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About Me

A little bit about me…

Melissa Aho, M.A., M.Ed., M.L.I.S., M.S., Postbaccalaureate Graduate Certificate, B.A., B.A., B.S., A.A., A.A.S., A.S., Certificate, Certificate, Diploma, and Diploma

 

Brief Biography
“I am a librarian” (being a librarian is more of a calling than a vocation, but I have worked in a wide variety of libraries, including a newspaper library, a magazine library, a 1st – 12th grade library, a map library, and a few different college and university libraries), a writer (mostly book reviews, the occasional article, and a book), an entrepreneur (I am the owner of the online book club Second Goldfish and co-owner of the bag and accessory business Minnesota Expats), an adjunct instructor (for over 10 years I taught online classes for a few different colleges and universities), a private pilot (post-solo, but working towards my license), and a Ph.D. student (ABD) at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Slightly Longer Than The Brief Biography

The plan was originally to become a history teacher, but my love and fascination with archaeology took over and I decided to become an archaeologist. So I received a B.A. in History and Anthropology (St. Cloud State University), a B.A. in Art History – my senior paper was on an Islamic chess set (University of Minnesota), a M.S. in Anthropology (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), participated on some archaeological digs (in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Belize, and worked on some Egyptian pottery), and studied Native American trading beads for my M.S. paper in Anthropology. Then I switched fields and went into libraries. I worked in a bookstore for years and had my mother not said that I should be a librarian it probably would have happened sooner. I received my M.L.I.S.  from Dominican University. After receiving a few more undergraduate degrees in GIS & cartography and business, I started working on a M.A. in Art History (University of St. Thomas). I originally studied mosques in Guyana (if you have not seen them they are incredibly beautiful and if you go to Guyana also take a look at the Hindu Temples – also very beautiful) and ended up studying mosques in Minnesota for my M.A. paper in Art History. Next I did some research on synagogues in Minnesota, libraries and library workers, and now I am researching aviation, female pilots, globalization, drones, and social media. I completed a Online Distance Learning Postbaccalaureate Graduate Certificate from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, so that I could have some methods, theory, and background in online teaching and over the years worked towards the University of Minnesota’s Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Learning Technologies (LT) where I created a educational video game called “Harvey the Husky.” I am working on my Ph.D. in International Development from the Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs at the University of Southern Mississippi and in April 2016 passed my comprehensive exams (written and oral) and now am officially ABD. Here is my bio on the PhD department’s webpage.

I am usually busy working, traveling, and reading (I was once an omnivorous reader and tried to read at least 100 books a year, but that was before the Ph.D. program. Now my reading has sadly narrowed in breadth, depth, and number). I once enjoyed going to the movies, watching TV, occasionally playing tennis or golf, and hanging out with family and friends, but the Ph.D. program changed that as well. I started taking mandolin lessons in the summer of 2013, but with my adult non-musical brain and lack of free time, my proficiency moved at a glacial pace. But I liked the way trying to learn a musical instrument made me think out of the box and challenged my brain (flying also does this). So I was talking to a few musicians (people that play 10+ instruments) and mentioned my lack of progress on the mandolin. They recommended that I start with something a bit easier, so in the summer of 2015 while I was recovering from foot surgery I started to play the ukulele. I purchased a cute yellow ukulele with a shark base from Amazon.com and a book on how to play. So with a few instructional videos online I am badly learning how to play the ukulele. Progress is slow and I refuse to learn any songs with tiny and bubbles in the lyrics.

I am a pilot. I was working towards my private pilots license in a Robinson R22 Beta II helicopter, but I have moved on to airplanes and I am learning to fly a Beechcraft Sundowner. I soloed on June 18, 2012 (it was a beautiful hot Minnesota Monday. The skies were blue and clear, there was no wind, and the Anoka County airport (KANE) was a bit busy, but the tower guys were really nice during my solo and told me I did a good job!), have over 100+ hours, and might get my license in the winter 2016/2017 (because I don’t like to rush things and the PhD and foot surgery/bad back are slowing me down). I passed the FAA Private Pilot-Airplane written exam on December 30, 2014.

