A strong connection to great Mississippi literary figures and our Southern charm is one of several things that drew Dr. Ray Uzwyshyn to the position of Associate Dean for Collection Management & Strategy at the MSU Libraries.
"I was originally drawn to Mississippi State by the position as I'm a huge fan of academic libraries and have worked in them for the past 25 years. I had also lived in the South before (Pensacola) and must admit that I love Southern civility and manners," said Dr. Uzwyshyn, who joined the MSU Libraries last month. "These memories came flooding back seeing the friendly faces of MSU staff and beautiful MSU campus and library.
"It didn't hurt either that the library had a Southern Writer's Trail exhibit on the first floor and John Grisham on the third," he added. "William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Conner are all on my lists of literary heroes and heroines."
Dr. Uzwyshyn comes to MSU from Texas State University where he served more than eight years as Director, Collections and Digital Services. He earned his Ph.D. in Media Studies from New York University, and also holds an MBA (IT Management) and Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario.
Dr. Lis Pankl, Dean of the MSU Libraries, said Dr. Uzwyshyn brings a great deal of experience to the Libraries.
"I'm thrilled to welcome Dr. Uzwyshyn to MSU Libraries. He brings a wealth of experience as a librarian, technologist, and a scholar" she said. "As Associate Dean for Collection Management & Strategy, Dr. Uzwyshyn will transform how we leverage our resources to better serve the MSU community and the state of Mississippi."
Dr. Uzwyshyn said he plans to focus on innovation and digital technologies.
"My top priorities are innovation, new digital technology possibilities for research collections and enabling our faculty and students with new research and learning possibilities, he said. "Keeping our staff motivated, happy and a community comes a close second!"
Prior to his work with Texas State, Ray served as director of Libraries and Online Learning Resources for the American Public University System, head of Digital and Learning Technologies for the University of West Florida, and Web Services Manager/UM Libraries at the University of Miami.
Dr. Uzwyshyn said he has long been interested in libraries and librarianship.
"I was drawn to librarianship through a love of books and reading but also the paradigm shift occurring with technology and libraries," he said. "I thought my academic and technology, media and communications background was a great fit for enabling university academic libraries."
In addition to his work, Dr. Uzwyshyn enjoys traveling and looks forward to meeting and working with new colleagues at Mississippi State.
"I've lived and worked at universities and academic research libraries all around the USA and love to travel and explore this great country and the world. I currently serve on the International Federation of Libraries (IFLA) on their IT standing committee as editor of their IT Bulletin, 'Trends and Issues in Library Technology.'"
"Through these library connections, I have been able to see other parts of the world and dialogue with library colleagues globally," Dr. Uzwyshyn said. "It really is a small world after all. I'm thrilled to be at Mississippi State to continue explorations and discovery and help MSU digitally transform for the new millennium!"