Nine iSchool master's students have been named 2021-2022 Spectrum Scholars by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. Since 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program has promoted diversity among graduate-level students pursuing degrees in library and information studies through ALA-accredited programs.
This year's scholars were selected based on their commitment to community building, leadership potential, and planned contributions to making social justice as part of everybody's everyday work in LIS. The highly competitive scholarship program received four times as many applications as there were available scholarships.
The Spectrum Scholarship recipients at Illinois are:
- Ashley Bolger
- Sheridan Cazarez
- Bonita Dyess
- Brandi Hart (ACRL Scholar)
- Cordiah Hayes (YALSA Scholar)
- Kaila Thomas
- Ide Thompson
- Cynthia Wade
- Kelly Zuniga (MPHSLC Scholar)
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 scholars will receive a tuition waiver from the iSchool and 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.
"The iSchool at Illinois is one of the top destinations for ALA Spectrum Scholars, welcoming the most scholars in the country in the past four years," said Moises Orozco Villicaña, director of enrollment management. "Since the program launched, our School has supported more than 100 scholars with a tuition waiver for up to the 40-credit hours needed to complete our top-ranked MS/LIS degree. We are proud to welcome nine Spectrum Scholars this year, who were selected for this prestigious recognition in an effort to diversify the librarian profession."