Spectrum Scholarship winners announced

Gwendolyn Prellwitz

ALA Office for Diversity




For Immediate Release

July 2, 2009

CHICAGO - The American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Diversity has chosen its 2009 Spectrum Scholars.

The Spectrum Scholarship Program provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies.

Its mission is to improve service at the local level through the development of a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries in the new millennium. Since 1997, the ALA has awarded a total of 608 Spectrum Scholarships. Nearly 70 percent of past Spectrum Scholars remain active in the ALA three years after graduation.

The 2009 Spectrum Scholars are:

  • Reginald Allen, San Jose State University
  • Rachel Arteaga, San Jose State University
  • Emilia Askari, University of Michigan
  • Anjali Bhasin, University of Texas - Austin
  • Hsiaojane "Anna" Chen, University of Texas - Austin
  • Victoria Chu, University of British Columbia
  • Rebecca "Nicci" Cobb (Albert Scholar), University of North Texas
  • Kaela Cordova, San Jose State University
  • Halima Davis, North Carolina Central University
  • Tiara Farley, Kent State University
  • Stephen Xavier Flynn, University of Michigan
  • Simone Fujita, Universitty of California - Los Angeles
  • Shalu Gillum (MLA/NLM Scholar), University of South Florida
  • Larissa Estes Hammond, University of North Texas
  • Youngmie Han, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Alyss Hardin, Kent State University
  • Aaisha Haykal, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Chinasa Izeogu, University at Albany, SUNY
  • Janee Jackson (Gordon Scholar), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Boutsaba Janetvilay, San Jose State University
  • Everett Kanehiro, University of Hawaii
  • Daisy Larios, Drexel University
  • Brian Leaf, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Mai Youa Lee, Univeristy of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Alicia K. Long, University of South Florida
  • Michelle K May, University of North Texas
  • Candelaria "Candy" Mendoza, San Jose State University
  • Mark Miller (MLA/NLM Scholar), University of Maryland
  • Cristina Mitra (YALSA Scholar), San Jose State University
  • Winifred Mixon, Simmons College
  • Mayumi Miyaoka, San Jose State University
  • Jessica M. Navarro, San Jose State University
  • Zoya Nazari, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
  • Holly Nguyen, San Jose State University
  • Laura Ochoa Podell, Pratt Institute
  • Yukie Ohta, Long Island University
  • Rumit Pancholi, University of South Carolina
  • Rita Puig, University of Denver
  • Neeri Rao, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Trevar Riley-Reid (Turock Scholar), Rutgers University
  • Miranda Rivers, Simmons College
  • Margarita "Maggie" Shawcross, University of Denver
  • Yasmeen Shorish, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Susan Song, Pratt Institute
  • Jessamyn Sudhakaran, Indiana University
  • Sharon K. Tani, San Jose State University
  • Trena N. Taylor, Drexel University
  • Umesh Thakkar (Giles Scholar), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Christina M. Thompson (Teeple Scholar), Simmons College
  • Sofia Vazquez-Duran, San Jose State University

Established in 1997, the ALA committed resources for 50 annual scholarships of $5,000 a year for Spectrum's first four years. The Spectrum program continues to fund scholarships through the initial endowment and the generous contributions of individuals and organizations whose donations support named scholarships in the Spectrum Family of Funds. For 2009, scholarships have been awarded in honor of the following individuals: Leo Albert, Louise Giles, William R. Gordon, Howard M. and Gladys B. Teeple and Dr. Betty J. Turock.

In 2005, the Medical Library Association/National Library of Medicine (MLA/NLM) raised its commitment to provide an additional named annual award and now funds two scholarships a year through 2010. The MLA/NLM Spectrum Scholarships support students of color with an interest in the field of medical or health sciences librarianship.

Ten of the 2009 Spectrum Scholarships have been funded by proceeds from the ALA/ProQuest Scholarship Bash. In addition to raising much-needed funds for scholarships, the ALA/ProQuest Scholarship Bash provides a fun event for librarians each year at the ALA Annual Conference.

Additionally, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has funded one 2009 YALSA Spectrum Scholar pursuing a career in young adult librarianship or secondary school librarianship.

The substantial increase in available scholarships is due both to the generosity of the individuals and organizations above, and to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Through the three-year “Reach 21” grant, IMLS will fund 25 scholarships a year in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The IMLS is an independent federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve their communities. To learn more about the Institute, please visit:

For more information on Spectrum and how you can contribute, please contact the Office for Diversity at 1 (800) 545-2433 ext. 5048 or visit
www.ala.org/spectrum. The application period for 2010 Spectrum Scholarships will open in late October 2009.