Two Rutgers School of Communication and Information (SC&I) Master of Information (MI) students—Deborah Alejandra Popowski and Victoria Sun—were awarded Spectrum Scholarships by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services.
As stated in the ALA’s press release, “a prestigious committee of 28 jurors selected this year’s Spectrum Scholars based on their commitment to community building, leadership potential, and planned contributions to making social justice part of everybody’s everyday work in LIS.” Popowski and Sun were among “60 exceptional students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies.”
Spectrum Scholars receive funding to assist with educational costs and the opportunity to attend the Spectrum Leadership Institute, a three-day, all-expenses-paid institute for professional development, networking, and mentoring opportunities.
“Becoming a Spectrum Scholar is an honor and meaningful affirmation of choosing this new career path as a librarian,” said Popowski. “The values and purpose of this scholarship resonate deeply with my vision of public librarianship as social justice work.”
The ALA announced that the 2021-2022 scholarships honor these supporters: Leo Albert, the Calloway family, Louise Giles, William R. Gordon, and Betty J. Turock. Victoria Sun was named the Betty J. Turock Spectrum Scholar. This $6,500 scholarship is for students from underrepresented groups in honor of Betty J. Turock’s support of the Spectrum Scholarship Program. Turock is past president (1995-1996) of the ALA and SC&I Professor Emerita of Library and Information Science.
“I am immensely honored and humbled to have been chosen as a 2021 ALA Spectrum Scholar,” said Sun. “Being a member of the Spectrum program will not only enable me to continue my MI degree at Rutgers with a decreased financial burden, but it also offers me the invaluable opportunity to build relationships with other BIPOC Library Science students and scholars across the country as we work to make our field—and the world—more equitable for all. I’m excited for the start of the program, and I look forward to bringing my experience back to share with the larger Rutgers community.”
The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world. For details about the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program, click here. For information about SC&I’s Library and Information Science Department, click here. To learn more about SC&I’s Master of Information Department, click here.