Eva Grasso '22
Library Media Specialist at Port Jefferson Middle & High School
Eva Grasso is an avid explorer, always looking to broaden her understanding of the human experience—through English literature. “I absolutely love the infinitely interesting nuances of language and the awe-inspiring creativity of writers and thinkers.”
Yet, as an English teacher for seventeen years, Grasso was ready for a shift that would allow her to move beyond the world of literature. She began considering options for advancing her career: “The twenty-first-century library is a haven of all that I loved as an English teacher while offering cross-curricular opportunities that dive into mathematics, science, history, other languages, art, music, and much more!”
The library media specialist (LMS) role appealed to Grasso for the dual support she could provide to students in their learning and to colleagues in their instruction. “We get to shift and evolve with our students and their changing world, and that’s the really thrilling part of this career—it never gets boring!” Grasso sees the LMS as a champion for lifelong exploring who equips learners to “optimally process and meaningfully use all of the endless information at our fingertips.”
Though Grasso characterized herself as an in-person learner, she gave the online library media program a try: “Fisher’s online program made me a convert!” She now encourages prospective students to consider this program. “With a cohort of talented and diverse peers from all over New York state, the online program was both rigorous and valuable, collaborative and flexible. My peers taught me an incredible amount about how different the library world is across regions, districts, and even schools. That is something I wouldn’t have gotten had I gone to a local program.”
Jennifer Costello '20
Library Media Specialist, Laurelton-Pardee Intermediate School
Jennifer Costello '20 was drawn to Fisher's Online Library Media program because of its flexibility. A full-time teacher, she wanted a program that allowed her to work on her own schedule around her family and work responsibilities. She found the program challenging, but manageable despite her busy life. She shares, "At first it is very overwhelming – it is a ton of rigorous work in a really short period of time. But it is doable and worth it. The year will fly by and at the end, you'll have your graduate degree and be ready to start a new journey."
The program faculty helped her to grow as a professional and provided her with the skills she needed to gain employment in her field while still completing her degree. My first four spring and summer courses really prepared me for my interview, and I was able to speak about my goals and philosophy as a library media specialist," she observed. Costello describes the faculty as both understanding and flexible and praised their support, advice, and encouragement.
She is grateful for the supportive connections she was able to make in the program and advises future program participants to reach out to their cohort colleagues. "Set up a group chat or meet in person – you are all going through it together and it's nice to have others to talk to. Don't be afraid to ask questions and ask for help!"
As a full-time library media specialist in a middle school setting, Costello looks forward to growing in her role and learning from colleagues. She credits the program for equipping her with the skills she needs to be successful in the long-term. "I really love the flexibility of the program and the fact that it still felt personal from behind a desk. I found the program to be affordable, flexible to my schedule, and meaningful."
Elizabeth Mazzullo '22
Teacher and Library Media Specialist
As an educator in New York City, Elizabeth Mazzullo considered pursuing certification as a library media specialist to better serve her students. She was attracted to Fisher’s program because of the flexibility and convenience of online learning. “I was able to complete my master’s degree while teaching both high school and graduate-level courses.”
As a teacher and library media specialist, Mazzullo guides students through the research process. She believes the M.S. in Library Media helped her strengthen her skills in supporting student research. “This program helped me create more lessons that incorporate inquiry and lead to authentic student learning.”
She explained that her Fisher professors made themselves available to support students in their learning, and she appreciated their professional backgrounds as educators. “They have worked in the field so they often provided real-world connections with the course content.”
Mazzullo attributes her success in her current role to skills she enhanced through the cohort model of the library media specialist program. “Though the program was only one year, I learned so many skills and strategies to add to my teaching toolkit while interacting with other educators throughout the state.”