Spectrum Scholar Spotlight: Abigail Deweese

Abigail Deweese

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. This "Spectrum Scholar Spotlight" series highlights the School's scholars. MSLIS student Abigail Deweese earned her bachelor's degree in global studies with a concentration in peace and conflict from Principia College.

Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?

The various social justice elements of the information sciences field really appealed to me, especially during and after the pandemic. As an Asian American, I have experienced discrimination, but this reached a peak during the pandemic when the narrative that the COVID-19 virus originated in China created a domino effect that saw a rise in attacks against Asians worldwide. In an increasingly digital age, when we are being inundated with information from all sides with varying degrees of credibility, it becomes increasingly important to be aware of where and how we receive knowledge, as well as how we wield it. LIS encourages people to be responsible and compassionate global citizens by emphasizing the conscientious management and dispersion of information. 

Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?

Having only two required courses meant that I could take an array of classes that interested me and not be limited to a small selection of degree-specific courses. I also loved the flexibility the online Leep program offered for remote students—I could still receive an education from world-renowned professors without having to give up my job or fully relocate. 

What particular LIS topics interest you the most?

There are so many! I am interested in diversity and social justice, cultural informatics and heritage, computing for social good, computational science, and information access and literacy, just to name a few.

What do you do outside of class?

I currently work full-time at an academic library, but beyond work and classes, I love to read, bake and cook, knit, and be outside!

What does being a Spectrum Scholar mean to you?

To me, it means being an active agent for change. The Spectrum Scholarship program is a community of support, diversity, inclusion, and advocacy. Members are encouraged to have their voices heard as well as lift up others and ensure everyone has a seat at the table. Most importantly, Spectrum Scholars challenge the status quo and collaborate with those who have different experiences. Such rich exchanges open up worldviews and result in innovative solutions for change.

What career plans or goals do you have?

Academic librarianship seems particularly interesting to me at the moment. It would provide opportunities to share the views of the Spectrum Scholarship program with students through information literacy instruction and help them go out into the world with the tools to be responsible global citizens. 

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Bell selected as a 2024 Global Policy Fellow

PhD student Kainen Bell has been selected as a 2024 Global Policy Fellow at the Institute for Technology and Society (ITS) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was one of ten researchers selected worldwide who share common interests in technology and its interfaces with law and who want to expand their knowledge about the Brazilian technological context. 

Kainen Bell

iSchool researchers to present at IDCC24

iSchool faculty, staff, and students will present their research in transparent data curation and cleaning, provenance management, certified transparency, and data ethics at the 18th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC24), which will be held from February 19-21 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The theme of this year's conference, which brings together individuals, organizations, and institutions across all disciplines and domains involved in curating data, is "Trust Through Transparency."

Adler and Naiman selected for 2024 NIH Grant Writing Series program

Associate Professor Rachel Adler and Teaching Assistant Professor Jill Naiman have been selected for the 2024 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant Writing Series program in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute (IHSI). Led by faculty who have demonstrated a history of success with NIH proposals, the biennial NIH Grant Writing Series is designed to prepare Illinois faculty to submit their first R01 or other individual investigator proposals to the NIH.

Internship Spotlight: NASA

BSIS+DS student Jackson Clark discusses his internships with NASA and the skills he gained, including the soft skills that come from working as part of a team.

Jackson Clark

Sun selected as 2024 PTC Emerging Scholar

Assistant Professor Meicen Sun was selected as a 2024 Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) Emerging Scholar and presented her research at the PTC Annual Conference, which was held from January 21-24 in Honolulu, Hawaii. PTC is a global, nonprofit organization promoting the advancement of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the Pacific Rim. 

Meicen Sun