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Kaleidoscope Program Scholars

Below are rosters of the 2022–2024 and 2021–2023 classes of Kaleidoscope Program Scholars:

2022–2024 Kaleidoscope Program Scholars

Arianna Alcaraz
University of Alberta

Arianna Alcaraz is a first-generation Filipino immigrant settler living in Mohkinstsis (Calgary, Alberta). Born and raised in the Philippines, she migrated to Canada when she was 15, and later earned a BA in English literature from the University of Calgary. She is currently completing an online, part-time MLIS degree at the University of Alberta. Her academic and professional pursuits explore librarianship as both a discipline and a profession that upholds and enacts systems of bias and inequity, which she hopes to address through scholarship, leadership, and community-building within the field. She previously served as Michigan State University Libraries’ first Diversity Scholar, where she was involved with an assessment project that aimed to identify best practices for educating library workers in issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is also co-writing a book chapter about knowledge organization as a method of intellectual and spatial resistance in the context of Filipiniana collections. Arianna aspires to make a meaningful impact on the field as an academic librarian, with a focus on critical librarianship as scholarship and embodied practice. In addition to being an ARL Kaleidoscope Scholar, she is also a 2020–2021 American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholar and a recipient of the 2021 American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) George A. Strait Minority Scholarship and Fellowship.


Melissa Aslo De La Torre
The University of Texas at Austin

Melissa Aslo De La Torre (she/her/ella) is a dual master’s student at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin School of Information and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies. Melissa received her BA in religion from Reed College in 2013, where she worked as a student assistant at Hauser Memorial Library. As a first-generation immigrant and college student, she hopes to make libraries and archives more accessible. Her research focuses on archival praxis among queer communities in the US-Mexico borderlands and Latin America, exploring the intersections of queer archival praxis, visual culture, and digital archives as activism. She is particularly interested in the emergence of digital memory projects and archives on social media platforms by and about queer Latine/x communities. Since fall 2021, as a graduate research assistant at UT’s Benson Latin American Collection, she has processed Latine artists’ papers, photograph collections, and co-curated the exhibit “Martín Fierro: From Marginal Outlaw to National Symbol.” In September, she will begin a two-year graduate research assistantship in library instruction at the Harry Ransom Center. Melissa is also a 2022–2023 American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholar.


Imani Benjamin-Wharton
Valdosta State University

Imani Benjamin-Wharton is an incoming MLIS graduate student at Valdosta State University. In 2019 she received her BA in English with a minor in film with advanced honors from Georgia State University. Her interest in archiving began while working at the Gwinnett History Museum, researching the historic houses and colonial families of Gwinnett county. Currently, she works as a library specialist at Emory University in the Robert W. Woodruff Main Library. Her interests include expanding access to Caribbean census records and creating community-based archives for records and oral histories. Being a second-generation Guyanese American, she saw the need to develop archives that preserve the history and ancestry of Caribbean Americans. Her goal is to become an archivist to diversify documentation available to genealogy collections by digitizing Caribbean records.


Jennifer Nguyen Bernal
University of California, Los Angeles

Jennifer Nguyen Bernal is an incoming MLIS student at the University of California, Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a bachelor’s in Asian American studies and Chicanx studies. Her current passion is researching the intersection of ethnic studies and library and information studies by focusing on open access to information sources for social justice aims. During her undergrad years, she worked on her research on voicing the lived experience of solidarity between the Southeast Asian and Latinx undocumented communities. She worked on various projects to support the Filipinx community, like the Welga Digital Archive, creating educational materials for communities of color, and published podcast episodes that made the community’s needs evident by collecting testimonies at the Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies.


