iSchool Students Net $19,500 in Spring Scholarships


The San José State University School of Information awards several scholarships each year to current students enrolled in the MLIS and MARA degree programs thanks to the generosity of donors. The spring scholarship recipients received nearly $20,000 in scholarships.

San Jose Staté University School of Information graduate students have received nearly $20,000 in scholarships this spring.

Endowed by faculty, students, alumni, and friends of the iSchool, scholarships are awarded to current students based on academic merit. The Scholarship Committee Chair Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom said this year’s selection of recipients is notable for its “high standard of achievement in their studies” who benefit from being able to apply “impressive sums” toward their tuition or other school-related expenses.

Kathryn Davis said the $2,000 she received from the Friends of Leisure World Library Scholarship will assist her family greatly because not only is she a student but she has one daughter in college and another who will be starting next year.

“Three of us in college means that every single penny counts, so the Friends of Leisure World Library scholarship takes a bit of the pressure off,” she said. “The scholarship was a perfect fit for me because it requires applicants to have a strong GPA, as well as reside in Southern California.”

Davis, a resident of San Diego, volunteers for the county library system by “creating magical early literacy story times” for preschoolers. She was recently named Volunteer of the Year at her branch and plans to continue her education after receiving her Master of Library and Information Science degree with further studies in early literacy.

“I want to help build awareness of the critical need to sing, talk, read, write, and play with the very youngest of patrons,” she noted.

Graduate Student Scholarship recipient Megan Pinheiro da Silva said she’s “dabbled” in the field of education for many years—from teaching preschool, English as a Second Language to adults, middle school English, and now substitute teaching—without a defined direction. However, as much as she enjoyed her various positions, she’s excited to have found her calling as a school librarian. With her $1,000 scholarship, she will be able to continue learning information literacy with the hope of equipping students for life in the 21st century.

“A school library, staffed with a qualified school librarian, is so important, especially in elementary school when children are learning to read and forming lifelong habits. Being a student at the age of 55 has been a humbling and enriching experience. I am re-educating myself in a new century and have a lot to learn about electronic devices and social media,” she said.

Having already attended law school, Felicity Murphy knows the struggle of student loan debt, so winning $2,000 for the Global Impact and Robert Ellett scholarships was a “thrill.” She applied for the scholarships because she hopes to contribute “in a meaningful way” as a result of her MLIS degree.

“I decided that regardless of how long it took I was going to pay for my [MLIS] out of pocket. As a result, it will take me longer to earn this degree than most. The funds from these scholarships really relieved financial pressure and will allow me to take one more class than I expected to be able to in the fall. I am grateful for that,” she said.

Carina Langstraat said she applied for the Terry Crowley Scholarship because the parameters seemed to be open to a variety of specialties within the library field and she’s focused on public librarianship.

“My goal is to become an adult services librarian in a public library. I did not know Dr. Crowley, but I will take the responsibility of bringing my best self to the library and community in which I live seriously so that, as a scholarship recipient, I will honor his name,” she said.

The $1,000 she received from the scholarship will be used to offset the costs of her MLIS degree. With the education she’s gaining at the iSchool, Langstraat wants to apply her knowledge to her local library on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

“If [Crowley’s] family ever visits, I hope they come to our small public library. It is vibrant, innovative and committed to serving its patrons—all things Dr. Crowley worked to inspire in his students and colleagues,” she said.

Anita-Marie Martinez was impressed by the commitment and long history of the H.W. Wilson Company has had to providing indexing, reference and database resources to information institutions. She has a strong desire to work in public libraries, so continuing the company’s legacy of providing information resources to the public seemed like a strong fit. As the recipient of the H.W. Wilson and the Thea Estreicher Memorial scholarships, she said the $2,000 will help reduce her financial burdens and will provide much-needed assistance as she pursues her master’s degree.

“Attending a Master of Library and Information Science program has been a wish fulfillment of a long-time dream of becoming a librarian. Throughout my life, the public library has been an important resource for my intellectual development by facilitating my interests in new subjects. Being a beneficiary of library services instilled in me an appreciation for the library as an institution and the public good it provides,” said Martinez.

Motivated to become a librarian after witnessing how libraries can make a positive social impact in our global communities, Martinez has “a strong desire to help public libraries become more reflective of the communities they serve.”

Other scholarship recipients are as follows:

  • Alumni & Friends Scholarship: Bria Sinnott ($1,000)
  • ARMA (Golden Gate) Scholarship: James Carpenter ($1,000) and Lisa McDonald ($500)
  • ARMA (Silicon Valley Chapter) Scholarship: Lisa McDonald  ($500) and Carolyn Nickerson-Harper ($500)
  • ARMA Pacific Region MARA Scholarship: Carolyn Nickerson-Harper ($500) and Lisa McDonald ($500)
  • Blanche Woolls Spectrum Scholarship: Tova Joanna Johnson ($1,000)
  • Faculty Scholarship: Amy DiBello ($1,000)
  • Leppe Scholarship: Jessica Novak ($1,000)
  • Librarian Opportunity Scholarship: Bintal Patel ($1,000)
  • Robert Ellett Scholarship: James Tyner ($1,000)
  • Friends of Leisure World Library Scholarship: Karla Arellano ($2,000)

The iSchool awards several scholarships each year thanks to the generosity of donors. Gifts can be made on the donation page, and 100% of all proceeds from merchandise purchased at the iSchool Zazzle store is used to fund scholarships. For more information regarding iSchool scholarships, eligibility, and how to apply, visit the scholarships page