2017 Nominees for ARCS Steering Committee

Three candidates were nominated for the ARCS vice-chair/chair-elect. Four candidates were nominated for the ARCS steering committee member-at-large (one vacancy). Election ballots will open at the beginning of July 2017. Read more about the candidates here.

Candidates for Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect

Taffey Hall

Taffey Hall serves as director of the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives in Nashville, Tennessee.  She was archivist for the SBHLA from May 2003 through July 2016 and began serving as director in August following the retirement of Bill Sumners who served the collection over 30 years.  The SBHLA is a worldwide center for the study of Baptist history, and one of the major denominational collections in the nation.  It serves, by assignment of the Southern Baptist Convention, as the central depository and archives of SBC records.  Hall has been a member of SAA, and the Archivists of Religious Collections Section, since 2003.  She served as ARCS member-at-large from 2009-2011.  She has served as president of the Association of Librarians and Archivists at Baptist Institutions, Society of Tennessee Archivists, and Tennessee Theological Library Association.  She holds an Ed.D. (administration and supervision) from Tennessee State University, M.A. (history) from Middle Tennessee State University, and B.A. (history) from Tennessee Wesleyan College.  She is a certified archivist.


“I would feel delighted and grateful to serve as vice chair/chair-elect of the Archivists of Religious Collections Section.  I would work my hardest to help our members as best I can.”


Elizabeth Scott

Elizabeth Scott is the Archivist at Saint Michael’s College where she also serves as the Archivist for the Society of Saint Edmund, a very small Roman Catholic Religious Order.  In her work with the SSE records, she regularly faces the challenges of handling the records of a religious institution in sharp decline.  She has a MSLS from the University of Kentucky and a MAR from Yale Divinity School in addition to a BA in history from the College of Wooster.  Prior to arriving at Saint Michael's College, she worked at South Dakota State University, University of Oregon, and University of Kentucky.  She has been involved in SAA for many years and previously served ARCS as secretary from 2007-2012.  She served SAA on the membership committee for a number of years, including serving as its chair in 2013.


“I am interested in the position because I want to continue to work with members to promote the records of religious institutions to both the larger archival community and to non-archivists.  I would especially like to encourage collaboration and communication among members and to work on mentoring and leadership development within ARCS.”


Dainan Skeem

Dainan Skeem is the curator of the 21st Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection at Brigham Young University’s L. Tom Perry Special Collections with responsibilities for documenting the current century’s history of the LDS church, Utah, and the West. He was previously employed as an archivist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa with responsibilities for the University Archives’ manuscript collections, including the Japanese American Veterans Collection. He also worked as an archivist at the Hawaii State Archives right after graduating with his MLISc from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2007. While in Hawaii, he served as a board member of the Association of Hawaii Archivists from 2009-1013, taking on the role of president-elect/president in 2012-2013. He is a certified archivist and earned the Digital Archives Specialist certificate from SAA.


“Having served as a board member and officer of the regional archives association in Hawaii, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with my peers to advance the archival profession. I am excited for the chance to serve a larger membership as vice-chair of the ARCS steering committee. I will gladly help carry out the objectives of the section, from facilitating and encouraging discussion of religious archival matters, to being an advocate for religious archival interests, to helping integrate new members in the field and developing leadership in the section.”


Candidates for Steering Committee Member-at-Large (one vacancy)


Susan J. Illis

Susan Illis’ background includes over 25 years of archival experience in various institutions. Since 2007, she has been staff archivist for the Society of Mary, United States Province, where the collections of the Boston and Atlanta provinces were recently combined. In preparation for her archival career, she earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Pittsburgh and completed coursework in archival theory at Duquesne University. Over the years, she has participated in conferences and seminars. Her employment history includes the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania (now Senator John Heinz History Center), Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University, and the Atlanta History Center. She also performs consultant and contract work.


“Despite my many years as an archivist, I have not been involved in professional organizations for the past several years. Although I bring a wealth of professional experience, I also offer a fresh perspective and renewed enthusiasm for getting involved.”


Kayla Harris

While Kayla Harris is new to the position as archivist at the Marian Library at the University of Dayton, and therefore, ARCS, she has been working with archival collections for several years. She received her MLIS from the University of South Carolina in 2011 and is a certified archivist. She has interned at the Smithsonian Institution, worked as a metadata librarian at the University of Alabama, and most recently, she was the records manager and archivist for a local government archive center.


“I am active in local archival organizations including the Society of Ohio Archivists and the Miami Valley Archives Roundtable and would like to serve the Archivists of Religious Collection Section of SAA as a member-at-large. There are many unique aspects of processing and managing religious collections and I would like the opportunity to work more closely with colleagues in this specific branch of the archival field.”


Michelle Sayers

Michelle Sayers received her B.A. in history with a minor in creative writing from Hollins University in 2007, and her M.A. in history from the University of Utah in 2010 with a concentration in African American studies. Over the course of her undergraduate and graduate career she did multiple internships for libraries and museums, gaining valuable archival, outreach, and cataloging experience. For the past five years she has worked as an archivist at the LDS Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, cataloging new manuscript and photograph collections, coordinating donor digitization requests, and coordinating the work of several volunteers and interns. She became a certified archivist in 2016. Her work at the CHL has given her valuable experience working with religious collections, and she is very fascinated by the work other archives of religious collections are pursuing. 


“I would be honored to work with the section to promote the interests of religious archives and participate more fully in the archival community. I have worked in archives for several years, and I am looking for opportunities to broaden my horizons within the profession. I would love to be more involved in the larger archival community, and I believe starting in the religious archival community is ideal.  As an archivist in a religious institution I know I could add valuable insights to the section, and learn and collaborate with others who work with these types of collections. I think religious archives are unique in that they tell the story not only of history but of spirituality, which is such an integral part of the historic record.”


Brandon Wason

Brandon Wason is the curator of archives and manuscripts at Pitts Theology Library, Emory University. He holds a Master of Theological Studies and PhD in religion from Emory University. He manages a repository and special collections department that has strong holdings in the German Reformation, English religious history (Catholic and Protestant), Methodist history, hymnody and psalmody, as well as professional associations such as the American Academy of Religion and the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. He is also the archivist for the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Brandon has considerable experience working with technology and digital tools; he was a web programmer for ten years, served as an education technology consultant, and is currently on Emory University's Digital Collections Steering Committee. He also has been an active member of national and regional professional societies such as the Society for Biblical Literature, the American Theological Library Association, and the Society of Georgia Archivists.


“As one with a strong academic background in religion as well as experience working with a wide range of religious collections spanning from medieval manuscripts to twenty-first century born-digital materials, the ARCS section is my natural home at SAA. I hope to join the ARCS steering committee in order bring a focus on open source or accessible resources to solve issues that archivists face today and to promote collaboration between ARCS members at and outside the annual meeting.”