Second Native American in California Earns Online Library Master's Degree

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Karen Vigneault, a library and information science student at Drexel University Online, is only the second Native American in California to earn this unique degree. Due to a rare viral brain disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Karen cannot hold a driver's license, so her options to pursue a higher degree in her field were limited. Drexel Online provided Karen with a flexible and convenient option to pursue her degree.

Karen Vigneault, a library and information science student at Drexel University Online, is only the second Native American in California to earn this unique degree. Due to a rare viral brain disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Karen cannot hold a driver's license, so her options to pursue a higher degree in her field were limited. Drexel Online provided Karen with a flexible and convenient option to pursue her degree.

A member of the Kumeyaay Tribe, Karen is using her degree to advance the education of her community. In 2007, she was awarded an Indian Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Grant, which provides essential funds for library operations, enables her to build a library collection for her community, and train a teen volunteer from her reservation in library procedures. One reason she chose the Drexel Online degree was the flexibility it afforded her. "I love the way the program is set up," said Karen. "It is an extremely flexible situation. I could continue to work with my tribe's library and stay at my job. Drexel provided me with all the opportunities I needed with their online program."

Never one to shy away from a challenge, one of Vigneault's primary concerns as a library professional is the lack of Native American literature in mainstream society. She strives to raise awareness among her peers about Native American literature and increase the amount offered in U,S, libraries. To increase her own contributions to Native American literature, she is planning to write a book on the contributions of her tribe to her hometown of San Diego.

As winner of the 2007 Making a Difference for Women Award, which honors women who work to improve and impact the lives of women and girls, and the first in her family to earn a degree, Karen's family and tribe are both proud of her accomplishments. "I wholeheartedly believe that online courses provide a resource that allows adults to maintain their jobs, family structures, and work online to ultimately earn the degree they have always wanted to accomplish."

"We're very proud to offer our students the outstanding Drexel curriculum within this convenient online format. All of our online programs - including the Master's in Library Science - are taught by the same renowned faculty as our campus courses," said Dr. Kenneth Hartman, academic director at Drexel Online.

Applications for Drexel's online Master's in Library and Information Science are now being accepted for the winter term. For more information about this online program, visit Drexel's online degree website, e-mail info @ drexel.com or call (877) 215-0009.

About Drexel University Online
Drexel University Online, winner of the 21st Century Best Practice Award for Distance Learning from the United States Distance Learning Association, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Drexel University, specializing in innovative, Internet-based distance education programs for working professionals and corporations in the United States and abroad. Drexel University is continually ranked one of the best national doctoral universities by U.S. News & World Report and enjoys regional accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges & Secondary Schools. A pioneer in online education, Drexel has offered programs online since 1996.

Media Contact:
Shawnee Brown
215-895-0513
Shawnee.brown @ drexel.edu

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