Elections for Steering Committee 2019-2021

Vice-Chair/Chair Elect: Term 2019-2022

Justin Gardner

Special Collections & Cataloging Librarian, Resource Services/Migel Collection

American Printing House, Louisville, KY

I have been the Special Collections Librarian for the M.C. Migel Memorial Collection at the American Printing House for the Blind since November of 2011.  The Migel Collection is believed to be the world’s largest collection of non-medical materials related to visual impairment in the world.  As the collection’s lone arranger, I’m responsible for reference, research, conservation, collection development, analytics, publicity, outreach, our digitization program with Internet Archive, and the supervision of our summer intern.  My undergraduate degree in History in history was from Indiana University in Bloomington, as was my MLIS.  I have over 20 years of experience working in and managing museums, archives, and public and university libraries.

Although this is my first year in SAA, the Lone Arrangers section was especially important to me upon joining.  As someone independent in both my position in the library and also in my organization (which in my case is a factory,) I understand how important it is for us to have a network of peers to consult outside of the building.  I have already found invaluable knowledge and reassurance in the Lone Arrangers in my short time as a member, and would love to contribute to the group in any way that I can. While I am new to SAA and have never served on any professional committees, I would love to try to help in a more novice position – possibly as a steering committee member, if that would be appropriate.  I’d really like to support the group, so I’d be willing to serve in whatever way that is needed most.

Katrina O’Brien

Archive & Collection Manager

World of Speed Motorsports Museum, Wilsonville, OR

Katrina O'Brien is the Archive & Collection Manager at World of Speed motorsports museum just outside Portland, OR where she manages the Museum’s physical and digital collections; creates onsite, offsite and online opportunities to build, share and display the Collection; develops archive collection-based online tools and exhibitions; and manages the Archive volunteers’ processing projects. Within the museum, Katrina is often a lone arranger, wearing many hats and finding high impact, low cost ways to preserve and share its growing collection. Katrina has held positions in other SAA sections, specifically the Museum Archives section as Newsletter Editor and as Vice Chair/Chair Elect and would be honored to help steer the Lone Arrangers section in the coming years.

Steering Committee: Term 2019-2021

Melissa Barker

Archivist/Records Manager

Houston County, Tennessee Archives

Melissa Barker is the Archivist and Records Manager at the Houston County, Tennessee Archives. She attended the Tennessee State Library and Archives program entitled Archives Instituted where she received her Certification in Archives Management. She was instrumental in establishing the first county archive in Houston County, Tennessee in 2010. She is the lone arranger archivist who has had to start from scratch to build a county archive of records dating back to 1871 and have never been organized or archived. She speaks, writes and teaches about researching in archives and records preservation. 

Peter Blasevick


The Pingry School, Basking Ridge, NJ 

My name is Peter Blasevick, and I am Archivist (and Lone Arranger!) at the Pingry School, a private K-12 college prep school in central New Jersey. I was hired in 2015 in a contract position to head up the design and implementation of the school’s digital sports Hall of Fame (halloffame.pingry.org). Once the project was completed, I stayed on full time as Archivist. Before Pingry, I worked at William Paterson University as an adjunct Digital Librarian and at Rutgers University as manager of the New Jersey Environmental Digital Library. In a previous life, I was a professional musician. 

 I try to stay involved in the community (I ran a workshop at last year’s MARAC, wrote a piece for Archival Outlook, am an active member in the SAA Lone Arrangers Section listserv), and participating in the Steering Committee could be another great way to learn and share experiences and best practices. 

Hope Dunbar 

Special Collections Archivist 

SUNY Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY

Hope Dunbar is a Special Collections Archivist at SUNY Buffalo State College. She received her Master of Library and Information Science with a certification in special collections from the University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library and Information Science; and her Juris Doctor from DePaul University, College of Law. She has worked in archives and special collections across the country, including the Newberry Library Chicago, and has found her calling in making historical materials more accessible and processes for finding those materials more transparent. Hope served as the chair for the Issues & Advocacy Section of the Society of American Archivists (SAA), and is the editor for the Journal of Archival Organization, Archives and the Law Column.