David Castro
San José State University

David is an aspiring metadata/cataloging librarian who wishes to broaden his work and aims to bridge the gap between people of color and their representation in traditional cataloging. In 2018, he earned a BA in history from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). At UCLA, David developed a strong interest in the preservation of cultural artifacts through his appointment as “ourstorian” for Samahang Pilipino, a student-run organization on campus. This experience led David to pursue his MLIS at San José State University, focusing his pathway on information organization, description, analysis, and retrieval, along with a secondary focus in data-assets management. Currently, David is a metadata archivist at the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California (CHSSC). Working both independently and collaboratively with local archivists and technology specialists, he has been sorting and organizing digital assets of several archival collections for display on the society’s Omeka platform. In addition to his work at CHSSC, David is a library assistant at the Getty Research Institute, where he aids patrons and staff in acquiring archival materials for their research and exhibition use.


Amanda Chaplin
University at Albany, SUNY

Amanda Chaplin is an information science graduate student concentrating in archives and records management at the University at Albany. She graduated summa cum laude from Russell Sage College with a BA in history with a globalization and international studies concentration. Amanda’s interest in archives began as an intern at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, where she assisted with the processing of letters written by President Van Buren. Amanda was named the Cynthia Crocco Spector (‘74) and Sherman David Spector Fellow in 2018, for her proposal to research Black Loyalist settlements in Nova Scotia, Canada. She utilized the Nova Scotia Archives to trace her Black Loyalist heritage. Amanda developed a passion for digital archives during her time in Canada. She believes, through digital archives, information can cross international borders and become more widely available to minorities. Her goal is to create more accessibility of archives and records through digitization to uplift communities of color. Currently, Amanda is employed at the Rensselaer Public Library, where she serves her local community.


Ariana Cook
Syracuse University

Ariana Cook will be starting as a master’s student at Syracuse University in the fall of 2022. Ariana intends to focus on literacy equity within the library and information field because equal and fair access to information and knowledge is a powerful right of every individual. It is both a privilege and a source of pride to be a part of a university and intellectual community where she can work to foster diversity and create equity within the library and information field.


Kesheena Doctor
San José State University

Yá’át’ééh shik’éí dóó shidine’é. Shí éí Kesheena Doctor yinishyé. Tótsohnii nishłį́ Tsinnijinnie bashishchiin Áshįįhí dashicheii Táchii’nii dashinalí. Ákót’éego diné asdzáán nishłį́. Tsiizizii déé’ naashá. Kesheena Doctor is Diné (Navajo) from the Dinétah area of Leupp, Arizona. They hold a BA in women’s studies from Portland State University and are a Nancy Ryles Scholarship recipient and a Chief Manuelito Scholar. Kesheena’s interest in librarianship stems from their community zine work with the Independent Publishing Resource Center, WOC Zines, and the Portland Zine Symposium, where they collaborated with many zinesters who also worked as librarians.  Kesheena intends to center their librarianship on promoting Indigenous narratives, Indigenous knowledge, and Indigenous self-expression with zines and digital media. They explored this concept while making their ongoing zine series, Going Places. She attributes her dedication to collaborative projects and community building to her Diné cultural values and witnessing her grandparents’ community work. They are excited to be a part of the Kaleidoscope Program to help realize their goals as a librarian serving Indigenous communities. Kesheena currently resides in Balbancha, the Chahta (Choctaw) namesake of the New Orleans, Louisiana, area.


Blanca Garcia-Barron
San José State University

Blanca Garcia-Barron is currently a graduate student in the MLIS program at San José State University. She earned a BA in public and oral history from California State University, San Bernardino, in 2016. As an undergraduate, she worked in public libraries where she combined her dedication to public history, research, and community in her work. This enabled her to work in public programming and library grants focused on Latinx history. She pursued doctoral studies in Borderlands history at The University of Texas at El Paso. Though, as a first-generation Brown student in academia, the road was difficult, and she decided to pivot careers in 2020. Her experiences in academia emboldened her to become a fierce advocate of BIPOC students, their success, and equity in higher education. Now, through librarianship, Blanca has found a renewed sense of self and a place where her advocacy of BIPOC students is central to her practice. Currently, her research focuses on the experiences and information access of fronterizx and transfronterizx students on the US-Mexico border. Her praxis is informed by scholarship on border pedagogy, radical empathy, and critical librarianship, as well as the student and border communities of El Paso, Texas, who introduced her to critical consciousness.


