F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship: Elena Hinkle

Elena Hinkle of Simmons University is the 2020 recipient of the F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The $10,000 scholarship supports the graduate archival education of a student who is studying at a United States university program. Scholarship selection criteria include the applicant’s past performance in his or her graduate program in archival studies as well as faculty members’ assessment of the student’s prospects for contributing to the archives profession.

In her essay, Erasing Esther: Borrowing Concepts from Functional Analysis to Help us Hear the Archives’ Unheard Voices, Hinkle relates her inability to find adequate archival documentation to create a story for a central character in a historical fiction novella. Thinking like an archivist, she ties her research experience that led to an insightful proposal for archivists to adapt certain elements of functional analysis to address inequities in collections that they manage. In addition, Elena has achieved an outstanding academic record, served as the student representative to the archives faculty and as co-chair of the SAA student chapter, and is scheduled to present this year at the New England Archivists and SAA annual meetings.

Her recommender noted that she is “truly invested in becoming a leader and in making a difference in the field of archives. I believe this is emblematic of the kind of professional she will be once she completes graduate school.”