ALA Selects Nine iSchool Students for 2022-23 Spectrum Scholarship


Nine students from the San José State University School of Information were announced as Spectrum Scholars for the 2022-23 year. The Spectrum Scholarship is an annual scholarship given out by the American Library Association. The ALA created this scholarship to “affirms its commitment to 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.”

Réna Barlow chose to apply for a Spectrum Scholarship because her core value of EDIB (equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging) and the scholarship share the same vision. “I see it as critical to collaborate and learn from fellow librarians that value EDIB, in order to continue growing capacity to deliver on my mission.” Barlow decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science to work as a school librarian, and this scholarship will help her in the last year of the online master’s program. Barlow has secured a job at an international school as a secondary school librarian. “It is my plan to continue leveraging my degree and experience to work at international schools around the world,” she stated.

Cristopher Vázquez MuñozCristopher Vázquez Muñoz was named the ProQuest scholar, one of the supporters of the Spectrum Scholarship. “ProQuest has funded more than 200 Spectrum Scholars through sponsorship of the Scholarship Bash and now through their direct support of eight scholarships a year, including one dedicated in memory of Ron Clowney, a former ProQuest executive,” states the ALA press release.

Vázquez Muñoz applied for the scholarship to gain “mentorship and guidance to better comprehend where [his] personal goals, qualities and skills would best fit.” After completing his MLIS degree, he is interested in research librarianship or working in archives, specifically in a museum or art library. “It would be amazing to revolve my professional life around what I already enjoy consuming at a personal level.”

The nine Spectrum Scholars from the SJSU School of Information are: Marissa Arterberry, Réna Leticia Barlow (YALSA Scholar), Elise Bernal (NCNMLG Scholar), Anjali Bhat, Cinthya Hernandez, Jessica Hom, Kathrina Johnson (Elsevier Scholar), Cristopher Vázquez Muñoz (ProQuest Scholar), and Vilma A. Sandoval-Sall (ProQuest Scholar).

The application for the Spectrum Scholarship is available from September 1 to March 1. Full and part-time students can apply for the Spectrum Scholarship if they identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern/North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander and maintain a course load of two classes per semester. Further information about the scholarship and application process can be found on the ALA website.