Zahra Garrett
Simmons University

Zahra is currently enrolled in the MLIS program at Simmons University, with a concentration in cultural heritage informatics. Zahra is especially interested in outreach and education, and hopes to make supporting nontraditional users of special collections and academic libraries a focus in her future career. As a former performing arts professional, a particular interest is encouraging use of special collections, archival, and academic library resources by performing artists. Zahra is also interested in exploring how libraries and other cultural heritage institutions can use technology in creative ways to enhance (rather than replace) services. Zahra is a 2021–2022 American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholar.


sourav guha
San José State University

sourav guha has experience across a broad variety of roles in the public, nonprofit, and postsecondary sectors, including several years working on issues pertaining to representation, access, and inclusion in US higher education. A child of immigrants who were themselves born colonial subjects of the British Raj, sourav has deep-seated interests in issues of distributive and restorative justice. At present, they coordinate the activities of the Consortium on High Achievement and Success (CHAS), a platform for peer learning, networking, and professional development opportunities aimed at advancing strategies to better support students, faculty, and staff of color at member institutions. Prior to joining CHAS, they were a researcher for Vassar College’s Engaged Pluralism Initiative, a Mellon Foundation–funded project aimed at fostering a sense of affirmation and belonging on campus, particularly among students from historically underrepresented backgrounds. On occasion, sourav engages in teaching and writing. In fall 2022, they are teaching a course at Connecticut College on contemporary Indian politics. Last year, they contributed an essay, “Sustainability without Justice Just Sustains Injustice,” to an anthology published by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).


Vita Kurland
New York University and Long Island University

Vita Kurland (they/them) is a dress historian, archivist, and memory worker. They are enrolled in a dual-degree master’s program at New York University and Long Island University in costume studies and library and information science. Vita approaches the study of dress and material culture from an interdisciplinary standpoint, pulling from their background in art history and interest in archival and curatorial practice. Their goals are to amplify the importance of material culture histories—explicitly textiles and dress—as worthy of archival stewardship. Their work is centered around bringing marginalized histories to the forefront of archives and education. Vita was born and raised in NYC and holds their BA in art and aesthetics from Bard College Berlin (BCB).


Amina Malik
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Amina Malik is a first-year MLIS student at the University of Illinois, where she also earned her BA in history, focusing on public history and community archival work. Amina is from Lahore, Pakistan, and her research focuses on preserving the mobility and cultural history of the Ahmadiyya community—who face extreme religious persecution throughout South and Southeast Asia. Her interest in critical librarianship and archival sciences solidified through various projects within public history—notably History Harvest, a digital humanities database for which her teammates worked with the Fifth & Hill community, a residency in Champaign that has been affected by environmental racism, and with the LGBTQ+ community in Champaign-Urbana, to establish online memory banks that display joys and grievances of the two groups. She has since been an advocate of appraising histories of marginalized communities and restoring recordkeeping among those who experience inequity at a standpoint account. During fall of 2022, Amina will join Research Data Service at the University of Illinois and looks forward to providing data-preservation and publication services to the Illinois research community.


Christiana McClain
University of Maryland

Christiana McClain is currently enrolled in the MLIS program at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is specializing in archives & digital curation and museum scholarship & material culture. In 2018, she received her BA in English from Spelman College and continued on to receive her MFA in fiction writing from the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2021. Her passion for archival work stems from documenting the lives and legacies of the Black and queer community. In the future, she’d like to combine her love of literature with museums scholarship and archiving practices.


Ezekiel Amari McGee
Syracuse University

Ezekiel Amari McGee is an MLIS graduate student hoping to work in the archival field. They have a long-standing interest in popular culture, particularly in regards to born-digital media, film, music, and television. They were born and raised in Michigan, but are currently residing in Rochester, New York, with their cat Sid.


