Graduate Students Caroline Simpson and Haley Walton Receive MER Scholarships

March 26, 2014

Caroline Simpson and Haley Walton, Master’s students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS), have been awarded scholarships to attend the 2014 National Conference on Managing Electronic Records (MER) in Chicago, IL.

The scholarships, funded by MER sponsors Cohasset Associates, are awarded each year to one or two students from a select set of library and information schools. The scholarship at SILS was initiated in May of 2006 by Dr. Christopher (Cal) Lee, Frances Carroll McColl Term Professor at SILS. The awards cover the cost of the conference registration fee ($1795), several meals and receptions. In return, scholarship winners arrive at MER a day early and help run the conference.

"It's an honor to receive one of this year's MER scholarships from SILS and Cohasset," said Simpson. "I'm very excited to learn more about a topic so central to making information accessible and transparent. I'm also looking forward to hearing about best practices and trends that may help me see what's on the horizon for public organizations and records management."

This is the ninth year that Cohasset Associates awarded scholarships to two SILS students. Simpson and Walton received the awards after submitting essays detailing why they wanted to attend the MER conference, what they hoped to learn at the conference and how attending the event fit into their career goals.

"It is an incredible opportunity to represent SILS at this year's MER Conference," Walton said. "This is my first major trade conference, and I've looking forward to attending presentations, speaking with experts, and immersing myself in the professional world of records management before I graduate. The knowledge and network connections I acquire at the conference will round out my two years at SILS and prepare me for entering the library or records management fields this summer."

The conference is focused on addressing the operational, technical and legal issues associated with the life-cycle management of electronic records. This year’s conference will take place May 19-21 and will feature workshops, case study presentations and renowned guest speakers.

Cohasset Associates has been running the Managing Electronic Records (MER) conference every year since the early 1990s. It's one of the only conferences in the country exclusively devoted to electronic records.  MER provides a unique opportunity to be exposed to people and ideas that you won't get in other venues.

In years past, students attending the MER conference have been hired by companies attending the conference.

“I was able to attend MER when I was a Master’s student, and it was very influential on my views and understanding of the field,” said Lee. “MER provides a unique opportunity for students to be exposed to people and ideas that they won’t get in other venues. I’m very excited that we’re able to carry on this tradition at SILS."