Student Awards

These student awards are presented at Convocation in May of each year. View past recipients. Congratulations to the 2023 award recipients

Award NameBrief Description
Bryce Allen Award for Reference ServicesThis award is presented to an outstanding student showing excellence and interest in the area of reference services. Bryce Allen was a School faculty member from 1989 to 1995. In 2001, he retired to Nova Scotia from his faculty position at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Information Science and Learning Technologies. Bryce was devoted to his students and LIS education. With Professor Linda Smith, he developed the LIS 404 Reference and Information Services course and he contributed the chapter on "Evaluation of Reference Services" to all three editions of the Smith and Bopp text, Reference and Information Services: An Introduction. Bryce was so interested in both teaching and practice that he spent a semester working at the Main Library Reference Desk so that he could ensure he kept in touch with the sources and services he taught. In the fall of 1996, Bryce taught the first online offering of LIS 380: Information Organization and Access class from his desktop in Columbia, Missouri. Dr. Allen died unexpectedly on April 27, 2003.
Entrepreneurial Promise AwardThis award is given to a student who exhibits unusual creativity, reflects an innovative spirit and shows the most promise for an outstanding career in a special library, nontraditional library setting, or as an entrepreneur.
Berner-Nash Memorial AwardThe Berner-Nash award is given to the person writing an outstanding doctoral dissertation. The Award was established by graduate students in the early 1970's in honor of two graduates, Mr. Bill Berner and Mr. Bill Nash, who were tragically killed in an automobile accident.
Anne M. Boyd Award / Beta Phi Mu

For many years, Anne M. Boyd was a distinguished and beloved member of the faculty of the School. In her honor, the Alpha Chapter of Beta Phi Mu presents an award to the one MS graduate each year who, by vote of the faculty, is judged to be outstanding. Students, by virtue of a grade point average of 4.0 and graduation in August, October, January or May, are to be considered for nomination for the Boyd Award. Additional criteria to be considered are:

  1. Commitment to the profession of librarianship.
  2. Ability to relate to other people.
  3. Contributions to the School through participation in organizations and activities.
  4. Potential leadership qualities.
Edith Harris Camp AwardEdith (1958-2008) was an artist whose altered books breathe with beauty and spirituality. With a career that also included social work and public libraries, her full life is a tribute to the love and strength of family and community. Her dad, Ed Harris, a minister and poet, wrote about life as a civil rights activist in the South. Her mom, Sandra Gutridge Harris, discovered storytelling at the School and has pursued her love of gathering and telling family stories in venues that range from prisons to the White House. Her husband, Steve Camp, was one of the first people hired for Prairienet, an organization that brought technology to communities in need. This award is given to the student, who, like Edith and her daughter Tabitha, inspires and cares for others with courage, creativity, art, laughter, and friendship.
Jane B. and Robert B. Downs Professional Promise AwardThe Jane B. and Robert B. Downs Award is given in honor of Dean Emeritus Robert B. Downs to the MS candidate with the greatest professional promise. Mr. S. R. Shapiro, a New York book dealer, established this award to remind people of Dr. Robert B. Downs' many contributions in the areas of librarianship and in library science publishing.
Faculty Special Award of MeritThe iSchool's community culture encourages students to become involved in the life of the School. Threaded through coursework, research projects, assistantships, student professional groups, lab time, and social activities are many opportunities to add value to the educational experience of others as well as enhance and refine one's own personal skills and characteristics. From time to time, a student adds some special contribution to the School that may not be within the scope of a previously established award but deserves public recognition. To honor such a student, the faculty voted in May 1999 to give a Faculty Special Award of Merit, with criteria open to allow such special recognition each year when warranted.
Herbert Goldhor Award for Public LibrarianshipThe Herbert Goldhor Award for Public Librarianship is sponsored by The Friends of the Urbana Free Library to recognize an outstanding student showing excellence and interest in entering the area of public librarianship.
Peggy Harris AwardThe Peggy Harris Award was established in 1995, in memory of Peggy Harris, a former staff member. It is given to the individual who most exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism, and a concern for others and for the welfare of the School.
Health Sciences Information Management AwardThe Health Sciences Information Management Award was established in 1992 by Dr. Prudence Dalrymple, a former faculty member, in honor of her father, to recognize an outstanding student showing excellence and interest in entering the area of health sciences librarianship.
Kathryn Luther and William T Henderson AwardAwardees will have a demonstrated record of service to the community (home, campus, fellow students, etc.) through professional activities. As do the Hendersons, the annual recipients will stand as exemplars of the Beta Phi Mu motto, Aliis inserviendo consumor, “Consumed in the service of others.”
Information Systems/Technologies AwardEstablished in 1995 by the faculty in recognition of the most significant achievement in information systems or application of information technologies by a student.
iSchool Alumni Association Student AwardThis award recognizes a student who "caught the spirit" of the library and information science profession while employed in a library setting and so chose to enter the master's program. This student must have a strong commitment to return to a professional position in a library setting and help others "catch the spirit."
Frances B. Jenkins Award