I am extremely fortunate to be an alumni of the NASA Social program for #flyNASA at NASA Armstrong, November 18 and 19, 2014 and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum ‘Outside the Spacecraft’ #Spacewalk50 on January 7, 2015.

I have written and published articles, chapters, and over 100 book reviews for a variety of publications. I have also presented papers in four different academic disciplines (art history, economics, library science, and political science) and posters in two different academic disciplines (GIS and cartography and library science) at local, national, and international conferences. I co-authored a book for librarians: “The Machiavellian Librarian: Winning allies, combating budget cuts, and influencing stakeholders” which was published in the UK in October 2013 and in the US in November 2013 (for some reason the new publisher, who bought out the old publisher, lists the publication date as 2014, so you might see it either way). Not a lot of people purchased it, fewer read it (yes, that includes my mom who also did not buy it, as she got a free copy from me), but I am sure it’s bound to be a collectors item one day -so buy it while you can. It was reviewed in Library Journal and a few other places (I was even jokingly offered the chance to review it for a publication, which I ethically turned down). I have had photos published in aviation magazines, but they were unaccredited. However I now have 2 published with my name, one in 2015 and one in 2016.

I am a member of many professional organizations, but my two favorites include the Ninety-Nines, Inc., International Organization of Women Pilots and The Explorers Club, MN12. Its my dream to one day become a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of The Baker Street Irregulars (BSI). I am currently working on two academic papers: one on Adventure Learning and one on MOOCs. Inspired by a few new  modern Young Adult Sherlock Holmes books, I have decided to writing a book on Sherlock Holmes and Watson for Young Adults. Its going to be awesome and a bit odd. Finally, I am also working on writing my PhD Dissertation, but its going a bit slow.

 

Education
Ph.D. 2018 University of Southern Mississippi (International Development) (Major: Political Development, Minor: Security Studies)(Currently in Progress)
M.Ed. 2016 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Learning Technologies) (Focus Area: Online Distance Learning), Masters Capstone Project: “Harvey the Husky: An Adventure Learning Game,” advisor Dr. Matti Koivula
M.A. 2009 University of St. Thomas (Art History), Masters Paper: “Masjid An-Nur: Building Meaning in a Minnesota Mosque,” advisor Dr. Heather Shirey
M.L.I.S. 2001 Dominican University (Library and Information Science)
M.S. 1998 University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (Anthropology), Masters Paper: “Bead Color in the Upper Mississippi Valley and the American Fur Company,” advisor Dr. Bettina Arnold
Postbaccalaureate Graduate Certificate 2012 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Online Distance Learning Postbaccalaureate Graduate Certificate)
B.S. 2008 Minnesota School of Business (Business Administration)
B.A. 1999 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Art History), Senior Paper: “The Ager Chess Set,” advisor Dr. Catherine Asher
B.A. 1994 St. Cloud State University (Anthropology and History) (cum laude)
A.S. 2005 Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Cartography)
A.A.S. 2005 Minnesota School of Business (Business Administration)
A.A. 1992 Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Certificate 2010 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Applied Business Undergraduate Certificate)
Certificate 2005 Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Cartography)
Diploma 2005 Minnesota School of Business (Business Administrative Assistant)
Diploma 2005 Minnesota School of Business (Office Assistant)

Professional Organizations
American Library Association
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Experimental Aircraft Association
The International Studies Association
The Explorers Club, MN12
-Minnesota Sub-Chapter Secretary/Event Location Coordinator, 2012-2013
Ninety-Nines, Inc., International Organization of Women Pilots
-Minnesota Chapter Secretary, 2011-2015
-Minnesota Chapter Reporter, 2012-present
-Minnesota Chapter Social Media Coordinator (Twitter @Minnesota99s and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MN99s), 2014-present
Whirly Girls, International Women Helicopter Pilots, Auxiliary Member
Women in Aviation, International
Women Military Aviators

