iSchool Announces 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Each year, the School of Information makes an effort to award scholarships to students with a variety of interests. Students interested in applying for next year's scholarships should visit the School of Information's scholarships page.

Below are the awards and award winners who have received our acclaim for 2024.

An image of Melissa Arcuri, recipient of the A. Robert Rogers Memorial Scholarship

Melissa Arcuri

A. Robert Rogers Memorial Scholarship

Melissa Arcuri earned a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Walsh University and is excited to further her education within the Master of Library and Information Science program at Kent State University.  A dedicated lifelong learner, she is excited to pair her business background with M.L.I.S. credentials to assist, serve and give back to the community. She believes library systems positively impact the community and is passionate about sharing and promoting lesser-known services and resources available through the library.  She enjoys advocating for libraries and encouraging others to embrace the library’s modern story and share positive experiences with others.  


An image of Jennifer Danzo, recipient of the Health Informatics Leadership Fund

Jennifer Danzo

Health Informatics Leadership Fund

Jennifer Danzo is beginning her second semester in the Kent State Health Informatics program.  She has been a practicing physical therapist and athletic trainer with the Cleveland Clinic for 26 years.  Jennifer has made leadership development one of her career goals and has sought opportunities to achieve this goal over the past several years.  Recently she completed the Cleveland Clinic’s Lead Forward Harnessing Potential program for high-potential leaders and the Ohio Physical Therapy Association’s LIFE Leadership Academy series.  She is a member of the Ohio Physical Therapy Association’s Continuing Education Committee.   Jennifer has had the opportunity to speak at several national and state physical therapy conferences. She enjoys treating patients with osteoporosis, scoliosis, spine conditions, and athletes from pre-teens to the master’s level.  She is a member of the American Medical Informatics Association and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

An image of Jessica Wise, recipient of the James E. Cook Scholarship

Jessica Wise

James E. Cook Scholarship

"We live and breathe words," something that Jessica Wise believes and lives in every facet of her life.  She is pursuing her MLIS focusing on the Youth Engagement pathway. She lives in Columbus and works as a Youth Services Specialist at the Franklinton Branch of CML. She graduated from Taylor University and taught high school English for six years.  She volunteers regularly with teens in many different capacities. She hopes to one day become a teen librarian to continue working with youth and share her deep love of words that can heal and help at such a critical point in their lives.  Her favorite authors include Sarah J. Maas, Brian Jacques, R. F. Kuang, and Pierce Brown. She is so thankful for this scholarship that helps support her pursuit of a degree and future career goals.


An image of Dariya Souza, recipient of the Jesse H. Shera Memorial Scholarship

Dariya Souza

Jesse H. Shera Memorial Scholarship

Dariya Souza is a graduate student at Kent State University, earning a Master of Library and Information Science degree, and holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Cleveland State University. In a previous life, she co-authored several medical articles in the pain management field. In her professional experience, Souza has also been a copyeditor, helping people express their messages on social media, in articles and presentations; held several positions at a public library, connecting people with information and community; and been a translator, art teacher, and more. She is currently an intern with a company that revitalizes historic buildings. Through these varied experiences, Souza connected seemingly opposite ideas to support and inspire marginalized voices. Her research experience ranges from art history to digital equity and environmental studies. She is grateful to receive the Jesse H. Shera Memorial Scholarship this year.

An image of Katie Gable, recipient of the Marian Porter Huffman Scholarship

Katie Gable

Marian Porter Huffman Scholarship

Katie Gable is a Northeast Ohio native and first year student in the MLIS program at Kent State University. Although an avid visitor of the library in her youth, she fell in love with archival work while completing her undergraduate degrees and certificate in Museum and Archival Studies through the Institute of Human Science and Culture at the University of Akron. At Kent State, Katie is the graduate assistant at the Reinberger Children’s Library Center where she works closely with special collections from important youth authors, illustrators, and librarians. She is also president of the Kent’s student chapter of the American Library Association. After completing her master's, she hopes to work in an archive with still or moving images.



An image of Sarah Ziemer, recipient of the Marian Porter Huffman Scholarship

Sarah Ziemer

Marian Porter Huffman Scholarship

Hello! My name is Sarah Ziemer. I am currently a student in the Library and Information Sciences Graduate program at Kent State University with a concentration in Archival Studies. History as a subject is interesting and important to me, and being able to work with it for my career is one of my main pursuits! Right now, I work at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens as a Collections Technician, working with materials and information that is important to Akron’s past. I love researching, and being able to learn and share with others in the field motivates me to continue this academic journey. In my free time I like to read, cook, and spend time with friends. I look forward to diving further into my studies and learning more about this discipline!

