ARMA NorCal Chapter Funds New Scholarships for SJSU MARA Students


In spring 2015, students in the Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) degree program at the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information can apply for new scholarships established by the NorCal Chapter of the ARMA International Pacific Region Community. ARMA International is a not-for-profit professional organization for individuals in the fields of records management and information governance with chapters all over the world. Two ARMA NorCal Chapter scholarships of $500 each will be awarded in spring 2015.

The new ARMA NorCal Chapter scholarship is one of several scholarships specifically for MARA students at SJSU. Last spring, a record 24 scholarships worth more than $26,000 were awarded to SJSU iSchool students, including four to students in the MARA program preparing for careers in archives and records management.

Dr. Charlie Sodano, who currently serves as the ARMA International Pacific Region Chapter advisor on membership and marketing, was the chair of the 2014 ARMA NorCal Seminar meeting when the Mt. Diablo, Golden Gate, Silicon Valley, and Sacramento chapters voted unanimously to use a portion of the meeting proceeds to fund a new scholarship for SJSU MARA students. “ARMA International has always been very supportive of continuing education as well as supporting research to advance information management via the ARMA International Educational Foundation,” said Sodano. “Everyone involved with planning for the 2014 NorCal seminar from the four chapters was enthusiastic in their support.”

Sodano, who has a background in chemistry, said that he became involved in information management in the 1980s when he was working on the automation of systems in research laboratories. Soon after, he extended his work to include information and records systems for non-scientists as well, which led to close work with information professionals and records management administrators and his membership in ARMA International. For Sodano, the fields of scientific research and information management are more similar than they might appear. “Through my assignments and experiences over the years, I have formed a kinship with colleagues in the library profession,” said Sodano.  “People working in this area utilize techniques that are very much aligned with those I used as a research chemist.”

MARA students are also eligible for scholarships sponsored by the Silicon Valley and Golden Gate chapters of ARMA International, and past scholarship winners are putting their knowledge to good work in a number of information organizations.

Desiree Wallen, recipient of a 2014 ARMA Silicon Valley Chapter scholarship, is currently working as an intern at the National Archives and Records Administration site in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, creating a subject guide to support civil war research in the National Archives.

Susan D. Haigh, winner of a 2014 ARMA Silicon Valley Chapter scholarship and also winner of a 2013 ARMA International Education Foundation scholarship, works as the records and information specialist for the city of Bonney Lake, Washington. Haigh is responsible for managing city records and assisting with public and staff records requests, and also maintains the city’s website.

Recognized by the ARMA Golden Gate Chapter for her plans to further her career in the field, Anne Musella, winner of a 2014 ARMA Golden Gate Chapter scholarship, is currently working for the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a privacy analyst and information and knowledge manager.

Eileen Hansen also received a 2014 ARMA Golden Gate Chapter scholarship. With one son in college and another slated to start in fall 2015, “money is always an issue,” Hansen said, “so the scholarship opportunities that are available are fantastic and much appreciated.” She is currently working at a nonprofit organization, using her records management skills to create an archive for decades’ worth of material.  

The SJSU iSchool awards several scholarships every year, thanks to the generous support of alumni, information organizations, and individuals interested in the future of the information profession. Applications for the spring 2015 ARMA NorCal Chapter scholarship and other iSchool scholarships will be accepted between March 1 and March 30, 2015. Details about scholarships, eligibility, and application procedures are available on the iSchool scholarship web page.

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