Below are rosters of the 2020–2022 and 2019–2021 classes of Kaleidoscope Program Diversity Scholars:
2020–2022 Diversity Scholars
Kimberly Villafuerte Barzola
Kimberly Villafuerte Barzola, a lifelong resident of the Greater Boston area, is an incoming library and information science graduate student at Simmons University in Boston. In 2017 she received her BA in agrarian studies, a self-designed program, with a minor in environmental policy and analysis from Boston University. She has previously worked on Quechua language revitalization efforts in Peru and currently works at the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT Libraries supporting digital humanities projects. Her interests include expanding language and cultural access to library and information resources as well as working to develop community-based archives and libraries. She is currently a member of the fourth cohort of the Library Freedom Institute and recipient of the George A. Strait Minority Fellowship and Scholarship from the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL).
Dymond Bush is currently pursuing a master of library and information science degree at Simmons University. She most recently worked in the nonprofit sector as a program manager for Scholar Athletes in Boston and as a high school advisor for the College Crusade of Rhode Island. Dymond earned a master’s degree in kinesiology specializing in sports management and policy from the University of Georgia in 2014 and a bachelor’s degree in sports management from Hampton University in 2012. Her interest in librarianship was sparked by an internship at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum. She is passionate about pursuing a career in library science to combine her passions of service, sports, and history. Her goal is to become a sports librarian to increase the representation of people of color in athletic collections and archives. Dymond is also a 2020–2021 American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholar.
San José State University
Brittany Butler is currently pursuing her master’s in library and information science at San José State University with an emphasis in web programming and data science. She earned her bachelor’s in African American studies and anthropology in 2019 from the University of California (UC), Berkeley. Throughout her time at UC Berkeley she worked as a library assistant for the African Studies Collection. After graduating she was selected as a West African Research Association library fellow where she practiced Africana librarianship in Dakar, Senegal. This particular experience gave her even more fortitude in her understanding that education is critical to any person’s ability to control and determine the direction of their own life. Her goal is to become a global librarian so that she can assure that information access will no longer be a barrier for young scholars who have an innate right to access reliable and credible information.
Valeria Dávila Gronros
The University of Alabama
Valeria Dávila Gronros is an MLIS student in the inaugural audiovisual preservation and archiving program at The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies. A native from Argentina, and a first-generation college student, Valeria earned a BA in cinematography at the Fundación Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires. Her passion for audiovisual preservation and archiving began while digitally restoring her country’s film heritage, where she forged a perception of archiving as a healing practice. Her work in academic libraries began at Oregon State University Libraries as a digitization technician, helping make materials publicly available online, and continues today as a 2019–2021 Diversity Scholar. Valeria is an active member and incoming chair at REFORMA Oregon’s Libros for Oregon, a program helping Oregon libraries develop their collections in Spanish. As a scholar in the Kaleidoscope Program, she expects to further develop skills for leading, collaborating, and making change within the field.
Laquanda M. Fields
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Laquanda M. Fields has been accepted into the Information and Library Science (Online) MS Program at University at Buffalo, and will begin her studies in August 2020. She earned her BS in journalism and broadcasting with a concentration in public relations and a minor in African American studies from The College at Brockport, SUNY. Laquanda is passionate about building community through representation and equity. She is the student projects and student employment manager for River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester. In this role, Laquanda coordinates the Career Exploration in Librarianship and Mentorship (CEILAM) program, where she has the opportunity to work directly with students to introduce them to the field of information and research through mentoring and project-based work—building a community of future librarians. In her future career, Laquanda will continue working with students and will apply her passion for building community to the field of research and archiving.
University of North Texas
Ramón García is a graduate student in his final year of the MS-LS program at the University of North Texas (UNT). Ramón holds a BA in English with a minor in Mexican American studies from The University of Texas at Arlington. His interest in libraries began at the early age of three through visits to his local library with his mother. Currently, he is a research and user experience intern at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and a metadata technician for the UNT Special Collections department. It was through SMU’s internship program that he rediscovered the joy of teaching, specifically that of providing research instruction to first-year writing students. As such, he is interested in instruction and digital humanities. Upon graduation, he aspires to work in an academic library. In addition to being an ARL Diversity Scholar, he is also a 2020–2021 Spectrum Scholar.
