Karen Gersten-Sternheim Memorial Scholarship

2018 Karen Gersten-Sternheim Memorial Scholarship

 sternheim_web Karen Gersten-Sternheim

The $1,500 Karen Gersten-Sternheim Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually by the SLA-SCC to a student member pursuing a career in special librarianship. The award was established in May of 1993 at a special board meeting called by chapter President John Shea shortly after Karen’s death.  The first money was awarded in 1996. Karen, a UCLA library professional, dedicated much of her career to the success of library school students. The award includes complimentary invitations to the SLA-SCC annual fundraiser meeting, the awards dinner and the annual business meeting.

Karen: A Friend Worth Remembering by Rita Costello

Eligibility Guidelines

Applicants must be members of the SLA-SCC — membership information may be found at https://www.sla.org/access-membership/.  Participation in chapter and student chapter meetings and events will be taken into consideration in evaluating applications.

Applicants must demonstrate an interest in a career in special libraries and must be currently enrolled and taking classes in an American Library Association (ALA) accredited masters in library or information science program per http://www.ala.org/accreditedprograms/. Also, at the time of application, the student’s graduation date should be no earlier than December 2018.

There is no geographic restriction on the school in which the applicant is enrolled. However, applicants must be permanent residents of California or Nevada, and must submit a photocopy of their valid California or NevadaState I.D. card – or driver’s license – or voter registration card.

Expectations of the Recipient

  • The recipient will be asked to submit their essay to the SLA-SCC blog after being notified.
  • The recipient will be asked to attend the SLA-SCC annual fundraiser, the awards dinner and annual business meeting (attendance will be complimentary).
  • The recipient will be asked to participate on the 2018 SLA-SCC Scholarship committee.


Please pay close attention to the following:

  • Applications must be received by April 30, 2018.
  • Failure to submit a complete application will result in the rejection of your application.
  • Please use the checklist to be sure your application is complete.

Applicants, please submit:

  • The completed application form.
  • A copy of your valid California or Nevada State I.D. card – or driver’s license – or voter registration card.
  • A 1,500-2,000 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 that you anticipate SLA membership will bring; and, 4) how you plan to participate and contribute to SLA-SCC.
  • Two (2) signed letters of academic and professional recommendation and one (1) additional letter must be from a faculty member in your library or information studies master’s degree program.

Criteria for Evaluation

The Scholarship Committee will evaluate applicants based on their written statements and the letters of recommendation. 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 2018 scholarship recipient will be announced no later than May 15, 2018.

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 April 30, 2018.

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 sternheim_scholarship@southerncalifornia.sla1.org

Applications will ONLY be accepted as PDF’s 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 sternheim_scholarship@southerncalifornia.sla1.org.

Address applications to:


2018 SCC-SLA Scholarship Committee
Karen Sanchez, Chair

Past Scholarship Recipients







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