The LSU Libraries is more than just a place where students can come to access vital scholarly resources, enhance research and study skills, and engage with the latest technologies that facilitate learning. The LSU Libraries employs more students than any academic department on campus, affording them opportunities to work in an environment that understands their needs as students while providing them with the practical workplace experience they need to succeed in their careers. Furthermore, each year the Libraries awards an exceptional LSU Libraries undergraduate student worker with the General Syed Ali Zamin Memorial Scholarship.
General Zamin (he/him), for whom the scholarship was named, worked in the LSU Libraries for 14 years following an illustrious career serving in the Pakistan army and later serving as a Pakistani ambassador to four countries. At LSU, he was known for his commitment to serving as custodian of the library’s materials and for his extraordinary customer service orientation. In 2014, the Zamin family established a $1,000 scholarship to be awarded annually to an undergraduate student assistant who shares General Zamin’s work ethic and love for LSU. This May, the LSU Libraries awarded undergraduate student employee Calla Harper (they/them).
“This scholarship is truly a blessing to receive! I’m incredibly thankful to the Zamin family, the LSU Libraries, and everyone in the Interlibrary Loan department for making the library such a wonderful place to work. I hope to continue to follow in General Zamin’s example and work hard to ensure the quality service we provide to academics at LSU and all over the world,” Harper said.
Harper (sophomore; Baton Rouge, LA) is a returning student to LSU and the Libraries. They worked in Interlibrary Loan while earning a bachelor’s in mathematics from LSU. After graduating in 2018, they went on to teach math in Ascension and East Baton Rouge Parish public schools. However, for Harper, one degree from LSU just wasn’t enough. In 2021, they returned to LSU to follow their passion and pursue a second bachelor’s in music (voice) with a concentration in theatre.
Upon their return, Harper resumed their work in Interlibrary Loan, where they have now worked for a total of nearly five years. Harper has served as a student team leader, training and mentoring other student assistants, in addition to working as a self-employed, private math tutor. According to Harper’s supervisor, Larissa Elliott, Harper’s return to the Libraries was serendipitous.
“Calla picked up right where they left off after leaving ILL in 2018, as if no time had passed. The knowledge and experience that Calla brings to our current team is truly a blessing and we would be lost without their drive and dedication to the job,” Elliott said.