DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Tommy Vinh Bui, a master's student in library science in the University of North Texas' College of Information, has been named a 2015 Spectrum Scholar by the American Library Association. Bui is earning his master's degree through the college's Greater Los Angeles Cohort.
The Spectrum Scholarships, which provide students with $5,000 for one academic year and are non-renewable, are considered to be among the most prestigious scholarships for students earning graduate degrees in library and information science. Twenty-one UNT students have been named Spectrum Scholars since 2009.
The Spectrum Scholarship Program was established in 1997 by the ALA's Office for Diversity as a national diversity and recruitment effort to address under-representation of certain ethnic groups in the library profession. In addition to the non-renewable scholarship, each Spectrum Scholar receives more than $1,500 worth of pre-professional development activities and ongoing leadership training and career placement services.
Bui has been employed by the Los Angeles Public Library System since October 2012 and is currently interning with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, working with the Art Department to organize and archive its extensive paper collection. Bui also volunteers with the Los Angeles Radio Reading Service.
He said the Spectrum Scholarship "will be a great boon to my academic career and further stoke my enthusiasm for the field of library sciences and advocacy for public service."
"I'd like to extend profound gratitude to the donors and ALA for this singular opportunity," Bui said.
A native of Arleta, Calif., Bui received his bachelor's degree in cinema with a minor in English and his master's degree in English literature from California State University at Northridge. He also studied abroad at Swansea University in Wales, and worked in Caux, Switzerland, in an internship for Initiatives of Change International, a non-governmental organization. In 2011, he served in the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan, working as an education and community development volunteer.
Bui will receive his master's degree from UNT during the 2015-16 academic year. He says he plans to "continue to promote open access to information through librarianship and work in cooperation with residents to build a rich, verdant and vibrant community."