2013-2014 Luce Scholar
Gennie Gebhart, a Sacramento native and now a proud Seattleite, grew up exploring libraries. Gennie graduated from the University of Washington in June 2013 with a degree in International Studies and Economics. While her academic studies at the UW have focused on environmental economics and international energy politics, she is aiming to extend these fields of study into a career in information justice and international librarianship. The UW Libraries have opened countless doors for Gennie, and she owes her current informatics skills and aspirations to them. Having worked at the UW Libraries' Odegaard Undergraduate Library, the Northwest branch of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and the UW's Media Center (the main multimedia library), Gennie has had hands-on experience in what it takes to keep a university library running from day to day through everything from budget cuts to large-scale renovations. Gennie's introduction to the art and study of cinema at the Media Center has led to her current senior Honors thesis on Italian film, which she has been fortunate to undertake in Rome during winter quarter 2013. Her activities in Italy so far have included trips to Naples for Christmas and New Years with strangers-turned-family, trying to fix her apartment's water heater, and speaking as much Italian as possible. Gennie's greatest passion lies in the problem-solving and advocacy she has found as a student representative on the UW's Library Student Advisory Committee and Faculty Council on University Libraries. In these groups, terms like "open access," "information justice," and "digital commons" have taken on tangible and urgent meaning. Gennie hopes to enter the global open access debate armed with international experience, a multidisciplinary education, and constant mindfulness of the vital human side of digital information technology.
Gennie is hosted by the Central Library of the National University of Laos in Vientiane, working with Mr. Chancy Phuangsouheth, the director of the Library. The Central Library maintains a number of important international and national level collaborations. It is a member of the ASEAN University Network of Libraries Online, Electronic Information for Libraries, the Lao Library and Information Consortium (LALIC), and the Lao Library Association (LLA). Mr. Chancy serves as the president of LALIC as well as the vice president of the LLA.