Spring Scholarships Awarded to Outstanding iSchool Graduate Students


The hard work has paid off for 18 continuing graduate students at the San José State University School of Information, who were recently awarded a total of $28,000 in scholarships.

The hard work has paid off for 18 continuing graduate students at the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information, who were recently awarded a total of $28,000 in scholarships. The iSchool awards several scholarships each semester to students in the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) and Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) programs.

Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom, chair of the Student Awards and Scholarship Committee, remarked that “the quality of applications was outstanding and reflects a particularly strong cohort of candidates.”

The scholarship committee considers a number of factors when selecting scholarship recipients, such as faculty endorsements, GPA, financial need, community involvement, and leadership. According to Lisa Daulby, a member of the scholarship committee, the “quality and originality” of the multimedia presentation students were required to submit in support of their applications was especially important.

One student whose application really stood out was Simon Lum, winner of the Global Impact Scholarship of $1,000. Daulby commented that Lum demonstrated “a strong commitment toward using skills as an information professional to impact global communities and organizations,” which made him an ideal recipient of the scholarship. Lum himself said that he was “honored and humbled” to receive the award and added, “I hope to use my abilities and skills to inspire others, to develop capacity in organizations and in individuals, and to bring about positive change.”

Sylvia Aguinaga, winner of both the $1,000 Librarian Opportunity Scholarship and the $1,000 Thea Estreicher Memorial Scholarship, is using her skills and talents to create a positive impact on her community. Aguinaga is currently the director of curriculum for DIYGirls.org, a non-profit that provides technology education to girls in underserved areas of Los Angeles. “I see myself applying the work I know and love with DIY Girls to my future position as a digital literacy advocate,” said Aguinaga. “I believe in the power of both books and computers as tools for exploring interests and creating meaningful products.”

Various chapters of ARMA International funded six scholarships for continuing MARA students. Hoan-Vo Do and Erica Lamb were awarded $1000 and $500 ARMA Golden Gate Scholarships respectively. Tara Haghigh was chosen to receive a $500 ARMA Silicon Valley Scholarship, and Anna Maloney was selected to receive a $500 ARMA Pacific Region Scholarship. Anne Musella was chosen to receive both a $500 ARMA Silicon Valley Scholarship and a $500 ARMA Pacific Region Scholarship. Musella, a previous recipient of an ARMA Golden Gate Scholarship and a privacy analyst with the U.S. Department of Treasury, stated, “ARMA’s online resources were very useful in my previous job where I had several records management responsibilities, and their webinars continue to be useful as I begin to develop subject matter expertise in privacy.” Musella added that as she continues in her career, she hopes to “give back to ARMA Silicon Valley Chapter and ARMA Pacific Region so that others can be helped by these organizations.”

Several iSchool students have been selected to receive scholarships honoring former faculty and community members. Two Robert Ellett Scholarships of $1000 each were awarded to Lisa Cheby and Alice Mangin in memory of iSchool lecturer Dr. Robert Ellett. The $500 Leppe Scholarship, created to honor Louis C. Leppe by his SJSU alumnae daughters, was given to Elvia Hernandez. Kayla Figard was awarded the $1000 Terry Crowley Scholarship, which was endowed to honor the former iSchool professor and reference specialist.

The Kaiser Permanente Medical Librarianship Scholarship of $1000 was endowed by Kaiser Permanente to support candidates interested in a career in medical librarianship and health informatics. This year’s recipient, Emily Agunod, is also the recipient of a fellowship from the Association of Research Libraries Career Enhancement Program and will be interning at the National Library of Medicine during the summer.

Scholarships are also endowed by faculty, alumni, and donations to the iSchool scholarship program. This year’s $1000 Faculty Scholarship recipient is Rochelle Ball, and the Graduate Student Scholarship of $1000 has been awarded to Jenny Clark. Paul Wilson has been named the recipient of the $1000 Alumni and Friends Scholarship. Upon learning that he had won the award, Wilson stated, “I am very appreciative of receiving the SJSU Alumni and Friends Scholarship. The award will go far toward allowing me to realize both my academic and professional goals in the field of librarianship.” Wilson is currently a library assistant at the Burlingame Public Library in San Mateo County and hopes to work as a children’s librarian after he graduates.

The H.W. Wilson Scholarship, endowed by the H.W. Wilson Foundation and worth $1000, has been awarded to Becky Loveridge. The H.W. Wilson Foundation supports “libraries, library associations, historical societies, cultural programs and scholarships for library and information science programs accredited by the American Library Association.”

Friends of the Leisure World Library funds two scholarships for iSchool students interested in public librarianship. The committee selected Caleb Nichols and Melissa Solis for these $2,000 scholarships. Solis also received the $1000 Blanche Woolls Spectrum Scholarship. Upon hearing the good news, Solis felt “honored” and said “it is motivating to know there are people out there rooting for you.”  She also stated that she is grateful for the iSchool faculty who have “challenged and inspired” her. Currently Solis manages an adult literacy and volunteer program at a public library south of San Diego, California, and is actively involved with the San Diego Council on Literacy and LIBROS, the San Diego and Imperial Counties chapter of REFORMA. “I look forward to serving as a librarian who advocates for literacy, educational equity, and social change,” said Solis.

In addition to the 18 scholarships awarded this spring, five more scholarships will be awarded to incoming MLIS students in June. More information about scholarship eligibility and the scholarship application process is available on the School of Information scholarship web page. Donations to the iSchool’s scholarship program can be made at http://ischool.ddsandbox.net/donate.