Seventeen iSchool students named 2023-2024 ALA Spectrum Scholars

iSchool Building

Seventeen iSchool master's students have been named 2023-2024 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 everyday work in LIS. The highly competitive scholarship program received four times as many applications as there were available scholarships, with University of Illinois students representing almost a quarter of the award recipients.

The Spectrum Scholarship recipients at Illinois are:

  • Alyssa Brown
  • Cristina Amelia Bueno
  • Camryn "Cam" Burkins
  •  Abigail DeWeese
  • Ted Farias
  • Sarah Rebecca Velazquez Gaglio
  • Aliyanda K Harris Cobbinah
  • Melina Hegelheimer
  • Victor Jesus Lopez
  • Janelle Lyons
  • Angelica Moreno Lopez
  • Starr Grace Ngo
  • Tanisha Roman
  • Andrea Serna
  • Sally Vinanzaca
  • Evie Qi Wang
  • Zaria Whitlock

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.

"I'm so excited to see so many of our talented students recognized by the American Library Association as Spectrum Scholars," said Katrina Hagler, director of recruitment and admissions. "I look forward to seeing these students add to their skill sets while in our MSLIS program and then utilizing those skills to impact their communities and advance social justice in the field."