ALA awards 61 Spectrum Scholarships

For Immediate Release
Fri, 06/03/2016


Gwendolyn Prellwitz

Assistant Director

American Library Association Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services


CHICAGO — Today, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Diversity awards 2016-2017 Spectrum Scholarships to 61 exceptional students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies.  Since 1997, the ALA has awarded more than 1,000 Spectrum Scholarships.  In the 2016 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 10 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 2016-2017 Spectrum Scholars are:

·         Mahasin Abuwi Aleem, San Jose State University

·         Marcela Aristizabal, Simmons College

·         Rebecca Arriola, University of Illinois

·         Giao Luong Baker, University of North Texas

·         Patricia Barra (ProQuest Scholar), University of Missouri - Columbia

·         Kelsa Bartley (MLA/NLM Scholar), Florida State University

·         Yolanda Bergstrom-Lynch (ACRL Scholar), Valdosta State University

·         Danielle Bitz, University of Alberta

·         Carla Bywaters, San Jose State University

·         Elisandro Cabada, University of Illinois

·         Ramon Calhoun, San Jose State University

·         Roger Chesley, San Jose State University

·         Jeannie Chen, University of California - Los Angeles

·         Jason De Castro, University of California - Los Angeles

·         Megan Dillahay, University of Missouri - Columbia

·         Ariel Erbacher (Gordon Scholar), University of Illinois

·         Jesus Espinoza, University of Illinois

·         Keirstin Flythe, Kent State University

·         Juan Garcia, University of North Texas

·         Sheila Garcia (ProQuest Scholar), Wayne State University

·         Michele Garcia Martinez, University of North Texas

·         Meia Geddes, Simmons College

·         Ernest Jerome Goodson Jr. (Calloway Scholar), University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

·         Yalonda J.D. Green (ALSC Scholar in honor of Ellen Fader), University of Kentucky

·         Cynthia Hohl (ProQuest Scholar), Wayne State University

·         April Hummons, Dominican University

·         Jane'a Johnson, San Jose State University

·         Amelea Kim, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

·         Jasmine Kirby, University of Illinois

·         Lynda Letona, University of North Texas

·         Melody Leung (ProQuest Scholar), University of Washington

·         Monique Libby, University of Maryland - College Park

·         Nancy Loi, Simmons College

·         Lara Maestro, University of British Columbia

·         Zoë McLaughlin (ProQuest Scholar in memory of Ron Clowney), University of Michigan

·         Erika Miller (ProQuest Scholar), University of Washington

·         Enito Mock, CUNY Queens College

·         Nisha Mody, University of Illinois

·         Araceli Moreno, University of Illinois

·         Alicia Niwagaba (TLA Scholar), University of Texas - Austin

·         Nicole Patch (YALSA Scholar), University of California - Los Angeles

·         Arielle Petrovich, Simmons College

·         Emilly Prado (Albert Scholar), San Jose State University

·         Maria Provini (Turock Scholar), Syracuse University

·         Theodore Quiballo, University of Illinois

·         Ricardo Rodriguez Ramirez, University of Wisconsin - Madison

·         Alison Rollins (ALSC Scholar), University of Illinois

·         Renee Romero, University of California - Los Angeles

·         Anjelica Rufus-Barnes (Teeple Scholar), Dominican University

·         Coral Salomón (Giles Scholar), Pratt Institute

·         Danica Simons (MLA/NLM Scholar), University of North Texas

·         Denisse Solis, Kent State University

·         Monica Tapia (ProQuest Scholar), Dominican University

·         Christina Thompson, University of California - Los Angeles

·         Vilmarie Torres, Drexel University

·         Anasylvia Torres, University of North Texas

·         Crystal Van Dee, San Jose State University

·         Chloe Van Stralendorff (Inspire AASL Scholar), San Jose State University

·         Karla Vasquez, San Jose State University

·         Rochelle Vetter, University of Oklahoma

·         Ayoola White (ProQuest Scholar), Simmons College 

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 2016-2017, scholarships have been awarded in honor of the following supporters: Leo Albert, the Calloway family, 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 over 160 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 Medical Library Association/National Library of Medicine (MLA/NLM) supports two scholarships annually. 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 2016-2017 Spectrum Scholar attending an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized school library program in Texas.

Through the generosity of AASL member Marina “Marney” Welmers, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is sponsoring one Spectrum Scholarship annually through 2020. The Inspire AASL Spectrum Scholarship supports a student pursuing a career as a school librarian.

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 is designated annually.  Since 2014, Ellen Fader, past-president (2005-2006) of ALSC has generously donated to the Spectrum Scholarship Program. Her support has provided two follow-up grants for Spectrum Scholar alumni to accelerate their path toward graduation, 2014 and 2015 scholarships, and one 2016-2017 scholarship.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is supporting one 2016-2017 Spectrum Scholar pursuing a career in academic and research libraries.

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is supporting one 2016-2017 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 2016-2017 Spectrum Scholars:  Ana Elisa de Campos Salles (chair), adult and teen services librarian, DC Public Library; Carlos Duarte, resident librarian, University of Wisconsin Madison; Madeline Peña Feliz, librarian | social media manager, Los Angeles Public Library; Twanna Hodge, diversity resident and research assistant librarian, Marriott Library, University of Utah; Andrea Jackson, head, Archives Research Center at Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library; Stephen Kiyoi, library director, UCSF at San Francisco General Hospital; Evviva Weinraub, associate university librarian for Digital Strategies, Northwestern University; Rebecca Martin, collections strategist and scholarly communications librarian, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Hayley Moreno, resource description coordinator, University of Houston Libraries; and Michelle Wilson, school librarian, Hueytown Middle School.

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 2017-2018 Spectrum Scholarships will open in September 2016.