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Scholarship winners for online master’s program named

January 15, 2013

Winners of 12 full scholarships will begin online coursework toward earning a master’s degree in School Librarianship at McDaniel College. The college received a 21st Century Librarian Program Grant for nearly $240,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to fund the student scholarships.

The 12 recipients are currently teachers in underserved regions of Maryland. The scholarships will also help send the students to professional conferences. Their coursework began Jan. 14.

Professor of Library Science Dr. Mona Kerby, who won the grant for McDaniel, says the scholarships will go a long way in improving education in high-needs schools.

“It means that not only will a dozen teachers benefit but every child in their schools will benefit from having a professional librarian on staff,” she says.

Awardees are as follows:

Diane Acosta-Bell, teacher and part-time media instructional assistant, Easton Elementary School in Talbot County

Talibah Chikwendu, English and mathematics long-term substitute teacher, North Dorchester Middle School in Dorchester County

Gina Payne Deal, Prince Street Elementary School in Wicomico County (M.S.’97, WMC)

Donna Dick, English and journalism teacher, Largo High School in Prince George’s County

Jacob Gerding, social studies teacher, Suitland High School in Prince George’s County (B.A.’04, McDaniel)

Kimberly Long, first-grade teacher, Barack Obama Elementary in Prince George’s County

Jennifer Lungociu, fifth-grade teacher, Paramount Elementary School, Washington County

Michelle Phillips, library media assistant at Kent County High School, Kent County

Brittany Powers, media assistant at Delmar Elementary School in Wicomico County

Brittany Richards, first-grade teacher at Westernport Elementary School in Allegany County

Brandy Taylor, mathematics teacher at Parkside High School in Wicomico County

Michele Tota, English and journalism teacher at North Dorchester High School in Dorchester County

“I was so elated to receive the scholarship; I've never won anything ever,” Tota recently wrote. “When the e-mail came across my desk for this scholarship this looked like a great opportunity for me to do something that I'm passionate about, and then also further my professional aspirations as well.”

Kerby and McDaniel’s program were selected for the grant as “premier examples of (projects) that would significantly increase the number of students enrolled in master’s and doctoral-level LIS programs and enhance curricula within graduate schools of library and information science, as well as programs of continuing education for librarians and library staff,” according to the grant award letter from IMLS.