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Jill Liu Awarded the 2019 Stephanie Downs Memorial Award

Posted by SIM on August 1, 2019 in Students, News, Awards

Congrats to Jill from everyone at SIM! More information about SIM’s awards and scholarships can be found here.

When Stephanie Downs returned to Canada from the UK to become a librarian, she chose to enter the MLIS program at Dalhousie for its sense of community, welcoming faculty and Maritime culture. Diagnosed with cervical cancer at the end of her last year at SIM, Stephanie graduated with her MLIS but lost her hard-fought battle to her illness on May 27th, 2007.

Remembered for her enthusiasm, Stephanie was a “doer” and very active in school life, serving as 2005-2006 Co-Chair of SIMSA and SIM Team Captain for the 2005 Halifax “Run for the Cure”. She was also awarded the Student-to-CLA travel award to attend the 2005 CLA Conference in Calgary. This award was established by Stephanie’s family and friends in her memory.

Jill Liu is a 2020 candidate of the Master of Library and Information Studies program at Dalhousie University. She had ten years’ experience teaching ESL in China before she came to Dalhousie. Highly aware of the significance of cultural understanding in learning English, she endeavoured to improve Chinese students’ English by building their knowledge of English culture through various class activities and extra-curricular events. Meanwhile, she took a leadership role to establish teaching goals, supervise teachers and organize semester events. She also had four years’ experience of working as a librarian assistant at Sino-Canada High School (an offshore school run by the BC government). As her library skills expanded from shelving and circulating books to assisting students with information literacy in an English environment via diverse activities, she decided to pursue a professional calling of librarianship at an academic university.

With perseverance and determination, she managed to overcome many cultural and academic difficulties in the first school year, which was her first experience in an English speaking country. Besides academic accomplishment, she actively participated in public lectures and activities, worked part-time at Killam Library as a collection assistant, served as the incoming logistic chair at the Information Without Borders Conference (IWB), and volunteered in off-campus events.