Stephen Bajjaly, Principal Investigator

Dr. Stephen Bajjaly, Associate Dean, WSU SLIS, is the project's Principal Investigator. He oversees all aspects of the project. He will have administrative responsibility for managing the grant including establishing priorities, goals and objectives, promotion, financial management, and reporting to IMLS. He will work with the Lead Instructor, the HBCU Library Alliance, and the HBCU Library Alliance librarian-mentors to cover all issues related to the grant such as program development, promotion, evaluation, etc.

Kafi Kumasi, Lead Instructor

Dr. Kafi Kumasi, Assistant Professor, WSU SLIS, will serve as the faculty advisor to the students and oversee all curricular aspects of the program. Dr. Kumasi is very familiar with this graduate educational model since she, herself, was the recipient of an IMLS-funded MLIS at Wayne State when she was employed by the Detroit Public Schools over a decade ago. Dr. Kumasi, upon graduating from the SLIS, went on to receive her PhD from Indiana University then returned to her hometown of Detroit and the SLIS to begin her academic career. Dr. Kumasi teaches and researches in the areas of multiculturalism and cultural competence in LIS. Dr. Kumasi coordinated the admission of the students and oversaw the selection of the mentors and now meets with them regularly to address issues, problems, and concerns.

Ephranette Brown, Mentorship Coordinator

Ephranette Brown has worked in a variety of libraries and archives settings over the course of her career. Currently Ms. Brown is an Archives Records Technician at the Georgia Archives. She received her BA in Art (Studio) from Spelman College in Atlanta and her MLIS from the University of Alabama. For Project IDOL, Ms. Brown oversees the regular interactions between the mentors and the students by checking in with each on a bi-weekly basis and reporting to the Lead Instructor, Dr. Kumasi.

Sandra Phoenix, HBCU Liaison

Sandra Phoenix is the Executive Director of the HBCU Library Alliance, the only membership organization designed to promote collaboration of information professionals and excellence in library leadership and services for White House-designated HBCUs. The HBCU Library Alliance assumed primary responsibility for selecting the librarian mentors and recommending the Mentor Consultant and Mentorship Coordinator. The majority of the mentors are employed at Alliance member libraries. As the Project IDOL liaison to the HBCU Library Alliance, Ms. Phoenix also assisted with recruiting and selecting the students and is responsible for overseeing the ongoing interactions between Wayne State and the HBCU Librarian Mentors.

Marvelyn Thomas, Mentor Consultant

Marvelyn Thomas is the Human Resources Director at the Robert W. Woodruff Library at the Atlanta University Center. In this position she is responsible for working with the CEO/Library Director to develop and implement key workforce initiatives for the library. She is also an experienced mentor consultant, having established partnerships with library directors, executives, and organization leaders and groups to train and educate them on the benefits of mentorship and serving as a mentor. Her additional mentoring experience includes mentor recruiting and mentor-mentee matching; working with mentors and mentees to resolve issues of mutual concern; and mentoring program assessment/evaluation. For Project IDOL, Ms. Thomas is delivering the mentor/mentee training and serving as a resource to ensure the mentorship component operates smoothly and effectively.



  • Wayne State University School of Library & Information Science
  • HBCU Library Alliance
    picture of Stephen Bajjaly
    picture of Kafi Kumasi
    picture of Ephranette Brown
    picture of Sandra Phoenix
    picture of Marvelyn Thomas