Research
Research on Social Media, Drones, and Globalization, 2011-Present
Research on Aviation and Female Pilots, 2009-Present
Research on Indian Women Pilots Association (IWPA), 2009-Present
Research on Libraries and Librarians, 2004-2015
Research on Minnesota Synagogues for International Survey of Jewish Monuments Research Project, 2009-2010
Research on Minnesota Mosques, 2008-2010
Research in Guyana on Guyanese Mosques, 2007-2008 (August 2008 in Guyana)
Research on Trading Beads and the American Fur Company, 1996-1998
Research in Belize on Mayan archaeological site, 1993-1994 (December-January in Belize)
Research and Excavation Experience on Various Archaeological Projects in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Colorado, 1991-1998

Social Media
Blog/Website www.melissaaho.com
Twitter @melissaaho
Instagram http://instagram.com/melissakaho
IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6742819/
Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/16444261@N02/
Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/mkahoo/
Vine https://vine.co/Melissa.Aho
Mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/melissaaho/
SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/melissaaho
Google+ https://plus.google.com/116565903630775019818
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/melissakaho
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/pub/melissa-aho/8/95a/9a5
Google Scholar (Academic) http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=GTDRAk4AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao
Academia.edu (Academic) https://umn.academia.edu/MelissaAho
Kudos (Academic) https://www.growkudos.com/profiles/39250
ORCID (Academic) http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7206-7528

Social Media Events
‘Outside the Spacecraft’ #Spacewalk50 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, January 7, 2015
‘Learn how NASA is with you when you fly’ #flyNASA at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, November 18 and 19, 2014

Awards
2015
Minnesota Ninety-Nines Chapter Scholarship

2005
Anoka-Ramsey Community College GIS Scholarship Award

Professional Development

Continuing Education Certificates

2016 “Entrepreneurship, a 5-course specialization by University of Pennsylvania on Coursera. Specialization Certificate earned on August 29, 2016” from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Coursera

2015 TESOL/TESL/TEFL 100-hour Teacher Training Certification Course. Oxford Seminars

2014 TESOL/TESL/TEFL 60-hour Teacher Training Certification Course. Oxford Seminars

2013 “Equity and Diversity Basic Certificate” from the University of Minnesota, Office for Equity and Diversity, Minneapolis, Minnesota

2006 “ALCTS Fundamentals of Acquisitions Web Course” American Library Association – Association for Library Collections & Technical Services Web Course, October 16 – November 10, 2006 (WebCT format). Received Certificate of Completion

Selected Continuing Education

2015-16 Boreas Environmental Leadership classes. Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. February, March, April, October, and November 2015 and February and March 2016.

2009 “Manuscript Workshop at HMML, May 31- June 5, 2009.” Minnesota Manuscript Research Laboratory. Sponsored by the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Saint John’s University and the Center for Medieval Studies, University of Minnesota. Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. May 31- June 5, 2009

Sloan-C Workshop “Accommodating Students with Disabilities: Leveraging the Online Learning Environment.” Online Moodle Format. April 8-17, 2009

Sloan-C Workshop “Podcasting in Higher Education: Current Trends and Applications.” Online Moodle Format. March 4-13, 2009

“Training Others: One-On-One.” University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis, Minnesota. March 4, 2009

2008 “NLM Training: PubMed.” National Library of Medicine, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 16, 2008. 7.5 MLA CE Contact Hours

“NLM Training: NLM Gateway & ClinicalTrials.gov.” National Library of Medicine, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 15, 2008. 3.5 MLA CE Contact Hours

2007 “Scholarly Publishing and Open Access: Straight Talk.” Educational Webcast. Medical Library Association (MLA), November 20, 2007. 3.5 MLA CE Contact Hours

Aviation Flight Times
Student Pilot, Helicopter (R22 Beta II), 15.5 hours
Student Pilot, Single Engine Airplane (Cessna 150 & 152 and Beechcraft Sundowner), 90+ hours