Alumni Honorees

Kay SheltonKay Shelton

M.A. Anthropology, 1994


Kay Shelton is the Program Administrative Assistant for Library Administration of Founders Memorial Library. She serves the Assistant Associate Dean in collection assessment, research, and report writing, while also serving library patrons at the Reference Desk, the Ask-A-Librarian e-mail reference service, Regional History Center, Faraday Library, and Music Library. 

One memorable project involved the preservation and exhibition of the very rare palm leaf manuscript collection for the Center for Burma Studies. It resulted in the exhibition Collection at Northern Illinois University: Homage to a Southeast Asian Librarian and the reinstallation of the Burma Collection in the Art Museum Galleries of Altgeld Hall. 

Shelton’s leadership and scholarship subsequently attracted the attention of administrators at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. In 2006, she was invited to the Harvard Institute for Higher Education to present at the “Rethinking Academic Freedom Seminar” on issues of privacy and research for student and faculty patrons. 

Shelton also teaches anthropology at Kishwaukee College. Her unique approach to sensitive social issues such as immigration led her to create curriculum materials that have improved student education here and abroad.

As co-director of the Land of Lincoln Statewide Read: Connecting with Mr. Lincoln, she developed, funded and managed the project that enabled author Dr. Richard Carwardine to travel the state in 2008 lecturing on Illinois’ most distinguished citizen.