Take 5 with Misa Mi
OUWB Associate Professor Misa Mi, M.A., MLIS, Ph.D.
Misa Mi, M.A., MLIS, Ph.D.

As a way to learn more about the diverse educators who share their expertise with our medical school students, OUWB presents a special interview series called “Take 5.” Let us know what you think.

Associate Professor Misa Mi, M.A., MLIS, Ph.D., joined Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine as medical librarian and associate professor in July 2011. She teaches the Integrative Evidence-Based Medicine course and the Information Mastery module in Embark, plus a faculty development program she developed. Prior to joining OUWB, Dr. Mi was an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Toledo (UT) College of Medicine and a medical librarian at the Mulford Health Science Library of the UT Health Sciences Campus. She also served as a senior information specialist at the Children's Hospital of Michigan and taught undergraduate courses at a Chinese university. Dr. Mi earned her Ph.D. in Learning Design and Technology and a master of science in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University; and a master of art in teaching from the School of Education and Human Services at Oakland University. She also trained in the Program for Educators in Health Professions at the Harvard Macy Institute, Harvard University. She is a distinguished member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals of the Medical Library Association (AHIP). AHIP is the Medical Library Association’s peer-reviewed professional development and career recognition program. The Academy membership at the distinguished level is considered the highest level of professional recognition of an individual’s investment of time and effort for exemplary professional performance and for significant contribution to the health information profession.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

There are never two days in a row when I have to do the exact same things. Every day, I get to meet and work with different students, respond to different questions, taking new initiatives, working on various projects, learning new things…. I am fortunate to work in an environment that encourages and promotes professional development, exploration of new, innovative ways to improve my practice of teaching and health sciences librarianship, and pursuit of various intellectual endeavors.

What would you like others to learn about the role of libraries and librarians?

Sidney Sheldon said “Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life.” Libraries are no longer merely physical buildings. Great libraries build communities, and they serve as a cultural hub. With rapidly advancing information and communication technologies and constant changes in economy, policy, and healthcare, librarians as information professionals have always been in the “business” of lifelong learning—acquiring new knowledge and learning new skills. By doing that, we can ensure that libraries provide valued, expanded services and educational programs, and aggrandize and manage information resources and knowledge assets that enhance students’ and faculty’s academic exploration and achievement.

You seem to have a unique situation in that you teach both students and faculty. Please explain how you reach these different audiences.

I am also an educator by training. Since 1985, I have been teaching adult learners in different settings. These learners include college students, clinical and basic sciences faculty, residents and fellows, medical students, nursing practitioners, and pharmacists. Over the past few years, my target learner groups have expanded to include senior citizens in the community, high school students, and homeless people in a shelter. As an adult learner myself, I have different learning needs and interests at various stages of my adult life and over the course of my academic career. My strong conviction is that we can all become better or excellent students if we are taught what is important, useful, applicable, relevant, and interesting to us. Nowadays, learning can take place anywhere, anytime, and at one’s own pace. I have to remind myself constantly that how much time I spend in teaching may not correlate with how much learning occurs.

Congratulations on being selected to take part in the National Library of Medicine’s Georgia Biomedical Informatics course. What do you hope to accomplish? What does attending the course mean to the work you do at OUWB?

I’m so excited to be selected to participate in this course, funded by the National Library of Medicine. The weeklong course covers many content domains such as biomedical informatics, public health informatics, mHealth, telehealth, health data management and visualization, and other cutting-edge information in the field. The goals are to provide participants “a diverse set of skills and experiences incorporating concepts, theories, and building blocks of biomedical informatics; ability to use informatics for solving current health care challenges; application and policies related to computer technologies and information science.” I am so grateful for receiving the opportunity to update and/or expand my skills and knowledge in informatics. I’ll look forward to sharing newly acquired knowledge and skills from the NLM immersive learning experience with students and faculty by updating and expanding the library’s existing programs offered to students, clinical and basic sciences faculty.

What about OUWB most resonates with you?

Compassion, partnership, collaboration and teamwork, innovation, professionalism, and quest for excellence are values of OUWB. They align with my own professional and personal values. They give me a strong sense of purpose and provide me with an endless source of energy and motivation to do the best work I can. The values also serve as a common language that creates a bond among us working for the common goals of OUWB, no matter what role we take and what job we do. The values are the bedrock of principles that we use to guide our actions, the first of which was our decision to choose to join the OUWB community.

It looks like spring may finally be here. What do you like most about springtime?

Spring is my favorite season. After a long, gloomy winter, the coming of spring signifies a cusp of umpteen things that create a state of anticipation, albeit it is short-lived in Michigan. I love spring. It projects a sense of exuberance with scintillating bursts of new life everywhere. The landscape is quickly suffused with lush verdant green and iridescent beauties of flowers like crocus, tulips, daffodils, hyacinth….

What is one thing people probably don’t know about you?

I’m an opera singer at heart.. You can often catch me singing in my car during my commute. It relaxes me and keeps my spirits high. In my next life I’m sure to become an opera singer!