Most of my career has been as a long arranger. I understand the need for an active and strong community of archivists. The Lone Arrangers Section is essential because as a solo archivist or archivist in a small department you have less input from those in your field, fewer people to develop long-term solutions, and a smaller institutional support community. This section provides invaluable resources to those entering the field and looking for direction, as well as assisting long-time lone arrangers in maintaining a community of support. 

Ross Griffiths

 Archives Librarian

Worcester State University,Worcester, MA


I began my career at the former Philadelphia History Museum, where I served as Program Associate for 7 years helping to administer and teach k-12 education programs and assist with exhibition development and collections management. Following completion of my MLIS, I worked for 8 years at Illinois State University (ISU) first as Preservation Librarian supervising the library’s preservation lab and later, as Head of Preservation and Archives where I hired and supervised ISU’s first full-time archivist. Since July, 2016, I have served as Archivist and Liaison Librarian at Worcester State University where I am the University’s first full-time, permanent Archivist.  I hold Master’s Degrees from the University of Pittsburgh (MLIS/Concentration in Archives and Records Management) and Illinois State University (History). I’m also a Certified Digital Archivist through the SAA.  


Over the years I have developed know-how for managing shoestring budgets, dysfunctional physical plants, and less-then-ideal cyberinfrastructures. I’d like to serve on the committee in order to share these insights and help colleagues build knowledge and skills about free low-cost  source tools, and to leverage opportunities for grants and other resources. Many of us Lone Arrangers work in smaller institutions where the scope of our work seems shaped by resource limitations rather than by the needs of our collections. This committee is a great venue for discovering solutions that might help us break through some of those barriers.


Ingi House


Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Washington, D.C.

Ingi House is originally from Kansas where she got her B.A. in history from the University of Kansas and M.L.S. from Emporia State University. She moved to the East Coast and worked at the National Archives then at the Defense Acquisition University where she became a Certified Archivist. Her continued enjoyment of military history led her to the West Coast where she worked for the U.S. Navy at the Seabee Museum. After a fulfilling two years there she decided to expand on her reference and processing skills at the National Archives in San Francisco. After working on various collections there she realized she missed the Department of Defense and their mission. She now works at the Defense POW/MIA Acquisition Agency leading their archival and records management department. In her spare time, she writes, and has published several poems in professional and literary journals.

I am currently the lone archivist for DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency) in the D.C. offices. I was also the solo archivist at DAU (Defense Acquisition University) for two years. I understand the lack of help, understanding, and sympathy that often comes from being the only one that understands what you do let alone why you do it. Offices often think that archivists are records managers, librarians, tech support, and administrative assistance all rolled into one, let alone your actual archiving job. Often times you end up spending more time educating your staff about archives than actually processing and creating finding aids. I would love to help trade tips and build each other up! 

Monica R. Howell

Serials Librarian and Archivist

Northwestern Health Sciences University, Bloomington, MN

Monica R. Howell is a librarian, archivist, and assistant professor at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN. Monica completed the Educational Specialist program at the University of Minnesota in 2015, and received her Master of Library Science degree from the University of Maryland in 2001 and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1999. At Northwestern Health Sciences University, she coordinates all activities of the university archives, including grant writing, donor relations, accessioning, processing, exhibitions, preservation, and reference, and she also manages NWHSU’s serials subscriptions. Monica’s research interests are in the history of chiropractic and other complementary and alternative medical practices, and in the history of education. She has presented her research at numerous national and international academic and professional conferences, and she created the Teaching Chiropractic in the North Star State website (https://nwhsulib.wixsite.com/teachingchiroinmn) to share her research on chiropractic education in Minnesota. Monica is also a book artist, creating paper sculptures, letterpress prints, and artist’s books.

As a lone arranger, I know first-hand how valuable the community of SAA’s Lone Arrangers Section can be. Having colleagues to consult for advice and to commiserate with regarding common problems can make a big difference for those of us who otherwise lack regular contact with other archives professionals. I would be honored to participate in the management of this Section and give back to the community that has given me so much. 

Susan J. Illis


Society of Mary, USA Province


Susan Illis is the archivist for the United States Province of the Society of Mary, an international Roman Catholic religious organization. In this position, which she has held since 2007, she is solely responsible for all aspects of managing and administering the province’s archives. Additionally, she is an archivist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Currently she serves on the steering committee for the Archivists of Religious Collection Section and the technology committee of the Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious. In her long and varied archival career covering 27 years, she has worked at both large and small institutions (sometimes simultaneously!), including the Heinz History Center, Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University, Atlanta History Center, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition to these staff positions, she has done contract and consulting work for historical societies and community archives. She is very familiar with the challenges many archives face, whether professionally staffed and well-funded, or less so. She earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Pittsburgh, and completed additional coursework in archival theory and museum studies. 

