A record fifteen iSchool master's students were named 2020-2021 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 Mitchell holds a BS in psychology from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Athena Tang, an incoming student in the BS in information sciences (BS/IS) program, was drawn to the iSchool because of her interest in human-computer interaction and user experience. A sophomore from Walnut, California, Tang is pursuing a dual degree in graphic design. In the spring semester, she took Social Aspects of Information Technology (IS 202) and Design of Usable Interfaces (IS 351), which gave her a better idea of what to expect as a student in the iSchool's new undergraduate program.
MS student Madina Grace is the recipient of a Fritz Schwartz Education Scholarship from NASIG, an independent organization working to advance and transform the management of information resources. The award provides enhanced educational opportunities to an aspiring library student who has prior experience with managing information resources.
MS/LIS student Mia Adams' work with local and international nonprofits has earned her a Special Recognition in Graduate Student Leadership from the Graduate College at Illinois. Adams serves as director of development and board member for Three Spinners, a nonprofit organization serving refugees and immigrants in the Champaign-Urbana community.
For MS student Nicholas Digrispino, learning that he was selected for one of two research internships at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, was a dream come true. The internship is part of the Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development, which provides hand-on training in research, photo archives, technical services, collections management, and more.
Leep student Laura Fruhauff was on the verge of emailing her advisor to rescind her fall 2019 registration when she received notification from the iSchool that she would be receiving the Helen T. Stewart and Mildred Stewart Scholarship. During her undergraduate studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago, she sometimes worked 80 hours a week to stay in school. According to Fruhauff, “This time around, in graduate school, I cannot do that. In addition to my full-time job, I have caretaker responsibilities to my parents and to my partner that occupy those other hours and funds I had originally designated to school. I cannot impress enough how crucial receiving a scholarship was and is for me and how grateful I am.”
According to Leep student Robyn Whitlock, the iSchool's school librarian licensure program has done "an amazing job" of preparing her for a career as a school librarian. Her advice to students considering school librarianship is "go for it!" As she nears the end of her program, Whitlock "couldn't be more excited about the future."
MS/LIS student Annabel Pinkney has been awarded a grant from the Caxton Club, a not-for-profit organization devoted to the study and promotion of the book arts. The grant will support her project, "Advanced Studies of the Book Structure," in which Pinkney is creating a portfolio of at least ten book repair treatments of varying difficulty.
MS/IM student Pranay Parmar won first place in the Data Visualization Competition sponsored by the University of Illinois Library's Scholarly Commons. The competition provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in visually communicating information. Winners were announced on October 22 at the 2019 Scholarly Commons Open House.
MS/LIS student Monica Hoh was invited by the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) to participate in the Frankfurter Buchmesse (Frankfurt Book Fair). The event, which was held October 16-20 in Frankfurt, Germany, is the world's largest trade fair for books and draws more visitors than any other book fair.
As a young professional working to advance her career, Leep student Erica Halpern appreciates the flexibility and convenience of the iSchool's online MS/LIS program. She also is grateful for the George Bonn Scholarship that she received from the School, which removed a "huge financial burden" and has allowed her to focus on her studies.
A travel grant provided by the iSchool will allow MS/LIS student Morgan Sherlock to present her research with Laurel Post (MS '19) and Affiliate Professor Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (MS '94) at the Charleston Conference without the extra financial stress. In the paper they will be presenting, "Behind the Gate: Early Career Researchers' Motivations for Using ResearchGate," the coauthors examine the motivations behind why early career researchers use the academic social network site ResearchGate and how publishers and librarians can use these findings to better understand and support their user communities.
After completing her MS/LIS degree, Lauren Camarillo would like to work in an academic library with first-year and/or first-generation students. She recently was selected to participate in the 2019-2021 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Kaleidoscope Diversity Scholars Program, which offers financial support as well as professional development opportunities.
Cesar Ortega fell in love with libraries at the age of thirteen, when he joined the Aurora (IL) Public Library's Teen Advisory Board. The board was composed of a group of teens from around the city who created programs for the library.
Recent graduate Erica Zhang (MS '18) is heading to Arizona to start her new job as a junior taxonomist for Boeing. There she will work with the Information Services team to maintain metadata and controlled vocabularies to facilitate employee access to information.
Master's student Paige Dhyne likes to connect people with information. It was one of the reasons that Dhyne, who hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan, decided to study LIS after earning a dual bachelor's degree in film/video production and writing from Grand Valley State University. While initially attracted to the iSchool because of its number-one ranking, she became convinced that Illinois was the perfect fit for her after getting to know the iSchool staff, faculty, and students at a visit day last spring.
Kameron Wells is combining his love of athletics with his interest in data analytics as a student in the iSchool's MS in information management (MS/IM) program. A Champaign native, Wells graduated in 2017 with his bachelor's degree in computer science from Knox College, where he was a four-time letterwinner and starting catcher on the school’s baseball team.