Scholarship Recipients Show Range of Library Career Paths
Five New Students Receive Spring 2021 Director's Scholarship for Excellence


An aspiring archivist, art librarian and library marketer are among the five new School of Information students who were awarded a coveted Director’s Scholarship for Excellence for the spring 2021 semester.

Newly admitted students in one of the three master’s programs at San José State University’s iSchool—the Master of Library and Information Science, Master of Archives and Records Administration or MS in Informatics—are eligible to apply for the scholarship, which awards each recipient $1,422 to be applied to their first semester tuition. The award also recognizes the potential and passion of these newcomers to the profession.

For the application, recipients created an infographic describing their chosen career paths, a task requiring both research and creativity. Laura Darlington called the application process “a constructive learning experience,” that led her to research art librarianship, her desired career path. The infographic she submitted includes statistics on employment in her chosen field and a “gallery” of the field’s current issues, all presented with art- and museum-themed illustrations—pillars, picture frames and pediments.

Darlington first tested the graduate waters by taking master’s-level courses through the iSchool Open Classes program before committing to a master’s program. “With everything shut down due to the pandemic, it seemed like the ideal time to focus on continuing my education,” she says, adding that she “really enjoyed the course content and the tangible sense of iSchool community,” she experienced as an Open Classes student.

The scholarship will be “incredibly helpful,” says Darlington, who earned her BFA and describes herself as someone who has chosen “passion over pay.”

Heather Reinold's infographicHeather Reinold’s infographic first defines the difference between an archivist and a librarian and then outlines her path to both an MLIS and certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists. Reinold’s submission showcases her ambition, determination and organization. “I’ll be taking the certification exam in June,” she says.

Like many in the profession, Reinold went looking for a job and found a career. Her original ambition was to be an animator and she majored in art for her undergraduate degree. “I started working in my university’s archives in 2017 and fell in love with the job,” says Reinold, who then went on to earn an MA in History. After realizing that an MLIS would open up archival job opportunities, she decided to earn that degree, as well as the Archivist Certification.

“And here I am! I’m excited to learn more about librarianship and become a well-rounded individual,” she exclaims.

An ad for a job motivated Hannah Nguyen to pursue an MLIS degree. She describes in her infographic how seeing a listing for a job doing marketing for a library made her feel she’d “found her calling.” After studying art in college and spending 10 years working in marketing but feeling less than passionate about the products she was pushing, Nguyen is ready to use her skills to promote something she cares about—libraries. “I want to make sure everyone knows how indispensable libraries are,” she underscores in her infographic.

“The biggest reason I had been putting off going back to school was because of cost,” she says, noting that receiving the scholarship makes a huge difference. “It also was a big confidence boost because I am making a career change and winning this scholarship made me feel like I am heading in the right direction.”

Incoming students who meet the eligibility requirements still have time to apply for the fall 2021 Director’s Scholarship for Excellence. The deadline is April 30. Students can explore other scholarship opportunities on the iSchool’s Financial Aid and Scholarships page, including scholarships for both new and continuing students.

Many scholarships are made possible by generous donations. Please consider making a donation and support the next generation of information professionals as they pursue their dreams.

Spring 2021 Director’s Scholarship for Excellence Recipients

Laura Darlington
Tina Kremzner-Hsing
Hannah Nguyen
Heather Reinold
Madison Vaughn