Two students in the Master of Science in Library or Information Science program, Alejandra Lopez and Tamia Jackson, were among the 60 students awarded 2022 Spectrum Scholarships by the American Library Association (ALA). The Spectrum Scholarship is awarded annually to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern/North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the library and information science (LIS) profession.
As stated in the ALA press release "students were selected based on their commitment to community building, leadership potential and planned contributions to making social justice part of everybody's work in LIS." The IS Department is pleased to have several students and alumni who have received Spectrum Scholarships since it's creation in 1997.
Alejandra Lopez is a new student who will be pursuing a Master of Science in Library Science with a concentration in Youth Librarianship this Fall. An avid reader from an early age, Alejandra has always had a love for books and reading. She enjoys connecting with patrons over books, but it is her passion for working with the community that makes libraries one of her favorite places.
"Being selected for the ALA Spectrum Scholarship has been surreal," says Lopez. "After graduating at the beginning of the Pandemic, a time with so much uncertainty, receiving the scholarship has brought a sense of validation that I am on the right track. It also serves as an inspiration to represent and serve my community even more. I am excited to join the Spectrum community and be a part of a group that understands and supports BIPOC colleagues in the field. The resources that being a part of the Spectrum community will bring are immeasurable and ones I will utilize to the fullest extent. I am excited to begin my journey and join the Spectrum, ALA, and UNT communities!"
Lopez graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a Printmaking emphasis. Her studies also included a minor focusing on arts non-profits, featuring courses on programming and development. She currently works as a library associate at the North Richland Hills Library in the Circulation department. During her time there, she has worked closely with other departments as well. Lopez has worked with their Children’s Services department on several programs and events, including leading a photography workshop for teens. As part of the Library’s Maker Spot team, Lopez has been involved in planning and leading several programs in the community creative space. She has been able to draw upon her artistic background to assist patrons with learning and exploring new skills in fun and creative ways, making it a highlight of her position. Lopez is also the recipient of an IS Excellence and Endowed Scholarship and a UNT TGS McNair Scholar Scholarship.
Tamia Jackson is a new student in the Master of Library Science program and is a recipient of the Spectrum scholarship funded by ProQuest.
Learn more about the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program and this year's recipients, by reading the official ALA news release.
Applications for the 2023 Spectrum Scholarship program is open from September 1, 2022 to March 1, 2023.