Laura Jowdy, C.A. 

Archivist & Collections Manager

Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Mt. Pleasant, SC 

Laura Jowdy has worked for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society since 2006, where she is responsible for all aspects of the archives, research library, and museum collections. She graduated with a B.A. in history from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, and holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina with a graduate certificate in archival science and preservation. She became a Certified Archivist in 2007. She’s been an officer for the SAA’s Military Archives Section for the past four years and is currently the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect. In the past, she has served as the Secretary for the South Carolina Archival Association.

The Loan Arrangers Section has been an invaluable resource for me throughout my career – especially as I’ve only ever worked as a Lone Arranger. This Section’s membership are my coworkers! The helpfulness and depth of this group’s knowledge base cannot be overstated. I would love to give back to the Section by serving on the Steering Committee and helping the group continue to grow and flourish in doing what we do best: provide a backbone of professional reference and connective-ness that otherwise we wouldn’t have ready access to.

Mary LaMotte Silverstein

Processing Archivist

Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York City, NY

Mary LaMotte Silverstein is a Processing Archivist at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. She was previously a Project Assistant Archivist at the Museum of the City of New York, where she was the Lone Arranger on this project. She has also worked in the archives of StoryCorps in New York, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and the Mount Sinai Hospital Archives in New York. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences (MLIS) and the University of Chicago (BA, English).

I am a former scholarly book editor who was drawn to an archiving career later in life—I have the zeal of the convert. I believe that the aim of providing the context that is sometimes missing from traditional historical dialogue is crucial to furthering a greater understanding of our current cultural environment. I am especially interested in the interplay between those who work within archives and those who use and benefit from them. I believe that the specific challenges of Lone Arrangers (inequity of pay and benefits, and respect within institutions, for example) demand our attention, and I am committed to advocating for our voices within the profession. I admire the powerful sense of community and camaraderie among Lone Arrangers, and I would love to have the opportunity to give back to the section, which has already provided a great deal of support and practical information that has been useful to my work. Thank you!

Ann Merryman

Coordinator of Archives and Special Collections

University of South Carolina Upstate, Spartanburg, SC


Ann Merryman joined the University of South Carolina Upstate as the Coordinator for Archives and Special Collections in 2014.  She is the first archivist in the 52-year history of the institution, and has sole responsibility for developing a working archives from the existing materials, as well as building new collections in multiple formats to enhance and expand upon the current holdings.  In addition to her work with the archives she is also part of an active public services team of librarians, providing library instruction sessions as the liaison librarian to the History and Political Science departments as well as sharing reference and research desk responsibilities with the entire team.  She holds an MLIS from the University of South Carolina and a BA in Business and Economics from Benedictine University. 


For my first position out of library school, I was hired as the very first archivist at the University of South Carolina Upstate in the spring of 2014.  It was a daunting task to come into an institution that had not had any formalized archives in its 48 year history, knowing that the 50th Anniversary was coming and I would be expected to develop significant programming and support for that event.  As a new archivist, I leaned heavily on the information and wisdom I found on the Lone Arrangers listserv; and to this day I continue to rely on the information that is shared so freely among the Lone Arranger community.  I would like to be considered for a position on the Steering Committee because I want to help the Lone Arrangers Section continue to find ways to support archivists in our shared situation across the many varied types of institutions, particularly by helping to develop some regional support tools or systems.  Although I have only been an archivist for five years, I feel my experiences up to this point with building a university archives from scratch on a shoestring budget can help add to the section mission “to provide education, stimulate communication, and encourage support between archivists working in “lone arranger” settings.”    

Andrew Meyer

Director of Archives and Special Collections

North Park University, Chicago, IL

Andy Meyer is the director (and lone arranger) of the F.M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections at North Park University. He is interested in archival content management systems, digital preservation, and creative ways to engage communities with archival materials.

