UMSI alumni elected to Society of American Archivists leadership

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) 2018 election results are in, and this year’s Vice President/President-Elect, Michelle Light, and a member of the SAA Council, Ricardo Punzalan, are UMSI alumni.

Michelle Light

Michelle Light (MSI ’99) is no stranger to the SAA, having served on the American Archivist Editorial Board and on the Council. In 2014, she was inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists. That same year, she won the UMSI Distinguished Alumni award

In addition to her master’s in information, Light earned Master of Arts and candidate of philosophy degrees in history from the University of Michigan.

Currently, Light is the director of special collections at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she established infrastructure to sustain a program to document the Southern Nevada region. She’ll begin her one-year term as SAA Vice President/President-Elect in August, and become the Society of American Archivists' 75th president in 2019-2020.

“Ricky” Punzalan

Similarly, Ricardo “Ricky” Punzalan’s noteworthy accomplishments led to his appointment to the SAA Council. Punzalan earned an MLIS from the University of the Philippines, was a member of the School of Library and Information Studies faculty, served as assistant professor of archives and library science and was a museum archivist for the Vargas Museum. 

Then he came to the University of Michigan. “The UMSI faculty was a major factor that drew me to Michigan. I wanted to work with some of the world’s leading minds in archives and digital preservation. My faculty advisors were inspirational academic role models and mentors who helped me craft an original and rigorous research agenda.” 

In 2012, he received his PhD in information and two certificates of graduate studies, one in Science, Technology, and Society and another in Museum Studies.

Punzalan has developed numerous community archives, including archives of the traditional council in Techiman, Ghana and of a former leprosarium (Culion) in the Philippines. He also curated a museum exhibit marking the centennial of Culion’s founding. 

Currently, he’s assistant professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. He’ll serve on the SAA Council for a three-year term, from 2018 to 2021.

Sixteen candidates competed for four offices: Vice President/President-Elect, Treasurer, Council, and Nominating Committee. Amy Fitch, Rockefeller Archive Center, has been elected as SAA Treasurer. Melissa Gonzales (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) and Petrina Jackson (Iowa State University) have been elected to the SAA Council. 

by Brooke White, UMSI Editorial Assistant

Posted April 18, 2018