MLIS Student Alvarez Tarver awarded Diversity Scholar by Association of Research Libraries

Alvarez Tarver, who is pursuing her MLIS degree through the School of Information, has been named a 2014-2016 Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workplace (IRDW) Diversity Scholar by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Tarver receives her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida this spring of 2015. Her doctoral dissertation, “A Latina Critical Race Study of Embodied ‘Nice’ White Supremacy in Teacher Education and Researcher Preparation,” examines how white racial identity and its supremacy create institutions that prioritize these needs. As a K-12 teacher, a PhD researcher who has observed many teachers in schools throughout the state of Florida, and a doctoral student in a teacher education program that prepares researchers to conduct educational research, Tarver became inspired to conduct research about white supremacy’s iteration in teaching education and research preparation. “I noted that white supremacy arises as the primary culprit of what plagues both problematic research projects and educational reforms in which communities of color are often re-marginalized under the auspices of ‘helping’. I further noted that the wound of white supremacy in bodies is hidden and, therefore, profound. I sought to understand the specific ways in which the contemporary landscape’s ‘colorblind’ form of racism materializes in people’s actions and feelings such that a more insidious form of ‘racism without racists’ appears to sustain its power,” Tarver explains. Alvarez sought to pursue a MLIS degree through her exposure working in an academic library and being a teacher. She is thankful for the presence of like-minded colleagues in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and other individuals invested in the field of academic librarianship. “With information being the defining component of our age, academic libraries are in a position to act as beacons for what is to come. I see libraries as the connective tissue of a culture. We, librarians, have the potential to lead the information age with the increased digitization of our information environments and manage all of the opportunities that brings. I want to collaborate and lead within this new era of librarianship,” Tarver says. Outside of the academic world, Alvarez enjoys hanging out with her husband and friends, reading novels—espionage and YA, in particular—writing, and yoga.