Becky Fitzgerald, a graduate student in the Master’s program in Library and Information Science – School Media at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) is one of seven students to receive the 2016 Dewey Scholarship award from the New York Library Association (NYLA). 

Recipients were selected based on their leadership skills, commitment to the field of librarianship, and academic excellence. The scholarship, sponsored by the Lake Placid Education Foundation and NYLA, provides financial assistance to students pursuing a master’s degree in library sciences in New York. Recipients also have the opportunity to attend NYLA’s Annual Conference. 

As a member of NYLA and a past conference attendee, Fitzgerald is honored to receive the scholarship and to be a part of the library organization. “It’s an honor to be recognized by Syracuse faculty and NYLA,” said Fitzgerald. “I am so excited to attend NYLA again and continue my path as a lifelong learner.”

Fitzgerald is a school media specialist at Churchville Elementary School in Churchville, NY, and is completing her degree through the iSchool’s online program.

“Throughout my undergraduate education, I focused on communication and I spent my days asking questions, researching, interviewing individuals, and putting together all of this information in a neat package for an audience that is shaped by its own social context, language, and historical background,” Fitzgerald explained as she recounted how she chose a career in librarianship.  “As time passed and I no longer sought a career in journalism, I realized that I could transfer my knowledge and skills to the library and information field. I love to read, write, learn, and explore, as well as educate and inspire. I truly found my niche in this field.”

“I have found that the iSchool has provided me with the necessary skills and resources to become a school librarian,” Fitzgerald said. “I have enjoyed all of the coursework and its perfect blend of theory and practice, and the faculty and staff provide immense support for their students, especially their online students like myself, who may live far away, yet feel completely a part of the iSchool community.”

“Those around Becky recognize her passion for literacy and her passion for working with children,” said Jill Hurst-Wahl, director of the MLIS program. “Besides being an advocate for literacy, she is also an advocate for diversity. Her willingness to advocate for diversity, along with her focus on literacy, connects her to the core principles of librarians and libraries. I look forward to Becky continuing her education with us and to the impact she will make on her community as a librarian.”