ALA Awards Spectrum Scholarships for 2020

For Immediate Release
Tue, 07/07/2020


Briana Jarnagin

Program Coordinator, Community Engagement

Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services

CHICAGO — Today, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services awarded 2020 Spectrum Scholarships to 61 exceptional students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies. Since 1997, the ALA has awarded more than 1,240 Spectrum Scholarships. In the 2020 application cycle, the Spectrum Scholarship Program received four 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 22 jurors selected this year’s Spectrum Scholars based on their commitment to community building, leadership potential and planned contributions to making social justice part of everybody's everyday work in LIS. 

The 2020-2021 Spectrum Scholars are:

  • Megdelawit Abebe, University of Illinois
  • Arianna Alcaraz, University of Alberta
  • Viola Allo, San Jose State University
  • Alex Aspiazu (ALSC Scholar in honor of Ellen Fader), University of Illinois
  • Alexandra Barlowe, Undecided
  • Lyndon Batiste (ACRL Scholar), University of Alabama
  • Danielle Luz Belanger, University of Illinois
  • Keyana Branch (YALSA Scholar), Emporia State University
  • Mitsuko Brooks, Queens College
  • Arun Bryson, Syracuse University
  • Dymond Bush, Simmons University
  • Anon Cadieux (ProQuest Scholar), University of North Texas
  • Kahlila Chaar-Pérez (Albert Scholar), University of Pittsburgh
  • Ulises Chavez Ramirez, University at Buffalo
  • Monique Christian-Long, North Carolina Central University
  • María del Carmen Cifuentes, University of Illinois
  • Charlotte Cotter, Simmons University
  • Laurier Cress, University of Denver
  • Tacia Díaz (LIRT Scholar), University of Illinois
  • Christianne Elefante, University of Alberta
  • Irmarie Fraticelli-Rodriguez (ProQuest Scholar), University of Michigan
  • Ally Fripp (ProQuest Scholar), University of Arizona
  • Claudio Garcia, University of Arizona
  • Ramón García, University of North Texas
  • Joseph Gaskin, Florida State University
  • Alexandra Genia (Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians), Drexel University
  • Rita Ghazala (NCNMLG Scholar), San Jose State University
  • Alessandra Gonzalez, San Jose State University
  • Criss Guy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Amanda He, University of Illinois
  • Jacquelyn Howell, University of Washington
  • Hana Kadoyama, San Jose State University
  • Kyra Lee (ALSC Scholar), University of Illinois
  • Luisa Leija (ProQuest Scholar), University of Illinois
  • Andrea Lemoins (ProQuest Scholar), Clarion University of Pennsylvania
  • Christopher Lopez, San Jose State University
  • Kaia MacLeod, University of Alberta
  • Krystal Madkins (MLA/NLM Scholar), University of Illinois
  • Raquel Martínez, University of Denver
  • Anthony Martínez, University of Illinois
  • Kaypounyers Maye, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Cani McMillian (Giles Scholar), University of Michigan
  • Arianna McQuillen (LITA/OCLC Scholar), Simmons University
  • Angelica Mejia (ALSC Scholar), University of Southern California
  • Ashley Mitchell (Turock Scholar), University of Illinois
  • Abigail Morales (ProQuest Scholar, in honor of Ron Clowney), University of North Texas
  • Tannaz Motevalli (MLA/NLM Scholar), University of Maryland
  • Kendra Moyer (Calloway Scholar), Wayne State University
  • Chinyere E. Oteh, University of Illinois
  • Alice Pérez Ververa (YALSA Scholar), University of Washington
  • Charles Pratt IV (AASL Inspire Scholar), Valdosta State University
  • Cesar Reyes, San Jose State University
  • Rayyon Robinson, University of Illinois
  • Mayra Rosas (Gordon Scholar), University of Illinois
  • Luog Saepharn, San Jose State University
  • Hope Saldivar, San Jose State University
  • Mimosa Shah, University of Illinois
  • Alexander Soto (Tohono O’odham Nation) (ProQuest Scholar), University of Arizona
  • Julia Stone (ProQuest Scholar), Kent State University
  • Anders Villalta, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Chaoya Yang, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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 2020-2021, scholarships have been awarded in honor of the following supporters: Leo Albert, the Calloway family, Louise Giles, William R. Gordon, 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 200 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 2020 Spectrum Scholarship to support a student 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 2020 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 2020 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 annually funds two Spectrum Scholars pursuing a career in young adult librarianship or secondary school librarianship.

The Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) has committed to sponsoring one Spectrum Scholar annually from 2020-2022, supporting a student with an interest in library instruction and information literacy.

ALA offers thanks to the Spectrum Scholarship Jury for their work in selecting the 2020-2021 Spectrum Scholars: Chair Michelle McKinney, Reference/Web Services Librarian at the University of Cincinnati’s Blue Ash College Library; Nicola Andrews, Instruction and First-Year Experience Librarian at the University of San Francisco; Angela Barnes (lead juror), branch manager at the Brooklyn Public Library; Ivonne S. Cintron, Technology/Library Media Specialist for the New York City Department of Education; Carla Y. Davis-Castro, Research Librarian at Congressional Research Service; Hoah-Vu Do, Web Librarian at the San Diego Public Library; Jesus I. Espinoza, Student Success Librarian at the University of Michigan; George Gottschalk, Director of Acquisitions for the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Jacob L. Harris, Media Specialist for the Pulaski Academy Library System; Lori E. Harris, Interim Director at the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library at the University of Cincinnati; Twanna Hodge, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Librarian at the University of Florida ;Heather Hummons, Head of Access Services for Depaul's Rinn Law Library; Patrice Johnson (lead juror), unit manager at the Chicago Public Library Harold Washington Library Center; Jasmine Kirby, Instruction and Engagement Librarian at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar; Deborah L. Lilton, Digital Reference and Embedded Librarian at Tennessee State University; Hilda H. Loh-Guan, library administrator for the Santa Clarita Public Library; Dina Meky, Global Campus Outreach and Online Learning Librarian at Northeastern University; Hannah Lee Park (lead juror), Education and School of Professional & Extended Studies Librarian at American University; Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada, Adult Services Assistant Manager at the Palos Verdes Library District; Raymond Pun, Instructional and Research Librarian at the Alder Graduate School of Education; Monecia Samuel, liaison librarian for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) working at George Washington University Libraries; and Sandy Wee, Access Services Manager at San Mateo County Libraries.

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. 5020 or visit The application period for 2021 Spectrum Scholarships will open in September 2020.