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Baby showers and master's degrees at Davis College

Posted July 21, 2014
By Annie WilsonReprinted from Spring 2014 InterCom

The last thing one may associate with Davis College and the School of Library and Information Science is a baby shower. But that is one of many fond memories for Cecilia and Josh Hem Lee, who both earned Master of Library and Information Science degrees.

They chose SLIS based on its ranking, of course, but also because of the family atmosphere. Little did they know just how much they would enjoy that environment. When Cecilia received her assistantship at SLIS, she was pregnant with their first son, Ismael. "Dr. Hastings, our advisor and other professors had a baby shower for us on the second floor of Davis College," said Josh. This special event has a special place in the Hem Lees' hearts.

Cecilia and Josh Hem Lee met in Puerto Rico, where Cecilia is from and Josh was studying as an exchange student. They moved to Columbia so Josh could complete his master's degree in Spanish at USC, which he completed in 2004. Cecilia was studying at SLIS, and soon after, Josh followed suit. Cecilia graduated from SLIS in 2007, and Josh in December 2013.

Graduate degrees from SLIS have allowed Josh and Cecilia to advance their careers as librarians. "My degree from SLIS has been instrumental," said Cecilia. "A lot of the contacts I made as a student later became my supervisors. The network system allowed me to progress in my career."

Josh and Cecilia now live with their two children in Denver, Colo. Ismael is 6 years old. and Mateo is 4. Josh is a children's librarian at Denver County Public Library and Cecilia works at Jefferson County Public Library developing library policy with the underserved population.

"We are able to help the populations we serve together and network and make things happen," said Cecilia. "We both work with Hispanic Latino customers, and our population benefits from having both of us because we overlap."

Though college is far off for their children, Josh says it would be nice if their sons attend the School of Library and Information Science, as they "both love to read!"

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