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Three UMSI students selected as 2023-2025 ARL Kaleidoscope Program scholars

The three Kaleidoscope scholars are pictured with the text "2023-2025 Kaleidoscope Program Scholars"

Thursday, 09/07/2023

Three UMSI students — Jack Schmitt (MSI ’24), Tara Dorje (MSI ’25) and Jordan Rhym (MSI ’25) — have been selected to join the Association of Research Libraries’ Kaleidoscope Program. The two-year initiative aims to prepare BIPOC graduate students for purposeful and consequential careers in research libraries. 

As scholars in the 2023-2025 cohort, Schmitt, Dorje and Rhym will receive tuition support of up to $10,000 while attending the University of Michigan School of Information, formal mentorship from leaders in the field, and professional development funding and opportunities, including attendance at the ARL Annual Leadership Symposium. Kaleidoscope Program scholars are selected on the basis of their professional interests within libraries and archives, growth mindset, and awareness of self and communities, among other criteria.

A headshot of Jack Schmitt in front of stained glass windows

Jack Schmitt is a second-year Master of Science in Information student at UMSI, studying library science and archives with a focus on managing and sustaining collections. He is also enrolled in U-M’s museum studies graduate certificate program. This past summer, Schmitt interned at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, working off-site at Fisk University in their Black Oral History Collections. He is a 2022–2023 American Library Association Spectrum scholar and serves as a student volunteer on the Society of American Archivists Archival Repatriation Committee. Previously, Schmitt worked as a professional actor for five years, performing at major theaters across the country. His professional interests include social memory and inclusive history.

“This scholarship has made it more financially feasible for me to pursue my education at UMSI and take advantage of opportunities only available at this university,” said Schmitt. He chose UMSI because it offers a strong foundation not only in information science but in “the intersection of information with community, accessibility, ethics and justice.” 

“I look forward to engaging with others, contributing to the field and serving my community,” Schmitt said.

A headshot of Tara Dorje

Tara Dorje is a first-year Master of Science in Information student. She earned her BA in art history with a minor in film, television and media studies from U-M, where she received departmental honors for her undergraduate thesis on Asian American feminist video and performance art. She worked as a curatorial and development assistant at the University of Michigan Museum of Art and has held formative internships in curatorial, archives and public programming departments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA PS1, the Rubin Museum of Art, and Asia Art Archive in America. Dorje is a 2023–2024 American Library Association Spectrum scholar. As an aspiring archivist, she is committed to preserving the cultural, intellectual and material heritage of historically marginalized people.

The ARL Kaleidoscope Program will provide me with invaluable mentorship, training and community as I begin my first year at UMSI,” Dorje said. “I especially look forward to meeting and collaborating with fellow BIPOC students of library and information science who are committed to bridging underserved communities and cultural institutions.”

A headshot of Jordan Rhym in front of green hedges

Jordan Rhym is pursuing a Master of Science in Information with a concentration in digital curation and archives. She received her BA in cultural anthropology and a minor in African American and diaspora studies from Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, she developed a passion for archives while working at the Special Collections and University Archives and completing her senior thesis on archiving protest chants and music through social media and oral histories. Following graduation, Jordan took a gap year to explore her interest in archives and library studies by completing the Archives, History and Heritage Advanced Internship Program at the Library of Congress. She is a 2023–2024 American Library Association Spectrum scholar. At UMSI, she hopes to continue developing skills in archival research so she can better share the stories and voices of diverse communities through digital archives and collections.

For me, this scholarship is really an opportunity to connect with and learn alongside peer mentors,” Rhym said. “I am fairly new to the field, so I am looking forward to meeting students with their own unique passions and experiences, and I hope we can all learn from each other. I think the library site visit and the ARL Annual Leadership Symposium opportunities the Kaleidoscope Program offers will allow us space to do just that.”

Learn more about external funding opportunities for UMSI students.

Abigail McFee, marketing and communications writer