Fall Scholarship Winners Stand Out for Academic Achievements


“Outstanding” describes the four graduate students who were recently awarded scholarships from the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information. Darren Ilett and Allison Murphy were awarded the Robert Ellett Scholarship. Amanda Bethel was chosen by the scholarship committee to receive the Librarian Opportunity Scholarship, and Cory Laurence received the Special Libraries Association Silicon Valley (SLA SV) Scholarship. All four students are enrolled in the school’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree program.

“All of the students chosen for these scholarships are outstanding,” said Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom, chair of the scholarship committee. “Their academic achievements are notable, and they’ve already shown their strong commitment to the profession.”

The Robert Ellett Scholarship was endowed by Janice Wakimoto in honor of the late SJSU professor Dr. Robert Ellett, whose passion was cataloging. Stenstrom stated that in order to receive the Robert Ellett Scholarship, which awards $1,000 to two students each fall, the students must demonstrate “high academic achievement” as well as “an interest in cataloging.” “Receiving a scholarship in the name of such an admired and influential member of the SJSU iSchool community is a great honor,” said Ilett, one of this year’s scholarship recipients. “This award will help me focus on my studies with the goal of becoming an academic librarian in the humanities.”

Murphy, the other winner of the Robert Ellett Scholarship, agreed with Ilett, and said that she was “thrilled and so pleased to be selected for the Robert Ellett Scholarship.” Murphy is working in children’s services at a library in Connecticut, and stated, “I love finding teachable moments with children and know that my experience at the iSchool will make me a more knowledgeable, capable, and experienced librarian.”

Bethel said that she was “grateful” to have won the Librarian Opportunity Scholarship, which was created by Diana Lee Morabito and Keith Ball in recognition of the important role libraries played in their lives. Bethel is working as a library specialist in Broward County, Fla., and would like to be a branch manager someday. The Librarian Opportunity Scholarship is worth $1,000, and its recipient is chosen based on academic excellence and financial need.

Laurence, who is not only the winner of the SLA SV Scholarship but also the President-elect of SLA SV, said “I’m very excited and grateful to receive the SLA SV Scholarship this fall. I’m entering my last semester in the spring, and it feels great to be rewarded for all the hard work I’ve done over the last few years.” According to Stenstrom, the $1,000 SLA SV Scholarships are given to students “who are at the top of their class and volunteer with the local organization.” Laurence stated that “getting involved with the SLA SV chapter has definitely been one of the best experiences I’ve had while in library school.”

Ilett, Murphy, Bethel, and Laurence were all chosen by the scholarship committee in recognition of their remarkable achievements in the MLIS program at the SJSU School of Information. “A great number of strong applications were received for this fall’s round of scholarships,” stated Stenstrom, “and these four students clearly stood out.”

The SJSU iSchool awards several scholarships every year to current students who have demonstrated academic excellence. In addition, for the first time, the school will award scholarships to new students who have been admitted to the MLIS program and are starting the program in fall 2015 or spring 2016.