University of Alberta
A member of the James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada, Kaia MacLeod is following in her family’s tradition of excellence in librarianship. She is entering her second year in the University of Alberta’s School of Library and Information Studies. Kaia has an educational background in film studies and comparative literature, with interests in folklore and mythology. In addition to being an ARL Diversity Scholar, she is also a 2020–2021 ALA Spectrum Scholar and a 2020 AALL George A. Strait Minority Scholarship Awardee. Kaia currently serves as the president of her library school’s student association and has been writing a chapter for the forthcoming Library Juice Press book Residencies Revisited on her ongoing experience in the Indigenous Internship program at the University of Alberta Library.
Arianna McQuillen is pursuing her master’s in LIS at Simmons University. Growing up in Virginia, Arianna spent several years in foster care. Her undergraduate degree is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); she focused on anthropology and archaeology. She’s since stayed in the Cambridge, MA area, despite the snow. Arianna is passionate about conservation, integrating an understanding of diverse cultures into how cultural heritage institutions preserve, and displaying the history of those who have been marginalized and othered. She also enjoys applying her material science background to work with scientists and translate their needs. Arianna continues to volunteer with the Children’s Defense Fund after receiving a scholarship from the organization in her undergraduate.
Karla M. Roig Blay
The University of Texas at Austin
Karla M. Roig Blay is a recent graduate of The University of Texas (UT) at Austin where she received a BS in English and a certificate in museum studies. Starting this fall, she will be a first year MSIS graduate student at UT Austin, where she will focus on digital libraries and digital humanities. While at UT, she has worked in the digital stewardship unit at the Perry-Castañeda Library and in the digital scholarship lab at the LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections under ARL’s Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence. After the fellowship, she continued working with both libraries as a student digitization technician, while also pursuing two internships, one with the art and art history collection and another with the Landmarks public art program. Her continued interest in cultural institutions such as museums and libraries has led her to focus on how to make these institutions more accessible through the use of digital preservation and digital humanities.
Luis Rubio is a first-year graduate student at Pratt Institute School of Information, pursuing a master’s of science in library and information science. They received their BA in English literature with a minor in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from Binghamton University, SUNY. Luis is the 2020–2021 Pratt Fellow in the Brooklyn Museum Archives, working on completing a finding aid for two of the most utilized collections: the department of photography records and the photograph collection. Luis is interested in critical race theory, gender studies, and decolonial feminism. Their work aims to explore how photography as a medium, and the photograph as an object, are an important part of how marginalized communities document, share, and preserve their histories.
Brave Heart Sanchez
The University of Arizona
A second-year student at The University of Arizona’s iSchool and a member of Knowledge River Cohort 18, Brave Heart focuses on archival theory and practice. As a young Native scholar, his focus comes from developing information resources for Native communities throughout the nation. He is a graduate assistant at the Labriola National American Indian Data Center, where he works on a number of projects, including: updating policy for archival and print collections, collaborating with student organizations for library engagement, developing a library land acknowledgement statement, developing a social media strategy, analyzing search term recall by database, and processing the Jean Chaudhuri Collection. The variety of work, in light of current environments, highlights the necessity for a varied and responsive exploration and institutional incorporation of digital tool sets within every level and aspect of library and archival undertakings. He works to provide and develop digital and informational resources that embody the sovereignty of Native communities.
The University of Arizona
Alex Soto is a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation and a second-year graduate student earning a master of arts in library and information science from The University of Arizona. He is a Knowledge River Scholar and an ALA Spectrum Scholar. Alex’s journey to librarianship comes after years of success as a touring hip-hop musician/educator and activist. As a graduate student, Alex has realized the importance of culturally relevant information literacy within tribal communities, and the role of reparative archives in strengthening Indigenous sovereignty. Alex manages the Labriola National American Indian Data Center at Arizona State University (ASU) and leads Labriola’s engagement activities, facilitates ASU’s community-driven archive initiative in tribal communities, and serves as a liaison to Indigenous faculty. Recently, Alex helped co-author the library’s land acknowledgement statement. Alex believes Indigenous librarianship synthesizes his creative, cultural, and professional backgrounds as well as his commitment to social justice and community-building.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jerilyn Tinio is completing the joint MSLIS and MA in history program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She holds a PhD in philosophy from The Ohio State University and an MA in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Jerilyn is currently working as a graduate assistant with UIUC’s History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library. Before coming to UIUC, she worked as senior program assistant for collections and library services at the Newberry Library in Chicago. She hopes to become an academic librarian in the humanities focusing on outreach and instruction. She is building skills that will enable her to both identify and raise awareness of barriers to socially responsible research. Jerilyn also aims to develop partnerships with departmental faculty in the humanities to align library and disciplinary goals, and to foster critical thinking skills in future scholars through library instruction.
