22 May Imagine U Speaking at Ted X Salt Lake City, Receiving Multiple Scholarships, and Traveling the World
The J. Willard Marriott Library staff & faculty work with incredible U of U students every day. One student that librarians & library staff worked with was Elizabeth Gamarra. She pursued her Bachelor in Social Work at the age of 17 and completed her Masters degree at the age of 19.
Elizabeth first started working with librarians when she was taking a class with the West Side Leadership Institute, where she got to meet Alfred Mowdood, a librarian that inspired, empowered and assisted her in creating a hub for publishing opportunities geared towards students of color on campus. In that class, she went on an extensive tour of the library and learned how to use library databases. Over the years, Elizabeth has used library resources to do many things. Elizabeth has used our Knowledge Commons desk, study spaces, and asked & received library assistance. She states, “the library is the epitome of the Ripple Effect. It is composed of driven, leadership-oriented librarians like Alfred that never seem to underestimate the pivotal importance of accessing information, and the impact a small act of kindness may hold along the way.” Furthermore, calls on students to use such resources to the fullest.
In 2017, Elizabeth was awarded the Fulbright scholarship. She was one of “two of 1,900 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research and provide expertise abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.” (source) Elizabeth taught writing skills and a human rights course at IE University located in Madrid and Segovia. She echo’s Fulbright’s words when he says that “the essence of intercultural education is the acquisition of empathy – the ability to see the world as others see it, and to allow for the possibility that others may see something that we have failed to see or see it more accurately.”
“After graduation, Elizabeth has only continued to excel. Elizabeth is went on a Fulbright Grant in Spain. She also gave a TEDx talk in Salt Lake City titled “Human Mobility: A Uniting Journey of Perspectives” where she ‘challenges us to re-think how we treat immigrants and refugees.’ Elizabeth is also the recipient of one of fifty worldwide Rotary International Peace Fellow sponsorships for a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution. This award will cover tuition, room & board, and language instruction at International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan.” (source). Elizabeth will begin her studies this Fall and continue developing her leadership skills towards becoming a catalyst for peace and conflict prevention and resolution.
Over winter, Elizabeth stopped by the library to say thank you & acknowledge the support that she’s received. Furthermore, she encourages all students from all types of backgrounds to take advantage of the countless opportunities at the library. She states, “the library is more than just a pokestop but a true hub of knowledge, information and long lasting mentors.”