Mosaic Scholarship: Sabrina Ponce

Sabrina Ponce, who is pursuing a dual master of library and information science degree with an archival specialization and master of arts degree in Latin American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is a 2017 recipient of the Mosaic Scholarship given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The $5,000 scholarship is given to a student who demonstrates potential for scholastic and personal achievement and who manifests a commitment both to the archival profession and to advancing diversity concerns within it.

In addition to a strong academic record, Ponce has developed a commitment to actively engaging with diverse archival collections and communities. Her descriptive work on the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archive at the Center for Primary Research and Training at the UCLA Library Special Collections demonstrated a strong awareness of the representation of identities and relationships documented within the collection. In her work on an exhibition documenting the experience of Japanese-Americans in internment camps, Ponce reached out to the Nikkei (Japanese-American) Student Union at UCLA to collaborate on developing the exhibit’s narrative. She has also participated in local outreach events with the Palos Verdes Library Local History Center, which inspired her to pursue a career in archives.

Ponce writes, “I believe that archivists should work with an ethic of service and justice for communities, in addition to working in dialogue with all communities whose histories they preserve.” Alongside the MLIS degree, Ponce is pursuing a master’s in Latin American studies to better understand the history, culture, and communities that she will serve as an archivist.

One of her supporters wrote that upon first working with her, “I was impressed with Ponce’s curiosity, interest, and diligence in learning about the profession. Two years later, I continue to be impressed by her commitment to understanding all facets of the profession.”