Y Vy Truong
The University of British Columbia
Y Vy Truong is a second-generation Vietnamese settler living on the occupied lands of the three title holding nations: xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), skx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səlílwətaʔ/sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh). In 2018 she graduated from The University of British Columbia with a bachelor of arts, with a double major in English literature and history and a minor in Asian Canadian & Asian migration studies.
She is the co-founder and librarian at joss paper library, which is a community-based library and research collective based in Vancouver’s Chinatown, focusing on self- and independently published works that center stories within the Asian diaspora. She is also the co-founder and community and public engagement coordinator at Bảo Vệ Collective, which focuses on language justice and information access for Vietnamese speaking communities. As a writer, researcher, and librarian, her work is centered towards creating ethical research practices, information justice, and grassroots community organizing.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Hailey Vasquez is a graduate student pursuing an MSLIS at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). While completing their BA in history at UIUC, they worked at the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections and, through ARL’s Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence, at the Student Life and Culture Archives. They are interested in examining the role libraries play in their surrounding communities and they hope to be involved with community-driven archive initiatives after earning their MSLIS.
Louisiana State University
Kelly West is pursuing her master’s degree in library and information science at Louisiana State University, where she is also a graduate assistant at the Clarence L. Barney Jr. African American Cultural Center. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in moving image arts from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and has worked in the public library system since graduating. Her professional interests include educating others through the preservation of Black cultural history, archival research, community outreach, and library advocacy.
University of Maryland
Max Wiggins is a first-year MLIS student at the University of Maryland (UMD), where they are serving in a graduate teaching assistantship appointment. Max holds a BA in gender and women’s studies from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Prior to their studies at UMD, Max was a high school English teacher, working to make critical theory and other radical literature accessible to teenagers, and prioritizing consent and dissent in the classroom. They encouraged students to see these texts as tools for examining themselves and the epistemological assumptions that construct the world. In their work as a librarian, they aim to ask questions about how libraries organize, privilege, contextualize, and produce knowledge. Whether they are connecting local artists or teaching at the Station North Tool Library in their hometown of Baltimore, Max aspires to engage in the liberatory work of building community through the exchange of knowledge and resources.
University of Toronto
Alexandra Wong is pursuing her master of information degree at the University of Toronto, concentrating in library and information studies. She completed her undergraduate studies in a combined mathematics and business administration double-degree program offered by the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. Currently, she works in the University of Toronto Libraries’ Information Technology Services department, helping to advance several digital collection projects. There, she applies her undergraduate degrees, prior life as a data analyst, and knowledge acquired during her first year of studies into creating standardized metadata, particularly developing the library’s involvement with linked open data such as Wikidata. Alexandra’s professional interests further include open digital technologies, data management, and organizational and information-seeking behaviors.
2019–2021 Diversity Scholars
Lauren A. Camarillo
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
As a second-year MSLIS student at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC), Lauren Camarillo holds a graduate assistantship position at the Undergraduate Library on UIUC’s campus. Prior to starting the MSLIS program at UIUC, she earned a bachelor of arts in English and Spanish from Texas A&M University, where she wrote an undergraduate thesis investigating the experience of solitude in American and Latino literature. Her work in academic libraries began at Texas A&M University as a student worker and later, a student coordinator. Though her primary interest is in academic librarianship, she has worked at the Dallas Public Library and the Biogen Library and Information Center. In addition to being an ARL Diversity Scholar, she is a 2019–2020 ALA Spectrum Scholar. Upon graduation, she hopes to continue studying the role libraries have in providing equitable access to users and how the library can further support first-generation college students.
Bran Eveland Cron
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Bran Eveland Cron is a graduate student in the MSLIS program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). They earned their BA in linguistics from Simon Fraser University (SFU) in British Columbia, Canada. While at SFU, they worked as a research assistant in the English department on a bibliography of women’s print history, and as an intern in the SFU Library’s Special Collections and Rare Books, under ARL’s Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence. Bran is interested in community libraries and archives that lift up the histories and legacies of marginalized groups. They are also passionate about metadata, with particular respect to how the language used in cataloging is shifting to reflect the autonomy of the people represented through various holdings.
Adaliz N. Cruz
Adaliz N. Cruz is a final-year library and information science student at Simmons University in Boston. She received her BM in applied music with a minor in music education in 2018 from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. Her goal is to become a music reference and instruction librarian and she hopes to include Puerto Rican and Latin American music into mainstream music library catalogs. She has worked in public libraries, while her current positions are in academic and corporate libraries. She presented her paper Re: Succession at the 2019 ASDAL Conference in Silver Spring, MD. She is also a member of MLA, NEMLA, REFORMA, ASDAL, and the president of SLA@Simmons. Her research interests are in ethnomusicology, more specifically Puerto Rican music and its social implications.
