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Autumn Reinhardt Simpson is the 2008 recipient of the Timothy L. Ericson Scholarship

The School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee proudly announces the 2008 recipient of the Timothy L. Ericson Scholarship in Archival Studies: Autumn Reinhardt Simpson, a graduate student in the MLIS program.

When Simpson, a second-semester online student in the MLIS program, first saw an email notifying her about the Timothy L. Ericson Scholarship, she assumed it was bad news.

“I looked at my email inbox and saw a subject line that said something about the scholarship and assumed it was a rejection email,” said Simpson. “I opened the email and saw I had earned the award and I was thrilled! I ran over to my husband and yelled that I had won a scholarship. I am very proud and very excited!”

As a student in the Archival Studies concentration at SOIS, Simpson is no stranger to Ericson’s work. In fact, Simpson’s decision to pursue archival studies was influenced by one of Ericson’s articles.

“I’m a big fan of Timothy Ericson. He isn’t afraid to think about the field in nontraditional ways,” commented Simpson. “He wrote an article titled The Accidental Archivist, in which he talked about people accidentally stumbling onto archival studies and the archives profession, and becoming so immersed in the field that it becomes their second career. I guess I fit into that pool of people. I’ve always been interested in primary sources; throughout my undergraduate studies (double-major in history and literature at Washington State University), I was always searching for some primary source. I’ve always been interested in libraries as well, so archival studies just made sense for me. Also, I’ve always been nosy, which I think is a perfect fit for being an archivist! (laughs).”

Formerly of Seattle, Simpson now lives with her husband in Richmond, VA. For her, SOIS’s online master’s program presented a unique opportunity to earn the MLIS degree at a reputable school.

“I knew I’d have to find an online program because my husband and I move frequently,” said Simpson. “Milwaukee was one of several programs I was considering. SOIS seemed to have much more to offer, and I liked that the program had a more broad outlook and wasn’t focused as much on just information science. Once I started the program, I found out that the archives concentration could be completed online as well, and I jumped at the opportunity. That definitely made me want to stay.”

Simpson was awarded the scholarship in a blind review process by a committee including faculty and staff from the School of Information Studies and a practicing archivist who graduated from the SOIS Archives program. The $500 scholarship honors the founder and long-time Director of the SOIS Archival Studies Program, Timothy L. Ericson. Ericson, a past president of the Society of American Archivists and well-known educator has, throughout his career, inspired his students and brought many new and talented individuals to the archives profession.

If you would like to make a donation to the Timothy L. Ericson Scholarship fund, you may do so by contacting SOIS Development Director Katie Sparks, kasparks@uwm.edu.

If you have any questions about the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Archival Studies Program or Certificate of Advanced Study in Archives and Records Management, please feel free to contact Program Coordinator Amy Cooper Cary at amyccary@sois.uwm.edu 

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