(Not photographed)

Taylor Cunningham

Marian Porter Huffman Scholarship

An image of Amber McDonald, recipient of the Mary T. Kim Scholarship

Amber McDonald

Mary T. Kim Scholarship

My name is Amber McDonald and I am currently in the Master program for Library Information and Science.  In the years between undergrad and my current area of study I developed a strong desire and passion for academic and creative pursuits and ultimately wanted a career that served others.  My goal to contribute to my community, desire to learn and personal interests in history and books aligned when I discovered the Library Information and Science field.  I work full time in a management position in a pharmaceutical warehouse by night and study by day. This has led me to diversify my reading and I began, in my available free time, to expand my knowledge on the history of medicine.  My goal is to intern this summer with a special collections department with a local university or historical society to begin my career, but I hope to work within an academic setting to benefit the preservation of history and education of others.

An image of Tracie Pickett, recipient of the Petta and Ron Khouw Scholarship

Tracie Pickett

Petta and Ron Khouw Scholarship

Tracie began as a student at Kent State in 2015, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Pan-African Studies and Sociology in 2018. She entered the Master of Library and Information Science program at Kent in 2021 and will graduate this year. Tracie has been working in libraries since 2017 and has experience in various types of libraries including academic, public and law libraries. She currently works at both the Shaker Heights Public Library and the University of Akron Libraries and Special Collections and Archives. Tracie is presently trying to build her professional network and skills by attending conferences and online workshops. She is a student member of the American Library Association (ALA), Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). After graduating, she plans to start a formal career in academic libraries in either a reference or subject liaison position.



An image of Cody Walker, recipient of the Petta and Ron Khouw Scholarship

Cody Walker

Petta and Ron Khouw Scholarship

My name is Cody Walker, and I am a library worker originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am currently a Public Services Assistant at the King County Library System in Washington; I have previously worked for The DC Public Library and The University of Washington Libraries. My passions are public service and intellectual freedom. I hold a Bachelor of Arts from Bennington College and am currently working on my Master of Library and Information Science at Kent State University. After completing my degree, I aim to become an adult services librarian. My academic and professional background is in literature and film studies, and I am a strong believer in the use of arts programming as an educational and communal tool. One of my primary professional goals is the development of new methods to promote internal workplace communication and job crafting in order to improve staff retention in libraries.

An image of Emily Rebmann, recipient of the Rose Vormelker Scholarship


Emily Rebmann

Rose Vormelker Scholarship

Emily Rebmann is in her final year of the M.L.I.S. program’s archival studies concentration. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in American Material Culture from the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program. Prior to enrolling in Kent State’s M.L.I.S. program, Emily worked as a historian with a focus on collections management and historic preservation. In 2023, Emily accepted a job as the Associate Archivist at Oberlin College. She is excited to bring together her expertise in history and archival management in that role.


Sara Montagno

Rowfant Club Annual Scholarship

Sara Montagno is currently completing her first year in the M.L.I.S. program at Kent State University. She holds a B.A. in History from Ursuline College and completed her M.A. in History at Case Western Reserve University shortly before the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Her love of local history led her to seek out employment in historical societies and museums where her keen interest in books and rare materials continued to develop. As she progresses through the M.L.I.S. program she plans to focus on rare books and special collections. With an interest in academic librarianship, she intends to weave librarianship into her experience in History and love of academia in a practical and useful way.


An image of Lauren Day, recipient of the Susan C. Masirovits Endowed Scholarship


Lauren Day

Susan C. Masirovits Endowed Scholarship

Hello everyone, my name is Lauren! I am currently in my last year at Kent State, working on my Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.)! I have been working full-time for my local public library in Dayton, Ohio, for about 2 ½ years now – and I absolutely love it! Growing up as a military child, one place I could always find solace in no matter where we moved was in finding the library! Reading has always been a passion of mine and the library a second home. It has been a dream to work for a library, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time learning more about this field with Kent. It is always exciting when I can take something I learned and apply it to my work! I am sincerely grateful for this opportunity from the School of Information and the Susan C. Masirovits Endowed Scholarship. Thank you!! 