University of Michigan
Marilu Duque is a recent graduate of New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, earning a BS in integrated digital media with minors in public policy, business of entertainment media technologies, and science technology studies. This fall, she will be pursuing her MS in information at the University of Michigan. There, she will focus on data science, privacy, and security studies, in order to expand her understanding of the evolving information landscape. With this, her past experience includes being a naval research enterprise intern at the United States Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, ARL Digital and Inclusive Excellence Fellow, US Department of State Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) eIntern, and iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) Research Fellow. Through these experiences, she has been able to cultivate a passion for public sector work, academics, and information science. She hopes to one day pursue a career working to help the next generation of scientists, servicemen, and policy makers navigate the information landscape.
University of British Columbia
Eiman Elnoshokaty is an Egyptian native Canadian resident, currently pursuing her MLIS at the University of British Columbia. She has an educational background in management information systems and business administration. She holds both an MBA and a bachelor’s degree from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Egypt. In addition to being an ARL Diversity Scholar, she is also a 2019–2020 ALA Spectrum Scholar. She has a long working experience in public librarianship at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and currently works as a graduate research assistant and a student librarian at the University of British Columbia. Her academic interests include information policies, information ecosystems, knowledge translation, open access publishing, Creative Commons licenses, and serving diverse communities in libraries. She wishes to transition to academic librarianship specializing in Middle Eastern studies. Eiman also has an interest in museum education for children and adults and has developed a cultural scavenger hunt for Historic Cairo in Egypt.
Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
Lese Fandel is pursuing her master of library and information science degree online through IUPUI, concentrating in academic librarianship. She earned an MA in history with a specialization in genocide and holocaust history, focusing on the role of female perpetrators of political violence, from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2013. Currently, she works as the resource sharing specialist in the Interlibrary Loan Department at the University of Richmond. In this position she has been afforded the opportunity to work with students, faculty and staff on a variety of research topics and finding usable source material. Lese’s professional interests include the role that archives play in social justice, community outreach, records management, and research and instruction.
Carlos A. Grooms
North Carolina Central University
Carlos Grooms is currently pursuing his MLS at North Carolina Central University. He received a BA in history from Winston Salem State University and has over 10 years of public and academic library experience. At the Greensboro Public Library, Carlos teaches classes on basic computer literacy in support of local strategies to close the digital divide in the community. Additionally, he is a full-time employee in the Reference Department at North Carolina A&T State University’s Bluford Library. There he co-chair’s the library’s Community Engagement Committee bringing awareness to the library’s services and archival resources. In 2018, he was a finalist for the University Award for Excellence in Customer Service and he was the recipient of one of Bluford Library’s highest distinctions, the Servant Leadership Award. Carlos has an interest in scholarly communications, ALA’s Framework for Information Literacy, library advocacy, and learning communities.
University of British Columbia
Neah Ingram-Monteiro is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies at the University of British Columbia. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the College of William and Mary and was a Fulbright Scholar in Romania. Over the past decade, Neah has worked as a web and editorial manager, an NGO executive director, and a creator of independent media. She hopes her career as an academic librarian will include stewarding cultural and structural shifts in academia that allow academic research to benefit society more broadly. Her interests include data librarianship, instructional design and support, and advocating for balanced copyright law.
North Carolina Central University
Hiva Kadivar is a Tehran native based in Durham, NC, currently pursuing her MLS at North Carolina Central University. She holds a BA in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and currently works as the assistant to the Middle East and Islamic studies librarian at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill Libraries. Since August 2016, she has been working closely with the UNC Wilson Special Collections Library on enhancing the UNC Libraries’ Persian studies collections. Her research interests are on custodial histories of library materials, book history, digital humanities, and the intersection of postcolonial, feminist, and queer theories with library and information science. In her future as an academic librarian specializing in Middle East studies, Hiva aspires to cultivate community-oriented spaces that prioritize historically marginalized experiences and narrative forms of knowledge production. Hiva is also a visual artist; her works have been exhibited in local galleries in Durham.
Cani S. McMillian
University of Michigan
Cani S. McMillian is currently pursuing a master of science in information at the University of Michigan. She earned a BS in kinesiology, specializing in health promotion and educational studies, from Michigan State University (MSU) in 2015. Throughout her time as an undergrad, she worked as a library assistant in the copy center, reserves, and course materials program. Upon graduation, Cani continued working for the MSU Libraries in various capacities until serving as a unit coordinator for the past year. Her primary responsibility was to ensure that the surrounding community had access to the information and resources they needed. Cani’s professional interests include academic librarianship, user experience, higher education, and minority career development.
