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Seasider Spotlight: Stephanie Robertson

Stephanie Robertson standing in the BYUH library.
Photo by Monique Saenz

Name: Stephanie Joy Robertson

BYUH employee since (part-time) 2009, (full-time) 2022.

BYUH alum: class of 2006.

My job at BYUH is... assistant professor and outreach librarian.

I grew up in… Bakersfield, California.

I’m currently working on… a chapter about open educational resources and academic libraries for a world scientific textbook.

I chose to teach at BYUH because… it’s the greatest campus on Earth.

The best advice I’ve received about teaching is… “No teacher is perfect, but if you follow your passion, your students will be able to feel your excitement about the subject. Always keep the students the center focus of what you do.”

Advice that I want to give to incoming first-year students… is to spend time with as many people as you can from other cultures and languages. Also, you have got to get out of your comfort zone and attend as many campus events as you can.

My favorite spot on campus… the library, obviously.

What sparks my interest in my field is… I’ve always wanted to be a librarian. From a young age, I remember pretending to be a librarian. I love being surrounded by learning, books, people, and conversations about new ideas.

Stephanie Robertson sitting down in her office.
Photo by Monique Saenz

My best kept secret here in BYUH is… the connections that can be made in the library. There are some who think you come to the library only for solitary study time. But to them, I would say that I have witnessed students making connections, collaborating, and helping each other in the library in ways that might surprise them.

My most embarrassing moment here in BYUH… is from back when I was a student here. I was a brand-new writer for Ke Alaka‘i and had just published an article only to walk into class as my professor was reading it aloud to others before class and mentioning a few typos in the piece. Embarrassing but funny.

If I could travel anywhere, I would go to… Japan. I want to see it all; eat the food, experience the culture, see the sights, the cherry blossoms, and Tokyo Disneyland, of course.

When I have 30 minutes of free time… I make sure that I connect with each one of my kids every day.

I’m currently reading… Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

The last TV show I binge-watched… is The Crown.

The title of my autobiography would be… Laie Librarian: The Wild and Nerdy Adventures of Stephanie Robertson.

My favorite quote is… “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” – Max Ehrmann, Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life.

A podcast I’m currently listening to is… Strike Force Five, a podcast featuring late night talk show hosts during the 2023 Writer’s Strike. They did the podcast so they could pay their staff during the strike. It was pretty entertaining.

My all-time favorite book is... way too hard to chose, but I do really love Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.

My go-to comfort food is… mangoes. Better if they’re fresh from the tree!