Miranda receives inaugural Balz Scholarship

Callan Miranda

After a few years in the workplace, it took a "leap of faith" for Callan Miranda to decide to return to school for an MS/LIS degree. A full-time employee at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, Miranda is happy with her choice to enroll in the iSchool's Leep (online) program and thankful to be the inaugural recipient of the Nancy and Dan Balz Scholarship. Nancy (BA LAS '70, MS/LIS '72) and her husband Dan (BS Media '68, MS Media '72) established the scholarship to help make education more affordable for returning students like Miranda.

"I am extremely touched to be the first recipient for this scholarship, and I hope the future recipients realize the tremendous opportunity presented by Nancy and Dan Balz," said Miranda. "In my technical service class last semester, the professor stressed that students would not fully comprehend the material unless they participated in the final, which was only required for four-credit hour students. Thanks to my scholarship, I was able to increase my enrollment credit hours and participate in the final. Now only a couple of weeks into the Spring 2022 term, I already notice the difference that completing the final has made in my technical service classes. Without the Balz Scholarship, I would have missed out on valuable tools and skills."

Miranda discovered an interest in special collections and archives while earning her BA in English and a certificate in publishing from the University of Iowa. As the type of student who learns best in a classroom setting, she was initially unsure about enrolling in an online master's program. However, her concerns were quickly dispelled in her first semester at the iSchool.

"I can easily say the iSchool fosters a tremendous sense of community and engagement, and I feel more connected to my peers and the program than I did during my in-person undergrad experience," she said. "I also appreciate the variety of professors and lecturers that are an active part of the School, and I am grateful to learn from some of the most brilliant contributors in the field in the country."

In addition to her interest in special collections and archives, Miranda is interested in metadata; specifically, the intersection of metadata and digital archives. After she earns her MS/LIS, she would like to continue working in museums, maintaining digital archives.

"I hope to further the longevity of these resources so future generations can continue learning and developing their own education by studying items from the past," said Miranda.

Thank you to our alumni and friends who contribute to iSchool funds that support our students.

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