2003 Western Washington University Student Chapter Report

2002-2003 Officers:
Sarah Nelson, Coordinator
Jamie Cartright, Assistant Coordinator

Erin Whitsel-Jones
Amber Raney
Jason Viers
Mark Kifowit
Virginia Walkowski
Libby Burke
Gina Rappaport
Kay Taylor
Caitlin Frost
Vicki Cohen
David Boyd

Randall Jimerson, Faculty Liaison



Several weeks into the school year, in September, the second-year Master’s students and the first-year students met at a local pizzeria for introductions and discussion about the year ahead. The second-year students discussed their spring/summer internships to compare experiences with one another and to illuminate parts of the degree that the first-years could expect. Aspects of the SAA Student Chapter were discussed in explanation for the new students as well. Since Sarah Nelson was the Assistant Coordinator the previous year, she was introduced as Coordinator. Jamie Cartright was nominated as Assistant Coordinator since she was not a commuter and was a former WWU undergrad. At that point the group decided to set another date to get together for further planning of the Chapter activities.

The next meeting was held on the WWU campus. The Chapter met to hear some announcements from Sarah, including the information/deadline for the Poster Session, a meeting of the local ARMA chapter, and other similar activities. The group then decided on a short list of speakers to invite to campus to talk about their careers and experiences in the archives and records management field.

In January we approached Dr. Burt Rhodes, longtime Bellingham resident, about joining us to discuss his long and impressive career and Archivist of the United States, professor, and his other endeavors. However, unfortunately personal conflicts prevented his availability.

In February we welcomed Nicolette Bromberg, Photo Archivist from the University of Washington. Over dinner, Nicolette shared her career path with us, as well as some of the crucial concerns of photo preservation and archival practices. She brought several photographs for us to enjoy, exemplifying the different elements of her jobs over the years around the U.S.

The meeting and discussion with Candace Lein-Hayes that was scheduled for March was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. However, in March the group and Rand Jimerson and Kitty Friesen, preservation professor, took a trip to University of British Columbia in Vancouver. We met with the Master of Archival Studies students of the School of Library, Archival and Informational Studies as well as Terry Eastwood, Luciana Durante and Heather MacNeil. There were quite a few people gathered to compare notes about the two programs as well as the more specific endeavors of the various students. The UBC faculty and students were welcoming and congenial; the occasion was a great opportunity to meet some of the people who author many of our readings!

Typically a group of students attends the Northwest Archivist conference that is held yearly in April. This years conference, however, was held in Sacramento. The distance proved prohibitive, so we look forward to next year’s conference that will be held in this neck of the woods again. The conference always avails rich opportunities to meet working archivists as well as attend sessions that apply directly to the issues of the Pacific Northwest.

In May a couple students drove to Seattle and met several other first-year students who were mid-way through their internships. Together they attended the Seattle Area Archivists meeting. Patti Scheffer, Information Services Project Manager at Swedish Medical Center, spoke of the realities of implementing HIPAA. Sue Karren, Director of Archival Operations at NARA – Pacific Alaska Region, spoke of NARA’s Records of Concern Program which works to restrict records that may be of use to terrorists. Finally, Michael Saunders, Regional Archivist of the Puget Sound Region of Washington State Archives System, spoke of two Washington State bills of legislation which call for implementing a 75-year limit on restricted records. There were lots of familiar faces in the crowd from the tours taken to the various archives in the area, as well as from the Northwest Archivist conference in Corvalis in 2002.

Overall, the Student Chapter had a smaller number of activities than was hoped and tentatively scheduled. Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts seemed to plague us this year. However, the activities that we did experience varied widely in subject-matter and were therefore satisfying to the group overall. The manner in which spring and summer find students scattered far from Bellingham for internships often proves cumbersome in keeping a momentum going. Nevertheless, we have managed to keep in strong contact with one another over the miles, as well as meeting casually in groups to catch up on one another’s studies and internships.