Fundraising for Spectrum Scholarships

January 24, 2014

Simmons supports Spectrum Scholars and Diversity within the LIS Profession

At the Sankofa: Remembering the Past to Plan for the Future: Spectrum Scholars 2013 dinner event held at Simmons College on November 14, 2013, Simmons GSLIS raised approximately $1,800, which exceeded the $1,000 goal, to support the American Library Association's (ALA) Spectrum Scholarships for students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information science. This year, four Simmons GSLIS master's degree students were selected as Spectrum Scholars: Micha Broadnax, Ashley Dean, Andrea Devlin, and Anastasia Greene. Myrna Morales is one of six candidates who received a Spectrum Scholar Doctoral Fellowship, which will provide funding for her doctoral degree. The fundraising success story was featured in the ALA council's quarterly report.

"We are proud of the accomplishments of Simmons GSLIS's Spectrum Scholars and appreciate the award program's opportunities that enable students to attend their school of choice, strengthen friendships, and expose traditionally underrepresented groups to the growing diversity in the library and information profession," said Dean Eileen Abels.

"Simmons GSLIS is excited to continue to match the Spectrum scholarship for each student," said Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Spectrum Giving Back Chair Em Claire Knowles.

The event was also attended by Simmons GSLIS's 2012 Spectrum Scholar recipients students June Thammasnong and Christina Stone. Stone gave a presentation about her experience as a Spectrum Scholar. Although Eva Rios-Alvarado'14LS could not attend, she designed the event flyer.

The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity awarded Spectrum Scholarships to 51 students for the 2013-2014 calendar year, according to an ALA news release. The 2013 application cycle was highly competitive, and recipients were selected based on their commitment to diversity and the library profession, as well as demonstrated community outreach, achievements, and leadership potential. Spectrum Scholars work in all types of libraries and have taken on leadership roles in the profession. The scholarships enable librarians to continue to empower the nation's changing communities. ALA has awarded more than 800 Spectrum Scholarships since 1997.

For those who are interested in contributing to the scholarship program with a tax-deductible donation, please send a check payable to the American Library Association with "Simmons/E. Knowles." in the memo line. Mail your check to ALA, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Knowles also invites advocates to organize "Dinners for Spectrum" to raise funds, network, and celebrate local Spectrum Scholars.

By Dean's Editorial Fellow Jennifer Moyer