Meet the candidates for 2021-2022 Section Leadership!

Thank you to all of the colleagues who are running in the 2021 Archives Management Section elections! Please take some time to review their statements.

You will be voting for:

  • One Vice Chair/Chair-elect, for a two-year term
  • One Secretary, for a one-year term
  • Two Steering Committee Members, each for a three-year term

There will also be a section referendum on changes to the Section's bylaws

Ballots will be managed by SAA staff through Survey Monkey; please keep an eye on your inbox for when the ballot opens!

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect (select one)

Name: Derek Webb

Pronouns: He/Him/His 

Professional title, institution, or affiliation: Head of Archives, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries 

Biographical Information: 

Derek Webb leads the Archives Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, managing a team including professional archivists and graduate student interns as well as conducting the university’s records management program. Before that, he was the Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus where he conducted all aspects of archival practice. He is a Certified Archivist and member of the 2017 cohort of the Archives Leadership Institute with a MLS from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (2010). He has been active in SAA since 2013 and was a member of the 2020 Management Section Steering Committee, the Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader Award Committee, and the 2019 Program Committee, as well as a past president of the Society of Mississippi Archivists and current chair of the University of Wisconsin System Archivists Committee.

Candidate Statement: 

The Management Section dedicates itself to an aspect of archival practice for which archivists typically receive little training, yet is crucially important in addressing the needs of archivists and the records in their care such as cultivating diversity, equity, and inclusion in our repositories and profession; managing change; and dealing with increasing workloads but diminishing resources.

As an archivist making the transition from early- to mid-career and who has progressed from being a lone arranger to managing a paraprofessional to leading a team of accomplished professional archivists, I have relied upon educational, idea sharing, and networking opportunities provided by the Management Section. I am committed to continuing the work of the section’s leadership in its mission to help current and future archives managers succeed in their goals for their careers and the repositories they serve.

Secretary (select one)

Name: Sarah Ponichtera

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Professional title, institution, or affiliation: Assistant Dean for Special Collections and the Gallery, Seton Hall University 

Biographical Information: 

I am currently the Assistant Dean for Special Collections and the Gallery at Seton Hall University. This unit manages both archival and museum collections, and staff trained in different fields and hired at different levels (faculty, staff, and administrator) so there is never a dull moment. In this role my background as a translator has really come in handy. In language learning you train your mind to perceive patterns in information even when the larger picture remains hazy, and you learn to suspend judgement while you try to understand. All of that is very relevant in a diverse and quickly changing field like ours.

My previous role was Project Manager of the Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Collections project, a mass digitization project aiming to digitally reunite a pre-war library and archival collection split up between Vilnius and New York during World War II. I have a PhD in Yiddish literature, and have translated Yiddish science fiction and spy novels into English.

Candidate Statement: 

After a year of turning inward to adapt Seton Hall's archival practices and procedures to the changes imposed by COVID, I am ready to turn back toward the larger archival community and support shared learning and growth in this new era. I am hopeful that we will bring forward the lessons we learned during this past difficult year and rebuild our archival community in a way that is more supportive, more inclusive, and more flexible in tackling the problems we all face. Also I type 70 words a minute, which doesn't hurt in a role like this!

Steering Committee (choose 2)

Name: Kate Blalack

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Professional title, institution, or affiliation: Senior Archivist and Registrar for the American Song Archives in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Biographical Information: 

Kate started her professional archival career in the Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as a Visiting Assistant Special Collections Librarian and also served as University Archivist and Assistant Records Manager. In 2013 she began as Archivist for the Woody Guthrie Archives at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and she is currently serving a dual role as Senior Archivist and Registrar for the American Song Archives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She assists the archives director with the management of the diverse collections at the Woody Guthrie Center Archives and Bob Dylan Center Archives. Over the years Kate has served as a mentor to numerous student interns, volunteers and beginning professionals and believes strongly in the future of the archives profession!

Candidate Statement: 

Kate is interested in how creative expression builds bridges in human relationships. Music is a driving force in keeping world arts connected, and she hopes she can bring a diverse point of view to the IAAS Steering Committee. She also has a strong background in studio art, counseling, preservation, digital archives and librarianship. Kate's primary areas of focus and interests are social justice-activism, international relations, economics, folk-history, music and visual arts. She has been a member of the Society of American Archivists since 2008 and during her time with SAA she has most recently served as Chair of the Independent Archivists Section for 2019-2020.

Name: Leslie Van Veen McRoberts

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Professional title, institution, or affiliation: Head of the Murray & Hong Special Collections,  Michigan State University Libraries

Biographical Information: 

Leslie Van Veen McRoberts is the Head of the Murray & Hong Special Collections at the Michigan State University Libraries. Prior to joining MSU, she served as the Local History Archivist at the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University, a Processing Technician at the Walter Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs, and the Eastern Michigan University Archives. She earned a Master of Science in Historic Preservation with a Historic Administration concentration from Eastern Michigan University, a Master of Library and Information Science and a Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration from Wayne State University. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Manuscripts Repositories Section for SAA, and a Member-at-Large for the Michigan Archival Association. Past service includes MARAC’s Diversity and Inclusion committee, and the Local Arrangements Committee for the Cambridge, MD fall conference. She also served as a co-chair and steering committee member of SAA’s Women Archivists Section (WArS).

Candidate Statement: 

I would like to participate in an active role as a member of the Steering Committee for the Archives Management Section. Providing clear values and operational goals amongst new professionals and career librarians is critical to the success of all repositories. Opportunities created among administration as well as among colleagues can foster new and innovative ideas which have the ability to generate a more profound experience. By joining the leadership of the Archives Management Section, I hope to increase participation among current and future leaders through active participation and assessment of our needs. We all need mentorship; to be encouraged and supported by our colleagues and administrative partners.