Current Students

Ryan Bankson

Ryan BankstonSan José State University

I’ve served with the Iowa Army National Guard for 10 years, and am a captain in the infantry . I’ve served one tour in Afghanistan in 2010-2011, during which I was an infantry platoon leader. I received my bachelor’s degree in political science in 2010 from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. I am currently working at the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque as a library assistant, and after obtaining my MLIS I hope to apply for a position as a librarian with the same institution.


Ryan Green

Ryan GreenSan José State University

I was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. After graduating high school in 2004 I went into the Air Force as an aerial gunner on the HH60G Combat Search and Rescue Pavehawk helicopter. I would later serve two tours in Iraq. In 2008, I started my college career at Santa Barbara City College, then received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of California, Davis.

Honors: Air Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters; Dean’s List, College of Letters & Science at UC Davis


Renea Ruark

Renea RuarkUniversity of Hawai’i at Mānoa

I served with the military for 8 years, Active duty Army in Air Defense Artillery, and left to raise my young son. I then spent 7 years in DOD Civilian service supporting logistics and finance here in Hawai’i. As I was serving and working full-time, I graduated from Hawai’i Pacific University with a Bachelor’s in Social Science, becoming the first in my family to earn a college degree! I hope to take my MLIS study into the field of education; I will be following up this degree with a post-bacc teaching certification program in SpEd teaching, and am currently completing my substitute teaching certification course in order to gain classroom experience in the meantime.


Lilla Faint

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

I had the honor of serving for a little over ten years as a military intelligence officer in the Army, but the strain of a dual military family became too much for us, so I left the service to focus on our family. Upon my separation I turned my attention to volunteering at my children’s schools, church, and the wider communities we lived in as we moved from post to post. While stationed in New York, I re-entered the workforce as an experiential leadership consultant for the Thayer Leadership Development Group at West Point, NY, and then subsequently entered the LIS program at UH when we re-located to Hawai’i. My ultimate goal in obtaining my LIS degree is to work as an archivist/librarian for the Department of Defense.

Heather Canfield

Heather CanfieldSan José State University

I had the honor of serving on active duty with the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2004 as an Engineer officer stationed with the 130th Engineer Brigade in Hanau, Germany. Prior to being in the Army, I completed a BS in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology. After separating from the Army I also earned a certificate in Early Childhood Montessori Education, and Masters of Education degrees in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and Special Education. I currently work in the Baron-Forness Library at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of librarianship especially in the realm of technology and putting all I’ve learned to work helping students as they navigate the incredible array of resources and information available to them.


Amberly Russell

Amberly Russell

The University of Texas at Austin

I served in the U.S. Army from 2000-2004 with the 1st Infantry Division as a military police officer. I have a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Literature with an emphasis on popular narratives regarding women in combat. My long-range career objectives are to start as a librarian, explore how my skillsets lead to a specialization within the profession, and ultimately become a library director.


Will Fregozo

Will Fregozo

San José State University

I proudly served in the U.S. Marines from 1999-2003 as a Machinegunner and Vehicle Commander in a C.A.A.T. Platoon (Combined Anti-Armor Team). After my time in the Marines, I worked as a DoD contractor in the Balkans in support of SFOR and KFOR operations. Upon returning stateside, I slowly went through the community college route while working full-time and eventually earned my B.A. in History from UCLA. My ultimate goal after obtaining my MLIS is to work in either an academic or public librarian position, hopefully in either the L.A. Public Library system or in a CSU/UC.


Ken Copelin

The University of Texas at Austin

I am a native of Austin, Texas where I graduated from high school in 2006. From 2007-2011 I served in the U.S. Army as a Combat Medic with a single tour in Iraq. After separating in 2011, I went to work full-time in International Logistics and began my collegiate career at Austin Community College studying Computer Science. Ultimately I graduated with honors from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a focus on Human Factors and Rhetoric. My long-term goal is to apply User Centered Research in the Educational and Healthcare fields.