Josephine Forman Scholarship

Purpose and Criteria for Selection:

The Josephine Forman Scholarship provides financial support to minority students pursuing graduate education in archival science, encourages students to pursue a career as an archivist, and promotes the diversification of 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.

Established in October 2010 by the General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church and named for Josephine Forman, archivist for 18 years of the Southwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church and author of We Finish to Begin: A History of Travis Park United Methodist Church, 1846–1991.

Eligibility: Please read this section carefully.

  • The applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • The applicant must be of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern/North African, or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander descent.
  • The applicant must be currently enrolled in a graduate program or a multi-course program in archival administration, or have applied to such a program for the next academic year.*
  • The applicant shall have completed no more than half of the credit requirements toward her/his graduate degree or multi-course program at the time of the award (i.e., June 1).
  • The applicant must be enrolled in a graduate program and begin school no later than September 1 or the fall semester/quarter immediately following the award.  Otherwise the award will be rescinded.
  • Applicants may have full-time or part-time status.

*The graduate program or multi-course program must offer at least three courses in archival science or be listed in the current SAA Directory of Archival Education. The applicant must provide proof of the three-course standard by submitting copies of course descriptions from the institution’s current course catalog.

Sponsor and Funding:

The General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) of The United Methodist Church, in cooperation with the Society of American Archivists and the SAA Foundation.

Selection Committee:

The Forman Scholarship Subcommittee of the SAA Awards Committee consists of three members of the Society of American Archivists, one GCAH staff member, and one of the co-chairs of the Awards Committee (ex officio). The SAA President-elect shall appoint one of the SAA members on the subcommittee each year for a term of three years; the senior member of this cohort in years of service shall serve as chair and present the award.


One scholarship of $10,000. Awardees also may be invited to attend the annual meeting of the General Commission on Archives and History and/or the Quadrennial Historical Convocation, with funding provided by GCAH.

Also included is complimentary registration to the SAA Annual Meeting in the year in which the scholarship is received.

First Awarded:


Application Deadline and Requirements:

Click here to preview the application and/or to apply. All applications must be submitted by February 28 of each year and include the following:

  • A cover letter stating interest in the scholarship, accompanied by an essay of not more than 500 words outlining the applicant’s interest in the archives profession as well as how they would advance diversity concerns within it..
  • Official transcripts from the applicant’s most recent academic program. NOTE: Allow enough time to get transcripts by application deadline.
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers/professors and/or professional archivists. NOTE: Please notify your references ahead of time. Your references will need to upload their letters of recommendation to your online form by the application deadline.

Upon Receipt of the Award:

  • The award will be disbursed by the GCAH directly to the applicant’s academic program.
  • The recipient must submit a 500-word report to the GCAH and to the SAA Council upon completion of her/his second semester.
  • Awardees may be invited to attend the annual meeting of the General Commission on Archives and History and/or the Quadrennial Historical Convocation, with funding provided by GCAH.

In the event that certain conditions arise, the following shall apply:  1) if the award exceeds tuition fees for one semester, the balance may be carried over to the next semester; 2) if the recipient drops out of the archival administration program, all unused fees shall be returned to GCAH; and 3) if the recipient’s tuition is paid in full by another scholarship or award, the recipient shall decline the Forman Scholarship.

Josephine Forman Scholarship Recipients:

2023:  Hannah Gershone (Simmons University)

2022:  Elias Larralde (University of Arizona)

2021:  Hinaikawaihiʻilei Keala (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)

2020:  Ishmael Ross (Louisiana State University) 

2019:  Ashley Flores (University of California, Los Angeles)

2018:  Krystell Jimenez (University of California, Los Angeles)

2017:  Jeannie Chen (University of California, Los Angeles)

2016:  Desiree Alaniz (Simmons College)

2015:  Maria E. Sanchez-Tucker (University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee)

2014:  Joanna Chen (University of California, Los Angeles)

2013:  Kimberly Springer (University of Michigan)

2012:  Nathasha Alvarez

2011:  Nidya G. Gonzalez