MARA Student Stormie Holguin to Archive Historic Dentistry Papers

Third year MARA student Stormie Holguin recently began an internship at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Historical Collections and Archives. Using Archivists' Toolkit software, Holguin is processing and digitizing the papers of the late Dr. Wilber van Zile, professor emeritus and the first graduate residency program director for the OHSU School of Dentistry’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery.

“What I love about this work, is that I’m putting something together that’s never been processed before,” said Holguin, who is digitizing both letters and pictures in the collection. Van Zile was a World War II dentist in Guam, in the South Pacific, where he mainly worked in facial reconstruction of the mouth and jaw, including shrapnel removal. “He invented an awesome root canal devise,” Holguin said.

Holguin’s enthusiasm for historical artifacts are what brought her into the MARA program and have always excited Holguin, whose own grandfather fought under General Patton in World War II. “As a kid, I always felt that was so cool,” she said. “I’ve always enjoyed older things. Growing up, my dad had an 8 track and vinyl records that I adored. I even adored how he yelled at me when I touched the needle.”

With a planned graduation date of Spring 2013, Holguin hopes to secure a position working in an archive. “I love books, but I’m more interested in preserving and protecting the past,” she said. “With a MARA degree, I learn archives and records management, so I get the benefit of learning about all the stages of archiving.”

After investigating several MARA and MLIS programs, Holguin chose San Jose State University’s MARA program when she saw it recommended on the Society of American Archivists website and noted the competitive price. The flexibility of an online program also allowed her to move from Texas to Hillsboro, Oregon, where she could live rent-free to focus on her studies.

When she’s not working at OHSU or engrossed in coursework, Holguin works 10 hours a week doing research, writing, and administrative tasks as the student assistant for Dr. Patricia Franks, MARA Program Coordinator.

As for her name? That too has a history: “There are two family theories, but the one I’m sticking with is that I was named after a Classics IV song in the 1960s, called ‘Stormy’.”