Donald Peterson Student Travel Award: Erika Alfieri

Erika Alfieri, who is pursuing a master’s degree in information science at Florida State University, is the 2023 recipient of the Donald Peterson Student Travel Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award, established in 2005, supports students and recent graduates from graduate archival programs within North America to attend SAA’s Annual Meeting. The goal of the scholarship is to stimulate greater participation in SAA events, such as presenting research or joining a committee or section.

While a full-time student, Alfieri completed SAA’s Arrangement and Description Certificate and participated in SAA’s Mentoring Program. Their internship and consultant experiences include accessioning archival plans for Florida’s Palm Beach Preservation Foundation and creating a collection-level inventory and processing plan with The Langley School in Virginia. They are currently collecting narratives from the LGBTQIA+ community in Jacksonville, Florida, for an oral history project entitled “River Stories.” Creating this archives is a significant first step in preserving and serving the community’s history. Alfieri’s mentor remarked on this labor of love, noting that “they demonstrate again and again their tireless determination to create an important repository of personal narratives for their community.”

As an early career archivist, Alfieri recognizes the value of both internships for learning new skills and networking with other archivists to achieve career goals. At the 2023 Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists and SAA, Alfieri will present “Applied, Interviewed, Rejected: Learning From Failure and Making the Most of Graduate Student Internships,” covering best practices for graduate students searching and applying for internships. Alfieri’s poster “Using Word 365's Auto Transcription Feature for Oral Histories,” which outlines workflow processes from an internship in 2022, will also be on display.