Student Ember Krumwied Appreciates MARA Program’s Dual Focus on Records Management and Archives

Ember Krumwied knew from her nose that she found the right profession as a records manager.

“I get such a kick out of the smell of old paper,” said Krumwied, who started out working as a records manager at a timber company that kept stacks of old inventory logs and ledger books. “The records were starting to turn yellow in small card catalogue boxes. I just loved being around them.”

Like a lot of records managers, Krumwied fell into the profession by chance and was surprised to find that she had a knack for it. She now works as a records manager for a real estate developer in suburban Seattle and became a Certified Records Manager in 2005.

Krumwied decided to earn her Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) degree, joining the School’s second MARA cohort a year ago. Krumwied wanted to validate her assumptions about proper records management, while learning about archives.

“I’ve had no experience working in archives, and one of the things that really interested me in the MARA program is its dual focus on both records management and archives,” she said. “One day, I would love to be in the position to physically touch – with the right protective gear, of course – the Declaration of Independence. I love the idea of preserving history.”

Krumwied earned her undergraduate degree in business from Warner Southern University in Lake Wells, Florida, before moving to the Pacific Northwest. She selected the School’s MARA program in part because of the flexibility of the online program, which turned out to be especially helpful when she found out she was pregnant just two weeks after starting classes in Fall 2009. Krumwied gave birth at the end of the Spring 2010 semester, and transitioned right into a Summer class.

She is, however, taking maternity leave from her job and is relieved that, so far, she’s received very few requests for records during her absence. “My legacy is that the records management program can function when I am not there,” she said. “What’s the point of putting four years into something if someone else can’t just come in and pick up where I left off?”