2008 Spectrum Doctoral Fellows Announced

Contacts: Gwendolyn Prellwitz

ALA Office for Diversity

(800) 545-2433 x5048
Toni Carbo

University of Pittsburgh

School of Information Sciences

(412) 624-9310


For Immediate Release

May 13, 2008

2008 Spectrum Doctoral Fellows Announced

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) and the University of Pittsburgh's School of Information Sciences are proud to announce the second, and final, group of recipients of the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provided nearly $1 million to fund the 12 scholars in the program.

The six 2008 Spectrum Doctoral Fellowships recipients are: Eric Chuk at the University of California at Los Angeles, Mónica Colón-Aquirre at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Nicole Cooke at Rutgers University, Stefani Gomez at Rutgers University, Asher Isaac Jackson at Syracuse University and Brenda Mitchell-Powell at Simmons College.For more information on the Spectrum Doctoral Fellows visit

The Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship program was designed to recruit and provide full tuition support and stipends to 10 full-time library and information science (LIS) doctoral students for all four years of study. Through IMLS’s support, 12 individuals were awarded fellowships. The Fellows were selected by a distinguished jury, chaired by Dr. Carla Hayden, director of the Enoch Pratt Library and past president of ALA. Other members of the jury were: Dr. Camila Alire, 2009-2010 president elect of the American Library Association; Dr. Claudia Gollop, associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SILS; Joan Howland, professor of Law/Associate Dean for Information and Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School; Dr. Hope Olson, professor at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee School of Information Studies; Dr. Maurice Wheeler, associate professor at the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences; and Dr. Kenneth Yamashita, library division manager for the Stockton-San Joaquin County Library. The Office for Diversity will continue to monitor the progress of the 12 scholars in order to provide them support and guidance toward their mission to increase representation of librarians of color in LIS education, research and executive level administration.

In addition to the University of Pittsburgh, nine other library and information science programs participated in the effort: University of Arizona, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Michigan, Rutgers University, Simmons College, Syracuse University, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University of Texas at Austin and University of Wisconsin at Madison.

The fellowship was built on the success of the ALA Spectrum scholarship program, which began in 1997 and has since provided financial support to 495 individuals pursuing LIS master's degrees or school media certification. The program has become one of the profession's most significant diversity and recruitment efforts and will award 70 more scholarships in June 2008.

In conjunction with ALA’s commitment to recruiting the next generation of library leaders, The Office for Diversity will sponsor a panel session and Options Fair on LIS Doctoral Programs titled: “Leaders Wanted: Is an LIS Doctoral Program Right for You?” The panel session will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 28, at the 2008 ALA Conference in Anaheim, Calif., in the Hyatt Regency Orange County, Grand B. The session is followed by the Options Fair from noon to 5 p.m. in Grand E/F, where attendees will have a chance to discuss opportunities and funding with Doctoral Students and Faculty from PhD programs across the country. Lunch is provided for Options Fair Registrants.

To underscore the fellowship program's emphasis on leadership, Spectrum Doctoral Fellows will also attend the expenses-paid E.J. Josey Doctoral Leadership Institute, named for a University of Pittsburgh Professor Emeritus and one of the profession's staunchest diversity advocates. The Institute will be held in January 2009 in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE).

We are all grateful for IMLS's support in the award of the 12 doctoral scholarships.

Spectrum Scholarships are open to applicants of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander heritage. Applications for Spectrum Doctoral Fellowships were accepted from October 2006 to January 2007. Applicants were also required to apply for admission to one or more of the 10 participating library and information science programs. Seventy-eight individuals expressed interest in the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship, 18 individuals completed applications for the Fellowship and 11 individuals completed applications to their LIS program(s) and were reviewed by the Fellowship Jury.

For more information on the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship program, please contact Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Director, Dr. Toni Carbo, Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences and Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, at

For more information on the Office for Diversity and the Spectrum Program, visit:
www.ala.org/diversity. For more information on the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, visit:
www.sis.pitt.edu/. For more information on the IMLS, visit: