research Services, he is responsible for many of the disciplines for the College of Science and Math, in addition to continuing his duties for the entire College of Engineering and Computer Science.  Despite the major demands on his time, he never fails to take more time to make his already excellent teaching even better.  He consistently develops new activities to develop his students’ information literacy skills.  Chemistry is just one example. In the CHM 3190 course, the librarian teaches numerous topics and creates and grades all of the library and information literacy assignments. To name a couple of the many ways Phil worked to engage these students in his very first time co-teaching the course:  He designed a citation relay to help students develop familiarity with ACS style. He also developed a lesson in which he used the East Palestine disaster as a topic.  Phil has repeatedly taken it upon himself to meet with walk-in students who expect immediate help from a librarian. These have included students in general education courses and engineering students who are at a loss about how to format their thesis.  Not only is he extremely generous with library users, but he is equally generous about sharing his time and expertise with his colleagues.  Many have benefitted from his answers to the “quick questions” from colleagues over our cubicles, but he is also ready to go beyond a quick answer if he can help anyone with questions about GOBI, Excel, LibGuides, the website, Wright State or Dunbar Library history, etc. Despite his vast knowledge and skill, he always treats everyone with respect and never makes anyone feel badly for asking a question.  In summary, Phil is awesome!

Congratulations to all our award recipients and thank you to all our staff for their continued dedication and service to Wright State University and the University Libraries.