#Spotlight Series: Tiffany Knight Awarded VSFS eInternship


Published: April 21, 2018 by Katie Kuryla 

As our spotlight series continues, I have the great honor of introducing one very special student, Tiffany Knight. Tiffany received the sole vacancy in the US NARA Virtual Student Federal Service eInternship and she has spent her last year of graduate school working with transcriptions. After reading her profile, if you are interested in applying for the next vacant spot, make sure you check out the website because the information is provided. I bet she has had a wonderful year of working in the Citizen Archives area! Thank you Tiffany for sharing your experience! – Katie

My name is Tiffany Knight and I am a graduate candidate in the SJSU iSchool MARA program who will be graduating in May 2018. I filled the sole vacancy with The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) eInternship for the 1027-2018 program year. The VSFS program is conducted by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM). During the summer of 2017, the name was amended from “Foreign” to “Federal” Service. Interested applicants must be a U.S. citizen, enrolled in a college or master’s degree program and can find out more information on the website: https://vsfs.state.gov.

There are hundreds of projects to choose from and the applicant is to select the top three of interest Each year, applications are submitted in July and selections are made by August. I received confirmation I was selected at the end of August 2017 and began my eInternship during September. I selected the NARA vacancy because I would be able to directly apply archival science, records, and information management skillsets to augment the business value of agency assets. During the month of MAY 2018, I will conclude my participation in the VSFS program. All eInterns who successfully complete the program will receive an electronic Certificate of Appreciation during the summer of 2018, which can further one’s career in public services.

The project I am assigned for the Spring 2018 MRAR 294 Professional Experience: Internship class is a transcriptionist position with Citizen Archivist Missions. Anyone may contribute transcription expertise (especially paleography), editing, or tagging to digital surrogates contained in the National Archives Catalog, remotely. The project is unclassified, research-based and employs collaboration-oriented technology for the purposes of providing greater public access and discoverability to the cultural memories o the citizens of the United States of America and our global digital community. This opportunity has enriched my understanding of how diplomacy, leadership, and technology intersect into eDiplomacy. In addition, I have furthered my practical understanding of archival science and records and information management by interfacing with an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) – compliant repository as well as communities of interest.

Being a Citizen Archivist is absolutely fantastic because one may virtually contribute to the long term preservation of American history. I have spent much time researching the connections paleography has with genealogy and transcription. When conducting genealogy searches of historical records, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of paleography in order to accurately transcribe the content within the federal records. The largest case I completely transcribed is “72-C-447: Kenneth R Zacher v. Board of Education Independent School District Number I-40, Nowata County, Oklahoma, et al.” (National Archives, 1973). I completed the transcription for 498 images so that Midwestern basketball enthusiasts may remember a said Head Coach of Nowata High School, Kenneth Zacher and one elected basketball Captain, Dale Martin (1973). For more detailed understanding of how to contribute to Citizen Archivist missions a YouTube video is available under the National Archives Catalog Guide for Genealogists and Family Historians (The U.S. National Archives, 2018; US National Archives, 2017).


National Archives (1973). 72-C-447: Kenneth R. Zacher v. Board of Education Independent School District Number I-40, Nowata County, Oklahoma, et. al. Retrieved from https://catalog.archives.gov/id/68887386

The US National Archives and Records Administration. (2018). Resources for genealogistsL National Archives Catalog guide for genealogists and family historians. Retrieved from: https://www.archives.gov/research/genealogy/catalog-guide

US National Archives (2017, October 18). Anatomy of a description [Video File}. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/RekMxGh9ire


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