Outstanding School of Information Students Awarded $20,000 in Scholarships


The SJSU School of Information awards several scholarships every year to students enrolled in the MLIS and MARA degree programs. Most recently, 17 outstanding students earned scholarships worth a total of $20,000.

Continuing graduate students enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) or Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) degree program at the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information (iSchool) can apply for a host of scholarships to help fund their education. Seventeen students recently received the very good news that they were selected for scholarships endowed or donated by faculty members, students, alumni and friends of the iSchool worth a total of $20,000.

Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom, chair of the Student Scholarships and Student and Alumni Networking Committee, noted that the high caliber of iSchool students overall renders the task of choosing recipients rather difficult. “While the committee was pleased to award an impressive 20 scholarships this spring,” she explained, “all of the scholarship applicants across the board were outstanding. The top applicants in each category are so deserving of the funds they’ll receive, but it’s always difficult to choose just one person.”

Alumni and Friends Scholarship

This year’s winner of the Alumni and Friends Scholarship, worth $1,000, is Lauren Goss, who currently works as a graduate student assistant at the Oregon State University Special Collections and University Archives Research Center, and as a film archives assistant at the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives. Goss’ goal is to work in special collections or university archives when she completes her degree. She stated that she was “honored” to receive the scholarship, and appreciated the “the funds that will help with future tuition costs.”

ARMA Scholarships

Catherine Folnovic, Hoan-Vu Do, Anna Maloney, Eileen Hansen, and Lisa MacDonald are all grateful recipients of ARMA scholarships recognizing the efforts of students pursuing careers in archives and records management. Folnovic and Do received ARMA Golden Gate Scholarships, for $1,000 and $500 respectfully. Maloney and Hansen both received $500 ARMA Silicon Valley Scholarships. Along with MacDonald, Maloney also received an ARMA Pacific Region Scholarship worth $500.

For Folnovic, the scholarships ARMA provides to students are an important part of the work the organization does promoting careers in archives and records. “I love being a member of ARMA International and am so grateful for their various funding opportunities,” she explained. “This past summer I was honored to receive an ARMA International Educational Foundation Graduate Scholarship, and I feel equally honored to have received the ARMA Golden Gate Scholarship. ARMA is progressive in targeting online programs and international students with their funding, where there are typically fewer opportunities.”

Hansen, who is currently employed as a curatorial coordinator at the Oakland Museum of California and finishing an internship at the San Francisco Public Library’s History Center, noted that iSchool students have access to both educational and funding opportunities while pursuing their MLIS and MARA degrees. “The opportunities afforded graduate students by the SJSU iSchool are many and diverse,” she commented. “There is just the right mix of instruction by academics and by industry professionals; the program offers different types of learning by different types of professors. There are also many scholarships available to help ease the burden of tuition, and I am honored to have been selected to receive one of those scholarships.”

Maloney also appreciated the support ARMA provides to graduate students at the iSchool, and said that because she has enjoyed work in both archives and records, she has not yet settled on one or the other for her post-degree career. Luckily, the ARMA scholarship gives her a little flexibility with class selection. “Being awarded the Silicon Valley and Pacific Region ARMA scholarships will allow me to supplement my MARA degree with an additional INFO elective,” she explained. “It’s wonderful that regional ARMA chapters are so supportive of the MARA program!”

For MacDonald, the ARMA scholarship was “very gratifying” since she is also a member of the organization and appreciates its support for one of its own. MacDonald plans to use her MARA degree “to contract with non-profit organizations, small businesses and individuals to serve as a record-keeper and archivist on an as-needed basis.”

Faculty Scholarship

Rebecca Leung stated that being selected for the $1,000 Faculty Scholarship was “an incredible honor because it offers support and encouragement for me to do what I love!” Interested in a career in archives, Leung is active in iSchool student chapters of both the Special Libraries Association and the Society of American Archivists, and she is a volunteer at the Bancroft Library and the San Leandro Public Library History Room.

Blanche Woolls Spectrum Scholarship

Being chosen for the $1,000 Blanche Woolls Spectrum Scholarship was especially inspiring to Suzanne Sannwald. “As a school librarian, receiving the Blanche Woolls Spectrum Scholarship holds special meaning since I have been inspired by Dr. Woolls’ powerful contributions to the field,” remarked Sannwald. “I also love how the Spectrum Scholarship reflects our core professional value of diversity, and I hope to honor this award through my work.”