Inbar Michael
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Inbar Michael is an incoming MLIS student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2021, they received a BA in history, with a minor in humanities and law from the University of California (UC), Irvine. While at UC Irvine, they published two papers through Johns Hopkins’s Macksey Journal, one focused on American Jewish solidarity in the 1970s–1990s in support of Soviet Jews, and the other focused on the impact of US imperialism on the Mexican oil industry in the early 1900s. While these are two different topics, Inbar’s focus in their undergraduate education was US history, and more specifically foreign and national politics, in the 20th century. Following their graduation, they took a gap year through the AmeriCorps program of City Year, where they realized their passion for community outreach. Inbar is interested in studying the preservation of marginalized histories in local communities, as well as how libraries can be utilized as centers that promote diversity and inclusion, particularly when it comes to intersectionality within the LGBTQIA+ community. They are also a 2022–2023 Spectrum Scholar.


Alona Norwood
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Alona Norwood, age 23, is originally from Northeast Tennessee. She obtained her BA at Berea College in peace and social justice. Through her work as a community archivist at Black in Appalachia, Alona has worked to uplift the voices and bolster the contributions of Black people in the development of the Mountain South. Alona brings communities together to record oral histories, digitize material culture, and present it back in a meaningful way. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she will be working at the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. Her studies will allow her to continue engaging communities through equitable archival practices. This work is important because it dispels the inaccuracies of Appalachian stereotypes while giving people a sense of autonomy and pride in where they come from. Alona’s long-term goal is to shift the mainstream narrative about what it means to be Appalachian.


Vivian Poon
University of Alberta

Vivian Poon is an MLIS candidate at the University of Alberta. They received their bachelor of arts in English literature with a minor in film studies in 2018. Afterwards, Vivian began an after degree in secondary education, where they learned about open educational resources (OERs) and their importance in helping disabled and historically marginalized students. Meanwhile, they worked at the Centre for Writers, where they helped other students improve their academic writing. Having a background in secondary education and tutoring has inspired them to research OERs as an MLIS student and a Kaleidoscope Program Scholar. Vivian hopes to use this experience to pursue a career at a postsecondary institution with strong OER potential. Alternatively, they hope to introduce OER programs to postsecondary institutions that have not yet implemented OERs for their students. As a future academic librarian, they plan to find or create existing OERs that can help disadvantaged students or English language learners.


Ruth Xing
Syracuse University

Ruth Xing is currently pursuing their master’s degree in library and information science at Syracuse University.  True to their interdisciplinary interests, Ruth spent their undergraduate years at Cornell University exploring a wide range of subjects, ultimately graduating with bachelor’s degrees in English and psychology.  Ruth is an aspiring medieval studies librarian/archivist, researcher, and professor; in these capacities, Ruth hopes to serve international learners and scholars and to manage and contribute to medieval scholarship in multiple settings.  One of Ruth’s greatest goals as a librarian of color is to advance the perspectives of people of color in medieval studies, a largely white-dominated field that routinely discourages scholars of color. In addition to being a medievalist, Ruth is also a multilingual language learner, a multi-instrumentalist, and, quite frankly, a frequent utterer of the phrase “I have too many hobbies.”

 

2021–2023 Kaleidoscope Program Scholars

Karen Adjei
University of Maryland

Karen Adjei is an incoming MLIS student at the University of Maryland. In 2018, she received her BA in history with a focus in Asian American studies and social justice movements from Northwestern University. Her passion in information management was sparked by internships at the Field Museum and Northwestern University Libraries. After moving back home to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, she continued to nurture her interests at various information and culture heritage institutions, including the Smithsonian, DC Public Library, and the Germantown Historical Society. She has also worked in the nonprofit sector, recently serving with Arlington Bridge Builders and Nonprofit Montgomery to provide direct assistance and inform systems change within communities. As a Kaleidoscope Program Scholar, Karen is excited about further developing the knowledge and skills needed to design and implement critical information management initiatives in order to more effectively meet community needs.


