Photo of Mark with awards

Written by on May 24, 2012

Jacks of all trades: Librarians awarded for outstanding partnership

Architecture Librarian, Jesse Vestermark and Business Librarian, Mark Bieraugel were awarded “Outstanding Faculty Partner” by the Living Learning Program and University Housing. Mark received an additional award of “Overall Faculty Scholar of the Year.” The awards were given based on the librarians’ involvement with their corresponding dorm to the college they serve, Sequoia Hall and Tenaya Hall, respectively.

Awarded for excellence
Photo of Jesse with awardWatercolor is what pooled around the heart of Jesse’s (right) accomplishment. He went into the dorms after work hours to run watercolor workshops for Sequoia residents and also ran an image-searching workshop for students to contribute to their academic success. “It’s about creating an opportunity for people to meet. I saw people shaking hands and meeting at the watercolor sessions, and they live in the same dorm!” Jesse said with a smile. He was nominated by Mike Johnson, a Resident Advisor in Sequoia. Mike expressed that Jesse’s work in the dorm will live on for first year students, helping them in their college livelihood and eventually their future careers.

Mark (top photo) was nominated by Arash Namvar, a Resident Advisor in Tenaya Hall. He nominated Mark for his positive impact on the Tenaya community since Mark initiated separate meetings with the Tenaya Coordinator of Student Development (CSD), Resident Advisors, and Hall Council to discuss how he could assist students best. It was because of his participation in the Hall’s leadership that led to his role in Tenaya’s “Silent Library” game. Mark played the part of the librarian, “shushing” students as they had to complete certain tasks silently. It was a blast for everyone and Mark was initiated into the Tenaya community. “My goal is for them to know me before they need me,” Mark explained.

Working and playing

Providing a non-academic workshop is important to Jesse because he wants to offer architecture students more opportunities to experiment with the visual arts. The “hang back time” is when students are most relaxed and can really learn. He said, “I learned by watching the department chairs working with students, how to make a warm feeling of community.”

Mark thinks that it’s important to hold events such as “Silent Library” in a non-academic setting because “you start seeing each other as human beings.” For Mark, it is really about making an effort to meet students where they are.

Looking forward

As the librarians reflect on the past year, they are also planning for what is to come next fall. Jesse wants to hold more watercolor workshops and maybe introduce other media, subject-matter or maybe even a mini field trip to the Cal Poly Arboretum, and keep in touch with those who took it as freshman.

Next year Mark wants to go beyond the freshman dorm and keep in contact with the students he formed relationships with this year. “I think it would be fun to do something like ‘cooking to impress your boss’… something like that.” He still wants to be in the freshman dorms and make connections with freshman, but he wants to see what other needs should be met, too. He is excited about next year and having a better understanding of incoming freshman, opposed to this last year where he was thrown head first into WOW week as a new member of the Cal Poly community. “My goal is to brand myself and say ‘This is who I am, and this is what I do’.”

Read more about Jesse’s watercolor workshops.
See Mark’s six hand-stitched colleges.

— Jordan Hooper

Read more on academic librarian, academic library, architecture librarian, business librarian, cal poly, dorms, interview, jesse vestermark, kennedy library, mark bieraugel, profile, san luis obispo, student life, and student success.

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