Terry Crowley Scholarship and Robert Ellett Scholarships

Do, Terry Funk, and Anne Engelsen are all recipients of scholarships created in memory of School of Information faculty members. Do received the $1,000 Terry Crowley Scholarship, created in honor of the iSchool professor emeritus who specialized in reference and information services. Funck and Engelsen were both selected for the $1,000 Robert Ellett Scholarships created by Janice Wakimoto in honor of Ellett, who taught cataloging and information organization at the iSchool.

Engelsen is preparing to work in academic libraries after she finishes her MLIS degree, and stated, “I’m really grateful for this scholarship—it definitely helps me while I’m working toward my goals. I love every part of the academic library—from technical services to information literacy instruction—and I can’t wait to get started on my career.”

Kaiser Permanente Medical Librarianship Scholarship

Yael Hod, who is currently volunteering in a medical library, felt validated in her choice of special librarianship for her career pathway when she was selected as the recipient of the $1,000 Kaiser Permanente Medical Librarianship Scholarship. “I’d like to thank Kaiser Permanente and the iSchool for this scholarship,” said Hod. “This scholarship is an affirmation to me that I am on the right path to becoming a medical librarian.”

Friends of Leisure World Scholarships, Thea Estreicher Memorial Scholarship, and Librarian Opportunity Scholarship

Several iSchool students pursuing careers in public libraries have been awarded scholarships to help fund their MLIS degrees, as well. Stefa Witt and Karla Arellano were both honored with $2,000 Friends of Leisure World Library Scholarships for Southern California students pursuing careers in public libraries. Kai Forsley was the winner of the $1,000 Thea Estreicher Memorial Scholarship, also for students interested in public librarianship. Amy Tollison is this year’s winner of the $1,000 Librarian Opportunity Scholarship.

Arellano currently works at California State University Fullerton as an administrative coordinator, but is following the youth services career pathway so that she can become a YA or children’s librarian when she finishes her studies. Witt, who is the arts management intern for the Noah Purifoy Foundation and also an intern at the East Los Angeles Public Library stated that she is “very thankful for the Friends of Leisure World Library’s commitment to public librarianship.” Witt also noted, “I’ve been working at public libraries and other nonprofit community organizations for the entirety of my time in library school and receiving the scholarship makes a tremendous difference.”

The Thea Estreicher Memorial Scholarship was endowed by Estreicher’s daughter Deborah, an iSchool alumna herself, in memory of her mother and the important role public libraries played in her education and life. It is fitting, then, that Forsley, this year’s winner, also feels strongly about the transformative role public libraries play in communities. “Public education is something that interests me greatly and public libraries are in strategic positions to enhance literacy in the community at large,” stated Forsley. She hopes to work in public library management and administration after she completes her MLIS.

Like Forsley, Tollison is a believer in the power of public libraries to empower individuals and communities. Tollison is currently the adult services manager at the Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library in Glasgow, Kentucky. Thankful for the scholarship created by Diana Lee Morabito and Keith Ball, Tollison said, “I am pleased and grateful to be awarded the Librarian Opportunity Scholarship which is endowed out of gratitude by individuals for the positive impact libraries and librarians have had on their lives. I hope I am making this type of impact on the patrons of my public library, with the support of the education I am receiving from SJSU. This scholarship will help me reach my goals, so that I can help our patrons and our library reach their goals.”

Graduate Student Scholarship and H.W. Wilson Scholarship

Tamarack Hockin is the grateful recipient of both the Graduate Student Scholarship and the H.W. Wilson Scholarship, each worth $1,000. Hockin is studying in the digital services pathway, and concurrently pursuing the iSchool’s new Advanced Certificate in Strategic Management of Digital Assets and Services. She works in information services, managing website content and social media with Surrey Libraries in British Columbia, Canada.

Global Impact Scholarship

Noticed for her commitment to using skills acquired in her MLIS studies at the iSchool to further the goals of global communities and organizations, Joy Peterson was selected as the recipient of the $1,000 Global Impact Scholarship.

More information on the scholarships available to new and continuing graduate students at the iSchool is available on the scholarships and awards web page. To donate to the scholarship fund, visit the iSchool’s donation web page. Congratulations to all the scholarship winners!