Emerging Leader Award: Matt Gorzalski

Matt Gorzalski, university archivist at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU), is the 2016 recipient of the Society of American Archivists' Emerging Leader Award. Established in 2011, the award celebrates and encourages early career archivists who have completed archival work of broad merit, demonstrated significant promise of leadership, performed commendable service to the archives profession, or have accomplished a combination of these requirements.

At SIU, Gorzalski has been dedicated to raising awareness of archives and the use of historic records in classroom instruction, teaching critical skills through hands-on digitization exercises. He is also an active member of SAA’s Collection Management Tools Roundtable and Career Development Subcommittee, both of which he currently chairs, as well as the ArchivesSpace Technical Advisory Council and its Migration Working Group, which provides testing, support, documentation, and enhancement prioritization for developers and users. Gorzalski’s work on a standard archival management system has led him to partner with systems teams, LYRASIS, and other archivists in Illinois and across the country.

The Award Committee also commended Gorzalski’s strong record of scholarship. His research, writings, and presentations on better descriptive practices have been published in The American Archivist, Archival Issues, and Journal of Archival Organization. In 2014, Gorzalski received the David B. Gracy II Award for the best article in Provenance for “Reimaging Record Groups: A Case Study and Considerations for Record Group Revision.”

 As one supporter noted: “Matt’s passion for archives and user experience is a solid foundation underlying his energy, expertise, innovation, creativity, and leadership. . . . He represents the best of an archivist—always finding ways to increase awareness and use of our collections.”