Debra Lampert-Rudman has a corporate background, but fell in love with children's literature while working for one of the country's largest book retailers. Her job as a community relations manager at Barnes & Noble allows her to coordinate children's storytime and other events at stores throughout the area.
A Penn State online master's degree in children's literature is giving Debra academic knowledge to supplement all that she has learned on the job. "A lot of people who come from a strictly educational background really appreciate getting to hear a more corporate perspective," she says.
Debra discovered that the skills learned in her course work were immediately applicable to her daily workload. "A local homeless shelter wanted to identify books for young single mothers to improve their literacy, while trying to teach their own children reading skills. I had just developed a similar program for one of my literacy courses. We used the booklist from that paper to create a "wish list" of books for young moms and children. Thanks to the support of my employer, our customers, and booksellers, this literacy program was a success," Debra said.
She hopes to fuse her interests in marketing and children's literature by working to promote literacy among at-risk youth. Debra says, "I hope that the degree will open doors that will allow me to have an impact on the future of children's literature and literacy through my work with Barnes & Noble and other organizations."