Lyndon J. Batiste
The University of Alabama

Lyndon Batiste is a student at The University of Alabama, pursuing a graduate degree at the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) with a concentration in social justice and inclusivity. He presently holds a BA and MA in religious studies from Morehouse College and Beulah Heights University, respectively. Lyndon has more than 11 years of experience working in public library and academic library settings (Clayton County (GA) Library System and Emory University). He currently serves as the library services desk manager at the Robert W. Woodruff Main Library at Emory University. Lyndon is very involved and serves the Emory library community as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and of the Code of Conduct Task Force Committee, as well as being a co-convener of the Circulation Community of Practice (CCOP) for Emory Libraries. Lyndon is extremely interested in the intersection of LIS and issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, advocacy, and public policy. He is also committed to increasing the presence of LIS programs and graduates among statistically underrepresented groups and at historically Black colleges and universities. In 2020, Lyndon was selected as an American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholar and highlighted as an Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) member of the week. His career aspirations are to serve in an executive leadership role for an academic library and to continue to work to create social equity for historically marginalized communities. 


danielle luz belanger
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

danielle luz belanger is a memory worker compelled by the liberatory potential of community-based archives. She is currently interested in investigating how digital preservation technologies can be wielded to bridge the gap between established LIS standards of description and nontraditional forms of memory-making. danielle was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and is based on unceded xučyun Ohlone land (Oakland, CA). She received her BA from UC Berkeley in 2017, where she studied postcolonialism and visual culture. While completing her undergraduate thesis, which centered self-representational photographs of early Chinese American domestic life, she developed a foundational understanding of the archives’ role in constructing historical narratives. She has since aspired to empower historically marginalized communities by ensuring culturally diverse representation in archives. danielle is currently earning her MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a 2020–2021 Spectrum Scholar. She is an archivist at The Freedom Archives and a grassroots community organizer.


Isabel Carlin
The University of British Columbia

Isabel Carlin is a second-year archival and library/information studies student at The University of British Columbia (UBC). Informed by an undergraduate degree in Indigenous studies, Southeast Asian history, and postcolonial French literatures in Tkaronto (Toronto), their academic interests are at the intersection of anticolonial politics and Indigenous ways of knowing. Isabel’s recent work with the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and in the Archival Studies Program has focused on digital data sovereignty and ethics, materialism in electronic archival theory, and critical mining history. Their proposed thesis explores Indigenous political record-keeping in the northern Philippines through a theory of sociological haunting.


Genevia M. Chamblee-Smith
North Carolina Central University

Genevia M. Chamblee-Smith is pursuing a master’s degree in LIS with a concentration in archives at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Genevia holds a BS in psychology with a minor in human services from Clayton State University. Her interest in libraries began during an undergraduate senior seminar course in social psychology, creating a bibliography for African American students and coping strategies while attending college. Genevia has spent the last 10 years working in special and academic libraries in the Washington, DC, area, focusing on technical services. While at NCCU, she worked as a graduate assistant for Hacking into History: Discovering Racial Covenants in Durham County Property Deeds, a collaborative project with NCCU SLIS, DataWorks NC, and Durham County Registrar of Deeds. Hacking into History is a civic-engagement project that discusses the impact of racial segregation in Durham County, NC. Genevia helped facilitate virtual transcription events where local Durham residents reviewed and transcribed property deeds. Her passion for African American history and genealogy led her to take NCCU’s Community Archives course, which confirmed for her that archives are where she needs to be. She is devoted to helping more African Americans discover their hidden family stories. Her future career aspirations are to become an archivist working in an academic research library, and helping to process collections that tell a story about underrepresented communities. 


Cora Coady
University of Toronto

Cora Coady is a member of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. She is currently pursuing her master of information degree at the University of Toronto. Cora has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from McMaster University. She is also a certified vision rehabilitation therapist, an occupation she has been active in for the past 14 years. She is currently the Indigenous outreach and research intern at the University of Toronto Library. Her interests in academic librarianship include building inclusive and accessible services for communities that are traditionally underserved and whose concepts of knowledge and research diverge from dominant Western academia.


