Life After MARA


Life After MARA

Graduates of the Masters of Archives and Records Administration program have an impressive track record of achievements! Many of the MARA classes are pre-approved by the Academy of Certified Archivists, and all students in the program complete an internship or an organizational consulting project. Having celebrated its 10th year in 2018, it is exciting to think about where alumni will end up next! 

MARA Alumnus Leads the Way as First Los Angeles County Records Manager

Edward Sumcad, ‘18 MARA, works at the Los Angeles County Department of Human Resources as the countywide records manager and archivist. Sumcad has held the role since 2011, and the repository he manages is the largest in the nation. He works to preserve, as well as inventory, records so that citizens can utilize them. Sumcad enjoys the persistent challenge in his work and the difference he makes in his community.

Sumcad writes articles on LinkedIn about current issues facing the archives and records community, the most recent of which explored archives and the paradox of informational choice. He shared about his progression to the archives and records profession in his profile on the MARA blog as “accidental archivist and records manager.” His role as records manager actually began as a side project: “It was called records management, and, prior to beginning the project, I had thought it involved organizing the county’s LP collection.” His responsibilities grew into the versatile role he holds, which led him to the MARA program. He shared, “What excites me about the program overall is now I have more questions that can only be answered with time, further study and the right mix of individuals.” 

Passion for Preserving America’s History

Tiffany Knight, ‘18 MARA, was quite the standout student during her time in the MARA program. During her time studying at the iSchool, she received a US NARA Virtual Student Federal Service Internship. Knight’s project centered on citizen archiving and her transcription work contributed greatly to preserving American history. Read more about her incredible work on the MARA blog #Spotlight Series: Tiffany Knight Awarded VSFS eInternship. Knight is a proud Spartan, and created an alumni career spotlight. To contact Knight and chat with her more about her experience at MARA, visit her alumni page

Knight currently resides in Minneapolis, MN, pursuing her Doctor of Education with a specialization in adult education at Capella University. She shares, “Doctoral studies require great focus and dedication to lifelong learning. I employ my analytical and managerial training from the MARA program, my Certified Records Manager designation through the Institute of Certified Records Managers and professional association memberships to move forward in my lifelong personal and professional educational journey. Following in my father’s footsteps, I am at heart a writer, educator, records and information manager, and archivist. Gratefully, I stand upon the shoulders of Spartan giants.”

MARA Leads the Way in Information Governance 

Faculty members of the MARA program encourage students to make the most of their internships, too. Lisa Daulby PhD, IGP, CRM, lecturer at San José State University iSchool, shared in a recent profile, “I can’t say enough about how important internships are, especially if you are new to the field of archives and records/information management.” To read more about Dr. Daulby check out Dr. Daulby Prepares Students for a Future in Information Governance

From Alaska to Hollywood, Archives Abound 

Samuel Henley, ‘19 MARA, lives in Northern California and begins an internship in 2020 at the American Film Institute in Hollywood. Henley’s experience in the MARA program is unique in that instead of simply completing one internship, AFI will be his third! For his first internship, Henley had the opportunity to travel to Anchorage, Alaska in summer 2018 and work at the Anchorage Museum. He shared, “My job was to survey, evaluate and make some sense of the hundreds of linear feet of items. I sorted, rehoused and integrated about half of it directly into the existing series and subseries and was able to prepare the other half for the next person so that all they had to do was number and describe the rest of the items. I believe my final count of slides, negatives and prints was 12,000 +/-. It was a blast!”

From Alaska, Henley went to UC Merced, where his work focused on the university’s founding. Henley encourages future students: “Experience is key. These three internships give me a year’s worth of experience for my resume. Another key thing I learned is that we must deal with poorly processed collections or downright mishandled items. In an ideal world, unqualified people would not touch materials, but they do and we must mitigate the damage, even if the actions were well-intended (someone “helpfully” put white-out on each individual negative and wrote an item number with a sharpie on it in one photographic collection). The real world is messy and frustrating, but after completing these internships, I am no longer surprised at what we find in collections.” To read more about Henley’s experience, check out the MARA blog #SpotlightSeries: Internship Experience From the perspective of MARA student, Samuel Henley.

MARA Leads the Way in Canada, This Alumnus has No Limits

Robert McLauchlin, ’11 MARA, director of records management at Burnet, Duckworth and Palmer Law Firm in Alberta, Canada, believes, “Being in the information age, the records field is genuinely exciting right now. There are really no limits to what your career path can be. I’ll never run out of things to do, to investigate or implement.” McLauchlin has held his position at the law firm since 2012 and specifically chose this trajectory after leaving the oil and gas industry so he could create a records system from the ground up. You can read his exciting story in his community profile, MARA Graduate Robert McLauchlin Backs up His Experience With Information Governance Professional Certification.

McLauchlin is in the archives and records industry to stay. He specifically enjoys his time at the law firm. “The legal industry is a pretty dynamic industry when it comes to information and knowledge management, which are huge parts of the coming future.” With his newest credential, Information Governance Professional certification from the Association of Record Managers and Administrators, McLauchlin is definitely someone to watch!

MARA Alumni Reach New Heights

Successful MARA alumni take their experiences in the program to new heights! In the words of Dr. Daulby, “The MARA program is one of the only programs in the nation that teaches both aspects of this field: archives and records and information management. It is an honor to share my passions and contribute to their learning.” 

If you’re a MARA alumni or current student with a story to share, please submit the details via the create your own alumni career spotlight or share your news page. We would love to hear from you. Finally, to stay in the know about MARA students, alumni, faculty, and events, follow the MARA blog