Karen Gersten-Sternheim Memorial Scholarship

2019 Karen Gersten-Sternheim Memorial Scholarship


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.

Eligibility Guidelines

Applicants must be members of the Southern California Chapter of the Special Libraries Association — 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/.

At the time of application, the student’s graduation date should be no earlier than December 2020.

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 Nevada state 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 2020 SLA-SCC Scholarship committee.


Please pay close attention to the following:

  • Applications must be received by November 15, 2019.
  • Failure to submit a complete application will result in the rejection of your application.

Applicants, please submit:

  • A copy of your valid California or Nevada State I.D. card – or driver’s license – or voter registration card.
  • 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 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.
  • This application form
Karen Sternheim Memorial Scholarship
2019 Application Form  


Deadline:  all pieces of the application must be received by November 15, 2019  

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

Please attach a copy of your California or Nevada driver's license, ID card or voter registration card with the essay for proof of residency. 

 Current Address


Permanent Address (if different from above):








School information



Expected Date of Graduation (month and year)  



ALA Accredited Library School:

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





 List three individuals** who will provide letters of reference  ** One reference must be                                                                                                                     a library school faculty member.


1. (Library School faculty member)





Areas of Interest

Special librarianship areas of interest



Other Activities

Organizational Affiliations / Extra-Curricular Activities




I attest that I am a permanent resident of California or Nevada and that the information provided above is accurate.




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 Chapter Executive Board.

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 2019 scholarship recipient will be announced no later than December 1, 2019.

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 November 15, 2019.

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 Sternheim Memorial Scholarship Chair

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 Karen Sternheim Memorial Scholarship Chair.

Address applications to:

Karen Sternheim Memorial Scholarship Chair

2019 SCC-SLA Scholarship Committee
Karen Sanchez, Chair

Past Scholarship Recipients







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