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2017 Josephine Forman Scholarship Promotes Diversity in the Field of Archival Science

The Josephine Forman Scholarship, administered by the General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) in partnership with the Society of American Archivists (SAA), provides financial support to minority students pursuing graduate education in archival science, encourages students to pursue a career as an archivist, and promotes diversity within the American archives profession. The scholarship is given to applicants who demonstrate excellent potential for scholastic and personal achievement and who manifest a commitment both to the archives profession and to advancing diversity concerns within it.

The newly announced 2017 recipient is Jeannie Chen. “It was such a pleasant surprise to learn that I was the recipient of the 2017 Josephine Forman Scholarship,” said Chen. “To be honest, this award should go to all of my mentors who have guided me throughout my undergraduate and (now) graduate studies. It is an honor to be among such excellent and deserving company this year, and I hope that someday, I can also become a mentor to future generations of aspiring archives and information professionals.”

Chen is a 2018 Master's Candidate in the Library and Information Studies Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently interested in Archival Studies, Asian American Studies, Academic Librarianship, and critical LIS studies. In addition, her background as a classically-trained pianist opened her eyes to the world of music libraries and archives. In June of 2017, she was one of three people selected for the Rutgers University Jazz Archives Fellowship to collaborate on a digital project involving the oral histories of jazz musicians. She is bilingual in Mandarin Chinese and English, and has volunteered at the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California's Archives since the beginning of her MLIS Program. Outside of her academic studies, she also became an active member in student organizations such as the UCLA International Graduate Students Association (IGSA). She is passionate about addressing the challenges that international students face in the U.S., especially in the present climate, and in her second year, she plans to serve as Director for International Student Affairs in the UCLA Graduate Students Association.

“The Josephine Forman Scholarship award will be an extremely vital support towards the successful completion of my MLIS Program at UCLA, and I would like to thank the Society of American Archivists and GCAH for this opportunity to develop my knowledge and skills in the archival studies field.”

Fred Day, General Secretary for GCAH notes that “as the keepers of the Church’s ethos and DNA, GCAH brings voice and gravitas to the Connectional Table’s visioning, planning and programming for the life and witness of the UMC. This scholarship provides an additional way for us to carry out this mission. By encouraging scholars, GCAH helps the UMC continue investing in the protection of our DNA for future generations.”

The scholarship is named for Josephine Forman, archivist for eighteen years for the Southwest Texas Annual Conference Commission on Archives and History of the UMC and author of We Finish to Begin: A History of Travis Park United Methodist Church, 1846–1991.  As Conference Archivist, Ms. Forman collected records from closed churches along with administrative records for the Conference. For many years she was the Church Historian at Travis Park UMC in San Antonio, Texas and showed a tireless commitment to training and education for archivists and church historians.

For more information on the Josephine Forman Scholarship and how to apply, visit http://gcah.org/research/josephine-forman-scholarship.