ALA awards Spectrum Scholarships for 2018

For Immediate Release
Tue, 06/19/2018


Gwendolyn Prellwitz

Assistant Director for Recruitment and Retention

Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services

CHICAGO - Today, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services awards 2018-2019 Spectrum Scholarships to 62 exceptional students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies.  Since 1997, the ALA has awarded more than 1,100 Spectrum Scholarships.  In the 2018 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 equity and inclusion, demonstrated community outreach, commitment to the library profession, academic achievements and leadership potential.

The 2018-2019 Spectrum Scholars are:

  • Stephanie Akau (ACRL Scholar), San Jose State University
  • Alejandra Alfaro, San Jose State University
  • Jazmine Applin, University of Washington
  • Aicha Azzaoui, University of Illinois
  • Xena Becker, University of Illinois
  • Yvette Cabrera, University of Southern California
  • Amalia Castaneda, University of California - Los Angeles
  • Indira Chakrabarti (Inspire AASL Scholar), San Jose State University
  • Amanda Chin (ProQuest Scholar), University of Washington
  • Sarah Frances Corona, University of California - Los Angeles
  • Elisa Marie Cruz, San Jose State University
  • Lizette De La Mora (Gordon Scholar), University of Illinois
  • Emma De Vera (ProQuest Scholar), University of Michigan
  • Jermaine A. Dennis, CUNY Queens College
  • Jungwon Christina DeVone (MLA/NLM Scholar), Valdosta State University
  • Hadeer Elsbai, CUNY Queens College
  • Sandy Enriquez, Long Island University
  • Riko Fluchel (OCLC/LITA Scholar), University of Washington
  • Veronica Franco (TLA Scholar), University of Arizona 
  • Nina Lynn Garcia, University of Southern California
  • Gwendolyn Govia (Turock Scholar), Kent State University
  • Andrea Guzmán, San Jose State University
  • Cearra N. Harris (YALSA Scholar), University of North Carolina - Greensboro
  • Moonyung Kang-Larsen, Simmons College
  • Timmia Jana King, Indiana University - Bloomington
  • Heebe-Tee-Tse Lee, University of Rhode Island
  • Ashley Nicole Long, University of Illinois
  • Katherine Sharon Lopez (Albert Scholar), Syracuse University 
  • Liliana Elizabeth Lopez, San Jose State University
  • Amanda V. Lopez (ALSC Scholar), University of Kentucky
  • Patricia Shimano Lyons (ALSC Scholar in honor of Ellen Fader), University of North Carolina - Greensboro
  • Cristian Alejandro Martinez (YALSA Scholar), Simmons College
  • Cynthia Medrano Torres, University of Illinois
  • Teresa Helena Moreno (Teeple Scholar), University of Illinois
  • Daisy Crystal Muralles, Simmons College
  • Gina Nortonsmith (Giles Scholar), State University of New York - Buffalo
  • Ifeanyichukwu D. Ogamba, San Jose State University
  • Christopher Ortega (MLA/NLM Scholar), University of Alabama
  • Julie J. Park, University of California - Los Angeles
  • Jennifer Patino, University of Illinois
  • Nancy Garcia Ramirez (NCNMLG Scholar), San Jose State University
  • Jena Razor (ALSC Scholar), Wayne State University
  • Kenneth F. Redd (ProQuest Scholar), Syracuse University
  • Maya Reid, University of Maryland
  • Elise Riley, Simmons College
  • Regen Roy (ProQuest Scholar in memory of Ron Clowney), University of Michigan
  • Karen Sánchez, University of Washington
  • Natasha LeValley Seymour, University of Oklahoma
  • Yuri Shimoda (Calloway Family Scholar), University of California - Los Angeles
  • Makoroba Sow, CUNY Queens College
  • Jasmine Sykes-Kunk, Clarion University of Pennsylvania
  • Tina Thomas, University of Alabama
  • Heather Posey VanDyne (ProQuest Scholar), Emporia State University
  • Melissa Vang, University of North Texas
  • Yer Vang, San Jose State University
  • Julie C. Varee (ProQuest Scholar), University of Washington
  • Brandi Veal, San Jose State University
  • Mallory Elizabeth Walker, Simmons College
  • Kelli Akemi Yakabu (ProQuest Scholar), University of Washington
  • Pa Ja Yang, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Nam Jin Yoon, University of Washington
  • Babak Akbari Zarin (ProQuest Scholar), Catholic University of America

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 2018-2019, 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 with an interest in the field of medical or health sciences librarianship.

The Northern California & Nevada Medical Library Group (NCNMLG) is sponsoring a 2018-2019 Spectrum Scholarship to support a student from California or Nevada who is interested in a career in 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. Two ALSC Spectrum Scholars interested in library service to children are designated annually.  Ellen Fader, past-president (2005-2006) of ALSC has generously donated to the Spectrum Scholarship Program. Her support has provided 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 sponsor OCLC, the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) is supporting a 2018-2019 Spectrum Scholar with a demonstrated interest in library technology.  OCLC has supported a LITA scholarship since 1991. 

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 increased their support to fund two Spectrum Scholars annually to individuals 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 2018-2019 Spectrum Scholars:  Chair Kate Rojas, Librarian at Walter M. Senkow Elementary School, Upper Darby School District; Nicola Andrews, NCSU Libraries Fellow at North Carolina State University; Kathy Carroll, Lead Library Media Specialist at Westwood High School; Carlos Duarte, Outreach & Intergeneration Librarian at UC Colorado Springs Kraemer Family Library; Don P. Jason III, Health Informationist / Associate Librarian at the University of Cincinnati Libraries; Patrice M. Johnson, Librarian II at Chicago Public Library; Hayley Moreno, Database Specialist II at OCLC; Cecilia Tovar, Principal Librarian Branch & Public Services at Santa Monica Public Library; Patricia Valdovinos, Librarian at Yolo County Library; and Evviva Weinraub, Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies, Northwestern University.

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 2019-2010 Spectrum Scholarships will open in September 2018.