Eight iSchool Students Named ALA Spectrum Scholars for 2020-2021


Eight graduate students enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science program at the San José State University School of Information have been awarded Spectrum scholarships by the American Library Association’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services for 2020-2021. The Spectrum Scholarship Program actively recruits exceptional students and provides scholarships to “assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA.”

2020-2021 iSchool Spectrum Scholars

  • Viola Allo
  • Rita Ghazala (NCNVMLG Scholar)
  • Alessandra Gonzalez
  • Hana Kadoyama
  • Christopher Lopez
  • Cesar Reyes
  • Luog Saepharn
  • Hope Saldivar

The Spectrum Scholars will each receive $5,000; a one-year student membership to ALA; free student admission to the ALA annual conference during the scholarship year; free attendance to the Spectrum Leadership Institute, a three-day institute that highlights cross-cultural models of leadership and features national library and community leaders; complimentary memberships to ALA divisions and participating round tables and affiliates during the scholarship year; and both formal and informal mentoring opportunities.

Stock photo of a graduate from UnsplashTo be eligible for a Spectrum scholarship, applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or Canada and identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander. They must also attend an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized School Library Media Program beginning no later than September 1 (for fall semester), have full- or part-time status, and plan to maintain a minimum course load of two classes per semester.

According to ALA, a “prestigious committee of 22 jurors” selected this year’s 61 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.” 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 considered to be “highly fundable.”

Since 1997, ALA has awarded more than 1,240 Spectrum scholarships. A list of iSchool students awarded the scholarships over the years can be viewed on the iSchool scholarship web page.

The application period for 2021-2022 Spectrum Scholarships will be open from September 2020 through March 2021. To learn more about how to become a Spectrum Scholar, visit the ALA application page.