Current Projects

Undergraduate Library Advisors

Beginning in Summer 2021, I worked with my colleague Alexandrea Glenn to co-develop a new peer-to-peer library instruction program. Our vision was to mentor a group of students who would serve as the direct experts on the undergraduate experience. We developed a seminar series to teach the cohort about the libraries and gave them autonomy to create their own learning objects and outreach campaigns.

Our first cohort of students included Nabil Chowdhury, Ava Kaplan, Cassidy Smith, and Omolola Suleiman. They proposed creating a handbook for visiting and using the Libraries. The students researched, wrote, designed, and eventually published an open access e-book entitled Undergraduate Guide to the George A. Smathers Libraries (LibraryPress@UF 2022).

The Undergraduate Library Advisors program is still ongoing, now co-lead with my colleague Laurel Kaminsky.

Cover of the Undergraduate Guide to the George A. Smathers Libraries ebook, authored by  Nabil Chowdhury, Ava Kaplan, Cassidy Smith, Omolola Suleiman, Alexandrea Glenn, and Michelle Nolan
Cover of the Undergraduate Guide to the George A. Smathers Libraries

Welcome to the Undergraduate Guide to the George A. Smathers Libraries – a travel guide written by students, for students! As students ourselves, we are aware that it takes time to fully explore every part of the George A. Smathers Libraries; we hope to make things easier by compiling all that we can into one small book. We spent the summer of 2021 exploring the different libraries on campus, meeting with library workers, and collecting information about the unique resources each library has to offer. We are excited to share with you our efforts and hope that you gain more insight as you explore the Libraries through our eyes. Happy studying!

“Welcome Letter from the Cohort”
Undergraduate Guide to the George A. Smathers Libraries (2022)

Related publications:

  • Student-written e-book (open access): Chowdhury, N. M.; Kaplan, A. K.; Smith, C.; Suleiman, O.; Glenn, A.; Nolan, M. M. Undergraduate Guide to the George A. Smathers Libraries; Glenn, A., Nolan, M. M., Eds.; LibraryPress@UF: Gainesville, FL, 2022.
  • Magazine article about developing the cohort (open access): Glenn, A.; Nolan, M. M. “A Glimpse of the Libraries through Undergrads’ Eyes.” SOURCE: The Magazine of the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries 2022, 4 (2), 16-19. DOI: 10.32473/sourceuf.v5i1.129964.


  • Alexandrea Glenn, Student Engagement Librarian, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, University of Pennsylvania
  • Laurel Kaminsky, Environmental Sciences Librarian, Marston Science Library, University of Florida
  • Chelsea Johnston, Scholarly Publishing & Repository Librarian, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida

Uncovering Barriers for Trans Students in Chemistry

Our research group seeks to identify and illuminate transphobic conditions that students face during the graduate school application process in chemistry.

To our knowledge, there are no existing studies that examine the experiences of transgender people in STEM doctoral programs. We predict that this study will have major implications in chemistry and higher education policy.

We are currently in the data analysis phase of this project and have already uncovered significant trends, which were presented in two invited presentations at ACS National Meetings.


  • Dr. Paulette Vincent-Ruz, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, New Mexico State University
  • Isaac Blythe, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan

Past Projects

Science Fiction Beyond the Gender Binary

Our team worked to elevate queer and trans perspectives in the science fiction collection at Marston Science Library. We selected new titles that were authored by trans people, featured trans characters, or interrogated the concept of gender. We also reexamined the science fiction canon through a queer lens, highlighting transcoded narratives and fan interpretations of media.

Our research was shared with the public as an exhibit entitled Transcend: Beyond the Gender Binary (June 2022 – January 2023).


  • CJ Gott, Access Services Assistant, Marston Science Library, University of Florida
  • Barrett Uhler, Access Services Assistant, Marston Science Library, University of Florida
  • Kestrel Ward, Visiting Education Librarian, Education Library, University of Florida
  • Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler, Exhibits Director, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
  • Katiana Bagué, Exhibits Associate, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida

Chirality in Virtual Reality at the Library

We partnered with chemistry instructors to create a pilot virtual reality (VR) experience about chirality for an undergraduate chemistry course. The library team converted 3D molecule structures into VR objects, created the VR environment, coordinated the use of our circulating technology collection, and helped facilitate the lesson.

After running the pilot, Chemistry faculty noted increased student engagement and understanding of the course material. Students provided feedback through a survey and shared that they had a better understanding of chirality. We then published an article exploring a constructivist approach to VR in chemistry education, specifically as a tool to positively impact spatial awareness.

Related Publications:

  • Journal article (open access): Putnam, S. R.; Nolan, M. M.; Williams-Roby, E. “Virtual Chirality: A Constructivist Approach to a Chemical Education Concept in Virtual Reality.” Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy 2020, 17.