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Bridging Knowledge: Supporting Indigenous Scholars into the Field of Librarianship

An IMLS grant funded project that will provide funding for 15 American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian graduate students to earn MLIS degrees in partnership with San Jose State University.

Bridging Knowledge Mentoring Program

The purpose of the Bridging Knowledge (BK) Mentoring Program is to provide an atmosphere in which students might grow close through information with mentors who are currently working in the field so that both might benefit from the exchange of information and experience.


  • Facilitate connection and trust
  • Build confidence
  • Support Indigenous librarianship
  • Balance personal life with professional work and expectations
  • Build a professional network
  • Develop leadership skills

Mentoring Program Contacts, Committee & Mentors

Contact Mentoring Committee Chair Linda Wynne ( and Co-Director Valarie Kingsland ( if you have any questions. We support both mentors and mentees in making a meaningful connection, but we recognize that life can be complicated, even in ordinary times, some things are out of our control, and sometimes things don’t work out.  Please reach out if you need anything!

Academic Advice Contacts

SJSU Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Michele Villagran
SJSU Student Outreach Specialist: Sheila Gurtu - eAdvising Tools, Policies, SJSU Resources
SJSU Student Support Specialist: Taryn Reiner - Support Resources, Academic Probation Advising

Mentoring Committee

We thank the Mentoring Committee for their time and feedback on the design of the Mentoring Program, documents, and presentations.  They prove the adage that we're better together than alone! 

  • Linda Wynne, Knowledge River Alumni - Mentoring Committee Chair
  • Valarie Kingsland, SJSU & CoL Alumni  - Co-Director
  • Eliviria M. Aquino, SJSU & CoL Alumni
  • Susan Gehr, SJSU & CoL Alumni
  • George Gottschalk, Illinois
  • Dr. Vanessa Irvin, Hawaiʻi
  • Merida Kipp, SJSU & CoL Alumni
  • Amy Moore, SJSU & CoL Alumni
  • Jonna Paden, SJSU & CoL Alumni
  • Gena Peone, SJSU & CoL Alumni
  • Rayette Sterling, SUSU Alumni


We also thank the mentors who give their time and experience to the Bridging Knowledge Program.  We couldn’t do this without you!

  • Naomi Bishop, Arizona
  • Susan Gehr, SJSU & CoL Alumni, California
  • Dr. Vanessa Irvin, Hawaiʻi
  • Merida Kipp, SJSU & CoL Alumni, Washington
  • Aaron LaFromboise, Montana
  • Jonas Lamb, Alaska
  • Dr. Sandy Littletree, Washington
  • Diane Mokuau, Hawaiʻi
  • Amy Moore, SJSU & CoL Alumni, Maine
  • Jonna Paden, SJSU & CoL Alumni, New Mexico
  • Gena Peone, SJSU & CoL Alumni, Washington
  • Kapena Shim, Hawaiʻi
  • Rayette Sterling, SJSU Alumni, Alaska
  • Dr. Michele Villagran, SJSU iSchool Faculty, California