Dr. Abigail Phillips Accepted a Faculty Position at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Abigail Phillips, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences (ITLS) Department at Utah State, accepted a faculty position at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Dr. Abigain Phillips
Dr. Abigail Phillips

"The UW-Milwaukee, and the School of Information Studies in particular, will provide me many opportunities to become a better and more thoughtful scholar," Dr. Phillips explained. "As an instructor, I’m thrilled to teach future librarians who are a passionate about the field as I am."

Dr. Victor Lee, her postdoctoral supervisor, explained she will offer a lot to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: "Because Abby persists and works hard and brings a lot [to the table]."

Dr. Phillips felt her experience at Utah State was "challenging, demanding, exciting, and educational." She said, "My PhD and practitioner background is in library and information science. Jumping into a different (but related) area including learning sciences has helped expand my understanding of the work I do, critically evaluating my libraries and librarianship, and taken me into fascinating collaborations." She specifically felt working with Drs. Victor Lee, Mimi Recker, and Breanne Litts, as well as many other graduate students and colleagues, were especially helpful in preparing her for this new position.

"Abby is passionate about doing research that connects with practice, especially for librarians, and has community-wide impact," said Dr. Breanne Litts. "She is an incredibly thoughtful scholar and I am excited to see how she transforms the Milwaukee community through her work with their libraries."

Dr. Ilana Dubovi, another postdoctoral research fellow in the ITLS Department said, "I am grateful for her for opening up to me a new field of interest and introducing me the importance of librarianship in academic research."

Prior to entering the doctoral program at Florida State University, Dr. Phillips worked as a librarian in a small, rural public library system in Southwest Georgia. Her dissertation was titled, "The Empathetic Librarian: Rural Librarians as a Source of Support for Rural Cyberbullied Young Adults."

Most recently, Dr. Phillips and her colleague were awarded the 2018 Frances Henne Grant and she developed and was on a panel earlier this year called "Mental Heath Awareness and the Library Profession." Also, Dr. Phillips and Dr. Lee's forthcoming book, Reconceptualizing Libraries: Perspectives from the Information and Learning Sciences, will be published this August.

Dr. Phillips describes her main research goal as follows: "To produce research that is impactful, thoughtful, and socially justice-minded with practical applications for librarians." Her research interests include young adults, social media, cyberbullying, digital citizenship, libraries, and librarianship.


For those looking for faculty or research positions Dr. Phillips said, "In general, the interview and application process for faculty positions is grueling. I won’t lie." She advises to start the process as early as the Summer before being on the job market by writing teaching and research statements, writing draft cover letters, and asking for feedback from faculty. Through it all, she advises not to take rejection personally and "to take care of your physical and mental health" during the process.

You can learn more about Dr. Phillips on her website or on her ITLS staff biography page.


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