Emily Ping O’Brien
Texas Woman’s University
Emily Ping O’Brien is pursuing her MLS with the School of Library & Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University. She will complete her studies in the distance education program in the spring of 2020. Emily earned a BS in computer information systems from Bentley University and for the past two years worked with the digital repository team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Her current role as the digital programs and archives assistant at WPI involves analyzing repository procedures and workflows, assessing user needs, reviewing metadata, and collaborating with stakeholders to implement digital platform solutions. Emily is interested in enhancing discovery through meaningful metadata and improving interoperability globally across repositories and collections. She aspires to be an expert in the integration and management of institutional repositories with the goal of building robust and comprehensive tools for digital scholarship and information dissemination. Emily is an active member of Gordon Library’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Cultural Enrichment teams. She also co-founded the WPI Digital Volunteers, a group dedicated to bringing the academic community together to improve the digital heritage of traditionally underrepresented populations. Other interests include open access educational resources, data management curation, and inclusive design in information systems.
Tashiana Monique Scott-Cochran
North Carolina Central University
Tashiana Monique Scott-Cochran is currently pursuing a master’s of science in library and information sciences at North Carolina Central University. She has also earned an MA in Africana women’s studies with an emphasis in the Africana woman in literature. Prior to that she attended Hampton University graduating with a BA in history. She possesses a bevy of research interests including: Africana women in literature, disability studies, identity and sexuality studies. Tashiana fundamentally believes it is the experiences of marginalized people that hold a treasure trove of critical information and analysis. She has work experience in historical, education, and specialized research centers thus contributing to her passion for research within the archival profession, specifically the importance of gleaning the invaluable resources of people of color to access and tell our own stories.
Jeremy E. Thompson Jr.
University of Arizona
Jeremy E. Thompson Jr. is currently pursuing an MA in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Arizona (UA). During his undergrad at UA he studied as a double major and earned a BA in history and information science & e-society. The combination of these two areas of study alerted him to the research process and the ways in which the internet has impacted it. This fuels his professional interests to study and work with digital preservation and digital archives. Throughout his time studying at the University of Arizona, he has worked as a library assistant at the Arizona State Museum and will continue to do so as a graduate student. Concurrently, he interns at the 390th Memorial Museum as an archive and collections assistant. He is grateful to have been chosen as an ARL Diversity Scholar and hopes that it helps to launch a career working in research libraries and archives.
Renée A. Torres
San José State University
Renée A. Torres, a Southern California native, is pursuing a master of library and information science (MLIS) degree at San José State University (SJSU). In 2017, she earned an MA in 20th-century American history, specializing in women’s and gender history, from Washington State University. While conducting her graduate research, she frequently interacted with library professionals and these positive interactions led to her current pursuit of an MLIS degree. Throughout 2018–2019 she volunteered at a Southern California high school where she introduced students to conducting online research and formulating historical research projects. Renée hopes to conduct more library outreach in high schools and throughout the college and university setting to reduce library anxiety and promote dynamic research and collaborations across content areas. Support from ARL, REFORMA, and SJSU’s iSchool has reaffirmed her commitment to working in an academic library and serving historically marginalized communities by empowering them with access to information.
University of Southern California
Erik Valenzuela is a first-year graduate student at the University of Southern California pursuing a master’s of management in library and information science. He received a BA in psychology from San Diego State University with a minor in sociology. Currently, he is employed at UC San Diego Library and at the City of Chula Vista Public Library. He enjoys working in both types of library settings, and the two institutions have provided him with a multitude of competencies in serving academia and his local community. Professionally, his interests include archiving and collection development. His academic interests include statistical research; description, organization, and retrieval of information in enhancing users’ ability to locate resources; and digital management applications. His goal is to become an academic librarian or archivist specializing in an array of subjects such as film and music. Recently, he was awarded a travel grant to attend the Film Librarian Conference 2019.
Emporia State University
Doris Watts is an enrolled member of the Great Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. She is a first-generation college student, with a bachelor of science in business administration from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. She is in her second semester in the School of Library and Information Management online master’s program from Emporia State University. Her interest in libraries began in her undergraduate years as a student worker in Haskell’s Tommaney Library. While in her undergraduate business program, she took a series of federal records management courses that utilized the Cobell V. Salazar case as a teaching tool, which inspired her to focus on archives. The professional goals and research interests she holds involve the repatriation of artifacts, manuscripts, and digital media that are culturally relevant to people of color.