Three SILS alumnae selected for 2017 Archives Leadership Institute

Release date: 

February 27, 2017

Three UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) alumnae have been selected to participate in the 2017 Archives Leadership Institute (ALI) at Berea College. Sofía Becerra-Licha (MSLS ’12), Jessica Sedgwick (MSLS ’08), and Kate Stratton (MSLS ’10) were chosen through a highly-competitive application process that evaluated each candidate’s ability to influence change within the archival field, commitment to the archival profession, and demonstrated professional organizational involvement, among other criteria.

“ALI has been increasingly on my radar in recent years due to the stellar list of alums,” said Sedgwick, the Collections Services Archivist at the Center for the History of Medicine at Harvard Medical School's Countway Library. “Many recent participants are friends, colleagues, and other professionals who inspire me and who are doing work that I respect and admire. I want to make a positive impact in my professional communities, including in my department, in professional organizations, and in the classes that I teach, and I view ALI as an opportunity to develop new skills, perspectives, and connections that will help me do just that.”

Each year, ALI provides advanced training for 25 emerging innovation leaders in the archival profession. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission, affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration, funds the Institute. Participants will complete a week-long Leadership Intensive at Berea College from June 25 - July 1, 2017, return to their institutions to develop practicum projects, and then present the outcomes of their learning and projects at professional meetings.

“ALI was a profoundly impactful experience for me both professionally and personally,” said Meg Tuomala (MSLS ’10), a SILS alumna who attended the 2015 ALI. “I left with a better understanding of myself–particularly my strengths–and how to best use them to forward not only my career, but also to benefit the archives profession and community.”

The SILS alumnae chosen for ALI 2017 work for three very different institutions. Becerra-Licha, Associate Director of the Berklee Archives at the Berklee College of Music, came to her position through a 2012 NHPRC grant establishing the College’s archives and records management program. She recorded her first year on the project for the inaugural “Year in the Life” series on the Society of American Archivists’ SNAP blog. She holds master’s degrees in music and library science, as well as a Digital Archives Specialist certificate from SAA. Most recently, she was a member of Collective Wisdom: Libraries, Archives, and Museums (LAM) Conference Exchange

At Harvard’s Countway Library, Sedgwick puts her passion into practice, using technology and innovative methods to provide broad, user-friendly access to primary sources for audiences. She leads an innovative program for establishing physical and intellectual control over the Center’s internationally renowned holdings, from accession through final processing and description.  Sedgwick previously worked in reference and instruction, outreach, digitization and metadata, born-digital collections management, acquisitions and collection development, and fundraising and grant planning.

Stratton is the Collection Development Archivist at Gates Archive in Seattle, where she oversees donor relations and acquisitions programs. Prior to joining Gates Archive in 2013, she worked at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript Archives and the Rare Book Library at Emory University.

“I am excited to participate in ALI 2017 to add some advanced tools to my leadership skill set and some really talented archivists to my professional network,” Stratton said.  “I see the program as a unique opportunity for growth personally and in my career. I was particularly encouraged by the great things I heard about the program from colleagues who are ALI alums.”