Archival Educators Section Leadership Candidates, 2021-2022

This year we have three open spots on our section's leadership team:

  • Vice-Chair 
  • Steering committee members (2 seats) 

We have three strong candidates, two of whom are running for vice-chair and one for the steering committee membership. Whomever is not elected as vice-chair will fill the second open steering committee position, thereby ensuring a full steering committee roster for the coming year. Please enjoy learning more about our candidates!


Jeff Hirschey

Hello, my name is Jeff Hirschy and I am currently an Assistant Professor in Library and Information Science at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I am originally from Northern Indiana and I like to joke that I kept moving further south because I must be related to a bird somehow and was secretly migrating. Other than supposedly being part bird, I have strong personal interests in cats, books, adventure, and Star Trek. My professional research interests involve the investigation of archives, public memory, and social justice and how all of these can and do influence communities around the United States and the world.


Oddly enough, Star Trek actually influences my professional research interests and how I teach and engage with my students. In the Star Trek Universe, the Vulcans, Mr. Spock for example, have a saying that is, “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations”. This saying basically is a belief that differences aren’t to be feared but celebrated, respected, and when possible learned from. This saying, and the belief behind it, is what I carry with me when I engage in professional research and engage with students in the classroom. I want everyone to be able to come to the table in my classes and engage in a free and open exchange of ideas. This is necessary, in my opinion, to create a rich and vibrant learning environment, where they can learn, and I can learn. I want no one to fear speaking up, or fear learning, in my classes.


My belief in “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations” in the classroom and in my professional research is why I think I would make a good Steering Committee Member or Vice Chair. From teaching students from all over the world, to engaging in research from Minnesota to Mississippi, and helping to plan international conferences like AERI 2018, I believe I have practiced what I have preached when it comes to “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations”. I am willing to serve, and engage with various communities, in either position. Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions you would like to ask me.


Thank you and Live Long and Prosper!


Jesse Johnston

Jesse Johnston is an archivist and educator with extensive experience in the public sector, academic research, and archival education. He is currently co-leading a program assessment for the Council on Library and Information Resources' Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives program. Previously, he served as a Senior Librarian for digital content at the Library of Congress and as an Archivist in the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. While at the Library of Congress, he was an active member of the steering committee of LC-GLOBE, the Library's LGBTQ+ employee organization. He served as a Senior Program Officer for preservation and access and Acting Records Officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from 2013 to 2018; while at NEH, he also coordinated the agency's program to support education and training for cultural heritage professionals. As an archival educator, he has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland and George Mason University (GMU). As an educator, he designed and taught the University of Maryland's first online digital curation course, taught digital preservation and project management courses, and served as the instructor for an introduction to archival research and management at George Mason University. Jesse holds a PhD in musicology and an MSI in archives and records management, both from the University of Michigan. Website


I am seeking to increase my involvement with SAA and to bring my varied experiences as an archivist, an educator, and a researcher to the Archival Educators Section. I have been a longtime member of the educators section, where I have provided updates about the University of Maryland's program, and I have previously twice served as an elected steering committee member in the Audio and Moving Image Section. If elected as vice chair, I would seek to continue the section's current momentum and to build on the greater possibilities of involvement and accessibility that have been afforded over the last year and a half by the pandemic - namely, in continuing and expanding possibilities for discussion and idea sharing throughout the year using videoconferencing and online platforms. I was closely involved at NEH, the Library of Congress, and the University of Maryland, with efforts to expand online curriculum and increase the options and effectiveness of digital skills training for librarians and archivists, and I would like to expand the discussion and attention to pedagogical topics around these issues within the section and with related efforts going on in other sections and related organizations, including digital scholarship initiatives and the digital pedagogical methods of the Carpentries approach (a hands-on, inclusive, and engagement-based approach to teaching free and open digital tools to researchers, librarians, and archivists). Second, I would like to expand the section's discussion of teaching issues that have been raised during the last year's growing discussion of anti-racist teaching curriculum and inclusive approaches that can help to diversity the profession, including the involvement of all genders, LGBTQ+, BIPOC people and more, to ensure that the curriculum and approaches we are pursuing as educators create a more welcoming and representative community of professional practice. 


Steering committee:

Shaun Hayes

Shaun Hayes has been the Archives Program Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for seven years. During this time, he has taught archives courses in a variety of areas, including advocacy and digital preservation. Shaun is interesting in furthering the discussion related to the skills archivists coming into the profession should have and how archives graduate programs can provide those skills. He is also interested in continuing the work of gathering archives course syllabi in order to provide them as a resource for archival educators.