Spectrum Scholar Spotlight: Ashley Bolger

Ashley Bolger

Eight iSchool master's students were named 2021-2022 Spectrum Scholars by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. This "Spectrum Scholar Spotlight" series highlights the School’s scholars. MS/LIS student Ashley Bolger earned her BS degree in environmental studies from the University of Vermont, with a concentration in environmental justice, policy, and education.

Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?

I have been interested in becoming a librarian since high school, so getting an LIS degree has been in my plans for some time. Once I started working in libraries and confirmed that I enjoyed the work, I decided to apply for master's programs.

Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?

The main thing that drew me to the iSchool at Illinois was the selection of classes. From looking at the course catalog, it was clear that I would be in an environment where I could explore many of my interests, with multiple courses if I so chose. The tuition waiver for Spectrum Scholars was also a large reason that I applied.

What particular LIS topics interest you the most?

I am interested primarily in public library services, including social justice, collection development, and cataloging. I am also interested in classes about academic librarianship.

What do you do outside of class?

I live in the Burlington, Vermont, area and work at a public library as a circulation assistant and volunteer coordinator. I love to read, especially graphic novels. I also am a rugby player and love to garden, sew and quilt, cook, and explore Vermont with my girlfriend.

What does being a Spectrum Scholar mean to you?

Being a Spectrum Scholar means that I will always be a part of a supportive network of library professionals of color. I am looking forward to the opportunities for networking, leadership development, and learning how to make the LIS field more justice-oriented.

What career plans or goals do you have?

I would like to continue working in Vermont public libraries or possibly academic libraries. I am particularly interested in circulation, technical services, and management.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Meet G-Trupp, graduate assistant for the school librarian licensure program

In the spring, MS/LIS student and school librarian licensure program graduate assistant G Trupp will graduate from the school librarian licensure program, having received their master's, an Illinois Professional Teaching License, and in-depth experience working among other library information specialists. Trupp enrolled in the iSchool with a focus on public libraries and archives but, after working at a school library as a library assistant, decided to switch to the school librarian licensure program. This program gave them the skills to serve young people in library spaces and helped them prepare for a future career as a middle school librarian.

G Trupp

New project to help scientists mitigate risks of environmental pollutants

In addition to killing insects and weeds, pesticides can be toxic to the environment and harmful to human health. A new project led by Associate Professor Dong Wang and Huichun Zhang, Frank H. Neff Professor of Civil Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, will help scientists mitigate the environmental and ecological risks of pollutants such as pesticides and develop remediation strategies for cleaner water, soil, and air. The researchers have received a three-year, $402,773 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for their project, "Machine Learning Modeling for the Reactivity of Organic Contaminants in Engineered and Natural Environments."

Dong Wang

Get to know Andres Perez, MS/IM student

Andres Perez is preparing for a career in cybersecurity through a combination of the iSchool's MS in information management (MS/IM) program and the Illinois Cyber Security Scholars Program (ICSSP), a CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program funded by the National Science Foundation. Perez applied for the ICSSP—which provides full tuition, a stipend, and development opportunities for students who want to specialize in cybersecurity and privacy—to "grow as a professional and contribute to a greater mission."

Andres Perez

Rolling Stone the subject of undergraduate research

BS/IS student Hanyu (Zella) Zhao learned about pop culture and data analytics through her work on the undergraduate research project, Analysis on Rolling Stone Magazine Covers. Professor Michael Twidale mentored her during the project, in which a team of undergraduates created a database of celebrities who appeared on the magazine cover from 1967 to 2021.

Zella Zhao

Tilley to serve on Lynd Ward Prize jury

Associate Professor Carol Tilley has been selected to serve as a judge for the 2022 Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, which is presented to the best graphic novel, fiction or nonfiction, published in the previous year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident. The annual award is sponsored by Penn State University Libraries and administered by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.

Carol Tilley