College launches interdisciplinary I-CELTIC research institute

In mid-January the College announced the creation of a new research institute Interdisciplinary Center for Leadership, Technology Integration, and Critical Literacies (I-CELTIC)an official collaboration with FSUs highly successful Learning Systems Institute (LSI), as the tenth center under its umbrella, and with the FSU College of Education (COE).

I-CELTIC Staff Photo

COLLABORATORS. A meeting of I-CELTIC affiliates.
Left to right, CI faculty Nancy Everhart and Eliza Dresang, CI doctoral students Namheui Go and Kyungwon Koh, and Learning Systems Institute director Laura Lang and associate director Rabieh Razzouk. The institute will model innovative leadership practices for educators and students.

“The idea is to model and encourage innovative leadership practices for educators and students,” said Dr. Eliza T. Dresang, founding director of I-CELTIC. “We want to bring school libraries to the table with all other disciplines that have similar interests.”

The initiative started two years ago with a daylong kick-off conference of representatives from the College, the COE, and LSI. College of Information faculty Drs. Dresang, Nancy Everhart and Wayne Wiegand, and COE/LSI faculty Dr. Mike Spector have been instrumental in bringing the center to fruition.

In the fall of 2006, a panel of six experts from established interdisciplinary centers in universities around the US came to FSU to offer advice on developing the center, supported by funding from an interdisciplinary grant from the FSU Council on Research and Creativity. Dr. Dale Lick, former President of FSU, facilitated the meeting and assisted in the development of the vision and mission for the center.

I-CELTIC is funded by a five-year grant from the FSU Office of Research, supplemented by the College of Information. Dean Larry Dennis (CI), Director Laura Lang (LSI), and Dean Marcy Driscoll (COE) are all committed to the success of the center, which will be housed in a facility in the Louis Shores Building upon completion of renovations. Drs. Everhart and Spector have been named associate directors of I-CELTIC and will be initial faculty affiliates along with CI faculty members Dr. Dresang, Dr. Wiegand, Dr. Kathy Burnett and Dr. Lisa Tripp. Dr. Bowie Kotrla will assist with research design and statistical analyses when supported by grant funding and college priorities. Additional CI, COE, LSI faculty and faculty from other areas are expected to affiliate

Two-semester affiliate fellowships have been awarded to CI doctoral students Kyungwon Koh and Namheui Go, who will participate in I-CELTIC research collaborations and activities. Additional CI doctoral students affiliated with I-CELTIC include Daniella Smith, Annette Goldsmith, Colette Drouillard, and Aaron Elkins. The institute will perform its initial study on how the leadership role of school library media specialists affects technological integration in schools. To do so, a follow-up to the Project LEAD program is planned.

Project LEAD (Leaders Educated to Make a Difference) is a $1.3 million Institute of Museum and Library Services project developed at the College to prepare school library media specialists for leadership positions. The program includes a two-and-a-half-year fellowship given to 30 Florida teacher leaders to complete an online masters degree at the College, obtain Florida certification as school library media specialists, and obtain a Leadership certificate.

The I-CELTIC research study, for which funding from IMLS has been requested, will follow the Project LEAD graduate teachers in their first year as school library media specialists to see the affect of the program on their skills as leaders and on their practice as teachers.