ALA Awards Spectrum Scholarships for 2019

For Immediate Release
Tue, 06/18/2019


Briana Jarnagin

Program Coordinator, Community Engagement

Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Service

800) 545-2433 ext. 5020

Today, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services awards 2019 Spectrum Scholarships to 60 exceptional students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies.  Since 1997, the ALA has awarded more than 1,100 Spectrum Scholarships. In the 2019 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 twenty-one jurors selected this year’s Spectrum Scholars based on their commitment to equity and inclusion, demonstrated community outreach, commitment to the library profession, and leadership potential.

The 2019-2020 Spectrum Scholars are:

  • Nada Abdelrahim, University of Illinois

  • Elizabeth Ajunwa (ProQuest Scholar), Catholic University of America

  • Amy Bartko (ALSC Scholar in honor of Ellen Fader), Kent State University

  • Nicholas Berrios (AASL Inspire Scholar), Dominican University

  • Taylor Brooks, University of Washington

  • Iliana Burgos, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Nicholas Caldwell (Teeple Scholar), Long Island University

  • Lauren Camarillo, University of Illinois

  • Danielle Castro (YALSA Scholar), Eastern New Mexico University

  • Joanne Chern (YALSA Scholar), University of Washington

  • Frances Chung (ProQuest Scholar), University of North Texas

  • Cynthia Cortes (Turock Scholar), San Jose State University

  • Alexandra Dade, Kent State University

  • Reza Davallow Ghajar (NLM/MLA Scholar), University of British Columbia

  • Catherine de la Cruz (ALSC Scholar), SUNY Albany

  • Doreen Dixon, Long Island University

  • Eiman Elnoshokaty, University of British Columbia

  • Hebah Emara (OCLC/LITA Scholar), University of Missouri - Columbia

  • Rayheem Eskridge, San Jose State University

  • Michael Fast Buffalo Horse (ProQuest Scholar), University of Missouri

  • Jossel Kay Franco, Simmons University

  • Bridgette Garcia, San Jose State University

  • Gladys Garcia (ProQest Scholar), University of Michigan

  • Rebecca Garcia (ProQuest Scholar), University at Buffalo

  • Joan Hua, University of Washington

  • Gabi Huesca (ProQuest Scholar in honor of Ron Clowney), University of Maryland

  • Neah Ingram-Monteiro (ACRL Scholar), University of British Columbia

  • Brianna Limas, San Jose State University

  • Miguel Loeza (ProQuest Scholar), San Jose State University

  • Jennifer Loubriel, St. John's University

  • Amanie Mahmood, Valdosta State University

  • Sarah McCall, Emporia State University

  • Nix Mendy, Simmons University

  • Liana Nand (NLM/MLA Scholar), Dalhousie University

  • Yik Wan Karen Ng, University of British Columbia

  • Carol Ng-He, San Jose State University

  • Minh Phuong Trinh Nguyen, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  • Courtney Nomiyama (Albert Scholar), University of Washington

  • Veronica Ramirez (ProQuest Scholar), San Jose State University

  • Priscilla Resendiz, University of Illinois

  • Tania Maria Rios, University of Washington

  • Diana Rocha, University of Illinois

  • Cristina Ruiz (NCNVMLG Scholar), San Jose State University

  • Conrrado Saldivar, University of Washington

  • Magali Sanchez, University of Arizona

  • Allan Jason Sarmiento, San Jose State University

  • Constanza Serna (ALSC Scholar), University of Texas at Austin

  • Tomoko Shida, University of Toronto

  • Raivynn Smith (Giles Scholar), University of Texas at Austin

  • Karina Anne Soni, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Zakir Suleman (Calloway Scholar), University of British Columbia

  • Meneka Thiru, University of Washington

  • Jose Vila, Florida State University

  • Karen Wang, University of Washington

  • Kevin Whiteneir (Gordon Scholar), University of Illinois

  • Rita de Cassia Wilkenfeld, Dominican University

  • Alisa Williams, Emporia State University

  • Winnie Wong, Western University

  • Sarah Yasuda, Simmons 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 2019-2020, 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 2019 Spectrum Scholarship to support a student from California or Nevada who is interested in a career in health sciences librarianship.

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 2019 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 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 2019-2020 Spectrum Scholars:  Chair Michelle McKinney, Reference/Web Services Librarian at the University of Cincinnati’s Blue Ash College Library; Angela Barnes, branch manager at the Brooklyn Public Library; Ven Basco, Subject Librarian for Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida Libraries; Victor Betts, Library Specialist at the African American Research Library & Cultural Center; Kathy Carroll, high school librarian at Westwood High School; Alexa Carter, Libraries Fellow at NC State University Libraries; Hoan-Vu Do, web librarian and archivist at the San Diego Public Library; Carlos Duarte (lead juror), Outreach & Intergeneration Librarian at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs; Joyce Gabiola; Dora Ho, Young Adult Librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library; Cindy Hohl, Director of Branch Operations at the Kansas City Public Library; Don P. Jason, Health Informationist at the University of Cincinnati (UC) Health Sciences Library; Patrice Johnson (lead juror), librarian at Harold Washington Library Center; Bradley Kuykendall, Reference and Instruction Librarian at Lincoln University; Nisha Mody, Health & Life Sciences Librarian at UCLA; Hannah Lee Park, Education and School of Professional & Extended Studies Librarian at American University; Monecia Samuel, liaison librarian for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) working at George Washington University Libraries; Cecilia Tovar, Principal Librarian Branch & Public Services at the Santa Monica Public Library; Raina Tuakoi, Youth Services/Outreach Librarian at Sunnyvale Public Library; Patty Valdovinos, YA Bilingual Outreach Librarian at Los Angeles Public Library; and Chloe Van Stralendorff, Communications Specialist at Anaheim Public 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 2020 Spectrum Scholarships will open in September 2019.