Skip to main content

Student Recognized by Society of American Archivists 

Headshot of Ashley RockenbachSecond-year master’s in library science student Ashley Rockenbach has been named the 2024 recipient of the Society of American Archivists’ F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship. The scholarship includes $10,000 and complimentary registration for the organization’s 2024 annual meeting this summer.

“It was certainly a shock to receive the news,” said Rockenbach. “I feel encouraged to keep pursuing my interests in archives in the global south, and I’m grateful to the Ham scholarship committee for this opportunity.

Rockenbach holds a M.A. in African History and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan. Her interest in archives and libraries grew from her doctoral work in African history.

“During that time, I had the opportunity to participate in a number of archival projects in Uganda, working with teams of Ugandan and American archivists and graduate students to arrange and describe government collections held at the National Archives in Kampala and in various district-level repositories across the country. Through this experience, I became intensely curious about the history of archives and libraries in Uganda (and in Africa more broadly), and the way staff and users have shaped the contents, policies, and everyday practices of these institutions, both before and after independence.”

Rockenbach’s rich history also includes working as a social studies teacher in New York and as the director of a four-year BA program in Liberal Arts at BML Munjal University in India. She currently works as a graduate assistant in the Robert B. House Undergraduate Library at UNC and expects to graduate with her MSLS with a concentration in Archives and Records Management in May 2025.

Teaching Assistant Professor Elliott Kuecker, who provided a reference letter for this scholarship shared, “Rockenbach is a reflective future archivist who I love to converse with, given her background as a trained historian and previous staff member of the Uganda archives. She is committed and serious about becoming an archivist not merely because it could be a good job, but because she has thought about it for years and done so much complementary work. She will be one of the people who will make big contributions to our field.”


Related Programs: Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS)