iSchool Scholarship Season

Community Profile

At SJSU, it’s scholarship season, the time for students to research and apply for fall scholarship and grant assistance, and there are plenty of ways for the whole San José State University School of Information community to participate.

If you’re an iSchool graduate or friend of the school, you can support the future of the profession by creating and funding a new scholarship to honor a special person or particular area of interest. Or give back through a contribution to an existing scholarship. You can send a contribution online at Giving to the iSchool, mail a check to Dr. Sandra Hirsh, iSchool director, or contact Hirsh directly to establish an endowment. Scholarships and awards support the whole iSchool and LIS community by helping future information professionals fund their education and start careers as outstanding LIS professionals. For more information, please click here.

iSchool scholarships offer 24 awards based on academic merit, and total more than $27,000 each year. There are specific awards for new, current and graduating students, in addition to more general and departmental SJSU Scholarships and CASA Dean’s Scholarships. There are scholarships specifically for Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) students, and diversity scholarships seek to create a diverse workforce of potential information professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds. 

Read all about our previous scholarship winners: if you’re a student, there’s still time to get your application in, and if you’re an alumni or friend, your support is always appreciated.

iSchool Scholarships
Desiree Wallen, who plans to graduate in May 2015, was awarded an iSchool scholarship in spring 2014 from the ARMA Silicon Valley Chapter. In her scholarship application, she described feeling that she’d found the field where she will be successful and will love working. “Not only am I carrying a 4.0 GPA because I worked hard to earn it, but because I am so eager to embrace the archives and records management field, I want to learn as much as I can during this time in the program,” she wrote.

Charmetria Marshall, who completed her degree in 2014, received a $1,000 iSchool scholarship in spring 2013. In her scholarship application essay, Marshall wrote about how her focus on diversity issues was inspired by the experiences of her mother, who as a young black girl in Oklahoma wasn’t allowed into the whites-only local library. “Knowing that there was a time not so long where it was illegal for marginalized groups to be able to access local libraries, and knowing that currently, these groups are still underserved, motivates me to attempt to be a driving force of change in the field,” Marshall acknowledged.

Charlotte King-Mills received a number of scholarship honors: in 2013, she received the Blanche Woolls Spectrum Scholarship, one of the iSchool scholarships awarded to current students based on academic merit. In 2012, she received a Spectrum Scholarship from the American Library Association’s Office of Diversity. She also received a scholarship in 2012 from the San Diego chapter of the Special Libraries Association. She said earning the ALA and SLA scholarships “allows me to network among and learn from a stellar combination of academic and special collections librarians whom I admire.”

In May 2014, Eileen Hansen received an iSchool scholarship from ARMA International’s Golden Gate Chapter. With one son in college and another slated to start in fall 2015, “money is always an issue,” Hansen said, “so the scholarship opportunities that are available are fantastic and much appreciated.”

Martina Podsklanova, of Belfast, Ireland, was the 2012 recipient of the iSchool NewsBank Scholarship, which helped support Podsklanova during her virtual internship at Calisphere, an online portal of digitized images of historical artifacts from California repositories. The NewsBank Scholarship supports students interested in pursuing careers in information retrieval and digital information resources.

Hoan-Vu Do was awarded the 2011 iSchool H.W. Wilson Scholarship, which supported his MLIS studies and career goals in science librarianship. Do has been drawn to libraries ever since his family emigrated from Vietnam as refugees in 1994. “We came from a small village, and we didn’t have a library or bookstore,” Do explained. “The library in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego was the first place where I could learn about books and libraries, and I loved going there when I was young.” The $1,000 annual iSchool H.W. Wilson Scholarship is endowed by the H.W. Wilson Foundation. Do was also the recipient of a 2010 ALA Spectrum Scholarship.

Winning the Connie Constantino iSchool Scholarship allowed Scott Boyd to achieve scholastic and internship goals. The iSchool scholarship was awarded to “commemorate the work of the former faculty member in the areas of library education and library services.” Boyd says that, “until last year, I had never been in a position to apply for any award or scholarship, so to be a corecipient of such a prestigious scholarship on my first attempt was, well, surreal. The message I received from Dr. Bernier informing me that I was a recipient will be framed and hung alongside the MLIS degree.”

Friends of the iSchool Scholarships
Jonna Paden received the school’s 2013 Alumni & Friends Scholarship. Paden was a scholar with the Circle of Learning (COL) program, a grant-funded partnership between the SJSU iSchool and the American Indian Library Association. The COL program provides scholarships and other support to American Indians and Alaska Natives in the school’s MLIS program. COL also partners scholars with a mentor in the information field, which Paden has found extremely helpful.

Candice Putnam won the same scholarship in 2012, using it to support her final year in the program. Putnam lives in Alberta, Canada, and credits the iSchool’s fully online model as critical to her decision to pursue the degree. “If this wasn’t available, I would have had to move to go to school,” she said. “The classroom experience has been very cohesive, and I’ve met other Canadians, too.”

Winning the 2011 scholarship allowed Theresa Putkey to obtain an MLIS degree while continuing her work as an information architect. “The scholarship will really help me with tuition,” said Putkey. The annual $1,000 scholarship is endowed by the school’s alumni association, iSchool Connext.