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Meet Our Conference Keynote Speakers

 Ruth Huard, PhD, San José State University

As Dean of the College of Professional and Global Education and the Senior International Officer at San José State University (SJSU), Ruth Huard provides strategic vision and operational leadership across multiple areas including the academic departments in information and data science disciplines, professional and continuing education, global programs and services, and research and training centers including Silicon Valley Center for Global Studies and the Silicon Valley Center for Big Data and Cybersecurity. 

With 20 years of professional experience in the areas of learning sciences and technology design, Ruth Huard has facilitated the growth of online teaching and learning opportunities through academic entrepreneurship and accessible technologies. She started her professional career in industry, applying her entrepreneurial skills at Silicon Valley startup companies with a global footprint. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University where she conducted research in human-computer interaction and smart learning systems in the School of Education and in the Computer Science Department–Knowledge Systems AI Lab. While Dr. Huard is excited about emerging technologies, her interests and focus continue to be on people, especially how lives and communities could be uplifted and positively transformed by these technologies.

Mary K. Biagini, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Mary K. Biagini, a tenured Associate Professor, serves as the Chair of the Department of Information Culture and Data, one of three departments in the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh. She also directs its School Library Certification Program. At the School, she has served as both Associate Dean and Chair of the Library and Information Science Program. She also was a faculty member in the Library Science Program at Kent State University. She began her career as a school librarian and English teacher in the Akron (OH) Public Schools and a reference librarian at the Stow (OH) Public Library. She teaches courses in the School Library Certification Program, Resources and Services for Adults, and Resources and Services for Young Adults as well as advises doctoral students.

For six years, she served as the founding chair of the Electronic Information Network in Pittsburgh, a $15 million project funded by county government and grants from regional corporations and foundations to link electronically the resources of public libraries in Allegheny County (PA). For her leadership of this project, she received the Distinguished Service Award for Exceptional Service in Support of Public Libraries in Allegheny County (PA) by the Allegheny County Library Association.

She has received in excess of $900,000 in grant funding from the PA Department of Education, the PA State Board of Education, the Buhl Foundation of Pittsburgh, the Library Services and Technology Act and has worked as a consultant and subcontractor on two IMLS grant and is currently serving as the Project Evaluator on the IMLS-funded SLIDE: The School Librarian Investigation: Decline or Evolution? grant. In 2011, she completed a research contract with the PA State Board of Education for an analysis of school libraries in PA and a set of recommendations for the PA House of Representatives that was published as Pennsylvania School Library Study: Findings and Recommendations.

Dr. Biagini served as project director and editor of The Model Curriculum for Pennsylvania School Library Programs for the Pennsylvania Department of Education and on the updated curriculum The Model Curriculum for Learners in PA School Libraries in 2019. Between 2014 and 2020, she directed ten Leadership Academies for Pennsylvania School librarians. She has made presentations about these grant projects at state and national conferences and has published articles and book chapters about them.

She is an active member of the American Library Association, and chaired and served three terms on the Publishing Committee, which oversees all ALA books and journals. She also has served as an appointed member of the Committee on Education. She participates in the American Association of School Librarians, and served as editor of School Library Media Quarterly, a refereed journal, for six years. She co-chaired the AASL National Conferences in 2001 and in 2005 and has chaired the AASL Nominating Committee.
In 2007, Dr. Biagini was awarded the Outstanding Contributor, Pennsylvania School Library Media Programs, by the Pennsylvania Association of School Librarians. She was awarded a Faculty of the Year Award by Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) in 2008. While a faculty member at Kent State University, she received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Kent State University Alumni Association and the Distinguished Alumna Award.

 Miguel Figueroa, Amigos Library Services

Miguel Figueroa is President and CEO of Amigos Library Services. He has previously held positions with the American Library Association (Center for the Future of Libraries, Office for Diversity & Spectrum Scholarship Program, Office for Literacy and Outreach Services), the American Theological Library Association, New York University Medical Center, and Neal-Schuman Publishers. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Knowledge River Program, an initiative that examines library issues from Hispanic and Native American perspectives.




Contact the ALISE office with any registration and conference related questions at [email protected] or 978-674-6190.