F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship: Julie Botnick

Julie Botnick, who is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is the 2018 recipient of the F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The $10,000 scholarship supports the graduate archival education of a student who is studying at a United States university program. Scholarship selection criteria include the applicant’s past performance in his or her graduate program in archival studies as well as faculty members’ assessment of the student’s prospects for contributing to the archives profession.

In addition to her strong academic record, Botnick impressed the SAA Awards Committee with her insightful essay, “Archivists as Amici Curiae: Archival Frameworks in Support of the Petitioner in Carpenter v. United States,” which explores cell site location information as metadata, record, and evidence. In it, Botnick asks important questions about privacy and digital data and contends that archivists bring valuable expertise to the status of this data in legal proceedings. In her position as a teaching assistant in UCLA’s history department, she has initiated discussion sections in Special Collections, introducing a number of students to archives, and is working with the UCLA Sephardic Archive Initiative to develop a participatory digital community archives. She volunteered as a translator at the International Council on Archives Conference in Mexico City and is the processing archivist for UCLA’s Fowler Museum, working to open up the institution’s Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act records to the public.

Her faculty nominator noted that she is “someone who will end up representing US archives on the international stage as well as pushing forward the role of archives and special collections in teaching.”