Sylvia Figueroa-Ortiz
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sylvia Figueroa-Ortiz is a second-year student in the MLIS program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She holds an MA in applied linguistics from The University of Edinburgh and a BA in modern languages and English linguistics and communication from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Sylvia is currently working as a graduate assistant in the Undergraduate Library at UIUC. Before coming to UIUC, she worked as a language teacher in Puerto Rico and Boston, where her passion for community building and outreach began. After her degree, she aspires to work as an academic librarian focusing on community engagement and access. Thanks to her assistantship, Sylvia is working on a research project that explores how Latine students perceive and use the academic library. She aims to develop ways to partner with cultural houses and student groups on campus to create culturally inclusive spaces in academic libraries. 


Aparna Ghosh
University of South Florida

Aparna Ghosh is a graduate student in the MLIS program at the University of South Florida and administrative supervisor in the Echols Collection on Southeast Asia at Cornell University Library. She graduated with a BA in sociology/anthropology from Denison University, where she had her first introduction to working in libraries as a student library assistant. She never left the library world, first working in Lewis Library, Loyola University Chicago, where she received a certificate of advanced study in women’s studies and gender studies, and then at Cornell University Library, where she had the opportunity to co-curate the 2020 exhibit “Story/Lines: Visual Narratives in Japanese Pop Culture,” about Japanese manga or graphic novels. Aparna is interested in assessment and research methods, metadata, digital humanities, and digital librarianship. Her goal is to work with metadata and inclusive description in an effort to decolonize and queer library collections. Aparna is a 2020–2021 ALA Spectrum Scholar and a Kress Foundation Scholarship recipient for the 2021 Summer Educational Institute for Digital Stewardship of Visual Information.


Sarah M. Henry
Wayne State University

Libraries have always provided Sarah Henry and her community with abundant knowledge and resources. As she continues her studies in library sciences, she wants to develop skills to help students do research in such fields as education, foreign language, and English as a second language (ESL). Her studies in Spanish and ESL at Michigan State University and Wayne State University have helped her grow and experience the world. She hopes to use these experiences to help students, faculty, and libraries in research libraries. She also hopes to grow in technical abilities, since new technologies are prominent in library resources. 


Alexis Herrera
University of Michigan

Alexis Herrera is a programmer and researcher. He is an incoming graduate student at the University of Michigan in information studies and science, technology, and society studies. As a graduate student, Alexis hopes to investigate how understandings of race, ethnicity, and difference structure how technology is designed, built, and deployed into the world. Currently, Alexis is helping collect and archive oral history interviews for a Mexican American community archive in Southern Arizona. He is also curating a virtual art exhibition on technology and surveillance at the US-Mexico border for the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Alexis previously had a career in the tech industry as a software engineer. He holds a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. 


Taya Reece Jardine
The University of British Columbia

Kwe’ n’in teluisi Taya Reece Jardine, Natoageneg tleiawi. My name is Taya Reece Jardine and I am a Mi’gmaw woman from Natoageneg First Nation, Mi’kma’ki colonially referred to as Atlantic Canada. I hold a bachelor of arts in cultural studies with a minor in Indigenous studies. During undergrad, I focused my studies on Indigenous representations in popular media, especially Indigenous filmmaking. I am currently in my first year pursuing my master’s in library and information studies at UBC’s School of Information. I plan to enter the First Nations Curriculum Concentration, with hopes to travel to different Indigenous communities and help curate community libraries aimed to uplift and maintain nation-specific Indigenous knowledges. 


Jessica Nombrano Larsen
San José State University

Jessica Nombrano Larsen is a proud, first-generation, autistic Latina. She is also a mother, wife, neurodiversity advocate, and MLIS student at San José State University with a passion for helping students from underserved communities obtain educational equity. Her research is focused on the development of more effective academic and socio-emotional supports and resources for autistic students, and she would love to continue this work as an academic librarian/research professor once she obtains her degree. She is part of a team that was recently awarded a grant to start the Empowering Autistic Scholars (EAS) program at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Jessica will develop and manage the EAS program, which seeks to empower autistic students by providing them with peer mentoring, academic and career advising, technical and design skills training, and paid research experience. Additionally, she has been awarded an ALA Spectrum Scholarship and a REFORMA Scholarship. 


