Ten iSchool students named 2017-2018 ALA Spectrum Scholars

Ten master’s students have been named 2017-2018 Spectrum Scholars by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program promotes diversity among graduate-level students pursuing degrees in library and information studies through ALA-accredited programs. This year, the program received three times as many applications as there were available scholarships.

“Our School is very proud to be the lead recipient of ALA Spectrum Scholars. This is a collective effort, and I hope to build from this success for many years to come—in terms of recruiting as well as providing a supportive and affirming environment for students of color,” said Moises Orozco Villicana, director of enrollment management. “The most impressive aspect of ALA Spectrum recipients is their high persistence and degree completion rate.”

The Spectrum Scholarship recipients at Illinois are:

  • Marcus A. Berry
  • Darnetta Bolton
  • Christina D. Bush
  • Sharon Han
  • Kristin Lansdown
  • Carli V. Lowe
  • Van McGary
  • Siobhan A. McKissic
  • Joan J. Parker
  • Aldo Vasquez

“We are so excited to welcome this cohort of Spectrum Scholars to the iSchool! The Spectrum Scholarship Program is so important to the profession, and we’re grateful to be able to play a role in launching these new professionals into the field,” said Nicole A. Cooke, program director for the Master of Science in library and information science.

Each scholar receives $5,000 to assist with educational costs as well as more than $1,500 to attend the Spectrum Leadership Institute held during the ALA Annual Conference. In addition, the iSchool matches this diversity scholarship by providing each recipient with a tuition waiver. Illinois residents receive a grant from the Sylvia Murphy Williams Fund, given by the Illinois Library Association. Other benefits include continuing education and professional development opportunities, peer mentoring, and access to a large alumni network.

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