An image of Zoe Dudack, recipient of Susan C. Masirovits Endowed Scholarship

Zoe Dudack

Susan C. Masirovits Endowed Scholarship

Zoe Dudack, who is pursuing her Master of Library and Information Science, earned her bachelor's degree in English literature with a minor in music at The College of Wooster in 2022. She grew up in a very artistic family and currently works as an administrative assistant in the philanthropy department of The Cleveland Orchestra in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as a substitute public service assistant with the Akron Summit County Public Library. She intends on pursuing a career in arts librarianship after obtaining her master's, but is always open to the possibilities and curiosities out there! In her spare time, she enjoys writing, reading, baking and playing cello and piano, among many other hobbies. 


An image of Malcolm Gent, recipient of the Susan C. Masirovits Endowed Scholarship

Malcom Gent

Susan C. Masirovits Endowed Scholarship

Malcolm Gent is a first year master's student in Kent State’s Library and Information Science program with a focus on Archival Studies. He received his bachelor’s degree in European history from Keene State College in 2013, a master's degree in British history from Tufts University in 2016 and a Ph.D. in modern U.S. history from the University of New Hampshire in 2022. Malcolm applied to Kent State to pursue his growing interest in working with primary sources and archival management. He continues to enjoy historical research as he works towards his M.L.I.S. As a passionate historian, he hopes to develop the skills needed to become a professional archivist, support other researchers and learn how to protect, maintain and promote the materials he uses as a historian. In his downtime, he enjoys walking New Hampshire trails and visiting local New England museums.


An image of Heather Phibbs, recipient of the Susan C. Masirovits Endowed Scholarship

Heather Phibbs

Susan C. Masirovits Endowed Scholarship

My name is Heather Phibbs and I am excited about starting my Master of Library and Information Science at Kent State in the upcoming Spring 2024 semester. I have worked with children most of my life. I married my high school sweetheart 27 years ago and have two daughters. I spent most of my life as a stay-at-home mom volunteering in my children’s classroom and became the PTA president of their elementary school. During my tenure as PTA president, we filled every classroom library with books for students to read. I completed my Bachelor of Arts from California Baptist University and worked as a substitute teacher and reading tutor. I served on several high school booster club boards to support my local community. I currently work as a Youth Services Assistant at the Hubbard Public Library in Hubbard, Ohio, and thoroughly love what I do.


An image of Emma Wright, recipient of the Susan C. Masirovits Endowed Scholarship


Emma Wright

Susan C. Masirovits Endowed Scholarship

Emma Wright is an aspiring youth librarian from Bowling Green, Ohio.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in education, specializing in adolescent to young adult social studies, from Ohio University.  Emma is in her first year of graduate studies at Kent State University pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science. She currently works in children’s services at a public library in Northwest Ohio. Previously, she worked as a special education instructor.  With experience in both public and academic libraries, Emma aims to be an advocate for information literacy and community engagement.




An image of Maisie Hanley, recipient of the Vanita Scholars in Youth Librarianship award


Maisie Hanley

Vanita Scholars in Youth Librarianship

Maisie Hanley is currently a graduate student in the Master of Library and Information Sciences program with a focus on the Youth Engagement track at Kent State University. They received their bachelor's degree in hospitality management from The Ohio State University in 2020, and currently live in Cleveland, Ohio. Maisie works at the Cleveland Public Library in a variety of roles and once their master's degree is completed, their goal is to become a teen or youth librarian in a public library setting. Maisie previously worked in a Speech and Language office where they taught life skills classes to teens and young adults on the Autism spectrum, including Adulting 101 where they taught resume and interview skills, money management and more. Maisie will be traveling to New Zealand in the spring for a 6 month working holiday program.



An image of Shandra Myers, recipient of the Vanita Scholars in Youth Librarianship award

Shandra Myers

Vanita Scholars in Youth Librarianship

Hello! My name is Shandra Myers. I live in Bucyrus, Ohio, with my husband, daughter, son and dog. I have been employed as a children’s assistant librarian for the past 5 years with a wonderful library system in Mansfield, Ohio. I love working with children and designing programs and storytimes for them. I am particularly happy to work with low-income and homeless families to show them all the ways that the library can be a safe, friendly place to play or seek information. I truly believe that children’s librarians can change a child’s life.

I am beginning my final semester here at Kent. Earning my M.L.I.S. will allow me to take on more responsibilities within the library so that I can become even more involved within my community.  I am so appreciative of the Vanita Scholars in Youth Librarianship donors for awarding me with this scholarship, and I promise to put it to good use!

POSTED: Wednesday, January 3, 2024 02:19 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024 09:58 AM