ALA awards 2017-2018 Spectrum Scholarships

For Immediate Release
Wed, 06/14/2017


Gwendolyn Prellwitz

Assistant Director

Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services


CHICAGO — Today, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services awards 2017-2018 Spectrum Scholarships to 60 exceptional students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies.  Since 1997, the ALA has awarded more than 1000 Spectrum Scholarships.  In the 2017 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 nine 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 2017-2018 Spectrum Scholars are:

  • Danielle Barraza (ProQuest Scholar), University of Texas - Austin
  • Marie Faye D. Barrera, San Jose State University
  • Maya H. Bergamasco, Simmons College
  • Marcus A. Berry (Gordon Scholar), University of Illinois
  • Shannon N. Bland, University of Maryland
  • Darnetta Bolton (ALSC Scholar in honor of Ellen Fader), University of Illinois
  • Chantelle D. Bottom, University of Tennessee
  • Jaime Bravo (Albert Scholar), Dominican University
  • Christina D. Bush (ProQuest Scholar in memory of Ron Clowney), University of Illinois
  • Enrique Caboverde, III, Kent State University
  • Kelly S. Campos, Dominican University
  • Beatrice Elizabeth Canales (ALSC Scholar), Texas Woman's University
  • Alexa Carter, University of Tennessee
  • Andrea Castillo (YALSA Scholar), University of Maryland
  • Jasmine Cedeno, San Jose State University
  • Rosa Celestino (LITA/LS&S Scholar), University of California - Los Angeles
  • Julia Christy, San Jose State University
  • Helen Y. Chu (LITA/OCLC Scholar), Rutgers University
  • Ivonne S. Cintron, Queens College, CUNY
  • Carmen A. Collins, University of Maryland
  • Lauren Cooper, University of Maryland
  • Lynn A. Cowles (ProQuest Scholar), University of Southern Mississippi
  • Jose Cruz (YALSA Scholar), University of South Florida
  • Sandra R. Delaney, Simmons College
  • Marikit Fain (ProQuest Scholar), University of Oklahoma
  • Cristal Anne Fiel, University of Washington
  • Nathalie Garcia-Gomez (ProQuest Scholar), University of North Texas
  • Rebecca L. Gordon (Inspire AASL Scholar), Simmons College
  • Jasmine Anita Gutierrez, University of Washington
  • Sharon Han, University of Illinois
  • Christy Hyman (ProQuest Scholar), University of North Carolina - Greensboro
  • Julian Jaravata (Turock Scholar), San Jose State University
  • Natalie Jemiola-Wilson, Kent State University
  • Kristin Lansdown (Giles Scholar), University of Illinois
  • Hilda Loh-Guan (ProQuest Scholar), University of Southern California
  • Rebecca Lopez, East Carolina University
  • Carli V. Lowe, University of Illinois
  • Lorisia MacLeod, University of Alberta
  • Van McGary, University of Illinois
  • Siobhan A. McKissic, University of Illinois
  • Lisa C. Moore, Catholic University of America
  • Marisol Moreno Ortiz, Louisiana State University
  • LaQuanda Onyemeh, University of North Carolina - Greensboro
  • Jazmin Ortiz-Sepulveda, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Joan J. Parker, University of Illinois
  • Jasmine Pawlicki (MLA/NLM Scholar), University of Arizona
  • Michelle Peralta, San Jose State University
  • Sony Prosper (Calloway Scholar), Simmons College
  • Charlene Hien Quach, University of Washington
  • Serge Rodriguez (ACRL Scholar), Queens College, CUNY
  • Janis Joyce Shearer, St. Catherine University
  • Rashida Skaar, San Jose State University
  • Isabel Soto-Luna (MLA/NLM Scholar), Emporia State University
  • Sarah Stanhope (TLA Scholar), Texas Woman's University
  • Maria D. Thurber, Catholic University of America
  • Alexander A. Valencia, University of California - Los Angeles
  • Aldo Vasquez (Teeple Scholar), University of Illinois
  • Chantel L. Walker, University of North Texas
  • Pang Houa Yang, St. Catherine University
  • Sue Yang-Peace, San Jose State University

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 2017-2018, 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 $53,000 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) annually supports one 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.  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, and an annual Spectrum Scholarship in her name since 2014.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is supporting one 2017-2018 Spectrum Scholar pursuing a career in academic and research libraries.

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors Library Systems & Services and OCLC, the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) is supporting two 2017-2018 Spectrum Scholars with a demonstrated interest in library technology.  OCLC has supported a LITA scholarship since 1991 and LS&S has supported a LITA scholarship since 1994. 

As part of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Organizational Plan goal to lead the transformation of teen services and its commitment to supporting ALA’s diversity, equity and inclusion goal, YALSA is increasing its 2017-2018 support to fund two Spectrum Scholars 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 2017-2018 Spectrum Scholars:  Chair Twanna Hodge, Information Literacy and Collection Development Librarian, University of the Virgin Islands; Vernica Downey, Metadata Librarian - Houghton Library, Harvard University; Brenda Linares, Outreach and Liaison Librarian - University of North Carolina; Harvey Long, Graduate Student - University of Wisconsin-Madison; Rebecca Martin, Collections Strategist and Scholarly Communications Librarian - Monroe C. Gutman Library, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Kate Rojas, Librarian - Walter M. Senkow Elementary School, Glenolden, PA; Yasmeen Shorish, Data Services Coordinator, Assoc. Professor - James Madison University; Melanie Toledo, Library Manager, Ak-Chin Indian Community; and Patricia Valdovinos, Librarian, Yolo County Library.

The Spectrum Scholarship Program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA.  Through Spectrum, the American Library Association affirms its commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion by seeking the broadest participation of new generations of racially and ethnically diverse librarians to position ALA to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, please contact the Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5048 or visit The application period for 2018-2019 Spectrum Scholarships will open in September 2017.