Monday, September 24, 2012

Sylvia Murphy Williams Scholarship Fund Recipients


Sylvia Murphy Williams
Scholarship Fund
http://www.ila.org/Reporter/October_2012/2012-Williams-Winner.pdf

Six individuals were selected as this year’s recipients of the Sylvia Murphy Williams Scholarship
Fund. All are Illinois recipients of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Spectrum Scholarship.

Anthony Bishop
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Undergraduate degree: Chicago State University,
Professional and Technical Writing, 2008
Current institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Library and Information Science is a calling for me. A degree in
this field will be the culmination of my passions. A librarian is
one of the most important pillars to academic institutions, and
my experience working with the diverse student body at
Chicago State University as a library assistant has reaffirmed the
field of library science as the right field for my skill set. As an
African-American male, I believe I can contribute to the field by
reaching across racial and cultural lines and inspiring young
minorities to pursue a career in libraries. Being selected as a
Spectrum Scholar and participating in the Spectrum Leadership
Institute will provide me the resources and peer support to help
me successfully navigate through the challenges I will undoubtedly
face in the degree process. 

Liza Booker
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Undergraduate degree: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
English and Creative Writing, 2011
Current institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
As a child, I always viewed librarians as the gatekeepers of
information because on the south side of Chicago, the place
that everyone went to gain knowledge outside of school was
the library. I visualize countless opportunities with a career
in library and information science because anyone can transfer
their passions into research. I have always seen myself being
a part of the library community and having a career in library
and information science because I have a passion for exploring
how librarians research and organize information. Being a part
of LIS will allow me to give back to the community in the same
way the library gave to me when I was younger. I want others to
be able to join in on the admiration for the library and
information science field. As a Spectrum Scholar, I will be able
to improve my contributions to diverse library communities by
studying to advance my knowledge of library and information
science material so that I can continuously work on my goal
to create more diversity in library communities among users
Christina Nhek
Hometown: Long Beach, California
Undergraduate degree: California State University, Long Beach,
Art History, 2010
Current institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
I currently live in Long Beach and consider myself fortunate
because Long Beach is home to the largest Cambodian
community in the U.S. One of the reasons I want to pursue a
degree in the library science field is to promote the importance
of Khmer cultural awareness within the community. I also want
to build relationships between older and younger Khmer
generations. There is a great need to bridge the cultural gap
between the two groups. With the history of war and
psychological trauma, it is difficult for the older generation to
relate their lives to the younger people. Unlike other established
ethnic groups, there is little emotional and economic support
within the Cambodian community. By pursuing this field, I
would learn how to manage data collections and help establish
connections within the Cambodian community. Being
a Spectrum Scholar will allow me to pursue these goals.
I always knew that I wanted to work with collecting research
and archives. I have come to realize that it is more than my
passion to collect materials; rather, it is the need for heritage
preservation. I have encountered road blocks and some detours
along my path. However, in the process, I have
accumulated valuable experiences and knowledge. I know that
my past can be used to prepare hope for the future. 

Thomas Padilla
Hometown: Fremont, California
Undergraduate degree: San Francisco State University,
History, 2007
Graduate Degree: San Francisco State University, History, 2012
Current institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Of Mexican-American descent, raised by a single parent,
and surrounded by the culture of a family supported by the
automobile industry, access to information has been crucial
to my development as an individual. With the realization that
knowledge storage and transmittal has shifted definitively from
the analog to the digital form, I have come to realize that access
to information for future generations is in danger. Becoming
a Spectrum Scholar and joining the Spectrum Leadership
Institute will allow me to connect with other individuals
interested in ensuring that those who are either marginalized
or left out by virtue of race or place in the global order benefit
from our work in digital preservation. 

Charlotte Roh
Hometown: Fullerton, California
Undergraduate degree: Johns Hopkins University, English with
a History of Art Minor, 2002
Current institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
One of my goals in pursuing a degree in library and information
science is to gain a better understanding of how to better use
and apply technology as more and more schools, corporations,
and casual consumers move to rely on digital platforms for
education and recreation.
Additionally, I have always been involved in nonprofit and
volunteer work and my growing awareness of the issues
surrounding ethnic minorities in the United States has fostered
in me a need for dialogue and community. I am excited and
thankful to be a recipient of the Spectrum Scholarship and the
Sylvia Murphy Williams Fund so that I can engage in this
conversation within a library context.
I have a personal investment in the changing face of information
— in research, education, and engagement with the community.
Understanding and bettering the use of information as it
pertains to my interests, the needs of others, and the
socioeconomic boundaries we currently face is a challenge
that I look forward to in these rapidly changing times. 

Jose Miguel Ruiz
Hometown: DeKalb, Illinois
Undergraduate degree: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
Landscape Architecture, 2011
Current institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
I began working at the DeKalb Public Library when I was
fifteen years old. My experiences working with a diverse set
of individuals including librarians, library support staff, and
the public were both fulfilling and rewarding, which in turn
promoted my interest within the field. I believe that it is a very
fascinating time to be a librarian, and the opportunity to be
a mover and shaker in the library profession promoting the
values of diversity provides one of many goals as I pursue my
professional aspirations.

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