ALA Awards 60 Spectrum Scholarships for 2015-2016

For Immediate Release
Wed, 07/08/2015


Gwendolyn Prellwitz

Acting Director

Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services


CHICAGO — Today, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Diversity awards 2015-2016 Spectrum Scholarships to 60 exceptional students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies.  Since 1997, the ALA has awarded more than 900 Spectrum Scholarships.  In the 2015 application cycle, the Spectrum Scholarship Program received three times as many applications as there were available scholarships, and the majority of this year’s applicants were deemed highly fundable.  A prestigious committee of ten jurors selected this year’s Spectrum Scholars based on their commitment to diversity, commitment to entering the library profession, demonstrated community outreach, academic ability and achievements and leadership potential. 

The 2015-2016 Spectrum Scholars are:

  • Amanda Aguilera (ProQuest Scholar), Syracuse University
  • Sylvia Cecilia Aguiñaga  (ALSC Scholar), San Jose State University
  • Nateisha Allen (NLM/MLA Scholar), San Jose State University
  • Vivian Alvarez (ALSC Scholar in honor of Ellen Fader), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Nicola Andrews, University of Washington
  • Clara Asuncion, San Jose State University
  • Antonio Backman, St. Catherine University
  • Jung Soo Bae, Florida State University
  • Maria Barker, University of Texas at Austin
  • Victor Betts (ProQuest Scholar), San Jose State University
  • Anna Buck, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Tommy Vinh Bui, University of North Texas
  • Priya Charry (Calloway Scholar), Simmons College
  • N. Suzana Chilaka, Simmons College
  • Richard Cho (ProQuest Scholar), University of California, Los Angeles
  • Courtney Davidson, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • Alejandra De Santiago, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Shaina Destine (NLM/MLA Scholar), University of Maryland, College Park
  • Erica Ervin, University of Washington
  • Stephanie Everett (ACRL Scholar), Kent State University
  • Maria Fernandez, University of Texas, Austin
  • Nina Fernandez, Florida State University
  • Kai Forsley, San Jose State University
  • Joyce Gabiola, Simmons College
  • Alia Gant (TLA Scholar), University of Texas, Austin
  • Elizabeth Gaylor, University of Oklahoma
  • A. Lolade Gbadebo, Rutgers University
  • Ariel Gonzalez, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Asa Heyward, Florida State University
  • Heather Hummons (ProQuest Scholar), Dominican University
  • Tammeric Itson-Scurry, Catholic University of America  
  • Brenda Johnson-Perkins, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Kylie Ka’eo, University of Hawaii, Manoa
  • Lynette I. Kendrick, Valdosta State University
  • Sunny Kim, University of Washington
  • Natalia Lopez (ProQuest Scholar), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Anita-Marie Martinez, San Jose State University
  • Melanie Medina, Catholic University of America
  • Alda Migoni (Betty J. Turock Scholar), University of California, Los Angeles
  • Hannah Mills, Simmons College
  • Karla Morones, San Jose State University
  • Tenisha Muhammad, Indiana University Purdue University Indiana (IUPUI)
  • Nicole Natividad, San Jose State University
  • Michelle Ng, San Jose State University
  • Andrea Olvera-Trejo, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Sabrina Ponce, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Erik Ponder (ProQuest Scholar), University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign
  • Sara Powell, Simmons College
  • Omar Ramirez (Gordon Scholar), San Jose State University
  • Sarah Reis (ProQuest Scholar in memory of Ron Clowney), University of Washington
  • Christopher Robinson (Albert Scholar), University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • Jhenelle Robinson, Clarion University of Pennsylvania
  • Suzanne Sannwald, San Jose State University
  • Jennifer Smith, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Alice Son (YALSA Scholar), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Alvarez Tarver (ProQuest Scholar), Florida State University
  • Renee Ting, San Jose State University
  • Brittany Viesca (Giles Scholar), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Jasmine Williams, University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Sarah Wood (Teeple Scholar), University of Oklahoma

The Spectrum program funds scholarships through its endowment and the generous contributions of individuals and organizations whose donations support named scholarships in the Spectrum Family of Funds. For 2015-2016, 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.

ProQuest continues its generous support of the Spectrum Scholarship Program through a $52,000 annual gift.  Support for Spectrum is not new to ProQuest.  Since 2001, ProQuest has funded 158 Spectrum Scholars through sponsorship of the Scholarship Bash and now through their direct support of 8 scholarships a year including one dedicated in memory of Ron Clowney, a former ProQuest executive.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) established the ALSC Spectrum Scholarship through funding from the Frederic G. Melcher Endowment in 2010. One ALSC Spectrum Scholar interested in library service to children will be designated each year in perpetuity.  In 2014, Ellen Fader, past-president (2005-2006) of ALSC provided a generous donation to the Spectrum Scholarship Program. Her support has provided two follow-up grants for Spectrum Scholar alumni to accelerate their path toward graduation, a 2014 scholarship, and one 2015-2016 scholarship.

The Medical Library Association/National Library of Medicine (MLA/NLM) supports two scholarships. The MLA/NLM Spectrum Scholarships support students of color with an interest in the field of medical or health sciences librarianship.

The Texas Library Association (TLA) announced in 2011 that it will support one Spectrum Scholarship a year.  TLA is supporting one 2015-2016 Spectrum Scholar attending an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized school library program in Texas.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is supporting one 2015-2016 Spectrum Scholar interested in pursuing a career in academic and research libraries.

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is supporting one 2015-2016 Spectrum Scholar pursuing a career in young adult librarianship or secondary school librarianship.

ALA offers thanks to the Spectrum Scholarship Jury for their work in selecting the 2015-2016 Spectrum Scholars: Deana Greenfield (chair), Instructional Design Consultant, Chicago; Arpita Bose, Director, Health Sciences Library at New York Methodist Hospital; Kathy Carroll, Lead Library Media Specialist, Westwood High School; Ana Elisa de Campos Salles, Adult and Teen Librarian, District of Columbia Public Library; Jennifer Himmelreich, SJSU SLIS MLIS student; Amiya Hutson, Project Manager, Cleveland Public Library; Derek Mosley, Assistant Head, Archives Research Center at Robert W. Woodruff Library-Atlanta University Center;  Teresa Omidsalar, Education Librarian, California State University – Los Angeles; Thomas Padilla, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries; and Chris Warburton, Community Library Manager, County of Los Angeles Public Library.

Spectrum recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and our organization.  Our aim is to increase the number of racially and ethnically diverse professionals in the field of library and information science to best position libraries at the core of today’s culturally diverse communities. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, please contact the Office for Diversity at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5048 or visit The application period for 2016-2017 Spectrum Scholarships will open in September 2015.