University of Wisconsin–Madison

Student Awards

Past award winners

Direct questions about awards and scholarships to Debra Shapiro, 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: February 28
Award amount: $300

Application process: 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

Dianne McAfee Hopkins 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: 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: February 28
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

iSchool Diversity Internship Award

This award provides scholarship funding for students to complete otherwise unpaid internships. The iSchool provides up to two Diversity Internship Awards per academic semester.

The purpose is to:

increase the diversity of representation in the information professions;
alleviate financial burden of unpaid internships;
support efforts to engage the broadest range of populations with information services, especially communities that are currently underserved;
provide students with additional training, experience and support that might lead to better job placements in their areas of interest.

Current iSchool students (MA, MS, online and on-campus) who have taken at least one academic year of coursework (full or part-time) are eligible.

Application deadlines: August 15 for Fall internships, January 1 for Spring and Summer internships

For more details see iSchool Diversity Internship Award Information.

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: February 28
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.

The form will require:

  • 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

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 their 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 their 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 their class or extracurricular activities, including the workplace.

Application deadline: February 28
Award amount: The $4,000 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 emailed by the recommender to Debra Shapiro, 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.

In years where there is merit, more than one award may be given; 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

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.