Dr. Frances B. Jenkins taught science reference and bibliography and directed the biomedical librarianship program at the School for a number of years. Upon her retirement, her friends and colleagues established a fund, the income from which is used to provide an award each year to the master's degree student who exhibits the greatest potential as a science librarian. Other criteria to be considered are:

  1. Prior outstanding academic and/or work experience in the sciences.
  2. Personal commitment to the field of science librarianship.
  3. Academic excellence in coursework as a candidate for the MS degree.
  4. Potential for professional success in science librarianship.
Alice Lohrer Award for Literature and Library Services for YouthThis award, named in honor of M. Alice Lohrer (BS '37, MS '44) who is a graduate and served as a member of the faculty from 1941 to 1974, is given annually to a student who shows outstanding promise in the field of literature and library services for youth. The award is funded by ten alumni and friends of Miss Lohrer. The recipient will receive a certificate and a gift of $100.
Louise C. Meckstroth AwardThe Louise C. Meckstroth Award is to be given to a graduate student enrolled in the K-12 Library Information Specialist Certification Program in the School of Information Sciences.
Outstanding Undergraduate Student AwardAwarded to a student who meets the following criteria: excellent academic achievement, commitment to the information professions, and outstanding participation in professional and service activities.
Hazel C. Rediger AwardGiven to a student who demonstrates strong intellectual curiosity and interests both in the classroom and outside it. The award is given by Jana R. Bradley (PhD '91) in honor of her mother, Hazel C. Rediger, who exemplifies in the highest degree a spirit of enthusiastic intellectual questioning and questing and a commitment to libraries as institutions essential to intellectual vitality.
Joseph Rediger Librarian as Humanist AwardGiven to a student who, in the opinion of the faculty, best exhibits the characteristics of a humanist, broadly defined. The award is established by Jana R. Bradley (PhD '91) in memory of Joseph Rediger (1898-1994).
Selma K. Richardson Award in Children's LiteratureThis award is given to a graduate student in the library sciences who demonstrates excellence in children's literature and will work in either a school or public library.
Social Justice AwardThe surest way to a just society is through literacy and universal access to information. This award of $100 is given to a student who has shown a special interest in providing or enhancing library and information services to groups whose needs fall outside the parameters of traditional services. Lionelle Elsesser (MS '67) sponsors this award.
Undergraduate Best Paper AwardThe Undergraduate Best Paper award is given to the author of a paper or project completed for one of the LIS courses offered for the Informatics minor. Papers are nominated by instructors of the courses, with each instructor identifying the best paper from their course. These nominations are evaluated by a committee established by the faculty of the School. Lionelle Elsesser (MS '67) sponsors this award.
Yingbo Zhou Memorial Fund AwardThis award is presented to a Chinese student who demonstrates excellence and high standards in his or her work, has a passion for life, inspires others, and makes a long-lasting, positive impact on the Chinese LIS community.