Fall 2018 Library Science Scholarship Recipients

As a result of generous gifts from alumni, the School of Information Science awarded seven library and information science students a scholarship in Fall 2018. Aryssa Damron, Shantel Richardson, and Dawn Sweeney earned the Hallie Day Blackburn Scholarship, Jordan Sharp and Raychel Bennet were awarded the Broyles Scholarship; and Beth Kerrick and Benjamin Nielson earned scholarships as well.

More specifically, the Hallie Day Blackburn Scholarship honors the late Hallie Day Blackburn who worked for many years in the Kentucky State Library. This particular scholarship supports Kentucky residents who seek careers in public libraries. The Williena Burdine Broyles Memorial Endowed Scholarship is awarded to students from one of Kentucky's Appalachian counties. The Broyles Scholarship was established in 2004 by Marvin Burdine to honor his sister Williena, who worked as a librarian in Somerset, KY for 25 years. 

Congratulations to the recipients below for their achievement. 

Aryssa Damron

Aryssa Damron is a MSLS candidate interested in public and governmental libraries. She holds an undergraduate degree in English from Yale University where she was active on the University Library Committee and the Hunger and Homelessness Action Project. Hailing from the city of Ashland, Kentucky, Aryssa now lives in Washington, D.C, and works as a journalist while pursuing her MSLS. She was raised by public libraries and looks forwarding to spending the rest of her life in them. 

Shantel Richardson

Shantel Richardson teaches and collaborates Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Art programs and classes at Jessamine County Public Library.   She instructs Video Recording Basics, Green Screen Basics, Intro to Mac, Audio Recording Basics, iMovie Basics, Garage Band, Corel Draw, Photoshop/Premiere Elements classes; Girls Who Code and STEAM Academy. She is also the supervisor of the Creative Space and Recording Studio.  She teaches small group sessions with customers (3d printers, Laser Cutter, CNC machines, the Microsoft Word suite, Social Media, AV Conversion, Email and Chromebooks).  In her spare time, Richardson likes to song-write, perform, and film music videos.

Dawn Sweeney

My name is Dawn Sweeney and I am proud to have been accepted into this program. I waited a long time to pursue this degree and the final push came when I had the opportunity to view the Book of Kells at the Library of Trinity College. I have worked for the government in different capacities for many years and enjoy helping people. In my free time I build wooden dollhouses and hang out with my mastiff.

Jordan Sharp 

Jordan Sharp is a Morehead State University Graduate, where she graduated with a BA in English. She is an incoming freshman at UK's MSLS program this year. Since she was young, she has always had a passion for reading and as she got older it became her dream to help others cultivate this passion as well. Through UK's library sciences program, she hopes to learn the skills necessary to continue making this dream a reality.


Raychel Bennet 

Raychel Bennet is a second-year graduate student pursuing her MS in Library Science. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 2017 with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She is currently working as an intern and future practicum student with the Bullitt County Public Library System, where she is ecstatically working with children and teen programming. Raychel is excited to continue to learn all she can to better serve her community and patrons.

Beth Kerrick 

I am originally from the Sharpe/Possum Trot area of western Kentucky. I began my undergrad at Murray State University but graduated from Athens State University in Athens, AL with a B.S. in Elementary Education. I taught 6th grade in Huntsville, AL, then moved back to Kentucky and taught 2nd grade. I began my role as Children’s Librarian for the Marshall County Public Library system in 2011. I conduct weekly story times, provide early literacy information to parents, and have developed a close partnership with our local public school system. I am continually striving to provide exceptional customer service and outstanding experiences for our rural community. I am currently finishing up my MSLS through UK.


Benjamin Nielson

Ben is currently the manager of the Multimedia Lab and Software Training program at the BYU library. He lives in Utah with his wife and baby daughter. As a family they love to travel and see new places. When they are in a new city or town Ben loves to go explore the local library to get new ideas. Ben plans to work in public libraries after finishing his MSLS degree. He hopes to help others learn and use technology, and foster in children a love of learning.