Nine iSchool students named 2021-2022 ALA Spectrum Scholars

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."

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Get to Know: MT Campbell, project coordinator

MT Campbell recently earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute. This certification required 35 hours of professional training, an application process, and passing a test. She looks forward to implementing what she learned "to provide first-rate support to research faculty in managing their grant projects."

MT Campbell

Community Data Clinic receives Broadband READY grant

The Community Data Clinic, a mixed methods data studies and interdisciplinary community research lab led by Associate Professor Anita Say Chan, has received a $50,000 grant to address gaps in household access to computing devices, hotspot connectivity, and digital literacy skills in East Central Illinois. The grant is part of the state's Broadband Regional Engagement for Adoption and Digital Equity (READY) program, which is operated through the governor's office and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The Community Data Clinic at the University of Illinois is one of only four sites that are partnering with the state on this effort.

Anita Say Chan

Digital exhibit celebrates 75 years of the CCB

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the Center for Children's Books (CCB) has published a digital exhibit highlighting defining moments from its past.

"The history of the Center for Children's Books provides an excellent window into the history and evaluation of U.S. children's books more broadly—and for a period when both the quality and quantity of youth literature published increased tremendously," said CCB Director and Professor Sara L. Schwebel, who worked with a team of graduate assistants to design and publish the multimedia site.

CCB 75th anniversary timeline

Worthey awarded grant through new NEH-UK joint digital scholarship program

Glen Worthey, associate director for research support services at the HathiTrust Research Center, is among the first recipients of new grant funding to advance digital scholarship in cultural institutions, through a joint initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the United Kingdom's Arts and Humanities Research Council. Worthey is the project director of "AEOLIAN (Artificial intelligence for cultural organizations)," a collaboration with Loughborough University in the U.K. The project will bring together a team of experts to develop and examine new approaches–particularly artificial intelligence and machine learning–for improving access to and use of digital collections that are currently restricted due to privacy concerns or copyright protection. 

Glen Worthey

Diesner partners on project to study impact of scientific research on society

A team including Associate Professor Jana Diesner has received a $1 million, three-year grant from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany) for their project, "TextTransfer: Assessing Impact Patterns in Research Texts Applying Corpus Driven Methods." The collaborative project is a continuation of the previously funded "Text Transfer" pilot project, in which Diesner and colleagues used a mixed methods approach to build taxonomies and prediction models for secondary practical uses of research findings from final reports of grant-funded work. Their methods included interviews, information extraction, natural language processing, and machine learning.

Assistant Professor Jana Diesner