Karen Gersten-Sternheim Memorial Scholarship

2022 Karen Gersten-Sternheim Memorial Scholarship

The $3,000 Karen Gersten-Sternheim Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually by the SLA Southern California Community (SLA-SCC) to a student member pursuing a career in special librarianship/information science. 

Award History

The award was established in May of 1993 at a Special Board Meeting called by Chapter President John Shea shortly after Karen Gersten-Sternheim’s death.  The first scholarship was awarded in 1996. Karen, a UCLA library professional, dedicated much of her career to the success of library school students. The scholarship award includes complimentary invitations to the SLA-SCC annual awards dinner and the annual business meeting.

Eligibility Guidelines

Applicants must be members of the Southern California Community of the Special Libraries Association — membership information may be found at https://www.sla.org/access-membership/.  Participation in Southern California Community and student Chapter/Community meetings and events will be taken into consideration in evaluating applications.

Applicants must demonstrate an interest in a career in special libraries/information science and must be currently enrolled and taking classes in an information science program or Master's in Library Science/Information Science program

At the time of application, the student’s graduation date should be no earlier than December 2022.
The school in which the applicant is enrolled must be located in California or Nevada. 
Previous recipients are not qualified. 

Expectations of the Recipient

  • The recipient will be asked to allow for the posing of their essay to the SLA-SCC blog on SLA Connect after being notified of the award.
  • The recipient will be asked to attend, if possible, the SLA-SCC annual awards dinner, and the annual business meeting (attendance will be complimentary).
  • The recipient will be asked to participate in the 2023 SLA-SCC Scholarship committee.


Please pay close attention to the following:

  • Applications must be received by October 1, 2022.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applicants, please submit:

  • A 1,000-2,000 word essay describing: 1) Your interest and experience in special librarianship; 2) your professional goal(s) and the skills and experience you believe will get you there; 3) the benefits for your career growth you anticipate SLA membership will bring; and, 4) how you plan to participate and contribute to SLA-SCC.
  • One (1) reference of academic and/or professional recommendation, with contact information.  No letter is required.
  • This application form (please copy into a word processor, complete the form, and convert it to PDF for submission along with the rest of your submission package).
Karen Sternheim Memorial Scholarship
2022 Application Form  

Deadline:  all pieces of the application must be received by October 1, 2022

ESSAY -- Please submit a 1000-2000 word essay on your interest and experience in special libraries/information science. Please use the PDF format.

 Current Address


Permanent Address (if different from above):








School information



Expected Date of Graduation (month and year)  



 Educational background – University(ies) attended, degrees, major(s), GPA




Academic and/or Professional Reference

Phone Number:

Areas of Interest

Special librarianship areas of interest



Other Activities

Organizational Affiliations / Extra-Curricular Activities



Signature  & Date

Submittal Instructions

Submit all documents by e-mail to Karen Gersten-Sternheim Memorial Scholarship Chair

All correspondence and deliberations related to this application shall be dealt with in a confidential manner by the Scholarship Committee and the SLA Southern California Communities Executive Board.

Criteria for Evaluation

The Scholarship Committee will evaluate applicants based on their written statements and letter of reference. Submissions are expected to be intellectually rigorous, and stylistically and grammatically correct.

The deliberations of the Scholarship Committee shall be confidential. All submitted application materials shall be the property of the SLA-SCC, and will not be returned. Applicants are encouraged to retain copies of all application materials.

Selection and Notification

The 2022 scholarship recipient will be announced no later than October 15, 2022

The committee chair will notify the president of the SLA-SCC prior to notifying the recipient. The chair will then notify the recipient by telephone, and an e-mail will be sent to all applicants and the SLA-SCC list announcing the selection.

Guidelines for Submission

The Scholarship Committee will not consider an incomplete application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all application materials are received in the manner prescribed below, by October 1, 2022.

Applications must arrive in one complete package; the committee will not consider any application materials that arrive separately or do not arrive on time.

Application materials must be sent electronically in 1 (one) complete PDF file to the following e-mail address Karen Gersten Sternheim Memorial Scholarship Chair

Applications will ONLY be accepted in PDF format via e-mail. Once the chair receives an application, an acknowledgment e-mail will be sent to the address from which the application arrived. An applicant who has not received an e-mail acknowledgment within 72 hours of submission may contact the committee chair at Karen Sternheim Memorial Scholarship Chair.

Address applications to:

Karen Sternheim Memorial Scholarship Chair

2022 SCC-SLA Scholarship Committee
Mary Sohn Lee, Chair

Past Scholarship Recipients

Year Name School
2021 Rebecca Gates UCLA
2020 Nadia Montenegro SJSU
2020 Sophie Li SJSU
2020 Jessica Kim USC
2020 Keith Locantore UCLA
2020 Erica Miller SJSU
2019 Annie Leung USC
2018 Joanna Smith UCLA
2017 Karen Sanchez University of Washington
2016 Ryan Tickle University of Southern Mississippi
2015 Ashley Larson UCLA
2014 Erin Hurley UCLA
2013 Nicoletta Beyer UCLA
2012 Tina Lerno Katz SJSU
2011 Cynthia Cohen SJSU
2010 Ashley Sands UCLA
2009 Michelle Gorospe UCLA
2009 Allison Schulte SJSU
2008 Brett VanBenschoten SJSU
2007 Rachel Clarke SJSU
2006 Katherine Shilton UCLA
2005 Peggy Shin UCLA
2004 John Juricek UCLA
2003 Christy Thomas UCLA
2002 Natalie Joy Kamper UCLA
2001 Aura Lippincott UCLA
2000 Natasha Bergson-Michelson SJSU
2000 Laurie C. Blasingame SJSU
1999 Heather Lynne Hepler University of North Texas
1998 Cathy Spitzer University of Texas
1997 Kim Laru SJSU
1996 Sharlene Matsuhara Simmons College