Director’s Scholarship for Excellence Helps New Students Launch Their Education at the iSchool


Graduate students beginning the award-winning Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information during academic  year 2015/2016, will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships with the newly created Director’s Scholarship for Excellence, the school’s first-ever scholarships for new students.

Five new scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded to incoming MLIS students in fall 2015 and five more in spring 2016. “I am pleased to offer these new scholarships to help new students launch their education in library and information science at our school,” said Dr. Sandra Hirsh, director of the SJSU School of Information. “Our school aims to attract bright, motivated students, and we hope that this scholarship will help new students pursue their future careers.”

The Director’s Scholarship for Excellence is intended to recognize the potential of new students to serve as information professionals and take a leading role in shaping the profession. To that end, the application procedure has been designed to allow students to showcase the skills that will make them an asset to the information profession. To apply for the scholarships, incoming students will create a Pinterest board which demonstrates either the future the student envisions for the information profession or why the student wants to be an information professional. Applications will be evaluated “based on innovative use of the Pinterest social media platform to share ideas, organize ideas, and create engaging visual content.”

Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom, a lecturer at the SJSU iSchool and chair of the scholarship committee, explained that the innovative scholarship application fits the curriculum of the MLIS program. “SJSU students become experts at using a variety of technologies in creative and flexible ways while they complete their degrees,” said Stenstrom. “The new entrance scholarship application process reflects the highly technical nature of the program, and will allow incoming students to be creative with their submissions.”

Each year, the SJSU School of Information scholarship committee honors a number of current students with scholarships recognizing academic merit and outstanding performance, but a scholarship for incoming students is a first for the school. Students who are accepted to the MLIS program for fall 2015 will be able to start applying for the scholarship in February, and the deadline for applications is May 1, 2015. Students entering the MLIS program in spring 2016 will be able to apply for the scholarship in the fall of 2015. In order to be eligible, incoming students need to have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5. Fall 2015 scholarship winners will be notified in June.