Trista Raezer-Stursa

University Archivist

Minnesota State University Moorhead, MN

Trista Raezer-Stursa has been the University Archivist at Minnesota State University Moorhead for the past year. Previously she held positions at the North Dakota State University Archives, the Santa Clara County Archives, the Santa Clara University Special Collections, and the San Jose State University Special Collections. In all of these positions she was either the only staff person, or one of a very small team.

Anjelica Ruiz

Director of Libraries and Archives

Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX

Angelica N. Ruiz is the Director of Libraries and Archives at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas, where she also teaches to fourth graders on Sunday mornings. She has previously worked at the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas in the Center for Jewish Education and the donor services department. She holds a M.S. in library science from the University of North Texas; a M.S. in criminal justice from Texas State University; and a B.A. in criminology from St. Edwards’s University. 

I came into my current role after the archives had been unstaffed for three years. As a result, I had to fit the ground running, which has been full of challenges, especially as Temple’s 150th anniversary is just around the corner. I have been involved at Temple since 2011 and converted to Judaism in 2013, so to be able to combine my love of Temple and desire to maintain its history has been dream come true. I bring a unique perspective as a woman archivist that is also a lone arranger over a religious archive and a dedication to the profession that results in me finding any sort of professional development opportunity in order to become a better archivist.


Robert Schimelpfenig
Archivist for Library, Archives and Special Collections 

Washington State University Vancouver, Vancouver, WA

Robert Schimelpfenig is an Archivist for the WSU Vancouver Library. Since 2001, he has successfully collaborated with historical and cultural institutions on digital projects. His early contributions include the coordination and digitization of regional, ethnic history materials in the Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Archive. Most recently, his involvement in the development of a joint digital program with Clark County Historical Museum in Vancouver, Washington has initiated the digitization of over 30,000 objects from local collections. In 2006, Robert helped to establish the Archives & Special Collections at WSU Vancouver, overseeing the university’s growing collections. His interests include archival stewardship, preservation and turning collaborative projects with local organizations into long term partnerships. Robert received his PhD from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California.

Derek Webb

Special Collections Librarian/University Archivist

Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, MS

I have been at MUW for 6 years in my first and only archivist position, in which I have progressed from being a volunteer preserving at defunct archives to part-time staff, full-time staff, and faculty level position. I am currently a member of the SAA 2019 Program Committee, an alum of the 2017 Archives Leadership Institute, and have served in numerous capacities in the Society of Mississippi Archivists including President. I have first-hand experience with many of the struggles of lone arrangers, from the initial quest for resources and support to finding sufficient continuing education to managing numerous functions, projects, and expectations simultaneously. As a member of the steering committee I will work to continue and expand the section’s ongoing efforts to aid with our hard-working membership including training, expert advice, collaborative opportunities, and information on funding and grant sources.

Peter Weis

Archivist of the School

Northfield Mount Hermon, Mount Hermon, MA

I began my training for the position of Northfield Mount Hermon archivist shortly after I learned to walk literally. The son of a longtime teacher, I began my apprenticeship at the age of 2 when my family moved to the school in 1962. There, I was graduated with the class of 1978 and earned a bachelor's in liberal arts at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico (1984). Graduate school brought me back to the archival sciences, when I earned a master's in public history from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1997) and a master's in library science from the State University of New York at Albany (1998). In the fall of 1999, I returned to Northfield Mount Hermon for a one-year appointment as archivist. I never left. Twenty years later, I still delight in both the school and my work. My articles on school history appear regularly in the alumni magazine, and I was a contributor to a 2010 volume on the school's history, Lift Thine Eyes. Parliamentarian to the faculty, I also serve as the advisor to both the Debate Society and The Hermonite, the school's student produced newspaper. I've served in various roles in the faculty governance system, most recently as part of the Executive Committee which led a three-year effort to substantially reform our faculty by-laws.


Throughout my career as an archivist, I have always been a "lone arranger," even though I would prefer a less whimsical term for our situation. Like many of us, I lead a fairly blinkered existence. My work keeps me busy and I tend to be so focused on the tasks in front of me that my collegial experience is limited. I suddenly find, with two decades of experience, that it might be good to share some of it with others. This summer I'm attending the S.S.A. national conference for the first time, as part of a panel led by Anna Kephart: “Future-Proofing Small Archives: Strategies for Transformative Leadership Transitions.” I would like to offer more to our group.