Francisco J. López-Huerta
San José State University

Francisco López-Huerta is a graduate student at San José State University, where he is completing his degree in archives and records administration. In 2018, he earned his undergraduate degree in anthropology from Humboldt State University, where he completed two internships with Special Collections. Then he accepted an internship at Getty Research Institute’s (GRI) Digital Florentine Codex Initiative as part of the Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship program, an experience that ultimately steered him towards archives and special collections. Since 2019, Francisco has worked at GRI Special Collections as a library assistant and in 2020 joined both the GRI Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) task force and the Getty Bilingual & Interpretation working group. As a member of both groups he actively engages with senior leadership and staff to explore different ways our institutions can better serve our local communities long-term.


Krystal Madkins
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Krystal Madkins is currently pursuing a master in library and information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She previously completed a master of public health in epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and works as a research project manager for an online HIV-prevention study at Northwestern University. Krystal also currently works part-time as an Ask a Librarian apprentice at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is interested in sexual health and well-being, health literacy, and community-based participatory research. Krystal became interested in librarianship because of its interdisciplinary nature and the opportunity it provides to combine her interests in health and helping people learn and access information. Her goal is to become a medical librarian and help dismantle barriers to equitable health information and services. Krystal is a 2020–2021 American Library Association Spectrum Scholar. 


Anthony Martinez
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Anthony Martinez is a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing an MS in library and information science. His 10+ years in public service have spanned the fields of education, media, and now librarianship. He is currently a member of the New York Library Association’s Alternative Pathways to Librarianship Task Force and was recently a trustee at the Tompkins County (NY) Public Library. As an ALA Spectrum Scholar and ARL Kaleidoscope Program Scholar, Anthony is interested in exploring partnerships between public institutions and academic libraries, particularly how archives and special collections can benefit children and their families. Born and raised in the Intermountain West, Anthony is interested in serving rural, low-income, Indigenous, nontraditional, transfer, and first-generation students, as well as international and re-entry students. When not working on his degree, Anthony is a producer at NPR member station WBEZ in Chicago. 


Rosemary N. Medrano
University of Missouri

Rosemary Medrano is pursuing her master’s of library and information science at the University of Missouri. She first became interested in libraries and archives while obtaining her BA in theater from Loyola University Chicago, where she used archival material to write and produce a play. Rosemary currently works at the Prescott (AZ) Public Library and has undertaken digitization and digital history projects, as well as a local history exhibit. Her professional interests are in the digital humanities and data storytelling. 


Ari Negovschi
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ari Negovschi is currently the media preservation graduate assistant for the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where she is pursuing her MS in library and information science. As a graduate assistant, she has unearthed over 4,700 analog media items from the Perry Miller Adato papers, which house WNET documentaries on such 20th-century figures as Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein. Her work on this project earned her a Nancy Mysel Legacy Grant, making her the first student at the University of Illinois to win this prestigious award for emerging film preservationists. Prior to attending UIUC, Ari received her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Film and Video Program, where she studied analog film and video technologies. The child of immigrants from Mexico and Romania, she hopes to bring her intersectional perspective to the world of moving image archives in order to create a more complete and inclusive historical record.


Adira-Danique Philyaw 
Florida State University

Adira-Danique Philyaw is pursuing a dual-degree in social work and information at Florida State University (FSU). She earned her master’s degree in literary and cultural studies from Carnegie Mellon University in 2013 and her bachelor’s degrees in psychology in 2012 and social work in 2020 from FSU. Adira-Danique’s desire to embark on a career in social work and librarianship and archival stewardship stems from her belief that libraries are public, community-orientated spaces that hold the potential to offer patrons resources devoid from the pressure that larger social service agencies trigger in clients. Her research is centered around bringing awareness to the barriers to access that marginalized populations face and empowering these populations to tell their own stories and preserve their histories as a means of promoting collective healing from historical trauma. As an MSI student, Adira-Danique aims to learn how to utilize technology to advocate, effectively promote dynamic research, and build a safe space for clients within libraries and their communities.

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