University of Wisconsin–Madison

Student Awards

Past award winners

Direct questions about awards and scholarships to Allison Kaplan, Chair iSchool Awards Committee.

Fenster Research Paper Award

The Valmai Fenster Award for Outstanding Promise for Exceptional Scholarly Contribution to the Profession award was created in honor of Valmai Fenster, a former faculty member, to recognize exceptional scholarship of an iSchool student as evidenced in a scholarly paper.

Eligibility: All current iSchool students are eligible to submit a single (i.e. not a group paper) scholarly paper written in Spring, Summer, or Fall semesters.

Application deadline: Monday, February 25, 2019
Award amount: $300

Application process: Use this form to submit an application. Students may nominate themselves, or they may be nominated by another student or a faculty or staff member. The nominee’s name should appear only on the cover page of the paper, not on every page. The pages should be numbered and the title of the paper should appear on every page.

Judging process: The Information School Awards Committee will judge the nominations and reserves the right to not give the award should there be no nomination that merits it.

The Committee is looking for:

  • Excellence of presentation/quality of writing style
  • Significance of the topic to the library field
  • Appropriateness of the method
  • Effective use of evidence
  • The quality of insights and interpretations presented

Announcement of winner and award presentation: The award winner will be announced in early May. The award presentation takes place at the May iSchool graduation ceremony.

Apply now

Jack A. Clarke Scholarship

The Beta Phi Mu honor society of the School recognizes academic achievement in librarianship and information science by identifying outstanding students and scholars.  Beta Phi Mu also provides a scholarship applicable towards a Master’s degree at the Information School at UW-Madison. The winner will show exceptional promise in pursuing a career in library and information studies.

Application deadline: TBA
Award Amount: $1,700 scholarship

Candidates must:

  • Be enrolled in the iSchool for the spring semester in which they apply
  • Have completed at least 12 iSchool credits by the December preceding the spring semester
  • Have a GPA of 3.7 or above
  • Demonstrate scholarly ability, interest in pursuing a career in library and information studies, and leadership qualities

Applicants must submit the following, labeled “Jack A. Clarke Scholarship Application” to bbe.betaphimu@gmail.com:

  • Cover sheet: name, address, e-mail, and phone number
  • List of iSchool courses completed and grades received, and a list of fall and/or spring course enrollment
  • Resumé including description of library-related experience, professional development (including organization/committee memberships or offices held) and other work, volunteer or educational activities
  • Letter from one faculty member or practicing information professional citing evidence of your scholarly and leadership abilities
  • Essay of no more than 3 double-spaced pages describing your career aspirations
  • Individual paper or project reflecting your individual best work (no group papers or projects)

Announcement of winner and award presentation: The award winner will be announced in early May. The award presentation takes place at the May iSchool graduation ceremony.

Diversity Activities Award

This award was created in honor of Dianne McAfee Hopkins, the first African-American SLIS faculty member and committed leader in school library education, intellectual freedom, and diversity in the library profession. In 2004 the School, through its Diversity Committee, set forth a formal mission statement: to promote diversity within the profession through recruitment, curriculum, and programming at the Information School. This award is intended to recognize a student whose iSchool and extra-curricular activities support this mission.

Application process: Use this form to submit the application information. Students may nominate themselves, or they may be nominated by another student or a faculty or staff member. Submit a letter of recommendation documenting the reasons for the nomination, including the candidate’s commitment to the mission of the Diversity Committee in his or her communities.

Application deadline: Monday, February 25, 2019
Award amount: $300

Judging process: The faculty will judge the nominations and determine the winner. The faculty reserves the right to give no award should there be no nomination that merits it.

Announcement of winner and award presentation: The winner is announced in early April. The award presentation takes place at the May iSchool graduation ceremony.

Apply Now

James Krikelas Award For Innovative Use Of Information Technology

This award is to recognize the work of an iSchool student who has presented the innovative use of information technology through a iSchool course assignment, or extra-curricular activity.

This award was established in 1998 in honor of Emeritus Professor James Krikelas, who for several decades was a leader in teaching and using information technology in the classroom.

Eligibility: All current iSchool students are eligible to submit work completed in Spring, Summer, or Fall semesters.

Application deadline: Monday, February 25, 2019
Award amount: $300

Application process: Students may nominate themselves, or they may be nominated by another student or a faculty or staff member. All evidence to support the application (web sites, photos, etc.) must be submitted electronically through the application form.

Also submit on this form:

  • Your name and contact information
  • The name and contact information of the person you’re nominating
  • A description of the project and why it demonstrates an innovative use of information technology.
  • Any other information you feel is relevant for the committee to use in their considerations.

