Innovative Scholarship Helps Students Cross the "Finish Line"

In 2018, Matthew Cornshaw-Arnold graduated from Kent State with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, crediting the degree with providing a philosophical approach to his studies. 

After graduating, Cornshaw-Arnold completed an internship with Akron METRO and started a full-time position at the Republic Steel office in Canton, Ohio. Due to COVID-19, his position was short-lived but brought over a new opportunity. 

“I’d always wanted to study Hebrew and enrolled in a class during Fall 2020, then later a second,” Cornshaw-Arnold said. “My professor, Chaya Kessler, also wrote me a letter of recommendation when I was applying for grad school, which was really kind of her.”

At this moment, Cornshaw-Aronold was at a crossroads in what he wanted to do with his career. His options were wide open but believed that interests in math, computer science and social work could be applied elsewhere. 

"Ultimately, all of this comes about because of the help this scholarship gave me at a critical moment when I needed it."

“Library Science is right at the intersection of data science, organizing information and connecting abstract parts to make a meaningful plan,” Cornshaw-Arnold said. “The orientation towards objectives, such as connecting voters to relevant resources or connecting the public to books and internet resources, appealed to me.” 

During the application process, Cornshaw-Arnold stressed the importance of tackling public misinformation. He believes that library science professionals can advocate for fact-checking sources and becoming proactive regarding social issues. 

“I think a huge problem is one of social trust,” Cornshaw-Arnold said. “Library Science can’t do everything, but it can teach the public where to find trustworthy facts and how to tell better sources from worse ones.”

After applying, Cornshaw-Arnold was accepted to the Master of Library and Information Science program and received financial aid up through the Spring 2023 semester. He credits the financial aid application process as being straightforward and simple. 

“I consider myself privileged for having been able to make an opportunity during those times,” Cornshaw-Arnold said. 

However, he faced a challenge during his last semester: he needed to find a way to pay for his final portfolio class. Luckily, Cornshaw-Arnold was able to apply and receive the “finish line” scholarship after hearing about it from his advisor. 

“I received $700 during the summer, which may seem like a small amount in terms of overall financial aid, but it allowed me to take the portfolio course and apply to graduate in August 2023.” 

Since graduating from the iSchool, Cornshaw-Arnold was offered a job at Securitas Technology and hopes to become hired into programming after a few months of working. He is grateful for the support from Kent State University and the College of Communication and Information that allowed him to complete his degree. 

“As I start my new job, I reached out to ask how I could contribute back to it,” Cornshaw-Arnold said. “Ultimately, all of this comes about because of the help this scholarship gave me at a critical moment when I needed it.” 

Students who are interested in scholarships in the iSchool should visit to learn more and apply.

POSTED: Monday, January 22, 2024 12:41 PM
Updated: Monday, March 4, 2024 10:07 AM