2020 Vice President Candidates

Dina Kellams

Michelle Sweetser

 

Dina Kellams

Dina Kellams

Employment: Indiana University Archives: Director (2015–present), Associate Archivist (2005–2015), Assistant Archivist (1999–2005).

Education: B.A. History/English, Indiana University, 1998; M.L.S. Indiana University, 2001.

Professional Activities:
MAC: Member, 1999–present; Council, 2010–2013; Local Arrangements Committee Cochair, 2005 and 2013; Program Committee, 2004 and 2010; Public Information Officer, 2006–2008; Development Coordinator, 2004–2006; Indiana Representative, Membership Committee, 2003–2006.
SAA: Member, 1999–present; Co-Editor, Academic Archivist blog, 2016–2017; Key Contact Program, Indiana Representative, 2007–2012; Faculty advisor, Indiana University student chapter, 2007–present.
Society of Indiana Archivists: Member, 2000–present; Annual Meeting Program Committee Chair, 2014, 2015; Vice President, 2003–2004, 2013–2015; Past President (Board position), 2005–2007; President, 2004–2005; Annual Meeting Program Committee Co-chair, 2004; Board of Directors, 2001–2003.
Other Organization: Archives Leadership Institute Board of Directors, 2019–2021; Archives Leadership Institute attendee, 2010.

Candidate Statement:
One of the primary responsibilities of the Vice President is oversight of MAC’s semi-annual meetings—the annual meeting and the fall symposium. What can MAC do to make its meetings more inclusive and to encourage new voices and perspectives?

I became involved with MAC very early in my career and while I have been away the past few years, I can say with all honesty that this issue has always been important to MAC leaders. When I was at the table, the focus was on how to encourage and include the voices of students and young professionals. Then, MAC responded with outreach to student organizations, the “I am MAC” campaign, and offering MAC mentors at the annual meetings. Since then, conversations in the workplace and by extension, in professional organizations, have pivoted to focus on the inclusion of people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. The primary duty of MAC’s Vice President is to organize and shepherd the annual meetings and symposia. A glimpse at the past few programs show that MAC leaders already do incredible work to bring new voices to the front of the room. I would simply like to continue down this avenue and investigate other opportunities. For example, I know there are certain requirements and needs for a successful host site, but are there corners of the Midwest we have not yet visited that could reach archivists and related professionals MAC has not yet engaged? And the Speakers Bureau -- it is an unbelievable bargain that can both tap into new voices and serve as a valuable educational MAC experience for those with limited travel funds to attend the larger conferences. It may mean directly contacting individuals to ensure they are aware of MAC’s offerings, but it could be an extremely rewarding engagement opportunity that could allow both them and MAC to further their potential. As a Vice Presidential candidate, I welcome this opportunity to reengage with MAC and give back to an organization that has given me so much over the years.

 

Michelle Sweetser

Michelle Sweetser

Employment: Head Librarian and University Archivist, Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green State University, 2016–present; University Archivist, Marquette University, 2004–2016.

Education: M.S.I., Archives and Records Management, University of Michigan, 2003; A.B., Anthropology, Dartmouth College, 1999.

Professional Activities:
MAC: Caregiver Working Group, 2019; Nominating Committee Chair, 2018–2019; Council, 2015–2018; Program Committee Co-Chair, 2014 Annual Meeting; Nominating Committee, 2012–2013; Symposium Planning Committee, 2009.
SAA: College & University Archives Section: Vice Chair / Chair Elect, 2019–present, Blog/Newsletter Editor, 2011–2019. Membership Committee: Vice Chair/Chair, 2017–2019; Key Contacts Program Co-Chair, 2015–2017. Acquisitions & Appraisal Section: Chair, 2006–2007, Steering Committee, 2004–2008, Web Liaison, 2004–2012. Privacy & Confidentiality Roundtable: Chair, 2008–2009, Steering Committee, 2005–2010.
Other: Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board, 2018–present; Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented) Advisory Board, 2016–2019; Upper Midwest Digital Collections Conference Planning Committee, 2015–2016; Wisconsin State Historical Records Advisory Board, 2013–2016; Archives Leadership Institute, 2012.

Selected Publications:

Candidate Statement:
One of the primary responsibilities of the Vice President is oversight of MAC’s semi-annual meetings—the annual meeting and the fall symposium. What can MAC do to make its meetings more inclusive and to encourage new voices and perspectives?

MAC should strive to make members feel included in all of its venues. Its leaders help to create an environment in which individuals feel welcomed, respected, and valued. An important part of creating an inclusive organization includes taking the time to ask about, understand, and respond to the experiences of those who are in the minority. Moving forward, MAC needs to engage in these practices more regularly, both formally and informally, and to inform ourselves about how other organizations create inclusive environments.

In planning events, MAC should continue to build upon recent actions that promote inclusion, such as use of pronouns on nametags and providing information about activities for families. We should consider speaker diversity and inclusive participation: rejecting homogeneous panels, stopping audience members who monopolize Q&A, and experimenting with the timing of activities so there are more opportunities for wellness and personal care.

Our 2017 Membership Survey indicated some members have not attended meetings or served as an officer due to time and funding constraints; caregiving responsibilities were another barrier. Others felt they were not qualified to be involved. MAC can be more inclusive by removing barriers within our control. We can fundraise for additional scholarships, explore alternate conference pricing models, and create student and early career positions on standing committees, introducing new individuals to the workings of the organization and pathways to leadership.

As a group, we need to have frank conversations about our goals, priorities, and the funding we will invest in these efforts. Finally, we need to prevent and address discrimination and harassment within our organization. One of my top priorities is finalization and passage of a Code of Conduct and procedures for handling issues that occur in our spaces. I would be honored to collaborate in creating an organization that makes everyone feel welcome.