Judging process: The Information School Awards Committee will judge the nominations and reserves the right to not give the award should there be no nomination that merits it. The committee is looking for:

  • Excellence of presentation
  • Significance and complexity of the problem that the project addresses
  • Effective and innovative use of information technologies to address the problem
  • A clear statement of intended audiences for the project

Announcement of winner and award presentation: The award winner will be announced in early April. The award presentation takes place at the May iSchool graduation ceremony.

Apply now

Lawrence C. Zweizig Student Leadership Award

Intention of the award: To recognize and nurture leadership in first year iSchool master’s students, thereby helping to sustain the School’s commitment to graduating future leaders in the profession.

This award was created in memory of Lawrence C. Zweizig, who graduated in 1990 and died soon after taking his first professional position. As a student he participated actively in the life of the School, showing a commitment to leadership and for activating a spirit of fun and good humor in those around him

Eligibility: All current iSchool students who have at least one semester remaining in the master’s program are eligible.

Application deadline: Monday, February 25, 2019
Award amount: $400 toward a professional conference while the applicant is still a student

Application process: Students may nominate themselves, or they may be nominated by another student or a faculty or staff member. Use this form to submit:

  • Your name and contact information
  • The name and contact information of the person you’re nominating
  • Include a letter listing the qualifying activities for the nominee plus a narrative explaining why this person is being nominated including
    • Leadership potential as demonstrated by student leadership that has contributed positively to the iSchool community
    • Demonstrated commitment to intellectual freedom and equity in information access and services
    • Well-rounded involvement in curricular and extra-curricular experiences within both the iSchool and the greater library community.

Judging process: The Information School Awards Committee will judge the nominations and reserves the right to not give the award should there be no nomination that merits it.

Announcement of winner and award presentation: The award winner will be announced in early May. The award presentation takes place at the May iSchool graduation ceremony.

Apply now

Larry Jacobsen Innovations in Library Science Award

The intent of the award: To support a second year iSchool student who (1) needs financial assistance in completing his or her second year, (2) has a focus on academic and/or special libraries, and (3) demonstrates skills as a potential difference maker in librarianship.

This award was established by Larry Jacobsen, class of 1971, who wanted a way to express appreciation for a long and fruitful library career at the Lawrence Jacobsen Primate Research Center Library. He also wanted to help students like those he had supervised in the library who had struggled financially to make it through graduate library education.

Eligibility: Any student completing his or her first year may be nominated provided they need financial assistance to complete the second year of the iSchool MA program and have a focus on academic or special libraries. In addition, a candidate must have demonstrated originality and willingness to risk, or innovativeness in his or her class or extracurricular activities, including the workplace.

Application deadline: Monday, February 25, 2019
Award amount: The $4,000 award will be given to one student. The award funds must be used for education-related expenses.

Application process and procedure: Write a statement describing your academic excellence, your demonstration of leadership, and your financial need. Solicit a letter of recommendation from an iSchool faculty/staff member OR a current work supervisor.

Application submission: Student applications should be submitted by the student, using the application form. Letters of recommendation should be submitted by the recommender to Allison G. Kaplan, Chair iSchool Awards Committee.

Judging process and procedure: The awards committee will make recommendations to the Director, to whom Mr. Jacobsen has given the responsibility of making the final decision.

No awards will be given in a year when, in the committee’s or director’s judgment, no nominee merits it.

Announcement of winner and award presentation: The award winner will be announced in early May. The award presentation takes place at the May iSchool graduation ceremony.

Apply now

Allan T. Kohl Student Professional Travel Fund for ARLIS and VRA

Intent of the award:  The Allan T. Kohl Student Professional Development Travel Fund will support students with an interest in librarianship in the fields of art, visual culture, or digital humanities wishing to attend the annual conferences of either the Visual Resources Association (VRA) or the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA).

This award was established by Allan T. Kohl, class of 1974.  A graduate of the School of Library and Information Studies, Mr. Kohl is an art historian, lecturer and visual resources librarian at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.   He is the past president and current Treasurer and Executive Board member of the Visual Resources Association (VRA).

Application process and procedure:  Write a statement explaining how attendance at the ARLIS or VRA conferences will further your professional development/educational goals. Send the statement via email to the iSchool Director.

Application deadline: Rolling, but students should state their intent in the fall semester in order to ensure consideration.  Interested parties may email the Director to see if the award funds are still available.

Award amount: This $1,000 award will be given to one student per year.  The award funds must be used to defray travel to the ARLIS or VRA conferences.

Outstanding Student of the Year Award

This award is presented to a student who is eligible for the Beta Phi Mu honor society due to high scholastic achievement. Several students are named as runners-up.

Application deadline: none

Announcement of winner and award presentation: The award winner will be announced in early May. The award presentation takes place at the May iSchool graduation ceremony.