ALA Awards Spectrum Scholarships for 2023

For Immediate Release
Wed, 08/16/2023


Anjali Jain

Program Coordinator

Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services

CHICAGO — The American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services awarded 2023 Spectrum Scholarships to 70 exceptional students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies. Since 1997, ALA has awarded more than 1,300 Spectrum Scholarships. In the most recent 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 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 2023–2024 Spectrum Scholars are:

  • Maria Fernanda Arteaga Cuevas, University of Washington
  • Gabrielle Bass-Butler, University of Alabama
  • Marisa Bell, University of Alabama
  • Aizle Bernardo, University of Alberta
  • Alyssa Brown, University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign
  • Cristina Amelia Bueno, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Camryn "Cam" Burkins, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Sherese Card, University of Washington
  • Natali Carmona, San Jose State University
  • David Ajustine Castro, San Jose State University
  • Leah Choi, San Jose State University
  • Ruby Constantino, Rutgers University
  • Heather Cowie, Kent State University
  • Kayla Davis, University of South Florida
  • Abigail DeWeese, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Tara Yudon Dorje, University of Michigan
  • Wynter Douglas, North Carolina Central University
  • Sydney Duncan, University of British Columbia
  • Leigh Amadi Dunewood, University of Maryland
  • Melissa Hallenbeck Ernst, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Ted Farias, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Kristen Flores, San Jose State University
  • Gloria Amy Fordyce, University of Central Missouri
  • Sarah Rebecca Velazquez Gaglio, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Gabrielle Garcia, University of Washington
  • Wei Ling Goh, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Shira Grace Greer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Aliyanda K Harris Cobbinah, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Melina Hegelheimer, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Candace Hernandez, Pratt Institute
  • Darshai Hollie, Simmons University
  • Brianne Sau Mei Imada, University of Hawaii
  • Sage Innerarity (Ione Band of Miwok Indians), Simmons University
  • Jordon M. Jones, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Jayant Joshi, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • Anthony LaBat, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Tommy Lim, University of Texas at Austin
  • Victor Jesus Lopez, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Judy Low, University of Washington
  • Janelle Patrice Lyons, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Lisa Ann Maholmes, Valdosta State University
  • Shabrina McPherson, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • Bernice Meja, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Krystal Elizabeth Mendez, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Lilia Esperanza Monje, Emporia State University
  • Brianna Morales, San Jose State University
  • Tatiana Anabel Morales, Louisiana State University
  • Angelica Moreno Lopez, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Katya E. Mueller, Syracuse University
  • Starr Grace Ngo, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Christine Thuy Minh Nguyen, San Jose State University
  • Jennifer Daniella Nguyen Bernal, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Heidi Samantha Orozco, Simmons University
  • Aimee Perez, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Rachel Kaye Priesman Marquez, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Izchel Ajanta Quintero Martinez, University of Arizona
  • Jordan Rhym, University of Michigan
  • Ana Alicia Rico, University of Texas at Austin
  • Sabrina P Robinson, University of Alabama
  • Tanisha Roman, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Andrea Serna, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Niké Elysabel Shimobi-Obijuru, Valdosta State University
  • Sarah Stouffer-Lerch, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
  • Miya Upshur-Williams, Drexel University
  • Emily Valdez, University of Washington
  • Sally Vinanzaca, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Evie Qi Wang, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Sarah Waugh, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Zaria Whitlock, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
  • Louise Yu, 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 2023–2024, scholarships have been awarded in honor of the following supporters: Leo Albert, the Calloway family, Louise Giles, William R. Gordon, Satia Marshall Orange, Miriam Tuliao, and Dr. Betty J. Turock.

The Northern California & Nevada Medical Library Group (NCNMLG) is sponsoring two 2023 Spectrum Scholarships to support students interested in a career in health sciences librarianship.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) established the ALSC Spectrum Scholarship through funding from the Frederic G. Melcher Endowment in 2010. Three ALSC Spectrum Scholars interested in library service to children are designated annually. Ellen Fader, past-president 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 two 2023 Spectrum Scholars pursuing a career in academic and research libraries.

ALA offers thanks to the 2023 Spectrum Scholarship Jury for their work:

Nia Lam - Chair (Media Studies Librarian at University of Washington Bothell & Cascadia College Library ), Saegan Anderson, Khalila Chaar-Pérez (Collections Assessment Associate at People's Media Record), Emma N. De Vera (State Library Programs Specialist at Minnesota State Library Services), Criss Guy (Student Success and Engagement Librarian at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Christy M. Hogan (Collections Management Associate at University of Alabama at Birmingham), Jasmine Kirby (Assistant Librarian at the University of Utah), Melinda Maria Livas (STEM Librarian at University of California–Davis), Hilda H. LohGuan (Library Director at Alhambra Civic Center Library), Ida Teresa Martinez (Science Librarian at Wayne State University), Margaret Puentes (Coordinator of Collection Development at Chapman University), Anjelica T. Rufus-Barnes (Reference Librarian at Prospect Heights Public Library District), Conrrado Saldivar (Outreach and Development Librarian at Wyoming State Library), Mimosa Shah (Associate Curator at Schlesinger Library, Harvard Radcliffe Institute), Ashley Shifflett McBrayne (Archival & Special Collections Associate at University of Guelph), Joy Shioshita - Lead Juror (Former Supervising Librarian at Berkeley Public Library), Isabel Soto-Luna (Business Librarian at University of Nebraska Omaha), Jasmine C. Sykes-Kunk (Head of Research Services at John Hay Library, Brown University), Alicia Zuniga - Lead Juror (Public Health & Science Librarian at California State University, Sacramento)

Through the Spectrum Scholarship Program, ALA advances racial equity by connecting new generations of racially and ethnically diverse librarians with a network committed to mutual support, advancing one another’s leadership, and making social justice part of everybody's everyday work.

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 learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, please contact ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services at or visit The application period for 2024 Spectrum Scholarships will open in September 2023.