Andrea Thimesch helps students more than doing research

A librarian and a friend: Andrea Thimesch is an Information Literacy Librarian at Mabee Library. She helped with students’ research projects and the Washburn Experience class.

Mingzhu Zhu

Andrea Thimesch is an Information Literacy Librarian at Mabee Library. She teaches a Library Research Strategies class this semester and she helps students in the Washburn Experience class. She’s also a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Furthermore, she works with other faculty members on the WUmester, Citizenship and Suffrage.

“I like research because it’s kind of like a puzzle, putting together the pieces and working out what works, what doesn’t,” said Thimesch.

Trinity Cooper is a freshman business major. She took WU101 with Thimesch for one semester.

“I think Andrea is an amazing person that cares deeply for her students. After one semester of class with her, I feel that I can go to her anytime, for anything. She really made me feel like I was at home,” said Cooper.

Thimesch studied in Japan when she was at the University of Kansas. After that, she taught in a Japanese high school for two years.

It helped her to become a better teacher here at the university level. A lot of those lessons still apply as sleepy young adults are much the same worldwide, according to Thimesch.

She had some interesting experiences there. She taught about Australian culture, even though she’s never been to Australia. She also taught about Japanese culture in English.

“It really expanded my ideas on how to get people engaged, how to make activities that are fun or interesting, how to get people involved, especially if they maybe are bored,” said Thimesch.

Her time in Japan additionally had a great influence on her understanding of culture and diversity. It opened her eyes to a wide variety of points.

It’s a big part of Thimesch’s job to do research and help students with that. Sometimes, it’s hard to get people interested in research.

Thimesch encourages people to find value in something more modern, like internet research, reading news articles and even recent events. The currency can spark more of an interest.

“Usually when students are doing research, they’re frustrated or stressed, and I feel that for them because I have been in their shoes before,” said Thimesch.

Thimesch’s favorite part of the job is teaching. The Library Research Strategies class is about some basics of research, and it also teaches validity for finding sources.

“I love going in there and seeing that moment where students can make it ‘click,’” said Thimesch. “I think that’s one of the most personally rewarding moments of being a teacher, and you don’t really get that through just regular research.”

Kim Morse, a history professor, worked with Thimesch on projects associated with diversity in WU101. Thimesch is also the library’s point person for the technology-enhanced classroom in the library that Morse teaches in.

“Andrea is a fine person, a thoughtful teacher and a dedicated instructional librarian,” said Morse. “Both collaborations have been positive experiences. I’m always most pleased to have the opportunity to work with her.”

Thimesch is dedicated to helping students be successful more than in class. She hopes that students see librarians as one of their tools to get through college and to succeed. People can always come to her and ask questions to get help.

Edited by Adam White, Hannah Alleyne