Melissa Vang, a Master’s student in the Information Science program, is a recipient of the 2018-2019 American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholarship. The Spectrum Scholarship Program recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students, to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the LIS profession and ALA.
“I am very grateful and honored to receive the Spectrum Scholarship. This award allows me to progress further in my academic studies and future career,” said Melissa.
Originally from Minnesota, Melissa moved to Texas to pursue her Master’s in Library and Information Science at UNT. Her fascination with global information and art preservation made it easy for her to narrow down her specialization to the Archival Studies and Imaging Technology program of study.
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the College of Saint Benedict. After graduation, she taught English abroad in Thailand through the Fulbright program. During her undergraduate years and teaching abroad, she traveled to 14 countries and over 60 cities.
“I became fascinated by global information and preserving art through my travels,” Vang added. “I visited several art museums around the world and I was intrigued by the vast amount of artworks and online information.”
In addition to being a Spectrum Scholarship recipient, Melissa is also a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship. This is a highly selective full scholarship, for 10 years, with the intent of promoting academic achievement.
Melissa joins the rank of several UNTIS students and alumni who have been recipients of the Spectrum Scholarship. This year, 62 exceptional students were awarded, out of the more than 180 applications received. Spectrum scholars receive a one-time non-renewable $5,000 scholarship award, along with additional benefits, such as ALA membership for one year with free admission to the annual conference, attendance to the Spectrum Leadership Institute, and networking opportunities, to name a few.
Melissa will graduate in spring 2020. She hopes to further her education after completing her Master’s, as well as work in the archival and digitizing field. In her spare time, Melissa likes to read and explore the DFW area.
About the ALA Spectrum program
Through Spectrum, the American Library Association affirms its commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion by seeking the broadest participation of new generations of racially and ethnically diverse librarians to position ALA to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services. Spectrum specifically addresses the underrepresentation of librarians of color within the current workforce. The Spectrum Scholarship Program actively recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern and North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and ALA. The Spectrum program funds scholarships through its endowment and the generous contributions of individuals and organizations whose donations support named scholarships in the Spectrum Family of Funds. For more information, visit the ALA Spectrum website.
Photo: Melissa Vang