Twenty-Five New iSchool Students Awarded Funding to Attend Professional Conferences


Thanks to a generous donation, 25 students beginning the MLIS and MARA degree programs in fall 2015 will receive funding to attend a professional association conference of their choice during their first year at the SJSU School of Information.

Thanks to a generous donation to the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information, 25 students beginning the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) and Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) degree programs in fall 2015 will receive up to $200 to help pay for expenses related to attendance at a professional conference of their choice.

The one-time conference funding was made available on a first-come, first-served basis to new students as a way to encourage students to get involved in professional associations early on and “build their professional networks and make important connections that will help them considerably when they are ready to enter the job market,” said Dr. Sandra Hirsh, director of the SJSU School of Information.

Meeting other librarians interested in archiving is the goal of Randi Cline, a technical services librarian in Buena Vista, Virginia, who plans to use the funds she was awarded to attend the Virginia Library Association (VLA) conference in October. Cline’s objective is to work in archives once she completes her MLIS degree.

Similarly, Alexandra Apolloni is hoping to meet others interested in digital technology when she attends the annual conference of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) in Paris this year. A musicologist and part-time lecturer in the Musicology and Music Industry programs at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Apolloni is interested in pursuing a career as a digital archivist in a research library.

Other students, such as Alyson Durham, a circulation assistant at the Columbia Public Library in Columbia, Missouri, are looking forward to using the conference funding to investigate the diversity of careers available in information organizations. “I am planning to use my conference funding to attend the ALA annual conference in 2016,” explained Durham. “I chose to attend the ALA annual conference because it is the largest LIS conference, and will offer a broad range of subjects for me to explore.”

For students nervous about attending professional conferences for the first time, the School of Information has made available a webinar presented by iSchool lecturer and Yolo County librarian and chief archivist Patty Wong on the topic of “Surviving and Thriving at Professional Conferences.” Wong offers students tips on planning their conference experience, choosing the best sessions to attend, how to network effectively, and much more.

Membership in professional organizations has long been a priority at the School of Information. All students enrolled in INFO 200 Information Communities receive a complimentary one-year student membership to either the American Library Association (ALA), the Special Libraries Association (SLA), the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), or the Society of American Archivists (SAA).

The complete list of new students awarded conference funding includes:

Alexandra Apolloni
Michelle Vitetta
Madelynn Dickerson
Rebecca Gawronski
Alyson Durham
Sandy Lui
Trevor Wylie
Joan Murphy
Paige Preston
Stacy Michel
Amy Woods
Mariani Morgano
Heather Jones
Chelsey Roos
Angie Mendoza
Cinnamon Roy
Clara Asuncion
Generra Singleton
Danielle Hall
Javier Morales
Anastasia Finch
Nicoll Mischel
Elizabeth Ramos
Angie Conrow
Randi Cline

Congratulations, students! For more information on making a contribution to the School of Information scholarship fund, please visit the web page devoted to giving to the iSchool.