The University Libraries offer a unique fellowship to MLIS students at the iSchool that combines a scholarship with a paid work experience in the University Libraries system. The successful fellow receives a scholarship and an assignment in a University Libraries unit(s) based on the recipient’s interests.

This scholarship and job experience is designed to encourage and support underrepresented students from Native American, Hispanic American, African American, Asian American and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander heritages who wish to pursue a career in academic librarianship.

The recipient of the scholarship may use the funds for tuition and fees related to their education.

The award recipient will also be hired to work in the UW Libraries and thus will receive employment compensation over and above the scholarship. In order for the scholarship support to continue each quarter, the recipient must continue to be employed by the University Libraries and be enrolled in the I-School.

The donors of this scholarship, Jill and Joe McKinstry, believe that a diverse learning environment enhances the education of all students and that a UW learning experience should be available to all members of our community. For these reasons, the donors have a strong interest in providing financial assistance to students from ethnic backgrounds that are underrepresented in the library professions. Given this interest, the donors recognize that this scholarship will help support the University of Washington’s commitment to a diverse student population.

The 2021 McKinstry Fellow

Mei’lani Eyre 2021

Mei’lani Eyre decided to pursue a career in library science at age 16 after volunteering hundreds of hours with the King County Library System. A year after completing their undergrad at Cascadia College in Bothell, they started the next leg of their journey and applied for graduate school at UW. Mei’lani is now a first-year residential MLIS graduate student at UW and will soon begin work at the UW Libraries. In this position, Mei’lani hopes to create an equitable and safe place within academic libraries for marginalized students, especially BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students, to succeed in their studies and find community on campus.

Mei’lani has a bachelor’s degree in Mobile Web Application Development from Cascadia College. Outside of the library, they spend their time playing music, fostering cats, and learning about indigenous history and systems of knowledge.

McKinstry Award Recipients

Taylor Healey-Brooks 2020

Riko Fluchel 2018

Nicole Almanza 2016

Twanna Hodge 2013

Shardé Mills 2011

Alex Walker 2009

Khue Duong 2008

Jennifer Fairchild 2007

Smita Avasthi 2006

Abel Diaz 2005

Susie Chin 2004

Jose G. “Memo” Cordova 2001-2003