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Alumni Angle: Patrice Green receives Mellon Award Fellowship

The College of Arts and Humanities congratulates alumna Patrice Green on her recent Mellon Award Fellowship. Green, originally from Roanoke, graduated from JSU in 2015 with a B.A. in English and a minor in history. Green then attended the University of South Carolina, where she earned a Master of Arts in Public History and a Master of Library and Information Science in 2019. She currently works at Penn State University Libraries as a curator for African American Collections.

Since her time at JSU, Green has served as a Kaleidoscope Scholar with the Association of Research Libraries, as well as an Emerging Leader with the American Library Association. She has recently begun her term as a Mellon Cultural Heritage Fellow with the Rare Book School. This year, she will have the opportunity to present in person at the Joint Council of Librarians of Color; it will be her first in-person presentation since January 2020.

Green says of her current job as a curator that she is still, essentially, a librarian. As a curator, she manages and expands the libraries’ collections through donations and purchases.

“I mostly work with book dealers and alumni to bring new (or very, very old) research materials into the university’s Special Collections. These materials include archival collections, prints and posters, and rare books,” said Green. “I also work with professors to augment their classes with materials relevant to their courses, which often includes a class visit to Special Collections where students can handle books that are hundreds of years old or very few in number. In the coming years, I’ll be working on more and more exhibits. In the grand scheme of things, I’m still a librarian—I check books in and out (even though they don’t circulate), and answer questions at a typical reference desk. My job is interdisciplinary, and I do something different nearly every day.”

When looking back on her time at JSU, Green describes as notable her experiences as a Marching Southerner and the trip to China with the Honors Program in 2014. Green said, “I don’t think I could have succeeded in either of these experiences without the presence and support of my twin sister Latrice, another JSU alumna.”

When asked about her favorite professor at JSU, she named the recently retired Dr. Carmine DiBiase, noting his reputation as “a scholar, a poet, a musician, a dramaturg, and an all-around good person.” She admires him, along with his wife, Mrs. Susan DiBiase, stating, “I’m not sure he’s aware, but he, along with many other wonderful teachers (Teresa Reed, Douglas Gordan, Steve Murphy, and Deborah Royston), showed me that it’s okay to let yourself be fascinated by the world around you.”

Green said that her experiences at JSU definitely influenced her career path. An internship when she was an undergraduate helped launch her professional career. Green said that her internship at the Berman Museum of History gave her the courage to complete additional internships at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture during graduate school.

Green advises current students to take this time to get to know themselves. Additionally, she emphasizes the importance of being honest with themselves in everything. She explained, “Your study (or practice) habits. How early you get up. How you feel in certain situations. If you’re struggling with something. If you don’t like the friend group you have or the way someone treats you. If you dislike your job or major or a class. Now is the time to be honest with yourself.”

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